Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday musings...


in which our plucky heroine is grateful for rain...

It started raining yesterday evening... soft gentle rain, but intermittently relentless. This is good, it will help quench the fires, though the rain itself causes other damage after fire, the landslide danger is much increased... but here in the city, the air is beginning to clear
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I have tried repeatedly over many years to find/create/fit a TNT woven blouse pattern, with no real success. Since others have had good success with the Tabula Rasa jacket and shirt variations pattern, I decided to give it a try. I do expect to have to make multiple efforts to adjust the pattern, as is always the case when I try and work out a new basic garment for myself.

Here is the schematic of the pattern pieces I am using. Because I want to make a woven button-front blouse/shirt, I am not using the vee neck jacket front, but the adapted front pattern piece from the corresponding "shirt variations" pattern from the same company. Hence in the schematic, I have indicated the difference in the pattern by a dotted line:


muslin #1 - only alteration is to use L for upper torso, shifting to XL at mid armscye to allow for bust, as suggested by pattern designer. Horizontal balance lines look mostly okay. Bust darts are at a good level. There is PLENTY of ease around the bust on the front. Shoulder seams are, unfortunately, at least 1" to the outside of where my shoulder joins my body, which is always the case.

Back is not entirely level, probably needs both a rounded back adjustment, and some room for my hips/bottom.

Sleeves are the worst problem, as is always the case. Shoulder seams are, unfortunately, at least 1" to the outside of where
my shoulder joins my body, which is always the case. In this pattern the sleeve cap seam is intended to be just inside the shoulder point.

Also, I cannot easily move my both my arms forward at the same time, or even one arm at a time. While there is enough ease in the arms if I stand rigidly straight, as soon as I move, the upper arms tighten and pull. Not sure how to adjust for this, since it doesn't match any of the alterations suggested in the information provided. Am thinking that somehow adding to the back of the sleeve cap would be helpful?

So, on to muslin #2...
in an attempt to observe what each specific change will do, I am only making one major change at a time...

major change - moved the shoulder 1" narrower (tapered along the front panel down to notch, darted out extra on back so as to not lose any width)
minor adjustment - restitched the back side panel to center back seams to increase taper and allow a bit more space in the side hip (this only added about a half inch on either side back, not enough)

this is moving in the right direction, but nowhere near a comfy blouse yet... I can tell that there is still too much width in the upper bodice center front, and not enough in the lower "peplum" zone (when I sit down, it binds across my tummy as well as across my hips in the back; when I stand up there is enough room in the lower front, but it still hangs up and binds across the hips in the back.

the vertical balance lines are getting closer to being vertical;
horizontal balance lines still looking good

back is still pulling upward in the center, needs either a RBA or for me to add a center back seam to shape the back. The lower edge is still not wide enough to fit my curvy hips properly... I am considering cutting the back into panels, rather like princess seams. This would allow me to fit the ins and outs of my contours more easily, and would also probably be more sparing of fabric when I eventually am able to make this as an actual blouse.
The thing I am pleased about, aside from having the bust darts in the right place, is that the hemline edge is basically level, in the front and on the side panels. Sleeve is still terrible, but I need to sort out the front shoulder and center front issues first, then deal with the back shaping, and only then will I be able to try and fit the sleeves in some way that will allow me to freely move my arms.

Tomorrow I am going to work on muslin #3. I have removed the sleeves entirely for now, and will work on sorting out the center front shoulder zone. Overall, I am quite pleased though, as this is already closer to a usable blouse/shirt bodice than I have ever managed before!! My goal in fitting this pattern is to create a comfortable blouse/shirt that I will be able to wear underneath my everyday pinafore, which is what I wear every day, autumn through spring, which will add an important additional option to my short list of TNT patterns. (my basic TNT patterns so far include a knit top, pinafore/dress, princess seam sleeveless dress, and knit cropped pants. Also a sports bra, and a wraparound apron)
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September SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 dark pelican enamel xø
2 tweedledee poncho xø
3 color wheels x ø
4 charter painting x ø
5 xx ø
6 x x ø
7 x x ø
8 x x ø
9 x x ø
10 x x ø
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Tweedledee completed


in which our plucky heroine succeeds in planning for warmth...

