two steps forward, one step back

I got the bodice assembled and tried it on. The front looks nice with the CF gathered panel but I haaated the poofy gathered back...so I took it off and ripped it apart. I re-cut a fitted back (thank god I have 10 yards of this fabric) and RE assembled. It really helped having a zoom with sewing friends to actually KEEP me in the sewing room working. After dinner I made piping and pinned that all around the neckline and bodice hem and a strip of bias up the CF on the side I'm not finishing by folding over. I also painstakingly re-threaded all 14 rows of hand gathering now that I know how much they need to be gathered and tied them all off so they wouldn't pop and escape on me. My gathering could DEFINITELY be neater but, eh, shoot me.


Here's my basic schedule:

Tuesday (tomorrow) is going to be a ROUGH day as I'll have been working for 12 hours with a break at 11 to go watch Granny's funeral livestream...so I'm not counting on me doing anything productive. I'm going to tell myself I have to baste the sleeves to the lining and that's it.

Wednesday is another work day. My goal is just to sew the piping and the bias down on the bodice.

Thursday: Sleeves, bodice closure, whip down the piping/facing

Friday: Skirt

Saturday morning: anything I forgot/ran out of time for...

dress in a week...

How do I ALWAYS do this to myself. The Poe picnic is in a week and I have....ahem...not much to show for it. I did a second mock up yesterday and was very pleased with my pattern. This morning I transferred it to a final pattern (go me i usually cut off the mock up and don't have a record) and cut out the bodice and sleeves from silk and cotton lining...then I sat and starred at it for a while, took a nap, generally was a waste of oxygen....I'm kinda not sure how I'm going to finish this dress in a week? I mean it's not THAT complicated and I'm not working Monday, Thursday, Friday but still...


So far tonight I have the darts sewn in the lining and the boning channels sewn in them. I marked all the lines for hand gathering. There are 20 total...I should really really start that....

My goal for tomorrow is Finish all the gathering, get the side panels attached to the bodice and the side seams sewn. Someone poke me to be productive....still very annoyed at my own incapability of productivity. 

the facade is cracking

I've been generally doing pretty well with COVID and mental health stuff. First it was just "keep Rob from losing his shit" mode where he didn't leave the house and I did all the shopping and we were all in lock down and the acute phase of quarantine. Then we entered the chronic phase of quarantine where we just kept plodding along. We take trips to the store once or twice a week, I zoom with friends and I really rely on seeing friends at work to feel like I see people...but this weekend my parents got home from a week long vacation with my sister's family (they live much closer) and I couldn't go because i'd have to quarantine for 2 weeks upon returning home. Working with a fragile population just means I have to be careful...and I broke a little. there was a lot of crying. And if I'm honest with myself, I think I've reached my limit for "lack of social"

 I spent three days when I was supposed to be cleaning the house, shooting and editing a youtube video, sewing ANYTHING, canning pickles...you name it ANYTHING, staring at my computer, crying, not showering, watching horrible romantic comedies and laying on the couch in an awkward position till I actually felt nauseated on Sunday night. Oh and did I mention fucking up my sleep schedule? I went to bed after 1am every night this weekend and that means I'll have a really hard time righting the ship to go to work tomorrow...

I did finally this evening after dinner get my butt up to my sewing room. It was significantly cooler up there after two not-horrible days and taped together and cut out of paper the new Virgil's Fine Good's patter I'm a pattern tester for. But then I couldn't find my fabric scissor...it's a good thing I have work tomorrow, it really is the thing helping me stay sane. 

2020 fuck you

Me "Okay I'll do 18th century mitts great!" *Logs onto the computer and looks at Cocovid schedule* SOMEONE IS TEACHING THAT EXACT THING ALREADY I seriously can't catch a break and I QUIT. 

Also I'm both really glad we didn't go to Gettysburg and worried about Dave as he told me he's been having high fevers since 4pm yesterday and I'm legit worried about him :-/ 


STILL have no plan for a video for Sunday.

