Tuesday, December 31, 2019

one year

A year ago I said with tears in my eyes, that I do not want the year end, because I cannot imagine better times than the fall of 2018. But then I thought, I’d give the chance for the next year to prove me wrong. And it did. Of course, not every day was perfect, there was crying, but shouldn’t anyone have worse than this. I cannot make a big enough montage form my pictures to include everybody and everything. Family, friends, love, work, music, travel, reenactment and fantastic adventures. 2020, hold on tight, here I come. Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Spinning Paris

And some spinning content... 
So, you thought, I gave up spinning? Nope, no such a luck... in fact it seems I slowly manage to pick up things I so love, like dyeing, knitting and, of course spinning... especially, when something calls me...Like Paris.
No, I haven't been in Paris (don'I wish), but I called this colorway, ever since I first dyed it, years ago, Paris. Red and blue with a bit of white.(Sorry for the bad pictures on the original fiber, I know I had a couple of shots, but all I found were these small icons, that my new phone pulled from the old one (thatpulled from the one before I guess). Anyhow, it might gave you some idea, how did it look unspun).
And this is how it looks spun up.
While spinning I was not looking to do anything particular, except for trying to keep the colors together as much as possible, and maybe aiming for a roughly sockyarn weight...
I did managed to do that (though I misplaced the not on the exact length (yeah, trying to clean up my desk, while the whole flat is in total disorganisation...) but it is somewhere between 350 and 420 meters.
It is so soft, but still... can't think of the word, it is a sunday morning afte all... Soft, but so good to scrunch up, but still springs back to its oroginal shape?
And pure merino. 18 micron. Two ply.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Regency or Napolenic / Jane Austen era daydress project - part 4 : On making the pattern

I know, I should be… doing something about the chaos in the flat, but I have to wait for N. to put up some shelves. Now that I have bought our tickets to yet another SZBB concert I need to do something useful. However, I can’t really go out to the kichen, and I can hardly move around the living room. So I can: 1. either start to go through Chris’s room without him being here, or 2: I can write something for the blog. Maybe it is time to continue the series on the regency dress?
I was about to write about the pattern. I probably delayed this, because it was NOT an all-out success story, but here we go. Last year, when we were preparing for the Georgian ball in Keszthely, I did a full regency attire. I even wrote about the underwear, but not the stays (I will make another pair of stays next year, I will write about them in detail then, okay?) As my habit I did a trial dress. 

The first time in my life I was not using a pattern, not even as a base to start modifications from, but I „draped” on my dressform. It came out pretty well, and I did use the pattern to make Zsófi’s dress, and my two layered ballgown. 

I love the two layered zone front regency dress style, and I also love the wraparound style in everything I wear (including modern, civil clothes), and I combined the two on my overdress I made out of an Indian saree.
However not having any help with the fitting hit me back and in use it showed some things in the dress that should be fixed. The biggest problem was that the front was too wide and the neckline kept falling off my shoulders.

When I saw that the American Duchess came out with a pattern with exactly the style I like I thought the big and wise costumers must know what they do. 
Image result for simplicity regency
I ordered the pattern, and when it was time I opened it… Back in University I wrote an essay on the difference in how the Europeans write a knitting patterns and how the British / American culture does it – a thing I constantly bump into while dealing with, let’s say the Drops patterns among others. Namely, that while the Europeans suppose that you know what you are doing, and give you space to use your knowledge and creativity, the Americans, and the Brits like to tell you what to do… in every step on the way. My consultant back then said that I should examine other areas, to see if it is really a trend, and then I did not went further with the project… But now dealing with this pattern I see another proof that it is indeed a trend. I grew up learning to sew on Burda patterns, where you have to find what you want to copy in a maze of lines, had to copy those on a piece of see trough paper before you cut it… This pattern I took out the package was on a lot of huge paper pieces and I didn’t need to do anything else, but cut the size I needed… No I did not cut it (what if I want to make a different size later?), but copied the pieces on a see through paper. It said I don’t have to add selvages either (how they know what selvages I prefer to sew with?). I proceeded to cut the fabric and sew together the underlayer… Only to find out that it is way too small. Then I tried to combine copying a bigger size, and use my old experience on enlarging patterns to only to make a bodice that is way too big. I was glad I had cheap material from the ‘cheapofabricstore’ (née I Love Textile), but this was the point I lost my patience.
I knew that the pattern I made last year was not all that bad, O knew what needed to be fixed and how. In fact I was kind of enamored with how nice I managed to put the back together. So, I decided to dig out the paper pieces from the many layers of fabric that accumulated over it. But I could not find it. I did make some kind of order in the fabrics though, I packed them in boxes according to their types, but the pattern just did not want to come out from its hiding. By that time the event I needed the dress(es) were fast approaching. I had no other choice but sit down, and try to take the pattern off from the existing dress. The way our teacher at the Thecnical School taught us many years ago. It took me about an hour or maybe two at the most (while previously I tried to make the other pattern work for about two days, and spent another trying to find the old one). Now I had the pattern I needed, the fabric, I could start on cutting.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019


