Category Archives: To Do List

The Great Fabric Book

Fabric Swatches in the Binder Like most of the art supplies in my life, I have too much fabric. It currently takes up a plastic bin, and overflows into the storage space. It may not sound like a lot, but it’s like my library, it’s stuck in an awkward place and there is a lot I’m never going to get to.

Which is why my swatch book came into being. It ‘s not much more than clips of material a couple inches wide stapled to a note card. I wrote as much information on the card (front and back) as I could think of. I included the composition (I have a lot of cottons), the weave, the date I entered it, and a short descriptions (for all those large patterned fabrics especially). Some of this information I had to to straight-up guess.

On the back I wrote how much I had of each (broke out the ruler for this one), whether it was pre-washed, where and when I’d gotten it, and then anything else that might be helpful. Some of the cloth came from old bed-sheets (good for muslins!), which had tags that told me everything I needed to know.

All of this I stuck in photo insert pages in a binder.

This project’s influence will, I hope, be two-fold: first, I need to know what is in that bin, without having to remove the contents. Second, it will help me prioritize the collection. This project promises to be tedious and time consuming. If I can’t be bothered to cut a bit off to label, I can happily get rid of it.

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Things I’m (Not Supposed to be) Doing

Nanowrimo Camp Lantern Participant Badge

 

This is another post about procrastination. I do a lot of it.

April is Camp Nanowrimo! It used to be Script Frenzy, but since that’s no longer a thing, scripts have become a part of Camp. You can also set your own goal, which is new this year. I set mine to 30,000 words, 1000 words a day.  So that’s what I’m supposed to be doing.

Instead I’m:

  1. Wandering around the craft store (Ooh, I must have use for that, and that and that… I call the abundance of new ideas ‘crafter’s brain’)
  2. Reading about vintage sewing methods, modern sewing methods and drafting patterns
  3. Researching at handcraft marketplaces besides Etsy ( I may or may not decide to sell my crafts)
  4. Searching Pinterest for craft fails
  5. Cleaning my room (You saw that right)
  6. Listening to podcasts (Drawing while listening to podcasts is super helpful, not so much writing)
  7. Writing this post (okay, I should’ve written this a couple days ago, but…)
  8. Eating Easter candy (sugar, whoooo!)
  9. Eating leftover meatloaf (My grandmother’s recipe)
  10. Checking twitter and browsing links found there (All those tabs slowed my browser down…)
  11. Checking my email repeatedly
  12. Checking news links
  13. Some years ago, I procrastinated during Nanowrimo by watching Hannah Montana videos. (I am nowhere near the demographic that would make that okay. And unlike My Little Pony, I am indifferent to Miley Cyrus.)

So the cure for this procrastination is: Butt in the Chair and Writing (I didn’t come up with that phrase, but it’s super helpful). That is the only thing that is a real, lasting solution, to anything whether it is novel writing, graphic novel drawing or a job search.  I could ask why I can sit down and commit and go writing off on that tangent, but that just invites more procrastination. And 1000 words is not that much.

On the Nanowrimo boards one year, someone (I can’t remember who, sorry) mentioned that to enforce the butt in the chair thing, they actually took a scarf and tied themselves down. Some people use rewards, like chocolate, or new books, but those just distract me. I might try the scarf idea.

 

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My Quantum Wardrobe

It doesn’t actually exist unless I’m thinking about/imagining it.1910s coat Pattern

I was going to post earlier in the week but I got a bit distracted. Okay, really distracted. I found Pinterest. I didn’t join Pinterest, but I found that people would post their favorite patterns, and projects. It’s search results, curated and reviewed by humans, with pictures.

I found that there are a lot of free clothing patterns out there to be downloaded from the internet. I now have a new set of clothes, including underwear. Theoretically.

Some of my favorites:

3Hours Past The Edge of the World: Blank Canvas Tee (with “hacks”)

Modern Sewing Pattern’s ‘Satin Bra.‘They also have a boatload of dress patterns (among others), though not all have downloadable .pdfs.

Sew Zo… What do you know?’ s underwear and camisole patterns.

A vintage dress from Neu4bauer, in German and English.

Instructions for drafting and sewing a coat , another  bra and a corset I found on Instructables

Found a ‘Scoodie‘ pattern (scarf+hood…) on Just Tutorials.

I will now admit I joined Burda Style to get my hands on the Kasia Skirt.

I joined Your Style Rocks to get my hands on a hoodie bolero thingy (called ‘Our Own Pretty Ways‘). I regret nothing.

If I do attempt most, or all of these patterns I will have to learn how to draft, which won’t be a bad thing. Either I’ll have a new wardrobe soon or continue to use up my computer’s hard drive.

