Sunday, January 3, 2010

Can't Cut It

My intention today was to finish fitting the front of a draped gown I started in a workshop way back in November. Let me say this gown has become the bane of exsistance for a few reasons. The biggest is that the fabric, all five yards of it which believe me is not a whole lot for a period gown, came all the way from Holland. Den Hann and wagenmakers have the most beautiful period correct chintz prints you could ever want. I remember standing with my nose pressed up agianst the glass of the shop on my one and only trip to Amsterdam...left drool makes! I bought it when the Euro was higher than it is now, costing me in the end $140.00 plus. Now I'm not going to complain about that, the fabric is beautiful. But what the price of it caused me to do is to be afraid of it. Yep, afraid of it. I waited close to FOUR years before finally deciding to turn the nicely washed and ironed beautiful bundle into a gown.

So off to Virginia it went with me. What could be better than turning a period correct piece of fabric into a custom made gown? I know how to drape gowns, been doing it for several years now but one really can't drape upon one's own back. So what a better way to turn this into something special than bring it with me?

Well, let's just say things didn't go so well. I don't know what happened between Saturday and Sunday, but by the time I sewed it together and put it on it was at least two sizes too big. So I've been trying to make myself cut at least four inches off the front edge closure in order to make it fit.

The problem is I just can't seem to get my hands to grasp the sissors and cut. The gown went on today with the stays in the correct spot, bum roll on. It was pinned, checked and double checked. And then...nothing. Can't do it.

Oh, I know I can fix it, that no one will know (except you now) and that it will be just fine. But deep down in side that "I told you not to do it" voice is screaming in my head. I can always take in sleeves, re-pleat the skirts and rework trim to the cows come home. But if I mess up the front of the bodice I'm gonna ruin the whole gown, all $140+ class + hotel + gas of it.

I know it will be okay. It always is. I've seen enough Frankensteined 18t century construction to know that whatever I do it it, it's already been done. Now if only I could convince my right hand of that we'd be okay.
And so with the new year begins a new blog. I've decided to take one toe out of the 18th century world I live in and gently place it into the very modern 21st century world everyone else inhabits. That just made me sound like a nut. I must admit I am quite an eclectic person and lead a very eclectic life- with most of it spent in some kind of costume. But there is balance between the 18th century woman who cooks in a hearth and wears stays, has beef tongues in the freezer and is excited to find real Sago, and the modern one who works in retail and is planning new bathrooms for the coming year. This blog then is an attempt for me keep track of all my projects, programs and doings of my 18th century life inside a very modern world. With the memory not being as good as it once was I thought this would show me where I've been and where I'd like to go.

I actually was inspired by my food blog. For one year, beginning on January 1, 2009 right up until midnight yesterday I wrote down everything I cooked for an entire year. Sometimes if we went out to eat I added that too, but for the most part it was my year long venture into finding out what kind of a cook I really am, how much of the past creeps onto our modern table. To be honest I am quite proud of myself. Think about it. Do you remember what you ate last week? or even yesterday? It was sometimes a labor of fortitude and deep introspective thinking. If I let a week go by, which sad to say sometimes happened, I would sit staring at the wall thinking so hard you could hear those proverbial gears turning, trying to remember what we ate. Did we have gravy and macaroni (sauce to all you non-Italians) on Tuesday? And what the heck did I eat on Sunday?! Are there leftovers in the fridge I can go look at in order to jog the noggin? In the end I did it though. I remembered every blessed day. Every fajita, every chicken cutlet. So, what does that have to do with my 18th century life? Just that it has given me the 'atta girl' pat on the back, the knowledge that I can write every day (or at least several times a week) something important to me. It's given me stick-to-itvness. Is that even a word?! Who cares. I love it just the same.

So tomorrow I start in earnest with my projects and plans for this here blog. I am working on a draped gown that has become the bane of my exsistance, mostly due to the 21st century perfectionist wrestling with the 18th century "my fingers are tired" sewer. One of them is about to loose. More to come.....