Do excuse my recent lack of postage.
I FINALLY did my first Masters recital; the evil one; the one that got postponed last year because I had a month’s worth of the flu and pharyngitis; the one that I’m so so so glad is finally over, despite the fact that I had a cold and had to keep dashing off stage to blow my nose, much in the manner that more normal sopranos might dash off to swig from glasses of water. I thought putting the tissues on the piano would be a bad idea, though it was mighty tempting. Then maybe my level of professionalism would be on par with the con’s; they managed to bugger up my program notes, which I had given to them formatted to a tee after adhering to all their pernickety editing suggestions. Fancy that… a red squiggle. Wordpress doesn’t think pernickety is a word. It keeps suggesting ‘pumpernickel’. Which is a great word too, don’t get me wrong, but not so relevant in the context.
And I actually managed to finish my skirt and top ensemble. At 12:15am the night before, admittedly, but yes. Finished. Now I have things to wear when performing in winter.
Ta-daaaa! A blurry photo. Excuse the general mess.
The skirt took about a week, partially because I was working around loads of practice and trying to maintain some semblance of contact with other humans, but mostly because my Janome is to the lovely Fabric Store silk as hot wax strips are to Wolverine: not exactly as Kryptonite to Superman, but it’s still not a fun combination, and the result doesn’t look very attractive. I should’ve known, because I’ve used this particular kind of silk before when I made my lace crop-top back in the mists of time (*cough* last year *cough*) and my machine has horrible memories of needle-breakage associated with it. But in the lead-up to my recital, soprano-brain was a bit of an issue and I figured that last time I’d been trying to flat-fell chunky seams and use bias binding (ie: more layers), so if I used a brand-new, sharp-as-a-psycho’s-scalpel, small-as-I-could-get needle and set the thread tension very very carefully, what problem could a mere two layers possibly pose? (OH THE STUPIDITY)
Exhibit A: Nasty buckly seam. In centre-front of all places. 😡
Doesn’t seem to matter how fine a needle I use or how few layers I have or what my thread tension’s set as, I end up with a buckly seam. So I thought, stuff you Janome, and hand-stitched the rest of it. What can I say? I’m a control freak who likes to watch things while I sew. Many, many episodes of Buffy later, I have a rather nice skirt. The buckly seam thankfully hangs in a fold, hiding its shameful buckly nature from the eyes of good citizens. Then I just stitched the silk over the top of the foundation layer of the waistband with backstitch so you have these little lines of topstitching, which the silk will eventually fade around so it’ll look a bit interesting.
Pinned and ready to go.
Little backstitches are prettier than buckly machine mess, anyway.
Then it was slipstitched over the pleats. Hot-damn I’m proud of that neat curve.
Okay, so the inside’s all messy. But it’s secure and there’s no chance of fray-age and I could not give fewer damns.
The skirt ended up being a circle skirt cut to twice the length of the waistband and then pleated on (haphazardly). The zipper was set in with a pick-stitch, because I HATE sewing zips on the machine. Hate hate hate, like stompy eye-pokey-outy hate. Only on the morning did I notice that on me the lining hung more crooked than it did on the dressform, and so I had to emergency-tack it up a bit, but it’ll be an easy fix for The Weekend That Never Comes.
The top was my first foray into jersey-land (aka Mordor. Stretch fabric is clearly the work of Sauron), negotiating the perils of Twin Needles and Clear Elastic Stay Tape of Doom.
I cut the pattern off a skivvy I had that fitted nicely (though I ought to have gone a little roomier because my jersey didn’t stretch quite as much as I thought), and it sewed up relatively quickly. I couldn’t figure out how to do a drapey bit at the front, so I improvised one on after and covered the joins with some bows cut from the remnants of my silk. With a singlet under it, it was *just* warm enough in Melba Hall. A friend of mine the Best Baritone I Know nearly froze to death in his exam the other week, so I thought it’d pay to be cautious. Boy did it ever. My poor accompanists… it seriously looked like a scene out of Dickens backstage with them huddled there in their coats with their hands under their arms.
Now, Clegs doesn’t normally hold much fascination for me with the Fabric Store to compare it to, but when I went down there the other day to pick up the twin needle and the elastic, they were having a remnant sale. Remnant sales are very dangerous. I had to be prudent, but when they’re getting rid of just enough of just what you’re after for about 1/4 of the normal price per metre, you must strike, strike like the bargain-cobra. Now I have enough silk crepe satin to cover my stays when I finish them (I would use it for something else it’s so nice, but that colour really doesn’t suit me unless I’m fancy dressing as a zombie. My skin cells wouldn’t know what melanin was if some came along and bit them on the endoplasmic reticulum), and half a metre of the most airy and delicious silk georgette which is going to be a nasty beast to sew, but I’m not intending to make anything super fancy from it… maybe just a fichu for my as yet hypothetical georgian costume…
So pretty! It’s like if soufflé could be a fabric.
Guaranteed to make me look about 5 days dead.
And then there’s sissy-poo’s kitty-shaped hot water bottle cover. The toile (do you call it a toile when it’s clothes for a hot water bottle?) is assembled, but I’m still trying to work out if the vaguely 3D face is going to work in practice when darts aren’t meant to be a thing you do with faux fur. I guess the pile’s not too deep, I figure I’m going to treat it pretty much like velvet and see how it goes, unless somebody warns me off it in the next 24 hours. There’s enough faux fur that I could probably make two or three attempts before I throw in the towel.
There will also be legs and a tail but I didn’t bother to pattern them. I’m not sure how I’ll do the nose and eyes yet, but at any rate, this is the look I’m going for:
Via au.catsadoptions.com. KITTY WITH NO FACE NAWWWWWWWW!!!!
It beats doing tax.