The image above is from a old pattern, circa 1910. I’d love to make it, but I have to figure out what the markings mean…

EDIT: How could I forget this? Think Liz has a sizable list of free patterns!

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The Dress, Part 1

Ugh. I know this post is late, but I thought I would have this project done by now.  It’s basically done, but It needs decoration.

I made a dress! And a chemise and short stays.

Short Stays and Chemise

Blue Regency DressThe patterns are from Sense and Sensibility Patterns . The patterns were super easy to put together, even for someone of my modest sewing ability. The chemise and the outer  lining is of cotton muslin (muslin in the modern sense), the stays are line with reed boning, and it’s all tied together with ribbon.

The dress is modeled after dresses circa 1810 (according to the website). The pattern had a train, but since I didn’t want to worry about mud and twigs and dog poo, I removed it. The bodice is also lined with muslin. That’s a pillow case over the dress-form, blue on blue doesn’t show up so well.

Since this is only meant as super comfortable costume (though I may start wearing it around town) and I don’t do re-enactments, almost none of it is hand-sewn. Only the cuffs and the button holes in the back:

Hand Sewn Buttonholes Pic

I can’t say I had prior experience with buttonholes.

I have one more piece to make (after I decorate the dress– I’m thinking ribbon applique), a brown Spenser with gold buttons. Oh, and the hat, but I’m not using a pattern for that, just modifying a cheap straw hat.

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Organization makes Finishing Things So Much Easier

Last week, I bought two things. A stack of plastic boxes for my pens and pencils, and software for writing and organizing novels in progress– Scrivener.  In the interest of fairness: I had an winners code from last years contest and several good recommendations from fellow nanoers. So I had incentive to choose this software.

I did eight years of Nanowrimo, without the benefit of this software. I also never went back for deep edits. It’s easy to type out a first draft by just plowing forward. Never mind the characters that you introduced in chapter 2 never made another appearance, or the word ‘hello’ was invented with the telephone.   But if you want to go back, figure out how how to reintroduce the characters from chapter 2 (or even who they were), or correct the usage of ‘hello’, you are going to need to lay the narrative out and look at the pieces. Text producing programs cannot do that. They are for writing out words and pages. Once it gets past five pages or so the editing gets cumbersome. It’s like taking everything out of your closet and putting it back neatly, giving some away and throwing out the garbage.

The other purchase are a little more straightforward.
These were for my drawing supplies. I have it in my head to make a webcomic (remember this guy?). I have quite a lot of art supplies, but I needed the pens and pencil and erasers and rulers to be in a box at hand. A box that would hold them all and wasn’t being held together with rubber bands. That way I wouldn’t have to think of my materials when trying to wrestle with the stripes on my tiger.

Organization keeps me focused. It’s like a meditation to do before starting a project. I get my folders (virtual and otherwise), my pens and the proper eraser. I get the threads and the sketches I made. I’ll set up the framework for my project, and then all I’ll have to worry about is the creativity.

 

 

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November Madness and Book Reviews

It’s almost November (a few more hours…),  and I’m going to the midnight launch of National Novel Writing month in Portland. So I’ll be dreaming up a novel in November.
Go to www.nanowrimo.org to witness (or get in on) the madness.
Also, find me on Twitter: “ThePripyet.” I’ll tweet some book reviews during the month instead of writing here. I don’t have a pic yet, but don’t get freaked out. I’m planning to add one very soon.

And, for the record, The Adventures of Augie March is slow going.

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Books and Buses

I really need to get into the habit of blogging while here in Portland. I stopped because I was packing to make my way here and then didn’t really continue because I was trying to unpack. That, and the fact I haven’t really been making anything. I’m still trying to make that table centerpeice for my mother which was supposed to be a gift for last Christmas. Most of the week, I’m working or worrying about money. *Sigh*

One thing that I have enough of are books (even so, I still heed the call of the Library). I’ve discovered that a great place to read is on the bus to work. I’m awake, unlike times past when the only real time I had to read was before I went to bed. Complex, ‘deep’ novels are hard to get into while half asleep. I can only bemoan all the books I got rid of because they would be so much better on the bus. I’ve already read Who on Earth is Tom Baker (Baker), and Rogue Moon (Budrys) that way. I’m currently chewing on The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow.

Since I’ve always wanted to amass a bunch of reviews about the books I read (I’ve made false starts over the years) I was thinking that’s what I’d use my twitter account for: book reviews in 140 characters or less. That’s all I can really come up with after most books anyway. I’ve always got this space If I need to go in depth. If I decide to do it I’ll leave the details here, so stay tuned…

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