motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (Default)
Amd the answer is "no, I can't write two posts in under 1/2 hour."

Music
I saw SUUNS live and made a dork of myself at the merch table with one of the band members and bought vinyl. I can't stop listening to the SUUNS and Jerusalem In My Heart album. Speaking of vinyl, I got a cheap thrift store receiver and finally hooked up my sister's turntable. I blasted myself with old records and may have made my neighbor laugh while I belted out "Movin' Right Along" courtesy Kermit and Fozzie.

I worked on my album and got everything edited.

I went through a few weeks of My Harp Mastery and discovered "30 Days to Done", which helped my fine-tune my practice schedules.

I played a wedding outdoors on a campground at the coast and it was wonderful. I got to play some Battlestar Galactica music for it!

Books
I read "Unbroken" (despite writing it in my Christmas letter as "Broken") by Laura Hillenbrand. It was terrifying and hopeful. And read by Edward Herrmann, RIP.

I really liked "Darker Shade of Magic" by V.E. Schwab. The coat that you can take off and fold and turn inside out to turn it into a different coat folded and turned my mind inside out.

Movies/TV
Watching Jessica Jones, Grantchester, Luke Cage, and Westworld with friends has been a balm for my soul. I've also been watching the crap out of "The Mighty Boosh".

Seeing Lawrence of Arabia in 70mm was... wow, just wow. At the same theater, I saw Metropolis (1927) with live organ music.

Miscellaneous
My mom is recovering from her stroke. I trained for the next higher job classification. We did a TSD rally again. I made lost of socks.
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (Default)
Can I write a end-of-year AND monthly summary in under a half an hour? I've already been online way too long this am.

Tried to get glasses. Made the mistake of going to Lenscrafters. I'm closer to figuring out what kind of glasses I really need, though.

Finished my Christmas letter on time. Finished all Christmas presents on time. It was so wonderful to make things for people this year.

Donated to MJFF - they are making great strides in finding a cure to Parkinson's.

Hamstring is continuing to heal.

Out of my control, but thoroughly enjoyed the two snow days we had. I made a conscious effort to enjoy them and did - not a usual thing for me. Work being closed for those days also helped to finish Xmas gifts.

Finished a pair of pants I may not be able to sit down in.

Got my pedal felts changed in prep for recording.
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
I am still working on the muslin for a dress to play the harp in.  My excuse for not being done with that, and the final dress, and have already purchased shoes to go with it (and a whole other host of harp-related things), is how unbelievably hot it was this summer, but it's more a combination of that and minimal internal encouragement.  So much so that I've been repeating one of my favorite quotes while sewing this morning more than usual: "There are no experimental failures - there's only more data." -Bryce Lynch in Max Headroom. It has kept me sewing this morning. Seriously.

The muslin doesn't fit and look exactly like I want, but I'm unable to adjust it further because I have no seam allowance left, and I started with 1" SA!

I also read through my Deconstructed Dress post to see if I wanted to add any stabilizers.  The type of stabilizing on that dress won't work with a dress that's underlined.

Off to collect more data!
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
Yesterday, since it was cool, I did a bunch of hot stuff:

- made zucchini chips, tomato chewies, roasted sweet potatoes in the oven
- dyed two sweaters on the stovetop with dye that I managed to order so it arrived yesterday, the one cool day this summer
- laundry
- harp
- fiddle
- rode my bike to leather store to get suede to make slipper soles to turn felted wool socks with holes in the soles into slippers
- went to fabric store to replace leather needles and get buttons for one of the sweaters.
- Cut and sewed the leather, punched holes around the edge, and crocheted around the soles of the slippers

The amount of stuff in my knitting basket is now level with the top as opposed to a foot above it.

And this sweater came out great!



On the list for today is buy new camera! So I can stop having to use my ipod!

As well as get motivated to rewire my headphones so I can move forward with critial listening and editing of harp music and maybe not be depressed about that anymore.
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
I've got the muslin for my harp dress more or less all pinned up.
So far:
- I've had to adjust the shoulders to be more square (no surprise)

- I put darts in the back V neck because my back is so flat.

- the skirt is hard to draft - is it a-line? is it straight? how are the darts folded?

lucluc-skater-dress-white.jpg
- I don't think I have enough fabric in the skirt - it's maybe not as full as I'd like? I think I need another 10 inches in width all around, at least. It definitely doesn't look like the above picture. Right now it's 60" in circumference. I will have to muslin with the brocade, too. I may not have a choice in fabric design placement, ulp.

- the underarm gusset definitely needs to be two pieces as Gertie has you draft in her book "Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing".

- I was going to put a side zip in, but that would interfere with pockets and I don't want to try to do that with a gusset, either - too much bulk. But putting an invisible zip in the back in a v-neck is making me leery.

Also, this dress is really hot. Not as in "I look awesome" but as in the fabric is heavy. This could be a problem if I suddenly develop the ability to sweat. Right now, it's just uncomfortable.

But wow are kimono sleeves the most comfortable thing to play harp in ever. Even better than raglan sleeves.

ETA: Whoa. I just figured out the darts, and measured, and I need about 50" for the front and back panels, ie 100" (~2.75 yds) circumference. That's 40" more than what I have in the muslin.  I have 4 yards of the brocade, and it's only 30" wide. That means the skirt will be cut on the lengthwise grain. Unless I piece it. Which could present some interesting design opportunities.