although warmth is not yet needful... I've had the pattern for the mini-poncho printed out for years, long after the site disappeared and the designer discontinued it. Even more surprisingly, there are zero other reviews on Ravelry, so it must not have been a popular concept. Indeed, the pattern calls for making up the garment in pieces and stitching them together, rather than in the currently popular top down all in one go method. I prefer to make up knitting in pieces, at least for adult garments, as otherwise one is required to tote along a vast mass of wool if taking knitting anywhere, which I do.

Knit in pieces is much less cumbersome, but makes up for it by having to faff with all the loose yarn ends as part of the finishing up process. There were, I think, about 14 sets of yarn ends I had to darn in, each set consisting of three individual strands, since I knit three different colors of yarn together to make a nicely bulky and visually tweedy fabric. The grey and brown combined with the misty turquoise to make one of the subtle colorways that I love, and that will coordinate with almost all of my cool weather clothing.

Nonetheless, I am quite pleased that I finally knitted it up, as it should be a most Useful Garment as well as part of my autumn 6PAC efforts:

not yet sketched are my hopeful attempts to create a useable woven top pattern

Next up for my personal sewing will be working on a toile for the Tabula Rasa pattern, in an effort to come up with a TNT pattern for making self some woven blouses, to add variety to my wardrobe. However difficult the process, I know that once I succeed, it will make me very happy to begin to sew up the assorted fabrics I have set aside for the project of wardrobe refurbishment


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday snippets


in which our plucky heroine notices a momentary halo...

Apparently the bike lanes on the nearby primary street were just repainted, which process also includes the liberal sprinkling of reflective glass spheres. As I was riding home on my bike earlier today, my shadow was cast ahead and slightly to the right, the sun not having reached full height in the sky. A curious effect of a small but bright rainbow*, was following along slightly ahead of my shadow, apparently from the excess of microspheres, and a slight, quick, turn of my head showed that the rainbow formed an pennanular curve around my cycling shadow self. It was a most curious effect. I tried stopping to see if I could capture it with my cell phone camera, but the effect seemed to be predicated on movement somehow. In difficult times any glimpse of beauty is a benison.

*edited to add, that the scientific name of the phenomenon is called "a glory", and there is, of course, an optical explanation. Thank you to my Berkeley friend Flieg for the additional info.
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Back in the dawn of time, when I was a child (and the soft hot rocks made it difficult to keep the crayons from melting...) instead of giving crayola colors amusing descriptive names like "inchworm", and "jazzberry jam", the colors had simple names like "blue-violet", and "yellow-green", for example, which made it more obvious how combining colors led to more interstitial colors. This painted example of the color wheel (I made up outline coloring wheels to share with my charter painting students) is one possible useful and handy way to think about colors. I assumed everyone learned this in grade school, but not necessarily.
This is a more complex split primary color wheel; by starting with a warm and cool color of each of the three primary colors, more subtle secondary colors can be created. I realised once I started that this color wheel was a bit beyond the needs and available time for a single hour and a half introductory painting class. It was fun, however, to draw up the master for this, I got to use some of my geometry templates and triangles...
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I should mention that in fact, I did teach a new workshop on Saturday - Introduction to Charter Painting. It was intended for encouraging beginners to try their hand at charter painting, which is basically "illumination made easy". Charters are xerox copies of SCA award scrolls (certificates), with the calligraphy already done, and the design in place, as outlined motifs. Hence, painting a charter is a bit like coloring in a coloring book, only with gouache paint instead of markers or crayons, and often with a bit of additional embellishment. I greatly enjoy painting charters as a form of meditative relaxation, so encouraging others to also give it a try was not a terribly difficult step. I think that the class was pretty well received, and with some editing of the handout sheet, it could also be taught as a fun short workshop for modern folks as well...

