Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tunic Dress - aka Camp Dress #2

I was worried that it might be warm this weekend, the weather report was saying that 72 and partly sunny was a possibility. I was afraid that the new Augsberg dress would be a little warm with its two layers, so with Brandon's help, whipped out a simple tunic dress. Its out of the same linen/cotton as the Augsberg dress (aka German Dress), just a little more of the wine dye on it. He did the math and cut the pieces on Wednesday and I sewed them up well into the wee hours of Friday morning.
Top view of the dress from the front.
Back view of the dress. I need to add some of the wool I used on the Augsberg dress to extend the sleeves just a bit. So when I do wear with a chemise with it, the sleeves aren't obviously too short. It was fine for this weekend though! I wore it on Saturday, the warmer day all by itself. I was going to switch to the Augsberg dress on Sunday, but we had redone the sleeves and they were now way too short. We had taken out some of the excess fabric at the armpit and Brandon had sewn them on to the dress Friday morning as I was finishing up packing. I didn't get a chance to try it on so found out about their shortness when I went to wear it. So back on went the tunic dress. I had planned to take some of the wool and add it to the sleeves, so that's what I will be doing this week. I'm also going to pop in a panel on the inside of the bodice so that it can be behind the hook and eye closure. This will allow me to hopefully wear it as a single layer (gasp! the immodesty!) on warmer days and wear with a chemise when cooler out and I want the warmth. I am also going to try to get a simple apron or two done so that will complete the look of both dresses. I just have to have this all done by Thursday before going to bed. We're going up to June Faire, as mentioned previously, on Friday. Just have a little camp box rearranging to also do along the way. I had also brought along the red Gates of Hell or Surcote dress, so Brandon before we even left was trying to have me become Brigitta the Red. Brigitta being the SCA name I use. ;-)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Veggie Garden 2012

Before Dawn-Marie and I headed out for Faire in the Grove at the beginning of the month we had gone vegetable start shopping. We started at a little stand along the side of the road that had been advertising .75 cent starts. Since we are both on tight budgets, it seemed like a good place to start. We picked up squashes and tomatoes and a couple of herbs and some peppers. Then off to the Tualatin Valley Gardners Association annual plant sale at the Fairgrounds. There we picked up more tomatoes, found some broccoli and Dawn-Marie picked up some blueberry plants and I found a Japanese Rose, the last one! We brought them all back to my place, then changed and headed off to the event. I then planted them that next week:
Pepper box all full up
Length of the main veggie area with the artichoke already going from last year as well as the Swiss Chard that wintered over. I really need to learn how to eat the Swiss Chard rather than giving it away to people. The artichokes have two or three starts going. There's broccoli, cauliflower, edamame, spinach, green peppers, snap peas, green beans, Sun Gold tomatoes, orange cherry tomatoes, and two Romas as well as crook neck, couple zucchinis, and a butter nut squash.
This has the acorn squash, mini pumpkins and the spaghetti squash as well as a water melon start. Already in there was a potato and an onion. I picked up Walla Walla onions and a sweet onion pack (STILL need to get the onions planted!)
Baby Asian Pears
I had to wait for Brandon to fix the copper trellis against the shed before planting the Japanese Rose, here it is leaning against the BBQ.
Baby cherries
Wisteria in bloom
Can anyone tell me what the pod is on the wisteria? Does it do something? Is it edible?
The climbing hydrangeas are taking off on the shed. I've had to clip a few branches that have tried to go in the door. Hopefully it blooms this year. So those were all the beginning of the month. Here we are at the end of the month and this is how things look now:
Peppers, poor things have had their leaves eaten on. I need to get slug bait in the box.
There's a green pepper in the far back left with the artichoke (see the two?), and around that is the broccoli and the cauliflower (some of it).
In the far back you can see some Nasturtiums that came back, more cauliflower, the beans and peas are against the trellis, squashes and the edamame with the spinach.
Leeloo nibbling on the grass shoots I need to weed out amongst the tomatoes.
STILL need to plant the onions, and the water melon I just couldn't keep going - I tried with two different plants.
Baby cherries now, starting to go red!
Nasturtiums coming up in the lawn. They'll get mowed down probably tomorrow night if I don't get them transplanted back in the box. These are from seeds that dropped last fall. How does your garden grow?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Spinning my way through May

