Monday, May 30, 2011

  I've managed to finish (mostly- still need to attach hooks and eye closures) both of the little flower girl dresses and have my dress practically finished as well.  The wedding is Saturday.    You'd think I'd have plenty of time to work on "extras" between now and then, but I have a training session on both Tuesday and Wednesday, and Tuesday afternoon I've shoehorned myself in to an appointment with a doctor .
   I'm hoping I can find my organdy in my stash so I can do a few machine embroidered appliques for my dress, otherwise it will be just a little plain.
  I hope to post some photos soon, but I just can't figure out how to use iPhoto on my new Mac.  I'll have to reclaim my monitor from my husband's office so I can upload pics to my old PC.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Little Dresses of Blue

  Today I finished both junior bridesmaid dresses.  Phew, what a load off my mind!  They weren't difficult to make, just time consuming and I got stuck on the tulle ruffles for the petticoat.  I despise working with tulle.  I think if I ever have to work with it again I'm going to figure out how to use my gathering foot, stitch the tulle to a binding and applique the turned binding to wherever the ruffle needs to go.  It will give a lot neater edge and possibly be easier to work with.
   My buttonhole attachment came in handy, once I figured out how to make it work properly.  It only took 10 test buttonholes to get a perfect one.
   Later tonight I will start on my own dress for the wedding.  I've got a week- no problem.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

garden season

  I just got back to the gym where I discovered that my core muscles are about as strong as wet spaghetti.
Whoosh, I'm beat!  Despite that, I have a ton of things to do today including sewing on the little girls's dresses for at least two hours,  planting a few trees along the house foundation and acquiring a looooong extension cord so I can whack the weeds in the side yard.
  The front ... hmm, I don't want to call it a yard as it's only about 6 feet wide ... portion? Yes, that will work.  The front portion of the yard is looking very sad indeed.  We lost a boxwood to winter winds, so that needs to be pulled out.  It's at the top of a 45-50 degree slope, though, so I'm not quite sure how I'm going to get up to it.  The weird little plants along the bottom of the slope are leafing out nicely, but the current color palette in this bit of yard is dark green and dark gray, and it's just bleah.  I think I'll plop some inexpensive flowering annuals in there until my seeds have a chance to start blooming and we get fresh mulch to spread.
   I'll try to post some photos soon.  I haven't figured out how to manipulate jpgs on the Mac yet and until the dresses are finished I don't have time to learn new software.  My brain seems to only hold one thing at a time these days.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Today is tomorrow, although it should have been yesterday

   Currently, all I seem to want to do is sleep or drink iced tea.
  I managed a trip to Home Depot today for paint, a wheelbarrow, pavers and some other stuff to go along with said items.  Bags of paving sand are heavy.  Assembled wheelbarrows are tricky to get into a Honda Civic Hybrid.  I managed.   I was, however, a drippy, sweating mess by the time I got everything into the car, and it's only about 70 degrees out.  Summer is likely to be fun. Stupid hormones.

   Anyway, Pulp Fashion.
   It is absolutely amazing what a talented artist can do with paper and paint.  Isabelle de Borchgrave can take brown kraft paper and paint and turn them into a replica of a Medici gown, complete with lace and jewelry. From 5 feet away, you cannot tell the dress is not made from velvet.   Delicate Fortuny pleats?  Yup.  She can do those, too.  One display was of an "in-progress" garment which showed the various steps required to cut, shape, and build the various paper pieces into a complete garment display.  Next to it were some pieces in various stages of painting.
  If you're at all close to San Francisco, do try to make it to the Museum of the Legion of Honor to see this exhibit.  If you're not, look for the book as it gives a good overview of both the garments and the processes.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Has it been a month?

    It seems that it has been a month since I last posted.  This is partly because entries along the lines of "got up, brushed teeth, had coffee, cleaned, shopped, traced a pattern" just don't appeal to me.
   My husband changed jobs in March.  We moved out here to the wilds of Pittsburgh as a transfer within Google.  Himself decided he needed a change and got hired at Twitter.  In San Francisco.  You know...near the bay area city we just moved away from?  He was out there for five weeks of training; I went out to  join him for the last week and I think I saw more of San Francisco than I did when we lived in Santa Clara.
   I met my friend Lynn (and her new ride) at a BART station, and from there we went to the de Yonge museum to view the Balenciaga and Spain exhibit.  This was a very good collection of his work which highlighted his influence by the culture of his youth.  He made much use of black.  His father died when he was young, so his female relatives wore mourning dress for most of his youth.  The mantillas and cloaks that were common in his area also provided design influence.  There was also a whole cluster of church-inspired garments including a raincoat that looks like a monk's robe and a wedding dress that looks very much like a nun's habit.
  Interspersed among Balenciaga's gowns and jackets and hats were some examples of the items which influenced them.  A complete bullfighter's Coat of Lights, heavily embroidered with gold thread, gleamed next to two velvet and jet-bead embroidered boleros.  I love jet, and it looks simply spectacular on deep red velvet.
   Photography was not allowed at the exhibit, so I have none to share with you, however, there are several good sources of images online.
   Tomorrow:  our after-lunch tour of Pulp Fashion: the Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave