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In other, non-pancake related news, I have been communing with a Gothic fitted dress all week.

Yes boys and girls, I decided to take the week off since A) I had the leave; B) I got permission; and C) I desperately need new garb, especially for Pennsic.

Of course, I decided to go for the GFD since I had had it fitted a year ago at Mathilde's. And of course, that was more than 20 lbs ago, so refitting the whole damn thing has been an adventure.

I am still not 100% happy with it, but it looks pretty damn good considering that it is my first attempt at a GFD. It has taken a lot of taking in and taking out to the original pattern in order to compensate for the changes of my body due to all my bodybuilding, which has moved everything to different places. And the fact that my girls don't match on account of the fakey one doesn't help one bit.

Plus reading the instructions before putting the gores would have helped as well, but I digress ....

(Instructions? We don't need no stinking instructions! Oh, wait!)

Anyway, I do hope to have this gown ready for Pennsic. I am using the last of the really nice lightweight wool from the old, now defunct online Denver Fabrics. (The site still exists, but it is now owned by Fashion Fabrics Club, which cannot hold a candle to the original DF.) It will be pretty. (Or so I hope.)

Man, I miss Denver Fabrics.

And speaking of fabrics, one of the things that I did this week was to join a girls' road trip to JoMar in Philly, along with simone, greta_k and akgnome. It was all sorts of fun, we had Philly cheese steaks, got visited by the ghost of Jerry Falwell (which triggered the dreaded Falwell Effect), got lost, ended up in New Jersey (see Falwell Effect), got to watch the guys from the Salvation Army do Xmas in July, and scored some really nifty wool at great prices at JoMar. I took some nifty pictures even. We must do this again!

Among the bargains, I got some lovely thisle blue, lightweight wool for psalite, who wanted us to bring her some for a nice houppelande. I, for my part, got some nice red gabbie for a petticoat; an absolutely gorgeous black wool to make a coat for ballistabob; and two pieces of herrigbone wool that I just could not resist when I discovered that they were on sale for $3.00 a yard. I am still not sure what I am going to do with the latter, but I will find out soon enough. But the one who got the best bargains was the Greta. Five and a half yards of yummy wool for a buck a yard. It was definitely her lucky day.

Last but not least, Psalite and I went fireworks hunting last Saturday. It's just not the 4th of July without fireworks. We had also taken the class on how to shoot them, so there we went, camera and tripod in hand, to conquer the bloody things.

Of course, it would have helped if I had read the manual to my Nikon D-90 and learned how to program it so I could set it correctly. (Manuals? We don't need no stinking manuals! Oh, wait!)

Note to self: A Nikon does not work like a Canon and the buttons and settings are placed in different places and do different things.


We also discovered that having a flashlight when shooting at night is a very good idea. It would have been great if we actually had one, since we could not see the settings in the camera. (Guess what is residing in my bag now?)

At any rate, I did take some nice pictures, but not as nice as they would have been if I had read the actual manual and done the right thing. Here are some of the pics.

We are going back this Saturday for the revenge. The city of Alexandria is celebrating its anniversary, and there will be a fireworks show.

This time, I am pre-setting my camera, dammit!

Because this time, it's personal!

Be afraid. Be very afraid ...


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 10th, 2009 04:53 pm (UTC)
Yay! I can't wait to see the dress!

If you flat line it and leave the inside seams reachable, you can continue to tweak it at and after Pennsic if it doesn't turn out exactly the way you expect.

You said instructions - are you using the ones I posted? *excitement* I SO need to refine those. If you are, let me know if you have difficulties anywhere.
Jul. 10th, 2009 05:14 pm (UTC)
Yes! I am using the ones you posted. They are very good actually! It answered some of the questions I had, and I only regret that I didn't see them before. I had not visited your page in a while, and then I saw them. Very nice!

I didn't flat line it, I bag lined it, but the seams are reachable and I have been taking in and out. It was worked very well for taking in and out of the torso, but the girls are still giving me conniptions. One remained exactly the same size, while the other shrank along with the body when I lost the 30 lbs. Oh, the perils of fakey boobs!

On the other hand, the problem may disappear at the end of the year when I get surgery to even them out (insurance pays since it's cancer related), but right now it still has a little bit of bunching in the front of the dress, and I haven't been able to get rid of by taking in the sides. Sigh.
Jul. 10th, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC)
Have you put the eyelets in yet?
Jul. 10th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
Sadly, I have. I was thinking of perhaps cutting it off and making the curve less accentuated. That might help. I have since tried it on with a chemise underneath, and it helps. Minimal bunching, although it's still a bit off center. The latter may not be so easy to fix due to the unevenness of the girls. I don't mind making new eyelets, but I am not sure if it's too late to cut them off and if it would just make it worse at this point.
Jul. 10th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't cut anything off at this point, yet. It might still be fixable by making changes in the side seams. Are your sleeves attached yet? That doesn't preclude changes, but no sleeves might make things a bit easier.

I think that smeip might be coming down on Sunday to sew with me. Lemme double check with Jeff, too. But if we were here, would you want to come down and have me take a look at it? (Sunday will be a day of only minimally helping people, but I can manage that)
Jul. 10th, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
I haven't attached the sleeves yet. I wanted to fix the gown as much as I could before doing that. Sunday, I am expecting Greta for fitting her on a banded stola, but that goes relatively fast. If you would be around, I would try to make it to your place.

If that doesn't work, I can always whip out a hood and throw it on top. That would look nice, and would definitely cover the problem until I can fix it (or until I get surgically even boobs.)

Thanks for the help!
Jul. 10th, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC)
Ok, I'll double check and let you know!

The latter solution is good too. While we can probably easily fix it again afterwards, it might be good to not cut off too much.
Jul. 10th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
The latter solution is good too. While we can probably easily fix it again afterwards, it might be good to not cut off too much.

That's what I thought. Given the panic and shortage of time, it might be the most practical solution for the time being.
Jul. 10th, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
Instructions? Linky, please!

I got a lovely camel-colored wool GFD from azpapillion at Holiday Faire last year since we're built similarly, altered appropriately, and have pulled a first draft of a pattern off of it. It's definitely going to need tweaking, though. Tips and tricks are most welcome!
Jul. 10th, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
Sure! It's Mistress Mathilde's Webpage. Here's the link. It's an awesome site and her instructions are terrific. Can't wait to see yours!
Jul. 10th, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, I miss jo-mar. My wallet and my closet lack-of-space don't, though... (and your & Greta's posts about your outing remind me I still haven't gotten around to taking good pictures of the frock coat I wore all winter, made using an old jo-mar length of wool I got when I still lived in the philly area.)

I hear you on the GFD pattern problem, though. I have a pattern from about three different revisions of size/muscle mass ago, and the time I was supposed to exchange fitting help with someone else, I ended up getting her to do my wedding dress pattern instead. Hope you get yours worked out! :)
Jul. 10th, 2009 05:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I have high hopes for it! :-D
Jul. 10th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
And 10 yards of light-weight green wool for $3.00/yd!

Ahh - the wool . . . . :-)
Jul. 10th, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)
You really made a killing. :-)
Jul. 10th, 2009 05:47 pm (UTC)
Drea found this out - the "real" Denver Fabrics store still exists in Denver. I'm hoping one of these days work will send me out to Denver... :)
Jul. 10th, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes. The real DF does exist, and it is fabulous. However, they sold their online business to FFC, and that was the end for the rest of us. Sigh.

A pilgrimage to Denver is definitely worth it.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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