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

this is not red dot...


in which our plucky heroine needs more tears in her eyes...

...this is the Moon, her face obscured by smoke, and not a lunar eclipse. Ash falls from the sky like gentle evil snow, and kisses my cheeks as I ride my bike to go grocery shopping. The sky in Portland is filled with smoke from many fires, and ash from the Eagle Creek fire, started by youths throwing fireworks off a cliff into dry brush, that is now burning almost 6000 acres just to the east up the Columbia gorge, and threatening several towns. I get home from the mile ride to the store, and my face is dappled with black ash spots, the corners of my eyes are gritty with ashes. I cannot cry enough...



Monday, September 4, 2017

Monday musings


in which our plucky heroine tries not to have a sucky week, aka starting over...

I am hoping and doing what I can to have this week be an improvement. There is a lot that needs to get done, including all the carryover from last week that of necessity got put on hold, and also quite an additional bit that I want to get done.

Today, in the USA, it is Labor Day, a holiday now associated with picnics and barbecues, but in fact commemorating the efforts of the labor unions, which in the past century did much to improve the lives of ordinary working folks...
 
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And here are a few of my favorite union type songs...

I first heard this man sing back when I was 17;
he is one of my heros...


hunting down some U Utah Phillips,
I ran across this Leonard Cohen gem I'd not heard before...


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I keep looking outside and thinking... the light is wrong. That kind of golden sunset light should not be coming from the east and not at this hour of the morning... Then I cough, and remember how much of the PNW is burning. From my time in Idaho when we were on evacuation alert, I can extrapolate how eversomuch worse it must be, closer to the fires. Here in the city, we are not in physical danger of burning, though like all who breathe the smoke, the insidious damage of particulates spreads widely and with effects both immediate and long term. My ongoing inhale and exhale must continue however, and cannot be postponed until clearer skies...
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On Saturday night I finished the enamel for my current custom regalia commission. Just needed to make the setting and mail it out. On Sunday morning, my student picked it up to admire it, and accidentally dropped it on the concrete studio floor. Not really repairable, as re-firing didn't work out well, so am back to the start again. I am trying to not be upset. A two day delay at this point is not a big deal, but two days in front of the hot kiln... and, of course, I had already written to my client sending him a progress photo. Ah well, can't be cured, can't make it didn't happen, and can't run the movie backwards. Accidents happen... not upset with my student, but not looking forward to more time in front of the 1500F kiln for the next day or days... hopefully I will get the third enamel done before the temperatures hit triple digits later this afternoon...

One and done! Third time is the charm... worked almost round the clock to get this third iteration of this enamel completed. I actually like the bird eyes on this one better than the one that was broken. now to make a setting for it, probably tomorrow when I am a little less exhausted. Color on the photo is a little bit off, due to sky being the wrong color today

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Well dang! I spaced out about signing up for the digital design for laser engraving workshop at the library later this autumn... meant to stay up till midnight last Friday night so I could get my name on the list. Now I am on the wait list, anyway... sigh... I was excited about learning some new technical things, in a format intended for beginners, hopefully they will offer the series for adults again another time, maybe next year. The class is about learning to use the equipment in the Makerspace at Rockwood Library... It is mostly only available to teens, which is why I was so excited that they were offering a class for adults. They have all kinds of cool tools there, and I would like to learn to use the laser cutter to create stencils or possibly to carve blocks for block printing
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September SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 dark pelican enamel øø
2 ø øø
3 ø ø ø
4 ø ø ø
5 øø ø
6 x x ø
7 x x ø
8 x x ø
9 x x ø
10 x x ø
11 x x ø
12 x x ø
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

Friday, September 1, 2017

Friday fragments


in which our plucky heroine wonders if the rain will ever come...