But what to do with the muslin skirt? I could just put a normal waistline on it and gather it? Ho hum.

I also had a thought about what to line the muslin with. Since it's eyelet, I thought putting a dark fabric underneath could be interesting, but then I thought I'd want it to "pop" and wondered if I could find something fluorescent. THEN I thought: REFLECTIVE FABRIC. Now that would sparkle on stage.
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
Laying in bed this morning, I started to think about another dress to try, which got me out of bed early1.  I really like the fabric I found at Mill End2:



The fabric is a pretty thick brocade, which would work really well for the skirt on this lucluc skater dress, which is made out of a very thick polyester - it almost looks like a sports/performance/polypropylene fabric3.

I don't want a sleeveless chicken-wing dress, so I was thinking what I could do differently with the bodice.  A cheongsam top might look ok, and doesn't have the set-in sleeves that would cut into my shoulders, but I couldn't fit them together well in my mind, and making the sleeves longer à la the 40s dress I just tried didn't thrill me, either.  I looked at some of my dress idea images this morning, and liked the neckline on this one:


I think the neckline could work really well with that skirt. And I could probably change the sleeves if necessary. And I could possibly add the pockets on the curved waistline and delineate everything with some sort of contrasting trim 4.

Now I just need to draw this and croquis it!

1. Yay!
2. Which will, of course, probably be gone by the time I get there.
3. I also found it interesting that the red and black versions have a completely different waistlines.
4. The double bias tape on cheongsams?
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
Here's an idea for a black and gold dress to match my harp:


Anthropologie dress by Beth Bowley



The style of dress on the left would be a good choice for not having my arms bare.
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
Did you know I play the harp? I don't mention it often, because for me it goes without saying. And guess what:  I have an album of music up on bandcamp! It's more of an EP, really. It's music I recorded many years ago, and am just now getting out. Since lj is refusing to embed the player, take a listen here:
Bandcamp-Satie-album-cover-art-nouveau-harpcorner

Any proceeds go directly to helping pay rent. :)
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
The shoes have been put on hold while I waited for the book to come back to the library, so I switched to...

Making a swimsuit for a vacation that was also, however, put on hold while I waited for the fabric to be pre-washed, so I switched to...

Making things from my stash, which was what I had originally planned to do in January, but was sluggish and unmotivated at that time, which worked out ok because pattern review is having a stash-busting contest.  Based on the person who's already sewn 24 yards1, and the next who's sewn 14, I won't win, but whatevs.

So I've:
- gotten to the point where I'm going to finish the upper and wrap it around my last
- croquised my swimsuit and decided on a design
- made a beach cover-up
- finished the pinstriped dress
- re-fashioned a mohair sweater
- shortened another sweater
- made a headband
- made 3 t-shirts


I'm also working on getting some music I recorded about 7 or 8 years ago up on bandcamp. I need to make some sort of album artwork, and I think I'm close to being done with that.

1 Oh, pardon me, it's actually 36.
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
A few days ago I was croquising (really, it's a word) some vintage patterns to see what might work for some weird, pink, faille, cotton/rayon? fabric I have, which will be dyed, thank you, as I'm not too much of a pink person. Why do I have this fabric? It was super cheap and I used it to line the back of a quilt I made *mumblecough* years ago1. So I have decent yardage.  One of the dresses I thought about making was Retro Butterick 6632.

Butterick-Retro-6632

After croquising it, I realized I had other fabric in my stash that would work really well for this (donated *mumblecough* years ago by my sis2, and remembered and easily accessed now that I'm all organized).
navy-blue-ecru-pinstripe-small

I've been muslining this dress and it is... not progressing smoothly. Ahem. I made a petite adjustment above the waist in the back, which helped the back fit perfectly, but then the front pulled to the back, so I adjusted the front, too, which sort of made it fit really well, but threw off the proportions of the dress bodice and it didn't look so great anymore. But the waist seam is actually at my waist.

And the square neckline is not square, it curves upwards.  After slicing and dicing the front chest for more room, the neckline sat much better, but still curves up. It looks better square on me, I think.

Then I moved to the skirt because the back had diagonal folds of fabric hanging down from the side waist to center back. I assumed this was a sway back alteration, so I tried to alter for that, but was unsuccessful. Then, I just substituted in the shaping of the back of my EvaDress trousers and that took care of the problem, almost. It's hanging much better, but still has a few folds, they are just shallower and don't extend down as far as they did.  The bottom of the bodice is really curved, too

I realized the skirt probably doesn't fit me because I don't have the proper shaped undergarments. And I have to say, I'm okay with that.
1956-girdle
Jeezy-creezy!

The bottom seam of the bodice has an exaggerated curve, which is probably a culprit in the skirt not hanging properly, as well. So my next tasks are to try to redraft the skirt and straighten the waistline, and see if I can get the bodice to both fit and look proportional.

Writing this all out highlights all the problems I'm having with this pattern, and usually I'd be hyper-annoyed by this, but it's actually keeping my interest, so much so that I'm avoiding other things that usually keep my interest3.

1. Note: when using slippery fabrics as the backing for quilts, they tend to, well, slide, and you end up waking up in the middle of the night shivering.
2. Originally slated for a dress I saw in a magazine in 1999 and still have not drafted the pattern for.
3. Sorry, harp. Really, I'll be interested in practicing again someday.

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