Monday, June 29, 2020

Back to the "real world" and some thoughts

So much has happened the last three months. I don't even know where to begin. First off, this blog and its owner support Black Lives Matter. If you have a problem with this, it's probably best for you to just move on. #BLM We can and must make foundational changes to the way policing, education, and health care impact communities of color. 

If any of you have experienced the loss of a loved one due to COVID-19, you have my sincere sympathies. I spent the first few weeks of the pandemic in a low level of shock and a high level of anxiety. I have asthma, and I lived in terror that I was going to get sick and die. I still have that fear, but it has become white noise in the background of my inner dialogue. I was furloughed in early April, and have spent most of my days at home in the garden, only going out for groceries and necessities for the cat rescue. 

A few weeks ago I developed a 102 fever, body aches, and just generally felt like shit. The swab was negative for corona virus and the flu. I'm not 100% convinced the test was accurate due to the high number of false positives that have happened. At any rate, I slept for a few days and had an on and off fever for almost a week before it went away. Even though I've been masking, practicing social distancing, and washing my hands, I was really concerned about everyone I'd seen in person the two weeks prior at the grocery store, Lowe's, and the feed store. SO MANY people are not masking or practicing social distancing. 

I went back to work today, so of course NOW my creative juices are flowing and I'm motivated to start a new project. I've had two and a half months to clean out my spare room and get my sewing room set up. Have I? No, why would I do that? (Sarcasm alert)

I haven't moved any of my sewing stuff or my machines, but my SABLE yarn stash is everywhere. The spare room has been a dumping ground for the yarn, the few art and craft items I did move, and the boxes of my in-laws' belongings that we packed up to keep. My goal is to have that room sorted by the end of the week so I can at least go get my stuff and set it up. Because...

I know GOT is over, but I will never get over this dress/tunic. The moment I saw it I wanted to make a gown with this smocking technique and some coordinating beading. I may never be able to wear it anywhere, but I want to start attending cons and doing cosplay. I've never done any of that and it may seem strange that I want to start now at the tender age of 44. If the last few months have taught me anything, it's that I need to do the things I want to do NOW instead of waiting. The entire world has been flipped upside down, and there's no reason to wait. Do the things you love now. Make a change. Find a new job. Pursue your dreams. 

I don't know how the con/cosplay scene is going to adapt to our new normal, but I would REALLY love to participate. I'm tossing around the idea of posting videos to my YouTube channel as well.

For the dress I have chosen McCall's M7927.  The basic construction of the dress should be straightforward. There's no boning, underlining, or inner structure at all, just some interfacing. I may add some couture touches because hand sewing offers more options and a better control over the finish. 

There is so much fabric. SO MUCH. Right at 23 yds for the dress fabrics, and several more will be needed for the smocked pieces.

The top will have to be more fitted to handle The Situation uptown, and I may have to install a bra and/or a chiffon panel in the vee to somehow to keep The Situation from getting out of hand. The dress appears to be taped to the model's chest OR they used some sort of stick-on bra.  I'm exploring some options on how to make this work for my bustline, but I haven't decided what to do yet.

There are three layers of fabric (minimum). The lining will be a dark spruce green rayon bemberg, the main fabric is a bright green cotton voile, and the sheer overlay is this beautiful creature. This teal silk georgette will be dip dyed, with a gradient of evergreen, darkening into black at the end of the train. 

I also have a beautiful deep green silk georgette that I will be smocked in a scale pattern to lay over the overlay, in addition to using this teal, and of course beads and possibly paillettes if I can find the right shade. The scales will follow the gradient scheme, and accentuate and flatter the curve of the waist.

Because all the fabrics are relatively lightweight, I'm hoping the dress itself won't be too heavy. The addition of the smocked layer, beads, a built in bra, and any other embellishments will add to the weight.

The biggest decision I have to make is whether to use shapewear. I probably will since there is no boning or underpinning built into the dress itself. I will need to get it sooner than later, because I will base my measurements, muslin, and alterations on that shape. 

Another view of the type of smocking and embroidery I want to add. It's breathtaking. I haven't done hand embroidery or beading in quite some time, but this dress is supposed to look more organic, which allows for imperfections. Please take a look at the Game of Thrones and the Daenerys Dragonscale Galleries. Michelle Carragher is a goddess.