I have a couple of hats that are done, but haven't photographed them. One of them still needs the ends woven in and a nice soak and block. Not sure why I haven't gotten that done. Then again, I haven't had the knitting bug much, which is really bad because I have a project I need to get done for Knitted Wit! Delaying that a bit has been good because there was errata posted and then last week at knit night, Cindy started one and used Judy Becker's suggested of JMCO with the mod she has for it. So mental knitting, if not physical has been going on so it should work up quickly when I do get it started. I finally finished up the Quince Blossom fiber that I had gotten from Stitchjones two years ago. She has it labeled as a merino/tencel. It was kind of sticky, so unlike tencel, that I wonder if it might have been silk? My 5.6 ounces spun out to a two-ply lace weight with 1055.2 yards:
Almost three years ago I picked up some Finn from Crown Mountain Farms at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. It was a lovely white that I knew I would ask someone to dye for me. Trish of Rogue Adventures had been dyeing some colors that I really liked, so I asked her to dye them. One four ounce bundle came out muted and the other the more vibrant colors I had hoped for. I started out with the muted four ounces and spun it up in three days. So much easier than the merino/tencel!
I just need to spin up the second four ounces, I'm really looking forward to spinning it up -
I'm going back and forth on whether to chain ply them as either one or two skeins, or do them as a two ply and have the barber pole. I'm not a huge fan of the barber pole, so most likely will go with the first. At Faire in the Grove I took my Ashford Traditional and spun for half the day on Sunday. I took along some Romney-Perendale that I've had in my stash also for three years. Starting to see a theme here - I'm stash busting! ;-) It's a natural brownish colored fiber that I'm just letting spin as it wants. The traddy has a lower ratio than the Lendrum so I have to make sure I get enough twist that it will hold together, and I'm not really trying for a thin yarn. I have a nice start on the bobbin, but I have eight ounces of this to spin up. We have another event this upcoming weekend, June Faire, that I plan to take the traddy along and spin at. So might get it all spun up.

Monday, May 7, 2012

My first dress - German Dress

With Brandon's help I created my first SCA dress this last week. We used the corset pattern generator as the starting point. Then went on to making the bodice pattern.

Things we learned:
1) make sure that the strap widths are the same for front and back. Kind of a duh, but we were following the bodice pattern pics and one look thinner than the other. So I ended up with one thinner than the other, but able to hide it by tucking the thinner one inside the thicker one and then sewed them together. This is hidden by the guard overlapping the straps.

2) muslin is nice for a mock-up, but even with interfacing, isn't stiff enough. Need to use a good solid broadcloth for the inner lining.

3) make sure that your pattern designer is adding in seam allowances for you. This became more of an issue across the breasts. We had cut an extra inch where the hook and eye were to be sewn in but there's a section where the fabric is flattening my boobs and there is no support. I don't mind wearing a bra underneath, but would like to build the support in the dress and don't need them flattened. ;-)

The inspiration for the dress I was following is here (I had saved it from her previous website and all the pics worked, have had a harder time getting all the pics to show up with the new site, so look at these - not step by step on how to make is all). We ended up with a more square neckline, for the next one, I'm going with a rounded neckline. I think it will be easier for doing the guards (the black bits around the neckline and down the front).

So while I used the actual bodice piece that I had made to make the guard pieces I still ran into a problem around the curve of the neckline getting it to lay flat. I ended up with extra fabric and at 3am my solution was to cut a line in it and seam that down, after taking out some of the extra. I'm also new to putting in hook and eye tape. I was able to sew with the machine the hook part, but had to hand sew the loop. I would have liked a little less visibility of the this part.

Brandon used a standard sleeve design for the dress. After getting them in, found that I had extra fabric in the front. I didn't have time to take them back out and fix the fit, so went with what I had. Without a chemise on the length of the sleeve was fine. With the chemise on, they oddly shrunk. So, since I have plenty of the wool from the guard, I can lengthen the sleeves with that and not have it look too odd.

Brandon had one idea for the skirt and I was following the fullness of the blue and she had lots of pleats. I think she was using wool and I'm using a linen/cotton blend and I guess I don't need the weight. I thought that the skirt might turn out short, so I added on a strip of the wool to the bottom, but didn't have time to hem it. Turns out that it was long enough and so I had a lot of extra length. I ended up sitting down and hemming the front and Dawn-Marie did a quick hem of the back to get me through the rest of the day. Its a bit long, but I liked that it didn't hike up when I sat down.

The inspiration dress has a gap in the skirt so that its easier to put on and Brandon's idea was to use the hook and eye tape to keep it closed. We thought we had it so that they would be hidden but that didn't work out as well as intended. I'm going to take it out and sew it shut. I can get the dress on just fine over my head.

So yes, I'm very hypercritical of everything and not giving myself much credit for creating a dress without a real pattern. Yes, we created the Green Gates of Hell dress without one, but not a lot of form fitting to that.