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Jon Greenfield bought me a $100 gift credit card for my birthday, but me being in Japan and Japan not being big on credit cards anyway he didn't send it. He gave it to me when I saw them at the beginning of the week instead, and I've been looking for a place to spend it since. So, since I'm going back tomorrow, I splurged at Amazon and got four of the more recommended historical costume history and pattern books. I am excited for them, though it's sad that they will have to be shipped here. I'm going to ask mom to flat rate them out to me.

The new plan is to buy a cheap sewing machine and see how much I can get done over the year. First on the wish-list is a Chemise la Reine, and all the proper fittings. Then we will see about the rest of the late 18th century wardrobe, and finally move into Victorian. Hopefully.
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This weekend my ikebana teacher introduced me and Amanda to all the other little old lady ikebana teachers in the Ujiie area at a display of traditional arts done by people who live in Ujiie. My ikebana teach is exactly like my grandmother would have been if she'd been a little old Japanese lady instead of a little old Jewish lady. (Minus the stories; my teacher specializes in HILARIOUS old-lady wisdom.) She even brought bread along to feed me and Amanda before we could leave, which Amanda wrote a poem of awesome about.

It was awesome.

After our time at the display we went into Utsunomiya, as Amanda found a mini-Akiba in one of the malls out there. It came complete with a Mandrake, so I have a new stack of shiny doujinshi - and only two of them are in total novel format. Good haul. 8Db Similarly we had delicious gyoza and I found fabric that will make a super pretty lining for my Edwardian walking jacket. (Which is waaaaaaaay too big at the moment; it's undergoing a heavy taking-in.)
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Last night I cut the fabric for my walking jacket mock-up. I had juuuuuuuuuuust enough, even though I bought exactly what the pattern said to. Granted I cut the collar and front lapels out of the same stuff, when for the real thing they will be cut out of a contrasting, different fabric, but still. There's a reason why I usually buy a yard of extra for errors. orz

The jacket will be the most ambitious of the three things, needing a lot of tailoring. It's meant to go over a corset, of course, which I don't have, but apparently a good shape can be gotten anyway. Making corsets is my next stop. Maybe then I will open a shop like everyone and their mother. 8Db

What started out as a bunch of links on a previous post has slowly become a GIANT master list of all the awesome sewers on LJ and their various sites. )
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Yay! My beginner embroidery things shipped! I do so love fast service. I have no idea how long it'll take to get here, but my guess is about a week, if it follows the same path as the fabric. (Then again half the wait for the fabric was waiting for it to be shipped, so...)

The pictures of the finished product don't really look beginner to me. XD; We'll see how it all goes.
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My project is complete. (The skirt is unrelated.)

Cut to spare the masses my ugly, ugly hands and SUPER scary eyes 0.o )

The Gibson Girl blouse in progress. In place of a real diary, each picture has a short description. 8Db

Now I can start on my jacket mock-up. 8DDDDb I also gave in and bought two 'beginner' embroidery kits in my quest to learn how to embroider. We'll see how this works out. >.>
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So I spent all of last week being sick (and not working on my dress). I went into work four out of five days. I could tell you about the bullshit I had to go through on Thursday, when all I wanted to do was sleep and be miserable. Suffice it to say that it is not worth it to call out sick; much better to get into a pile-up on the way to work and tell the company later 'I told you so'.

Instead I will talk about my dress, which I haven't talked about in a while. Basically, my pattern lied. All this talk of cutting out 1 on the fold is lies. In order to make the skirt proper one needs 2 on the fold at least. Then for the two over skirt layers it encourages cutting out two on the selvage. This is crap. If one is going to gather in those two layers with the rest of the skirt like they're supposed to, the over skirt layers wind up somewhere over the hip. The point of them is to still reach around enough to look as though they're coming down directly from the bodice. You can't do that if you don't cut out 4 panels.

In conclusion, the pattern is crap.

But I spent the weekend cutting the four new panels needed and sewing them together. So the new overskirt layers are together again; I just need to pin them back to the skirt proper, rerun the gathering stitches and regather, and then I can finally sew the skirt to the bodice. After that it's a matter of hooks and eyes and hemming.

That much of my life is exciting, at least.
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I'm afraid I lied; I'm not editing the last post with the dress diary. I've done enough work on it, I think, that it merits its own. I don't remember all the dates exactly, either, and a lot of steps are without a photograph documenting them.

At least you get an lj cut )
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Sports Day got rained out. (I knew I should have brought my sewing. They still teach Home. Ec. so there are bound to be irons in the school somewhere.) This means I am regulated to the desk once again, unless some teacher picks me up and attempts to have a class. I doubt this will happen. I just hope there is no rain when it comes time to go home and buy an iron.

I will probably edit this post with the beginnings of my dress dairy when I get back. For now the photos of what I've done are up on my flickr (which, I admit, I forgot I even had entirely). As you can see, I do most of my work on the floor, as I don't have a table large enough. Don't do this at home, kids - it's made me the world's worst cutter of fabric ever. (Why yes, I am a total amature of sewing even now, how did you guess?)

Also in exciting news, Mom sent me Macaroni and Cheese which arrived yesterday. Fake yellow cheesy goodness. I am so excited for it.
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Yesterday afternoon, approximately 9 yards of fabric arrived at my door; bunched together in a tiny package and costing upwards of $100 with shipping, which I had not been aware of. I kind of really don't care. It is GORGEOUS. I was a little concerned about the cream lining - it's not really that cream and it looked a lot heavier than I would have expected for a lining. But cutting out my toile of the bodice proved that it's quite light. The only problem I have now is the actual cream georgette which is to become my inset and underskirt. It's sheer, though it looks good enough over the lining.