(no subject)

 I'm supposed to be in Gettysburg filming my super awesome cocovid video right now...we had made it to the KOP service station when I pulled off so Rob could grab a coffee and went to tell Dave our ETA. He's on day 2 of congestion after going camping with his family for a week....fuck....I went through a range of "pretend I didn't see this and don't tell Rob."..."blame it on Rob's germ based OCD"....."you know the right thing to do is not to go because you work with medically fragile kids AND your husband has OCD and you owe it to him to not cause him panic attacks"...2020, you can't even let me have one nice thing. :-( Told Dave we just couldn't swing it and turned around. Consoled myself with Sonic for lunch and were home before we would have made it to Gettysburg. Then we immediately UNPACKED a very full car, that I hat just magically packed 2 hours ago. Pulled curlers out of my hair in the sonic parking lot so I'd look like less of a mad woman. Came home and poked the internet sadly and took a nap.

Now I'm stuck with "what the hell do I do for a Cocovid video?" I could do nothing I suppose, but I'm on the schedule and that seems like shitty of me. Rob's tossed me several hilarious video ideas, but they're more of "Robin's channel" videos and not exactly what I think fits Cocovid as I want it to be instructional?  So far the only ideas I have and sort of like but don't love are 1. turning my most popular blog entry "how to make 18th century mitts" into a video. But does anyone still DO 18th century? 2. I bought that gap blouse planning to do a video on how to make it a little more historically accurate (put in a CB closure, collar stays, either narrow the sleeves or shorten them unsure which. again don't LOVE any of those like I LOVED our photography video...3. I could do a video about my new 1890s wrapper how it isn't a wash dress and what did women wear to do work in the 19th century on a farm, but I'd have to do a lot more research so far all I've figured out is that "wash dress" is much more a "ready to wear" equivalent and not really a "get dirty on the farm chores" idea and I can't find any references pre 1900...*sigh* 

suddenly something to dress FOR

I was musing on Facebook about what would I do a video on if I wanted to join Cocovid and Dave from Victorian Photography studio suggested we take a trip to Gettysburg and do a video about colors and how they translate in collodion photography. "you'll have to get tintypes of all your dresses" GEE TWIST MY ARM. I actually am excited about this, a one on one video when we can easily maintain 6 feet feels like an AMAZING chance to SEE PEOPLE and wear fun clothes. The plan is to bring everything I own from 1860-1890...except I don't own anything from 1890. But remember how last time I did a video I was seriously jonesing for an 1890s wash dress? ...no?...well I was. So my plan WAS to work on one this weekend with fabric I had that was PERFECT. I got the pattern made on saturday and washed the fabric sunday and today discovered that I was in fact losing the game of Fabric chicken. I thought I had 4 yards, was actually closer to 3 after washing. Would you like sleeves and a front panel or side back and back panels? you can't have both...oooookay. plan B it is. Rob offered to go to Joann's with me (I'm assuming because it is near Red Robin and we got take out for dinner) and holy shite guys is their stock low! There was literally ONE passable pattern with enough yardage and even then it was two bolts so I'm going to have to pay attention to cutting. clearly mask making has cleaned them out. But it was actually weirdly nice to get out of the house and shop, there were only 3 or 4 other customers there so it was actually pretty easy to feel safe doing it, and I didn't see a single penis nose! 


Ideally I'd have liked a stripe but...beggars apparently can't be choosers, but I DO think this one has the potential to photograph interestingly. Lots of colors and pastels go funny sometimes.

Here are a few of my main inspirations




I took the folkwear shirtwaist from 1905 and made it floor length, then I took the sleeves from that pattern and the sleeves from a black snail pattern and made a truly bastardized combo...very responsible of me!

Also I put out a new youtube video today, it's nothing amazing project wise but it's worth watching the beginning of for the Ellie montage, trust me Rob had way too much fun.

So I washed the fabric today. Tomorrow after work I will iron it and wednesday after work I'll pin it to the fabric. Then I can cut and start sewing thursday and finish it Friday. Totally doable right?!


