Tuesday, March 18

I sewed!

Sadly I'm not done yet so I don't have pictures to show you, but progress has been made.  It's been ages since I last sewed and I'd like to commemorate the event with a sewing room saga.

When my parents were in Florida, I had two pieces of corduroy shipped to them from Fabric Mart.  Sadly, I forgot to save the pictures from the web site and I haven't taken my own.  Mind you, black fabric doesn't photograph well anyhow.  So... piece #1 was black Ralph Lauren stretch pin wale corduroy and #2 is a dusky plum (hedging towards brown) very wide wale corduroy.  The reason pictures are moot is that they would not convey how soft both fabrics are.  I swear the dusky plum is like velvet in it's softness.  Both pieces are far better than the fabric I used for my grey skirt, the skirt that has me wanting another corduroy skirt.

I washed the fabric late last week.  I left it to finish the last drying over the railing in the upstairs hallway so it would be in my way, taunting me.  Sunday I had the whole day free.  I woke up and told myself I'm going to sew today.  And did I?  No, stupid Facebook games...

But the England/Germany trip is fast approaching (like two more sleeps approaching).  I thought of how much I want another somewhat casual skirt to wear.  So I did it.  I moved crap from my sewing room to the guest room, I chucked more stuff to clear off the cutting table.  And I was decisive and I cut.

A pencil skirt is pretty basic.  I have made a few skirts and didn't see an issue.  But then I started looking, I've mostly made A-line skirts, or patterns for stretchy fabrics (my mom loved Stretch n Sew patterns), or for a size 10 that would need grading even from the grading I did when I made it before, I couldn't actually find a pattern that was... perfect.  I have a UFO for the pencil skirt for Butterick 5147 but something went wrong at the zipper.  It's horribly warped and yes, I probably need to put some interfacing to stabilize it, but I think part of the problem is that my hip is not the right distance from my waist making it bunch up too high.  It was not the pencil skirt of my dreams.

Somehow, I thought it would be easier to work from a combination of a) measurements, b) the Lekala back skirt piece (no idea where the front piece is) and c) the front DRESS piece for Lekala 5432 just guessing where to put the waist based on the curve of the hip.  I've made Lekala 5432 many times, first as linked above for a wedding with satin and swiss dot, then again in a knit, then again looser in a light rayon.  Lekala has no seam allowances, but I also needed to add width.  The pencil skirt was 3" smaller than my measurements (with no ease),  I know that the dress I wore to the wedding that is the same size as the pieces is too snug at the moment and I used every bit of seam allowance, so it needed a little width too.  Added to this, I had the back pattern piece but no instructions (although it's no real loss, Lekala directions are well, worse than Burda), so I opened up another pattern to borrow the directions.  And yet, I chose to frankenpattern it up because the shape is right.  Mr. Lina loves that dress because he thinks it makes my ass look good.  I trust his judgement on something I can't see well myself.  I added the requisite inches (roughly) and cut away.

At that point, I became my usual terrified self.  What if it's too small?  I knew I wanted either lining or underlining, I've found tights get caught on my grey cord skirt. So I used the already cut corduroy as my pattern and cut out some Bemberg lining.  I sewed it up with the laziest (crappiest) French seams EVER, and pulled it on with lots of room.  Lots.

For my grey skirt, I finished the seams by zigzagging and while it works and it's fine now, there was a phase of finding loose threads everywhere until it essentially shredded back to the stitches.  While I was trying to find pattern pieces, I came across my shoe box of satin bias tape and I thought that would be lovely on the inside.  So now it's sort of a Hong Kong finish with ivory satin bias tape.  But in my slapdash mood, I just folded the tape over and sewed it up rather than two passes to sew it on like proper bias tape.  The plum stitching looks pretty on the ivory satin bias tape.

As I was about to figure out the zipper situation, Mr. Lina came up to bed.  A sure sign it's time to stop sewing.  I really didn't want to sleep with thoughts of how it could be big like the lining or too small.  In attaching the bias tape, I was also having second thoughts because the seam allowances were going to HAVE to be wider than the bias tape (and thus wider than my crappy French seams).  And the corduroy is a lot thicker than lining, there will be turn of cloth kind of issues, I used the cut cord pieces for my lining patters so the lining is naturally a little bigger... maybe it wouldn't fit...

So I set the longest stitches and sewed up the sides.  The zipper isn't done so I can't speak to the true fit, but it's going to be just fine.  It's not crazy potato sack big, it went over my hips and it's not obvious where my thighs end so I won't be crying as I give it away or wait for 10lbs to magically disappear...  it's going to fit.  I can't speak to the fit at the waist, I haven't sewn the front darts nor the zipper, but if there is a little extra room there I might add a little elastic to pull it in rather than using darts to remove it.  A little pretzel and schnitzel room so to speak.

I am going to wear it in Germany after all.

Tuesday, March 4

Movies and Movies and Migraines

I had a migraine on Thursday.  It's been a while since I've had one start at work and felt trapped.  I get auras before my migraines.  In theory, this early warning that life is going to suck should be helpful.  I can start taking medications before my head is about to explode.  The down side, I can't see.  The aura blocks part of my vision (like when a camera flash creates spots) so I have to wait for it to pass before driving home and the prescription meds make me stupid so I don't drive while taking them.  I got home at 6:20 on Thursday (the aura started at 4:30) and by 6:30 I was asleep in bed.  I woke up when Mr. Lina came home and when he came to bed at 11 (enough to wash my face and pee) and slept until the alarm went off.  For me, sleep really is the best remedy.  I have no idea how people manage with chronic migraines.

My migraines are usually tied to stress.  I can't find a single common food, weather pattern, hormone that ties to my migraines.  I used to get them far more frequently with my last job, where I'd say most of my stress came from boredom and feeling penned in than stress in the typical fashion.  I spent two years knowing I needed to leave that job but not sure where to go.  I'd say this job has more typical stress to it, and yet I have fewer migraines.  Sometimes my migraines seem to be my body saying "enough already", like the week of migraines that was my honeymoon.  I held it together leading up to the wedding, but I fell apart when it was done.

I suppose this warrants some thought on my part because I feel very migraine-like today.  I started getting a headache as I drove to work, I took Advil for it.  The pain is not bad, but my eyelids feel heavy, I feel stupid for lack of a better word - switching words, more typos, forgetful.  Something for me to keep track of I think, just in case this is the start of a pattern.

More fun stuff...  movies.

Tasha and Friends is entered into a contest.  I gather that Hellion is looking for a short film that is going to be on a screen in their movie.  To drum up entries, they are running a contest with each week announcing an audience favourite.  T&F is part of week one.  Right now, it has 10% of the votes (top movie has 26%), you don't have to watch any of them, but if you have a minute, I'd appreciate your vote.

T&F is also airing at the Landshuter Kurzfilmfestival and we booked our flight to go.  We went last year and had a great time meeting other film makers including Richard Stanley.  Last year we didn't have a lot of vacation time to put towards the trip.  This year, I have an extra week of vacation and we know what we're getting into.  The plan is to visit friends living in York, UK first.  We'll fly to Manchester (which after reading two Peter Hook books I think of as Madchester) overnight on March 20th, take the train to York and stay from Friday to Tuesday.  I'm hoping we can do a little day trip to Scotland given that York is pretty far north.  Then on the Wednesday we'll fly to Munich for the film festival and come home on the Monday.  A little less whirlwind than last year.  We saw Munich last year and know Landshut well, so we're going to explore other parts of Bavaria, it's not far from Austria and the Dachau Concentration Camp.  But we will likely play those plans by ear.

Booking the tickets makes it seem so much more... real.