Knit Me A Straightjacket

Location: Wild West, United States

Monday, November 07, 2016

1910's Tea Party Gown - Update!

The corset is complete! Well, mostly. Okay, it's wearable. I still have to add hooks and eyes to the lower center fronts, and I really should finish the eyelets somehow. Also, still deciding whether or not to bother with garters. BUT IT'S WEARABLE! That means that I can move on to the next steps, because I can put it on and get measurements and do fitting. Yay!

If I'm going to use stockings and garters, then I will need a new shift or combo shift and drawers, because my current one is too long. Also, I need to decide if I really need that petticoat or not. It would smooth out the lines a bit maybe, but I don't really need it for shaping I don't think - it's pretty much a straight columnar silhouette, so I may be able to get away with skipping it.

I'm not sure about the logic of taking shortcuts at the same time that I'm going way overboard on details and accuracy...after all, I've gone so far as to make a corset, is it silly to then stop there, rather than going all the way and really doing it right? Or is it silly to insist on little details that no one but me will ever see?

I'm planning on wearing this outfit exactly once. Am I crazy? Probably. And no, I am not posting a picture of me in the corset!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

No updates to post on the tea party dress, but I did have some excitement last night. The kids' father picked them up for an afternoon visit, then I had an appointment, ran an errand, and then, since the house was empty, I decided to take myself out to dinner. On my way home around 7:00ish, I found my neighborhood blocked off by police cars at both entrances. They told me no one was being allowed in or out as there was a "law enforcement incident" in progress.

I was at a loss. I couldn't think what to do or where to go, and as always in a stressful situation, I felt painfully the separation from my children, and it filled me with anxiety. I drove around aimlessly for a while, then found myself at the north end of town and saw the sign for Perkins. I went in to get a cup of coffee and a slice of pie and to figure out what to do next.

I sat there scrolling through Facebook, and posting about the situation, and eating my pie, still trying to collect myself. An anonymous stranger paid for my snack! That's never happened to me before, and I have no idea who it was. I figure if it was someone I knew, they would have come over and said hello, and if it was a man who thought I was attractive, he would also have identified himself, so I ruled out both. Why then? Somebody just being nice? Or did they feel sorry for me because I was alone? Maybe I looked lost, I certainly felt it. I guess I'll never know.

One of my friends from my knitting group invited me to her house, so I went there. Subsequently I got a bunch more offers, which was really sweet. My kids, especially my son, were getting anxious and wondering what we were going to do. It was a school night, and they didn't have their school things with them, nor a change of clothes.

I kind of wish I could have picked them up and gone to a hotel or something, so we could be together. I felt bad about imposing on my friend, but by the time it became apparent that I wasn't going home anytime soon and would have to spend the night, it was too late to call anyone else and the kids had already gone to bed at their dad's house.

I lay there on the couch in the dark, wide awake, checking the local police Facebook page for updates. Finally, they posted that they were wrapping things up and would re-open the road soon. I debated whether or not to leave my safe place immediately, or to wait for confirmation that I could go home. I waited, because it was now the middle of the night, and I didn't want to end up stranded if things went sideways.

Finally they posted that the street was open again, so I went home. I still couldn't sleep - I'm functioning on about three hours right now. I've only found one news story about what happened, from last night when they didn't know anything. I still have no details. It's worrisome that something like this happened in my neighborhood. I know it's not the greatest, but this is beyond anything I ever expected.

When I initially was turned away by the police, my lizard brain went back to the flood of 2013, when I was stranded away from home and separated from my children. I think it's why I was so freaked out at first and not thinking straight. It really makes it clear how important those things - my children and my home - are to my peace of mind and sense of place in the world.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Dress Diary - 1910's Tea Party Gown

I thought of something to blog about! The tradition of the annual Easter/Spring Tea Party has continued, more or less uninterrupted, up to the present day. This year we wore Kentucky Derby style hats and lace dresses. Next year, about five months or so from now, the theme is 1910's chic. My best friend Melanie already has hers done, but it needs some tweaking so she won't allow anyone to take pictures yet. Here's what I'm planning for myself:

This is a variation on Simplicity 1517 that didn't make it into the pattern packet, but the designer has graciously posted the instructions on her blog:

Before I can make the dress, however, I need to make the corset:

RH1057 -- Ladies' 1910s Corset - Reconstructing History LLC:

and the petticoat from Truly Victorian:

TVE14 - Late Edwardian Petticoat

As always, undergarments make the shape, so they must come first. I will probably not buy the TV petticoat pattern, as I *think* I have all the information I need in the picture. The corset pattern I have though, and Melanie and I did a mutual fitting session on our mockups a while back, so I'm ready to start assembling!