I should work on posting

Lets see highlight of the day has been weeding away at the flower beds and pulling out a clump of poison ivy. I am sometimes glad that nurses learn about taking things off carefully. I stripped off gloves, all clothing and shoes. I washed very well with soap and water and then added a layer of hydrocortisone for my psychosomatic itching. I've had one possible poison ivy rash in the past but I'd like to avoid finding out if I'm truly sensitive too it....I mean I'd be surprised if I wasn't as I have stupid sensitive skin that reacts to normal weeds. thus I wear gloves when I weed.

Otherwise things are fine. I'm officially a supervisor at work and the first thing I had to do was report someone for possible abuse. which now all her friends are claiming I made up...because THAT would be SO fun to do to myself. She's been rough around the edges with the kids a lot lately so I'm not sure how no one saw this coming. It's been a fun part of being promoted. *insert eyeroll* My last two shifts I actually had to work the floor due to being short staffed so it still feels much the same

I have a youtube video to edit or a blog post to write about my Edwardian-shirt-waist-in-a-day project. I'm pleased with how it came out but it makes me want to make another one in calico with a nice work skirt and apron and..I dunno shell peas? the whole end of the world has really brought out my Little House dreams of childhood. My sister just got chickens too, but Rob won't eat the eggs owing to his OCD so it seems silly to have chickens. Maybe a goat?

I'm kinda feeling stuck on the youtube editing because...It sounds vain but the person on that footage is not what the person in my head looks like and I find that really...hard? It's not like I wouldn't think it was lovely on a stranger, but all I see is 5 chins and 'what happened to my youth' 'where did all those wrinkles come from?' and in some really really really convoluted way it ties back to our fertility struggles and "well I'm an old lady now, guess this is what my life will always look like"


Lets try [personal profile] brickhousewench 's five happy things
1. Rob is mowing the lawn. with his history of mental health struggles any time he can just do normal chores without it being a struggle for him I celebrate the victory
2. It's a beautiful cool breezy day as I write this on the patio
3. I'm not unemployed which such a huge swathe of humanity is
4. My beautiful niece turned FIVE yesterday which also means I've been a nurse 5 years.
5. It's memorial day and I haven't had to put the AC in yet! yay lower carbon footprint.

I'm celebrating tiny victories

I have always been someone who struggled with motivation. but if I'm honest with myself the downturn started on a certain night in November 2016...it did get a bit better when I started my current job and Rob was working so money wasn't as tight but I still had this deep sadness that such a large part of my country just didn't have my world view. Things that seem so obvious to me: we don't sexually assault women, BLM, wealth inequality...just don't to other people.

And then the pandemic hit and I've been going to work and being super functional there, then coming home and being a giant blob of humanity as my house gets dirtier and dirtier. I don't mean like "clutter" as yes there's clutter but there's just dirt on the floors, cob webs in the corner and I'm pretty sure that clump of dog hair just threatened me to a show down. I've been having consistent nightmares for the last week and a half that someone shows up and sees my house and oh god how mortifying that I am a child who can't pick up after herself. It doesn't help that I live with another child who won't help and a child who also really struggles with motivation.

But I'm trying to say to myself that enough is enough and small progresses must be made. It's hugely overwhelming if I say "today you must clean the whole house" but I'm going to say "tonight the house must be cleaner than when you woke up" (I also struggle with the garden suddenly exploding with weeds and feeling overwhelmed). So today I loaded up the dishwasher and ran it first thing, mind you there are more than one load worth of dishes but we started there. Then I sat for a while and then I got up and folded all the clean laundry in the laundry basket, then the clean laundry in the dryer. I switched the laundry over that I started yesterday and started antoher load. Then I just started to clean up that one corner of the bedroom where all the dirty clothes are piled, and there was a chair for some reason and a suitcase. This suitcase has been moved from house to house always full of "Rob's stuff" and never unpacked. Today we unpacked it. It was packed in 2005 when he left Arizona and moved back to PA. We found condoms that expired in 2006, his high school tighty whiteys, an MP3 player that holds 9 songs (still works too, fun view into his musical tastes), a pile of clothes I threw out, and a camera magazine from 2004 with some truly delightful ads. I felt guilty that I wasnt' finding a fabric recycling for the clothes but...here's the thing I always say I'll start a goodwill pile or a yard sale pile and then they just all merge into a mess on the floor that never goes anywhere. I needed it out.