The PNW is on fire. I just read that Yosemite is on fire. My friend in LA is on evacuation watch, because fire. Our heat waves here are returning, and bringing with them smoke from all the fires, again... I have not seen such skies since I was a child in LA, more than fifty years ago, before the clean air act, when inversion layers and smog were a way of life, and the mountains only ever appeared in the wintertime.
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Whatever went south with my right foot seems to have eased off. I am walking a bit better, in that I can put weight on my foot again. If it isn't back to normal by Monday Tuesday, I will contact my regular doctor. Ever since my dear friend S almost died from an long undiagnosed foot infection that attacked her bones, I am very cautious about foot trouble.
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September is "Sewing Month - " National Sewing Month began in 1982 with a proclamation from President Ronald Reagan declaring September as National Sewing Month “In recognition of the importance of home sewing to our Nation.”...

In an attempt to add yet more to my everyday efforts, I am going to spend a half hour every day doing something sewing related all month long. I have gathered the supplies I need to begin the work to fit Tabula Rasa as a woven shirt/jacket/blouse (I have tissue paper, and several old sheets for muslins)

It is also the annual Sewing Room Spiff-up Month on Stitchers Guild. If I had nothing else on my agenda, I would focus the entire month on sorting and reorganising my fabric collection. I will likely do some of that, and also want to make a new ironing board cover, and make padded covers for the sleeve board (sans covers) that I found at Goodwill a few years ago, which has been languishing in the workshop ever since. After all, if I am eventually going to make some woven sleeved garments, being able to press their sleeves will be very helpful!

Not sure where I found this photo online, but it shows a way to keep the long edges of the ironing/sleeve board covers neatly attached along their long sides. Since both my ironing board, and the sleeve board are wooden, I can take advantage of this option pretty easily. (note tiny nails that are used to stretch the drawstring and keep the cover taut on the upper side)
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I found this essay well worth reading: The Migration Habits of Stones
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September SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 ø øø
2 ø øø
3 ø ø ø
4 ø ø ø
5 øø ø
6 x x ø
7 x x ø
8 x x ø
9 x x ø
10 x x ø
11 x x ø
12 x x ø
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Tuesday tidbits and tears


in which our plucky heroine is limping rather badly...

This morning something went really wrong with my right foot, the one that is mostly functional most of the time. Intense pain, and I have a really high pain threshold. After a callback from the nurse hotline about what to do next, I got a ride to urgent care. After a two hour wait, urgent care thinks my foot isn't broken, (didn't do any xrays, because I didn't twist my ankle or drop anything on my foot?) and thinks there isn't any infection because there is no wound and no external redness. Still hurts like the dickens, I am using up spoons not to be crying, and foot is still slightly swollen. Their diagnosis is "strain of unknown origin"; their recommendation is to put foot up often, use ice, use Voltaren, try and stay off it, and if not better in three or four days, get seen again.

I made it clear that I was not there for antibiotics or for pain meds, but that I wanted to know what had gone wrong and how not to have it go wrong in the future, because not being able to walk freely is a quality of life issue for me. I need to be able to stand, and to walk about my house (and my neighborhood) in order to have any kind of life at all. Sorry, I am frustrated. My body is not cooperating.
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This strip by Lunarbabboon made me cry: "Stay"

These sculptures by Ronan Halpin make me happy

Amanda Palmer is always worth listening to -
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I really fell down this month as far as my decluttering goals. Not going to catch up in the next few days, or even the next few weeks, as work is taking a bit of priority right now, but I need to get back to making more steady progress...
August SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 rainbow baby hat buttons sewn onbag to Goodwill
2 cloudlight paper towel holder upbag to Goodwill
3 x x bundle of wood
4 x x ø
5 xx ø
6 x x ø
7 x x ø
8 x x ø
9 x x ø
10 x x ø
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x