Archive for September, 2009


Lots of happenings this weekend, but as none of them are really finalised, I can’t go into detail. All I’ll say is that there are three super-awesome things potentially going on and if just one of them happens, it’ll be amazing.


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Aflutter Over A Book

I’m all aflutter at the release of what looks to be a rather exciting debut novel from the witty and most learned Gail Carriger:


Who could possibly resist a novel whose byline is “A novel of vampires, werewolves, and parasols”?  Really?

Do go and check out her blog for Interesting Reading and a very fun Victorian paper doll of her protagonist, Alexia Tarabotti!  The book comes out on 1 October and I think I’ll be breaking my current ban on buying books and sending this one straight to the top of my pile.  And, dear reader, I think you should follow suit.

Soulless promises to be a steam-punk, historical urban fantasy with romance and lush gowns.  I, for one, am in.

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It’s Saturday, which means it’s shoe-day!  And do I have a very dainty, pretty pair for you today:

Embroidered shoes

They are silk brocade from around 1775 and “probably” from France.  The shape is lovely – a gentle little point on the toe, emphasised by the flowers, and a rather practical sized heel.  I adore the detail on the sides – as if little plants are growing up the side of the shoe.

These really are prettiness incarnate!

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A Craving for Words

Isn’t it always the way – when I finally feel that I want to get back to writing A Thief & A Gentlewoman, I’m so busy that I don’t have time (or headspace) to!  It’s going to be pretty hectic here for the next few days as The Boy is moving out of his place over the weekend, so we’ve got leaving drinks with our friends and packing and moving boxes to do.  But I really want to write!

Hopefully I’ll still have that drive when Monday comes…  I think reading it all though from start to finish will get me in the mood, as it were.

In the meantime, here’s a very important and interesting article about your main character: Rachelle Gardner – Is Your MC Proactive or Reactive?

The first chapter of T&Gw has changed a great deal so far and when it came to editing for my Masters handin, I realised that my main character, Quin, spent the whole of the first scene just watching and thinking – she was horribly passive.  A pass main character is not appealing.  Neither is one who just reacts to everything around them, wafting about with the storm.  Even if the main events of the novel/script/etc are beyond the main character’s control, there will still be things in their life that they are trying to achieve, whether it’s finding a better job or getting a date with that hot guy at the bar.  And, of course, those goals might initially seem unrelated to the main plot, but the best subplots end up interweaving with those central events. 

But stop reading my rambling and go read Rachelle’s article!

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Quick Update

Well, I handed my notice in at work today – it’s official, I’m leaving!  It’s both scary and exciting, but I think mostly exciting (at least that’s what I’m telling myself!). 

I have also realised that when I actually do move, I might not have the internet for a while (ye gods, whatever will I do?!), so I’m planning to cut down my posting on here a little from every day to a 3-4 times a week, say, so that I can schedule some posts for while I’m internet-less.  That way I can update with current happenings and sewings when I’m able to get online at cafes and friends’ houses, etc.

Also, perhaps a lack of internet will get me writing and sewing more!  Perhaps…

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More progress on the Halloween costume last night – the front half of the bodice is together and the darts are in the back.  So I thought I’d pin the front and back together and try it on:

Bodice Fitting

D’oh.  It’s sitting really strangely over the bust, but I have pinned it in slightly and will be altering that today, and I’m hoping that it’s sitting strangely because the whole bodice is sitting quite high at the moment.  I think this will be fixed when the skirt of the dress is attached as that will weigh it down somewhat.  I also think it’s sitting high because it’s a bit small at the waist at the moment, but I’m hoping to sort this by letting the darts at the back out a bit and by decreasing the seam allowance at the sides and back when I come to sew that.

I kinda thought it might all come out too small as although the toile was perfect with a nice amount of ease, I noticed when I put those pieces against the cut out dress pieces that the dress pieces had come out a bit smaller and more uneven.  Yep, bugger.  This fabric isn’t stretchy as such, but it does pull out of shape diagonally, which made it a pain to cut – even trying to draw on it would make the fabric stretch out so you couldn’t even draw a straight line.  Maybe there is some trick for this that I don’t know about because I’m a newb!

On the plus side, I’m sure that it’s down to that type of fabric and not me being rubbish at cutting patterns, as I didn’t have any such problems when I was cutting the lawn.  I think I might get one of those rotary cutters to use in future as just the scissors lifting and pulling at the fabric to cut it was pulling it out of shape and the cutter would remove that part of the problem.  Plus, I could get a scalloped blade for it and I am on a hunt for scallops.  (And this looks like the best I can do since I don’t seem to be able to get hold of the Fiskar’s scalloped-edge fabric shears.  Sigh!)

And another plus – I’m quite pleased with the bows.  I originally cut them a lot longer, but with the three above each other, it was too much and they all drowned each other with massive bows and long ‘tails’ trailing off them, so I made them several inches shorter and tied smaller bows with shorter ‘tails’, which means you can actually see the bows better.  I know I wouldn’t have been happy with bows stuck on the front as the pattern shows, so I’m really glad I’ve done them this way.  It did make sewing that seam more fiddly, so bear that in mind if you plan on doing something similar.

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The Saturday Shoe

It’s that time of the week again, my dears, and today we’re looking at the first half of the century with these 1735 bad boys:

1735_shoes_brocaded_silk_uppers_spitalfields_silk_VA - Texas Edu

I love how vivid the colours still are and the pattern to me feels rather unique, eccentric even.  They’re silk brocade from Spitalfields, which is an area of London close to Petticoat Lane that was well-known for its fabric production during the period.  Nowadays, it’s also home to a rather wonderful indoor market selling vintage clothes and homewares, as well as the wares of local designers and fashion students looking to break out.  I haven’t been for a while as it’s far too much temptation on the old wallet… I think I feel a trip to London coming on!

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