Saturday, September 5, 2009

Duct Tape Dress Form

I have spent the last week skimming through online tutorials and this morning going through YouTube videos.  I liked one especially as it showed the actual taping.  So many did not show how they taped, we saw once the taping was done.  I recommend watching this YouTube video, I actually like the way they taped, it seemed to make more sense to me and I liked seeing the order of taping.  They are silly and I actually had to laugh a few times but it was very concise and I will be trying this method on my daughter.  She is the first duct tape victim of the two of us.  I would like to skim another 5-10 pounds before I do mine or I will be making one ever six months which is not a bad thing if the weight is going in the right way!

Another thing I found that I will use on ours.  I have read and watched so many construction methods for a stand or suggestions of a hall tree, etc.  The most simple I have found and cheap is a straight microphone stand which I saw here.  It is easily adjustable and I really liked how easy and clean this looks when it is finished.

For stuffing, I have been saving all those grocery bags over the last 8 months or so out of sheer laziness about getting them back to the grocery.  I did buy some of my own grocery bags, the ones the stores all sell to bring back and refill?  Well, my bags are always in the neat lower rack of the closet door rack, not in the car where they can be used!  So.. I will use the bags I have and finish off with poly-fill stuffing.  It seems most economical. 

One more thing and I can't remember where I read it or saw it. When cutting up the back, one person suggested a zig zag cut up the back as opposed to a straight up cut.  This ensures you are getting the form back together accurately.

And so, the first part of the project was done.  My daughter is small waisted and large busted and I was concerned about strapping her down but shaping does take place if you take the time to shape the tape.  We used 80 yards of tape.  I am almost wondering now if one more layer might have been better but we will see how the mounting and stuffing goes after we find a microphone stand.  Only one oopsy.  I cut her bra right off when cutting the model from her, haha.  I was so worried about keeping the scissors from hurting the skin that the bra was our only loss!

She said she felt like the tin man but all in all it was a fun project.

She has decided on her first SCA Italian Ren gown and that will be of the Florentine style, 1520-1540's.  I am very eager to get started on this project so time to find fabric, some playing around with patterning and getting that dress form done.  In another post I will give more information on her choice of gown.  I am brand new to Italian dress construction so I expect a lot of mistakes as I learn the ins and outs of Italian Fashion Medieval style.


Good day.. productive is a good thing.

Wow.. I did some of my to do list and even added a few things as I came upon them.

Alpaca. (added to the to do list)  I had gotten some baby alpaca a couple of months ago.  I was given a couple of ounces or so.. I will have to weigh the fiber once it is all dry.  There is a red brown like clay, a darker brown and a white.  I got it for an insanely cheap amount and in fact I had asked the woman if I was paying enough.  A customer had come into the booth and asked questions about alpaca fiber and the woman manning the booth was doing a favor for the owner who is a good friend.  So I told the customer all I knew about alpaca from the spinning perspective and the properties of the fiber.  So this woman was not inclined to recheck the price and I walked away feeling like I got too good of a deal.  Once it is weighed I will post but I only paid $8.25 for the entire lot.


Anywho... today I washed it all.  With the Salad Spinner Method!  This is fabulous!! I love it.


The List - -
Sunrise - Bobbin #5 is full and I plied one bobbin full skein from Bobbins #1 and #2.  It is coming out very nice and balanced (yippee) and I look forward to seeing it after it's warm bath to make it bloom.

Garb - My daughter decided on Italian Ren - Venetian.  So we are going to start with a Venetian Dress for her first SCA persona garb.

Knitting - Finished the scarf!  Gave it a warm bath too. This scarf is Crest of the Wave pattern and knitted from All Things Heather in Pink Camoflage.  It is 50/50 superwash Merino and Tencel.  I purchased it at my favorite online yarn store, The Loopy Ewe.