And this is just a reminder to myself, that indeed red and dark red dresses did exist in the 18th century. Just sayin'.

Jump in headfirst...

To a pretty big project.
I know I promised spinning posts and I should continue my regency dress series, but…
So, here I come to make a wow. When, about 11 years ago my ex moved out, I went through the flat. Most everything was moved, selected, some stuff thrown out, some was sent after the ex, many things were rearranged (here is a bolgpost from those times). But the space I freed up filled pretty quickly. I have a number of hobbies hat needs materials, space and tools maybe even machines. Some friends who ever visited me know that I have 5 sewing machines, spinning wheels, yarns enough to full up a store, fabric enough to dress up a small town, and lets not talk about the fiber I want to spin. And then new hobbies appeared. I’ve been whining for many years now that I need shelves, that the flat should be rearranged. But there were only the two of us here and this building is one of those Russian type of prefabricated building from ferro-concrete, it isn’t easy even to drill a hole for a shelf. Than about 2.5-3 years ago I had the idea how changing two rooms (the sewing room – where I store a lot of kitchen/ food stuff as it is the closest to the kitchen- and my son’s room) could solve many problems. Still, things stayed the same. Historical clothes started to appear, and at the same time, the amount of fabric gre exponentially (when I see and buy fabric for my “normal” clothes, just because I like it and/or it is a good deal, I get about 2-3 meters. The same things for a historical dress is about 6-10 meters. Then N(orbert) appeared. Before I hung up my historical dresses in the door between my bedroom and the living room… now, that door should rather be closed. At the beginning I laid down the clothes, but they couldn’t be handled that way, so we did get a clothes rack, but it is in the middle of the living room, adding to the chaos.
I really like to think about myself that as a creative person I can handle chaos pretty well, you all know the adage about the mess that really is a bunch of ideas lying around. But even I arrived to the point when it started to hold me back. I started to let in less and less people, I started to make less and less things. I started disliking to come home. 
Of course I could always find reasons, I am alone (not anymore), no time (you always have time for whatever it is really important), and the list could go on. I said that I will not sew until it is don, but only the heap of unsewn fabric grew. It frustrated me to no end that even though my head is full of ideas and my hands are itching to MAKE, I can’t because there is no space. Then I said I will not do Xmas, because what would I do with a tree in the middle of a chaos… I said to the boys, that I don’t want anything else for my birthday and Xmas….I broke out crying because I felt so helpless…
I don’t know what had effect at the end, but maybe something started. Rearrangement project is on. Will it be done for Xmas? Probably not. But I already gave up on having Xmas this year that is no loss, and what I could win…
The basic thing is the two room, but they will pull over many other things I am afraid.
On Saturday we took down the food stuff from the shelves threw out a ton of old stuff, and put what is remained in the kitchen, now it is impossible to move there or cook anything beside a can of tea. On Sunday I was at a workshop all day, but still managed to rush out to Ikea to see what cabinet can we put up in the kitchen to be able to put away some of what is left. Today I had to run around in the city looking for lactose free chocolate santa , and started to disassemble the heap of fabrics that collected in one corner…
To be continued.