I have all the fabric for the bodice cut out, today I'll begin actually sewing it. It's going to take me forever because it's all handsewing, but I will persevere and win this battle. Tomorrow, perhaps, I'll start a dress diary for it. I am quite excited. I think I need a sewing icon now.

Tomorrow is also my school's Sports Day (the one I have to go to). I want so badly to bring my sewing with me.

Last night I saw my grandmother in my dreams for the first time since she died. I've seen my father four times already, I think. I like to think grandma just got lost on the way over - it's a long trip between the Bronx and Japan after all. I don't remember what we spoke about, but I remeber us being in some kind of period setting. I got to tell her I loved her. It was a good dream.
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In 5 entries, I will arrive at my 1000 post. It only took me 8 years to make it. I don't know if I should be ashamed of my lack of prolifity or proud that I spammed the internet rather less than I thought I would when I first received the code. Also nothing has changed much in 8 years. I began this journal complaining about anything and everything and it seems that that is exactly what I still do. Ah well. If I didn't complain I doubt I should ever have anything to write.

I have begun a new book, having finally finished Death on the Nile. This one is by Josephine Tey and is called The Franchise Affair, written sometime between 1920 and '50. I adore Mrs. Sharpe like none other. She is a straight-backed old lady with an acerbic tongue and holds her own against the Scotland Yard detective and her accuser with not a hint of weakness. Brilliant lady.

Also I need to stop buying fabric. The place where I ordered my tea dress fabric from put out an e-mail for their sale not two days ago. Naturally I had to peruse the offerings - I found the fabric needed for my walking jacket, a yard of embroidered knit overlay that I've no idea what I'll do with, and lawn fabric for my Gibson Girl blouse. Also I'm determined to make a Chemise la Reine after the disaster that became of the one I attempted not very long ago, and I've been looking at new patterns and portraits to decide what I might like. (What do you mean, finish a project and then start a new one? Piffle!)

I had a stray cat attempt to follow me into my house yesterday. It was the second time I'd seen it - last time it ran off rather quickly. S/he is orange, white and black - a right proper Halloween kitten - and just as fluffy as my dear siberian back home. S/he's still a bit skittish, but only when I stand. If I'm sitting s/he'll sit right in my lap and purr. I desperately want to keep him/her, but I know it would never be allowed. Stupid Leopalace.

Now if only the fabric would appear at my lonely door, I could play with the dear thing outside.
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So my very annoying company is sending grant into Gunma on Thursday and Friday. He's going to video Giovanni and myself in our schools, so OF COURSE he picks Eimei - my least favorite school. It's on a super special day when I'm going to be with the fourth graders, too. I'm NEVER with the fourth graders - any video he gets will not be representative of my usual teaching there. I'm not sure if that's a bad or a good thing, yet.

It will bring up a chance for me to bully Grant into giving me a car (though what I really want is a scooter). The bike was fine during the summer. Sure it was hot and oppressive out there, but I can deal with that. Now that it's cooling into winter? The northern head winds going several miles an hour are constantly blowing, and by the time I get anywhere - the Family Mart, work, home, the cleaners - my chest has constricted and I have trouble breathing. It's that cold and that much work to keep the bike moving forward. It's worse when it rains and I don't even want to think of what it could be like when it snows.

Either that or Grant can prepare for a metric ton of receipts for taxi cab rides coming in, because I'm just not going to deal with the bike anymore. I wasn't supposed to have the damn thing to begin with.

My patterns still haven't come. Neither has any mail for that matter. On the bright side, I am reading a lot more these last two months than I have all year. I finished three books in August and I'm on my fourth of September as we speak. I didn't realize how much I missed reading until I found myself with little to do and nobody to talk to online.

Totally unrelated: I am not happy about the loss of the Dragon Cave fansite. Since it, I haven't been able to grow my dragons beyond hatchlings. They all die. orz

About-to-be-dead dragons under here )
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My patterns need to come. Right now. I've had the fabric for almost two weeks. Apparently the store didn't ship them because they needed to take it to the post office to check the shipping and then charge my card an extra 12 dollars. Because that takes a whole week to do, you see. *sigh*

On Saturday [ profile] capncosmo and I went into Akihabara. Apparently there is a maid cafe where in the theme is trains and they have electric trains that the customers can drive around. However, she being without a computer and having had nothing to write on, had neither map nor address. It became a rather fruitless search. (We did wind up in an Indian place for lunch - and then that same night I saw it on TV. I thought that was rather hilarious.) The cafe we finally chose half met my expectations and half didn't. The girls were all in maid costumes, sure, but they were all different dresses and aprons and the like. A couple weren't even in actual black maid dresses. But we were made to perform the 'becoming delicious magic spells' over our drinks and it was awesome. (Sitting next to us were two guys speaking English loudly and in thick accents. It was very distracting to the conversation.) So now I can say that I have been to a maid cafe, like every good tourist should.

Sunday I cleaned my apartment.

This week is looking to be yet another one of Those Weeks. I don't have a schedule, but it's looking like I don't have the first years today. Tuesday and Wednesday are both the special schedules, where the classes are short and the kids head out early. Not sure about Thursday or Friday yet. And then with the coming weekend, I have 5 days off. (Apparently it's called Silver Week among the business owners.) Not sure what I'm going to do with that aside from dragging [ profile] capncosmo out to Tokyo Disneyland with me. They've started up a Halloween masquerade in Tokyo Disney Sea, and I really want to see it. It's as close as I'm getting to Halloween this year, and I won't even get to dress up for it. T^T


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May 2010

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