Best Foot Forward

I can’t believe it’s the last day of the month already! This month has just flown by. I have gotten a few thing accomplished, but not as much as I’d like. I took a much needed day off of work early in the week, and spent the day cleaning out and purging dresser drawers and closets. I didn’t get it all done, as Miss Elma came over to spend some much needed “girl time”, we even popped out for a bit of lunch. But, I do need to kick my rear into gear, as we will be picking up a new couch and chairs this weekend for the living room. The old chairs will be going out for trash collection, while the old couch will be moving into Katie’s old room, and that room will become a gaming room/library. This will get the old game systems out of the living room, and give our endless amount of books, games, and dvd’s a home, other than all over the house. lol. After that, the next projects on the list are to paint the laundry room, finally get the tile put down in the entry way, get the sewing room cleaned up and reorganized (including yanking up the carpet and painting the concrete floor and walls), and getting the flooring for the rest of the house so I can finally get rid of the carpet. I will eventually get it all done, not necessarily in that order, but it will get done. And, I would love to get all done before the new kitten comes home. We’ll just have to see if that happens. lol.

I was recently told by a friend that I just don’t seem to as happy as when I was sewing and creating costumes, that it seemed as if a light was dimming inside of me, and that I needed to throw myself back into it. This helped to fortify my recent urges to start planning costumes/wardrobes. So, in costume news, I have been doing bits of research to see what I want to do to finish off my 1912 Walking Suit. After binge watching Mr. Selfridge on Amazon Prime recently, I have started liking my blouse choice more and more. I have settled on making it ivory, as I have a whole bolt of all over lace in Ivory, and I think it would be perfect for the yoke and collar of the blouse. The only thing I may do different is redesign the sleeve, so that I have a longer sleeve with a straight cuff. If that doesn’t work out, I did order a back up blouse pattern that I just had to have. It’s Past Patterns #404 Edwardian Gibson Tuck Blouse. I have also found a couple hat ideas that I will be exploring, more on that later. I still need to settle on the rest of my undergarments: corset, corset cover and petticoat. I have several options that I am still looking into for those. I even found an option for a wig to restyle into an Edwardian hair style, as I recently chopped all of my own hair off. So, that only leaves the shoes. Now, I would really love to order a pair of Astoria’s from American Duchess, but there are a couple of drawl backs – 1.) the price: Granted, they are well worth it, being all leather. I just don’t have the money for it, yet; and 2.) color choice: They come in black and ivory, which are lovely, but I was looking for brown to go the rest of the costume. So, what’s a girl to do? Look on Amazon for something a little more in my price range, and I found these.

Dame-02

They do come in black, brown and ivory, which appealed to Miss Elma (looking for black), Miss PJ (looking for ivory), and myself. Granted, they aren’t the high quality of the Astoria’s, but they are much closer to what I can afford. I do know that you get what you pay for, so my fingers are crossed that when they arrive tomorrow, they’ll be exactly what I am looking for. Besides, I had rewards to use, which pretty much cut the price in half for me. What girl can resist a deal like that? I’ll do an update post on them next week to let you know how I like them (or not, lol).

Well, on that note, I’ll leave you with a pic of what I call “Pile O’ Sleeping Kitties”. Enjoy & Happy Sewing!

Emerald, Ruby and Onyx

Emerald, Ruby and Onyx

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Spring cleaning and itch to sew

Well, it looks like spring has finally arrived to Ohio, and it’s determined to flood us out. lol. We’ve had some nice and sunny days, but we’ve had a few dreary and rainy days with a few bits of sun. However, with the return of the warmer weather has come the urge to throw open the doors and windows to clean wall to wall, corner to corner, top to bottom. So, maybe after a few home improvement projects it might just be time to get into the sewing room and fix it up after it’s sat unused for nearly two years. Especially since I finally have a project that I am excited about working on.

Speaking of the project that I am excited about, I think I can finally reveal it, as I am finally making my mind up about some of the elements. lol. Since it’s been a few years since we have had any type of costume projects and/or outings and events, we have decided that we want to do a picnic this fall, and have settled on Downton Abbey themed picnic. We’ve decided to go with the beginning of the series, and based on the year 1912. And, since we will be wearing so many layers, we’re aiming for late September or early October for this one. I had started picking vintage patterns from the Commercial Pattern Archives to base mine off of, that is until I saw a newer Butterick pattern and fell in love. Here is the pattern:

Butterick B6108

Butterick B6108

This is the pattern that I bought the plaid fabric for. I will be making the view on the right. In my meanderings on the interwebs,  I have a historic fashion plate for this costume. It’s no exactly the same, but gets very, very close, and it’s done in brown which makes even more happy with my plaid fabric. About the only changes that I’ll be making is that I will be making an actual blouse to wear under the jacket, as I just don’t do bibs. lol. For the blouse, I have decided on Folkwear #205, Gibson Girl Blouse:

 

Folkwear # 205 - Gibson Girl Blouse

Folkwear # 205 – Gibson Girl Blouse

Granted, I know it’s more Victorian than Edwardian, but I do love it and really want to try it out. After all, if I don’t like it with the rest of the outfit, I can always just hang it up in the costume closet and make my alternate pattern from CoPA. As for the rest of the garments, I will be using Folkwear #226, the Princess Slip:

