As I get to know more people in the costume studies program, I am blown away by how much talent I am surrounded by. I add people to my facebook, and see that they have a multitude of fascinating interests. It makes me wish I knew them even better. It also makes me feel insecure. I've always considered myself to be the one with obscure interests, so while being surrounded by like-minded people is nice, it simultaneously makes you wonder if you are as awesome and badass as you think you are. So, I'm going to list my current and prospective projects to make myself feel better. They are listed in order of progress, and all are extracurricular, that is, a separately daunting pile of work. Hardy har.
1. At the moment I'm making a 18th century style pocket. Its embroidered on linen and I will post pictures when it is finished, but the V&A has some pictures here. Back then women had their skirts sewn with holes on each side and the pockets, which were the size of two purses, were separate garments worn under the skirt. I'm only making one, and mine is a little scaled down, but I think I'm going to wear it as a funky fanny pack/purse dealie.
2. 1776 style stays, from Diderot's "Tailleur de Corps". It is a very well known and classic pattern for half-boned stays (popularly known as corsets, but that term didn't come into use until later). The progress on this is stalled. I've drafted the pattern in muslin, done a fitting, and cut my three layers of fabric. I still need to buy boning for it, stitch that in, and bind it around all edges. All in all its a huge project that I am delaying because I know I'm bound to run into some weird roadblock.
3. Soap making. No, not your sweet pretty variety, but bulk household soap. In my Natural Life magazine, there was a recipe to make a 5 gallon bucket of soap that is good for washing your hair, dishes, laundry, and more. It requires minimal supplies, is cost effective, fragrance free and reduces the amount of packaging your household consumes by a large margin. We still need to buy supplies for this, but Mike is very much on board with this as well.
4. Full Victorian outfit for myself, which is by far the most ambitious and far off of the projects. My mother gifted me with the most lovely book of period patterns, and there is a few in particular I'd like to make. So, this involves making a corset (Farthingales has a serviceable corset making kit which would be sufficient and make quick work of it), petticoats, possibly a bustle, basque bodice and walking skirt. As I explained to a classmate, I don't think it would be terribly difficult to create something that would look good, I am just terrified of purchasing that much fabric. The first step really, is to make the corset. The second, to scale up the patterns, adjust them to my shape, and do a mock up in muslin.
Aside from all this, school is providing many interesting opportunities. I was assigned head of hat making for the production of The Madwoman of Chaillot, and the teacher is so wonderful and is giving me fairly free reign over the design process. Sewing feathers, tulle, veiling and other sparkly bits to hats is so much fun. The characters are quite ostentatious as well, so there is no worry of having to remain within the boundaries of good taste. Pictures of those once finished will grace my page here as well.
Things continue along here in our household. Ender is having some difficulties with sleep at the moment. He is sleeping on his own futon still, but he is taking about an hour to settle down each night. Now that Mike and I take turns every other night putting him down, it is less stressful, but it is a lot of unpleasant time. We figure he is trying to learn how to put himself to sleep, wanting our closeness but not our help. I can only imagine it is very frustrating, and I'm glad that we have once again chosen our conscience over convenience, and stuck by him to comfort him through his difficulties. He is also at a peak of language development, which can lead to sleep problems. According to doctors, children at this age are learning as much as ten words a day (internally, not yet able to speak them all, but to understand) and attempting to absorb all of this means lighter wave sleep.
Mike's birthday came and went, celebrated with a few small gifts and a very loudly coloured angel food cake. We went out for drinks with some friends, and friends of friends, and relatives. It was a nice evening, and while I do in general prefer being a hermit in my little house, it was nice to go out and see some people. I'm glad that Mike was able to celebrate his birthday in good company.
I think that's all for now dear readers, a show coming up and several papers, so it may be a while before you hear from me again, but you will. Oh yes.