The "Wench" Top -- construction pics!
Ooh, look'it what I found! In-progress pics of the construction of the "wench" top! How fun! Well, you've already seen the result of the alterations, but read on to see how I did the alterations on the bridal bodice.
A Darn with Two Techniques
I recently darned a sweatshirt for a friend. Since I've already shown how I darn using Single Corded Brussels stitch, bridging the hole by throwing my thread across and then covering that thread with buttonhole stitches on the way back, I decided this time to use the more basic Single Brussels stitch, no cording, to show you something different. However, the Single Brussels stitch is lighter than Single Corded Brussels, so how would I fill the hole with something approximating the weight of the rest of the fabric? I decided on needle weaving. So now I have two techniques to show you: Single Brussels stitch being used to darn, and needle weaving. You can darn with needle weaving alone, but in this example I do a very slip-shod job of it only to bulk up for my serious darn, which is the Single Brussels stitch.
Crewelwork Pillow (2012)
Aaaand waited. After a few months, I complained to the seller, contested the charge on my credit card, and generally made a stink. Then the darn thing showed up! Sometimes you just have to be the squeaky wheel!
Titanic Gowns (2015)
Way back in 2015 I took it into my head to make Teens Era dresses for myself and my sister, so we could have a "Titanic Tea" together in costume. The process started with a shared Pinterest board where we batted around ideas and identified our favorite elements of various dresses. Then I collected fabrics in the color schemes I liked: green and gold for myself and purple and burgundy for her.
For each dress I started with muslin and made a self-draped bra-bustier contraption (to approximate the bosom support that the Edwardians would have achieved with a long line corset). Then I draped the dress on top. However, as this was a few years ago, and I had neither blog nor camera at that time, you only get the finished pics.
My housemate and I like to watch Say Yes to the Dress, a TLC reality show about brides shopping for their wedding dresses. There's a New York, NY version and an Atlanta, GA version. Each has the same format: a bridal shop stocked to the rafters with white satin, tulle and lace; a female head of shop with an extravagantly gay male* assistant; various bridal consultants arrayed in black (so as not to compete with the brides, I guess); and brides who come in with their "entourages" and interesting needs/demands. The brides try on different gowns, people react. There's a vignette about whatever part of the bride's past is most likely to raise a tear, fabricated angst about the mom not approving of the daughter's choice... then piano music, the "bridal moment": the girl gets to wear a veil and cry, and she buys the dress. Oh, contrived, first world problems... such a guilty pleasure.
*His gayness is an important part of the formula, since it's more about his fashion acumen and closeness to women than his sexual preferences. A straight man in the bridal shop is always portrayed as a fox in the henhouse.
To make our guilty pleasure more of both, every time someone says the word "princess", my housemate and I can eat a piece of chocolate! That's our rule. "Princess style", "princess seams", "I feel like a princess"... chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! And oddly enough, one woman's "princess dress" is another woman's dowdy nightmare. There seems to be no correspondence between all the different visions of a princess; the only thing everyone agrees on is the desirability of looking like one.
What to Cut?
The past few times I've been online, my browser has recommended the following article: "What you don't do affects you more than what you do — and it's the secret to getting anything you want in life". A ponderous title, but an interesting article all the same. The author highlights Daniel Day-Lewis as an example of someone whose success comes from intense focus, and the habit of choosing carefully what to focus on, and eliminating the rest. I've talked of this before, when I mentioned the "specialist" choosing to focus their efforts, and so achieve excellence. But this article makes an interesting distinction between how most of us approach decisions-- "what to do"-- and how Daniel Day-Lewis approaches them--"what to cut".
In my life recently, I've suffered the consequence of lack of focus. The internet doesn't help: I open my browser and it instantly recommends articles I might like (case in point: the article that inspired this post). My favorite bookmarks are arranged along the top, so I can open tab after tab and see what cool art my sister has made, what The Dreamstress is up to, et cetera. Even if I logged on with a goal in mind, I "just quickly check" all the other things, and there goes my focus.
But if the question is not "what should I click on" but "what don't I need in my life right now", then the internet itself goes right out the window. Truth is: I've got a backlog of posts on my blog that I can schedule to post twice a week for the rest of the month, without me. And I don't have any email-related business to deal with, either. I could close my lap-top and slide it under my bed, and this blog (heck, the whole Internet) would chug along quite happily without me. While I'm at it, I could cut sleeping in and watching NetFlix; they're not serving me well!
In fact, I think I will. See you next year!
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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