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Saturday, July 30, 2011

A dear friend of mine.....

asked me a very good question:

"Why do you dress the way you do?"

But in order to understand the question, you need to understand the reason behind it.
I don't wear jeans.
I tend to dress in a style that's a combination of old fashioned/costuming/madwoman.
I don't always wear the corset, but I do always wear the pantaloons and shift.
Over that I wear either layers of petticoats or a hoop skirt, depending on the weather.
I wear a dress, always with a full skirt, the length varies during the year.
And over that I wear an apron. I do a lot of messy things working on these machines, and I didn't make beautiful dresses just so I could ruin them. Thus, the apron.

Which brings us back to why.

Modern fashion is, in my humble opinion, dreadful.
I don't mean the parades of bizarre costuming that occur in the 'fashion centers' like Paris and Milan, and then go absolutely nowhere.
I mean the choices you have when you actually go shopping for clothing.
Because let's face it, not everybody can make their own dresses.
Look at your malls, your boutiques...
You'll see there are basically 3 types of clothing available for women, and they are somewhat regimented by age group.
1. The Prostitute- Most of the clothing for younger women are designed to make them look like Brittney Spears, i.e. like whores. You've seen the preteen girls in outfits that would have made Marlena Dietrich blush.
Ridiculous. You want to know why kids rebel? Because parents aren't standing up for them, against this insane ideal that makes them feel horrible about themselves.
2. The Guy-Wannabe- Once your 30s are behind you, it becomes the norm for women, especially women who wish to be taken seriously, to dress like they wish they were men.
This is another power game. Because femininity is perceived as weaker than masculinity and as of less importance.
3. The Dowager- Fashions for older women, 60s and later, tend to want to make them look like they are Harlequins. Brightly colored ridiculous pantsuits with beaded appliques of all sorts of inanity. Just because you've gotten older doesn't mean you've gone color blind.

I think that there is nothing weak about being feminine.
There is nothing wrong with NOT wanting to look like a man.
I do not work in a coal mine, nor do I dig ditches for a living.
I am not a prostitute, or a nun.
I am myself, and my selection of clothing styles/outfits reflects the confidence I have in who I am.

"But dresses are impractical!" you say?
I removed the carpeting from a stairwell in my house, and refinished the wood underneath. As well as laying tile on the landing. And I did it in MY clothing.

Why do I dress this way?
Two reasons:
1. I enjoy it.
2. To show you it's possible.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

A month of disasters..

this month has been!
First I get poison ivy,and I look like a burn victim/zombie.
And now, I get some sort of stomach virus type thing...
I am guessing I got it at the buffet we ate ate, I am not a big fan of shared food.

But, seeing as these are pretty much the worst things in my life, I really have very little to whine about!
(Oh, and I have a few possible maid prospects! One who stands out much more than the others!)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Next dress

will be a variation on this in purple :)

Good help is, it seems, hard to find!

I've been looking for a maid.
I have some requirements:
1. Trustworthiness.
2. Fluent in English.
3. Able to follow directions.
I would prefer someone with experience working as a uniformed domestic...but that's not entirely a deal breaker.

Now, it would seem I have started an impossible journey...
I've gotten a few responses, but most of them are totally unsuitable .
Le sigh! 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

One machine done.
He's pretty much back to his original condition, a little polishing is all that's left!

The new 221

It's a 1940 scroll face :)

here sitting on a 42 cabinet, my main 201-2 is inside.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Breaking my own rules.

I bought a third Viking machine, with high hopes.
Unfortunately, it too is frozen in reverse.

I've dragged the three of them together.

Friday, July 22, 2011

This dress,

done on this machine!

Now I think the 301 is not ideal for pleather, a machine with wider feed dogs would be better.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

So, more progress on this. the bodice is less ornamental than most of my other dresses.
which is good
because this fabric......
it's gonna kill me
the modified dress.
you can see the second band of the skirt is fuller!

the bodice, in pleather!

I modified

the new dress a bit, to make the skirt a more appropriate fullness!
Next up:
Dress with black pleather bodice!
I am discovering how difficult that material is to work sticks to the needle plate!

Monday, July 18, 2011


a week of hell over.
I'm still a little itchy, as my skin all flakes off....ewwwwwww.

I'm back to mostly as normal as I get.
Latest dress..
1 more in progress now...
A little different than before, but pretty much close to similar.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Nothing new for a while

I'm suffering from the worst case of poison ivy I've had since I was a little kid.
So, not much is getting done and not much is getting written!
I should be back to normal in a week or so....ugh

Monday, July 11, 2011


is the time for me to catch Poison Ivy....
So, I will be hiding my hideously deformed self in my basement and waiting for the unbearable itch to pass.

It's convenient that I moved my sewing/crafting space into the basement :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Colors for next dress!

The fabrics, and the thingy of lace, all came from a Salvation Army.
I think this one will be fairly interesting!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

though not specifically made for this dress, this apron works 
quite well with it!

Saturday, July 2, 2011


This is the new one, pre-final ruffle!

The results..

are in.

I started using the Bernina thinking about all the stories I've heard about how finicky they are. How the bobbin hook area needs to be kept absolutely spotless etc.
Well, I was pleasantly surprised by how non-twitchy this machine really was. I don't really have the patience/desire to baby a sewing machine. 
If it doesn't do what I need it to, then I've got 60bajillion others to chose from.

Without the adapter foot, I can see the price of Bernina feet becoming an issue.
50$ for a ruffler? Are they smocking crack?
But a little 14$ foot ordered online gave that machine access to the entire catalog of Singer!

So, brass tacks time.

The bobbin winder on the Record 730 is one of the strangest apparatuses I have yet to encounter.
I'll show you what I mean:
you open this lid

to get at this stuff.

you then need to extend the winding arm, the thread goes 
around it in a clearly marked way that will no doubt have you 
checking your sanity..

But, apart from this one thing, I love this machine.
The stitch quality is excellent. The motor is not ridiculously loud. The foot thingy is really easy to change, it has 2 speed settings....

I'll post pics of the new dress soon, it needs an additional row of ruffles.(it's a bit too short....)