Anyway we then walked the dog and I weed wacked the paths in the veggie garden. They were just reaching "reasonable people would weed wack this" vs my normal "it's a jungle and over whelms me and TOO LATE" so I was really proud of myself for doing that. (Rob actually finished while I weeded so I felt extra productive). After dinner and a zoom scatagories with my Aunt/Uncle/cousin I was sitting here feeling anxious and antsy so...I got up and hoovered. When I emptied it to start it was full of pine needles....I hadn't vacuumed since taking down the Christmas tree. I am a horrible human. I vacuumed the dining room on my way TOO the bedroom and filled the canister once. Then that corner of our bedroom which suddenly now feels CLEAN. I did around the windows and the cobwebs on the wall and the furry blades of the ceiling fan. and filled the canister again. I don't feel less antsy or anxious but...the bedroom definitely is cleaner than when I woke up so small victories.

it's possible Rob and I are starting to crack

otherwise things are keeping on here. I've neglected housework, and sewing and pretty much all the productivity. I apparently will not meet the apocalypse with a can-do attitude.

I'm supposed to be sewing for our PEI trip but If I'm honest with myself there's no way I can afford to go with Rob unemployed most of the year (even if they managed to go). I'm hoping the whole trip is put off so I'm not the single buzzkill.

My mind IS starting to work on Poe picnic things. I'd like to make a giant ruffled petticoat. period? no. do I want to make 15 petticoats and starch them? also no. so It's a compromise I'm making...I think?

I have a brownish/black silk I bought at Jomar...8? years ago. I'm debating buying a pattern. I do think I'd rather start with something but will it be something good? will the TV patterns betray me like the usually do with ENORMOUS sleeves?

Oh I also became a supervisor at work. but like they haven't told anyone, and I'm still taking a floor assignment as they haven't bothered to staff so that I CAN be a supervisor so....just feels weird. but yay I make more to be a hidden supervisor? my raise kicked in Sunday...

we're still alive

 hmm haven't posted in a while, bad me. Although I have been reading a lot? we're still kicking. In some ways it's not really that different here, Rob's got zero work for the foreseeable future, which isn't THAT abnormal for him if I'm honest. He goes very hot and cold. I've stopped being at my second job due to the fact no one is going to the doctor if they can at all avoid it and they asked me to not come in to save payroll. But I was on the verge of saying "I think my risk of exposure at a doctor's office is too high to risk bringing to my main job kids" anyway so it was a win win. For those who missed it I'm an RN at a facility for medically complex kids, most are on Vents or trachs. So far we've kept Covid away from the kids, but I fear it's only a matter of time till a staff member gets sick and brings it inside. It will be catastrophic when it does. 

The general anxiety of the world is starting to get to both of us, Rob's OCD is in fine form (it's germ based....feel bad for him). My response to stress, anxiety and quarantine is unfortunately NOT one of productivity. It's definitely more of a blanket-over-my-head kind. I've been making videos for my youtube channel as a distraction but not really sewing or cleaning or that much productive. Rob has been good about poking us to go out into the garden and work so at least there's that. Today we found half of the garden path that I thought was 12" of bricks and is actually like 36" wide. 

I felt too unsettled to edit video tonight and Rob is super nicely just doing it. I keep saying it can wait, but I think he's enjoying the creative outlet too. 

The weirdest part of Covid-19 is that I feel a fair amount of survivor guilt that I'm a nurse with vent experience and I'm NOT on the front lines, I'm not saving lives or risking mine. I'm not standing in front of cars of idiots or doing anything to really help. Yes my kids would need a nurse either way and no I shouldn't risk bringing it to them but....I could be doing more.