Monday, April 13, 2009


Rachel's new dress I made for Easter:

she didn't get to wear it, because when it was finished I was not at all happy with the way the blue petals fell. I had wanted them to stick out a bit, not come straight down.

However, when she saw it on the sewing table she was alight with joy and says she will never take it off. :-)

We're having our annual Spring tea party next weekend, which is really the perfect venue anyway.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

birthdays n' stuff

Yep, I'm a rotten blogger - or a rotten mother? Maybe I'm a rotten blogger-mom. Whatever. Here are some pics.

From MonkeyBoy's birthday:

Some garden and cat pics:

BabyGirl's first day of Kindergarten:

From BabyGirl's birthday (yes, her hair is pink):

This lovely pink wool coat was a birthday gift from Grammy Fran:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Updates on Miniatures

I have been working pretty steadily on my two current projects, and here are the results:

The Mossy Glen is complete, I think... The glue is dry and I've added a few more odds and ends to the vegetation. Here it is in its jar on the end table. I'm really pleased with this, especially since it was my very first attempt ever. There are things I'd do differently next time, but overall I'm quite happy with it.

The Hobby Room is coming along. It's not quite finished, but nearly. I've got everything placed where I think I want it. A few things need painting or finishing, and I'm still contemplating a few more items. The stripy rug is a small sample we made for Sheep to Shawl '03, I think. It represents that hobby, since I couldn't think how to make a loom. :-)

Here's my planted aquarium. I couldn't get a good picture because it's so small, but really this is my favorite thing in here. I made the aquarium, added a base of sand and then set it up just like a real planted aquarium, with some wood for structure and different layers of plant materials. Those fish were the single most difficult thing in the whole room so far.

Here's my knitting - there's a niddy-noddy full of yarn, a skein and a ball, representing all the steps in between spinning and knitting. The knitting itself is on two straight sewing pins. I did actually knit it on them, which was a pain not so much because of size as because they were too sharp and kept splitting the yarn. I made the chair, the box, and the niddy-noddy.

Here's the sewing table. The machine was purchased of course, and no I don't really use that kind. Everything else I made. The vase is a replica of a real one I received as a gift and have always loved. The bolt of fabric is some linen that I recently made a medieval gown from. The thread on the spool came from the same fabric as I was finding the grain. I love that spool. The tiny details are the most gratifying for some reason.

Here's my distaff and spindle with flax. It's actually some cashmere/silk blend, but it just looks perfect for flax. I whittled the tiny spindle and actually used it to spin the thread that's on it. I made the basket too. It's cardboard covered with a coarse yarn that to me looks kind of like grapevine.

And that's that so far! Hope you like it as much as I do!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mini Obsession

Well I've been working pretty much non-stop on this new addiction - er - hobby - of mine.

Here are some more pictures of the Mossy Glen as the glue dries. I know that sounds really stupid, watching glue dry, but you see it gets clearer as it dries, so it looks more and more like actual water. *sigh* Anyway, here they are:

In the meantime, since even I cannot simply sit and watch glue dry, I have started another: The Hobby Room. Here are the first pictures:

The box (from Hobby Lobby) represents the room. The theme of course is all of my hobbies - or at least, as many as I can fit in this room box. I bought the little books, sewing machine and cat-in-basket. The spinning wheel (hard to see in back) is actually a pencil sharpener. I made the furniture and the vase. The flowers were cut down from the stem on the left of the picture.

There's still a lot to be done, but I thought this time it would be good to take pictures in progress.