 

Folkwear # 226 - Princess Slip

Folkwear # 226 – Princess Slip

This pattern is OOP, but I got lucky and found a pristine copy on Ebay for a reasonable price. I will probably have to draft a corset pattern, as I can’t really find one that I like, and then maybe order Folkwear # 203, Edwardian Underthings, for the corset cover and petticoat. The other pattern I will be using with this outfit will be Butterick B5370:

Butterick B5370

Butterick B5370

I want to try my hand at making gloves. lol. As I go with making this costume, I’ll be writing up my thoughts and reviews for these patterns, since they are all new to me. So, keep an eye open for that. I have added my project page to the side bar for anyone that may be curious about what I’m doing with it.

As far as the home improvement projects, I have only managed to help Miss PJ paint her living room. My entryway is still sporting the craptastic old vinyl flooring and carpet, but I hope to remedy that soon. I still need to hit the hardware store to pickup a tile cutter, tile spacers and some grout sealer, and then I can begin. I may get to it this weekend, providing I don’t get distracted by other errands like I have the past couple of weekends. Which is entirely possible, just like this past weekend and the vet appointment we had for Mama Sophie and the baby kitties. We did all the tests to make sure they are healthy, and they all got a clean bill of health from the doctor. Speaking of the loving mama and her little cuties, here is a pic of them from the weekend before:

Look at how big they're getting!

Look at how big they’re getting!

And, I can’t pass up posting one of my little one:

Onyx "Onnie" Moon

Onyx “Onnie” Moon

Meet Onyx Moon, or as we call her, Onnie. She is utterly adorable with her silver under coat on her belly, and pretty blue eyes. It’ll be about another four months before she can come home, and I just can’t wait.

The only other exciting thing that has happened was a co-working getting to travel to our main corporate office in New Zealand. He’s a great guy and got to participate in an exciting company program. It was a long two and half weeks, that’s for sure. But, the perk of working with great people is that they always remember you and bring back awesome gifts from all over the world. Here is what he brought me:

New Zealand swag!

New Zealand swag!

He got me a shot glass (yes, I collect shot glasses, and why not? Their small and very portable), this one was from the set of the Hobbit Shire. Which I am totally jealous that he got to visit the place where they shot parts of LoTR and The Hobbit. The other gift was a pair of handmade fingerless mitts made from merino and opossum fur that he picked up at a huge craft fair in Auckland. He also brought back some interesting candies that we don’t see here in the states, which were very yummy.

Well, I have a few things that I need to get done, so until next time….. Happy Sewing!

Posted in Cats and more Cats, Costume Planning, Downton Abbey, Edwardian Era, Life in General, Patterns, Picnic Fun, Planning Phase | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Back on the grid

Hello World! Well, I guess it’s time to get back on the grid, as it were. I have started having the urges to sew, again. I even visited an old friend this past weekend, JoAnn Fabrics. lol. I have always been very friendly with the staff at my favorite store, and I was worried that they wouldn’t recognize me, since it’s been so long. But, low and behold, they welcomed me back as if I hadn’t dropped off the sewing grid for over two years. I even picked up something for my recent creative inspiration. I’ll give you a little peek:

What a lovely plaid! Whatever could it be for?

What a lovely plaid! Whatever could it be for?

Once I get a little further into the project, I’ll let you know what this will become. I am excited about this project, though. I have a few more things to decide on, and then I can get started.

Other than that, it’s the same ol’, same ol’ around my house. With spring coming on, it’s time to start spring cleaning, and maybe even a bit of purging. Okay, a lot of purging. lol. With temperatures finally out of the arctic range, and even back above freezing, it will soon be time to throw open the windows and door to air out the house. And, since the Katie has been out of the house for almost two years (she turned 20 a couple of months ago, can you believe it?), it’s time to turn her old room into something useful, and not just a storage unit for her. I am thinking along the lines of a library/game room. Well, it’s not a huge room, so library will be a relative term. It’ll be more like a room with an old couch, a couple of book cases, a large tv and the older game systems for gaming. I’ll try to take progress pics as I go. Oh! I will also be helping Miss PJ with some renovations on her house this spring. We may start with painting her living room this weekend. That will give me a chance to spend time with these cuties:

They're so cute!

They’re so cute!

During the last cold snap, an expectant momma kitty started hanging around Miss PJ’s house. She feed her to help her keep up her strength. Then, this past weekend, she took pity on the poor thing, and let her in as she seemed desperate to get inside. Sunday, the little mother had her babies. There were three in total. We believe there are two girls, and one boy. At this point, I do believe they all have homes, including momma. The runt of the litter is an all black female. Knowing my weakness for black cats, Miss PJ wasted no time in letting me know about her. I will be taking her to the vet when she is old enough, to make sure that she doesn’t have any of the illness my previous two cats had. Until then, I’ll have to visit Miss PJ often, just so I can lavish attention on the little cutie.

Well, maybe next time I will have more pics of the kitten, the house renovations (at both houses), and an update on my up coming projects. Until then, Happy Sewing!

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