Crest of the Wave Scarf

Cooking - Went to the farm market and grocery store and got the necessary's for Zuppa Tuscana!!!  That is tomorrow's dinner.  Mmmmmm!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A To Do List - - of sorts

I am a post it note junky. I use them every day, stick them everywhere and depend on them heavily. That is probably not a wise thing to do! But I do it. During the last few days I have kept a list of things I thought of while working and made several 5x7 post it note to do lists.

This weekend is a 4 day weekend, I intend on being productive.

One thing on the list was a new look for this blog. Amazingly, I got home and the blog template I did have went poof. Who ever made it must have closed their photobucket account and there went the template. So! I used one of bloggers templates and personalized to what I like. So that is already crossed off!

Spinning - Sunrise - currently I am on bobbin #5. I think after I fill this bobbin I will ply the first 4 bobbins of my singles.

Garb -
1) Viking Apron Dress - figure out the sizing so I can order linen. Many in our camp had them or were going to make them. I think Dark Horde Moritu next year at Pennsic will be a lot of Viking Apron Dresses!
2) Encourage my daughter to figure out and pinpoint more in what she wants. She had decided on Italian Renaissance which excites me. I have always wanted to try my hand at creating 1400-1500's Italian Garb but I chose Ottoman Turkish for my persona. It was said as a joke by a friend but I just might be "Safiye of a thousand dresses.." LOL. I could easily dress in about five different periods and be very happy. I want to do some research on Spanish garb too. Oh, and Flemish... see? Don't forget the Viking Apron dress above! Middle ages fashion "ho"??? Ya think? Plain n simple.
3) Duck tape dress forms. (We plan on my daughters this weekend.)

Food -
I found a recipe for Zuppa Toscana based on the Olive Garden recipe. I hope it comes out just as good!

Knitting -
1) 6 rows to finish my scarf!
2) I need a new purse project. I think I have about 10 things started. I will pick up something that was abandoned.. I think.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


That is the name of this sheep. It is a beautiful BorderLeicester that I purchased as a fleece back in......... 1997!!!! Or maybe 1996. My shipping copy shows they received the fleeces 12/23/97 and I got them back in June of 1998. I remember having a lot of fleeces that I washed but then decided to send them all to Ohio Valley Fibers to have everything scoured and pin drafted. I sent 7 in all I think then proceeded to move them, store them in a cubby in the hallway of my apartment building.. unheated. So in the winter is was in freezing temps, in the summer hot and humid temps. The fleeces were pin drafted into plastic bags and two were put to a box. And, they have all moved twice.

Oddly, when I decided to deal with them this year.. ie, downsizing 50 percent of what I own because I am tired of owning so much and want to simplify my life.... (Writers note: All these fleeces went on Craigslist in a harsh moment.. the ad was deleted 2 days later.. I know.. 2 days WAS a long time...). Anywho... I did get rid of a lot of stuff but decided to keep all the spinning stuff. Spinning was the wrong hobby for me to kull so I will work harder on balancing all of my very many hobbies! Plus, I bought the Kromski wheel that I coveted. I have no self control.

I did seriously look closely at these 7 fleeces I had sent off in 1998 and found one thing interesting. The three white fleeces were not as nice, got just a hair sticky over time and over all I did not like the way they felt in my hand. So.. out they went. The dark fleeces though were all super nice. Soft. This fleece is particularly soft and fluffs up with just a little tug as the pin draft rope lifts out of the bag. I have to say I am way impressed with the job Ohio Valley did. No rodent damage or bug damage for all of the years neglected and wow... it is just beautiful. This is a dark gray but it looks more a brown gray than a black gray.

Stats: I sent it to Ohio Valley as 4 lbs, 3 oz. It came back after scouring at 3 lbs, 14 oz. That is not bad at all knowing at home I probably did not get all the grease out. There is no stickiness to it after sitting. I will have a whole lot of yarn when I am done spinning this. It is not scratchy but being a mid weight it will be suitable for a blanket or a nice warm jacket type sweater. I see where my mind is going on this already. Too bad I haven't yet finished my first knit sweater!