Monday, June 25, 2012

Striped Blouse in the Heat

I was curious to know what the temperature is upstairs, since we've not been running the upstairs AC(I have an aversion to using electricity) and have just been airing it out at night. So far it's been cool enough at night. So I took the thermometer out of the freezer(testing new appliances!) and put it in my bedroom. Three hours later, it read 98F. No wonder I was getting dehydrated sitting in my own bedroom. Maybe now I'll turn the AC on to 90F, or perhaps on desperate days 85F. This week we have a straight run of 90F predictions. I know this weather is a lifestyle for many people, but it's not for me! I'm having trouble adjusting.

Anyway, I finished the lavender striped non-Mary blouse and wore it to Church Sunday.

It did look better with a linen skirt and my American Duchess shoes, but I was too lazy to take a picture yesterday.

It's a slip-on blouse, which tend to look poufy, so I added a snap-closing belt. I ended up not altering the pattern much at all except to add a collar.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Project Striped Blouse

Lady Mary from that famed costume drama, Downton Abbey

The other day I bought some cream and lavender striped polyester at Hancock's for only $1.20 a yard. Many thanks to my dance students who gave me a gift card to that particular store. I got just enough for a blouse, and in my internet searching for striped ideas I liked the one above best.

Striped fabric with pattern

The only pattern I have close to what Mary seems to be wearing is the amazing 1960's version above. But I love altering anyway, so I'm sure it will turn out fine. I'll just lower the shoulder on the sleeve, gather the front shoulder at the seamline, take out the darts, cut it off at the waist and add a different neckline. I also need to keep plugging away at the tailcoats, so this may get put on the back burner at some point, though I'm hoping it will go together fairly easily.

Disclaimer: If it's not obvious already, DO NOT expect my blouse to look like hers. It's a jumping off point, that's all! I always think it's a let-down in blog posts to see first the actress's photo, and then the look-alike garment on a real person. So I'm telling you now. my blouse will be very different and I do not look at all like Mary(I'm blonde, for goodness' sake), so don't be disappointed in the end!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Moving, Again.

We moved again, last Saturday. We rented another 24 foot truck, loaded it with boxes left in the old house, and hauled it over to the new. The sewing room is once again a mess, the garage is again full, and my body is sore all over. Moving is so tiring. Once I have my own home I will either never move, or never accumulate stuff.

Apparently 90F is the new 70F, because the temperatures here are abnormally warm for springtime. Even though we do have an air conditioner here at the new house, it's not practical to cool both the upstairs and down all day long. Today at 95F I'm guessing my bedroom got to about 85F. It's warm here in NE! But I'm sure we'll get used to it. Today, I managed to hang curtains, make a new bedcover, and take a nap.

New bedroom curtains: when laundry baskets cost $15 and garbage cans $6, curtains cost $2 at Goodwill.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The New Dining Room gets Character

Some two years ago friends gave us a Christmas present of a wall decal, and we saved it for "when we move." At that point I think I hardly believed that we actually were going to move; really, it wasn't until last fall that we actually got serious about moving. Anyway, amazingly we did move and the decal was in one of the first boxes to go.

However, we didn't get around to putting it up until this week. It wasn't complicated to do, but it did take a while to get the paper backing off.

Many thanks to our Texas Friends for our new dining room decor.

New Summer Projects

Sunday night Caleb and I went out Ballroom dancing with good friends. It's so relaxing to attend a dance that I'm not organizing, well done with live music. It's also a treat to do some ballroom once in a while, and with such accomplished dancers, too! Performance Group starts up again for a short summer season, but until then I have to find other ways to get my dance fix.

Three Regency Tailcoats

One summer goal I have is to make three Regency tailcoats for my costume closet. The costume closet, if you didn't know already, is full of rental garments that are primarily used by my ECD Performance group. I'm using the Period Impressions 1812 Coatee pattern as my starting point, and I'm working to alter the collar to make more civilian variations. I have three colors of wool: dark grey with the grey cotton lining, dark blue with the white and blue floral lining, and the camel brown tan with the green paisley lining. The guys may complain about the floral bit, but it was on sale! Last spring I focused on ladies' garments; now I'm excited to start on the guys. They all have trousers, shirts and waistcoats but I just know they'll look even better in tailcoats.

To finish the coats I ordered a 100 button pack from Jas. Townsend. I'm getting really tired of the button choices at Hancock's(not that there's anything wrong with them, I'm just tired of them), and even though self-cover buttons are cheaper I wanted something different and historical.

I also bought another 20 yards of fine white linen/cotton for men's shirts.Somehow the ones I made last year out of hotel sheets were mostly sold or disappeared. But that's ok because now I have the chance to make better ones, maybe even a few fancy ones with ruffles.

I just wish I could get paid to do this!

Friday, June 8, 2012

No One Touch The Phone!

Jen left on Thursday for her once-in-a-lifetime European trip.  Life is a bit odd right now because Caleb is gone too, and having two people always gone just makes life weird.

Jen's flight to Amsterdam was apparently delayed six hours, so I'm guessing that she's a bit tired right now(at 9pm Switzerland time and 2pm Nebraska time) after a night in the Detroit airport. She was afraid she'd miss her ride out of Geneva so she just recently checked in to give us an update.

Now, last week we bought several new cordless phones to put around the house, and the boys really loved using them as walkie-talkies. That was already annoying because the hideous noises that boys love to project through electronic devices were amplified so much as to be unavoidable anywhere in the house. And when Jen and Mom both tried calling home in desperation to get someone to skype the ride in Switzerland, the phone was nowhere to be found because Jeremy had taken it to the mailbox with him and was making grunts, squeaks and sounds in it(all loudly heard throughout the house as we yelled "Jeremy! Jeremy"!) as he sauntered to the box and back.

Needless to say, the phones are now totally off limits for certain people.

Life in a Different House

The weekend after our move turned out to be the busiest planned weekend of the summer. We had an out-of-state visitor and three dance events three days in a row. Grandma moved in on Memorial Day and we're adjusting to having her with us. Now this Thursday Jen leaves for the trip of her dreams; we have no travel plans for the summer so hopefully we can take time to recover. Maybe I'll even get around to posting about something other than unpacking or moving.

Sewing Room: not pretty, but becoming functional. I set up my newer sewing machine today. I hope to start on the three tailcoats soon. For a while I didn't know where my pile of historical patterns ended up, which kind of scared me. It's also HOT, hotter than it should be in June, and that makes me feel like just being lazy.