I’m Back from Blogging Hiatus!
Not that anyone is reading this at this point.
I have not touched this blog in a long time, but I think I am ready to get back to regular blogging. There was no one specific reason why I stopped, but my free time was spent elsewhere and I was focusing on other things. Our elderly cat was nearing the end of his life, and taking outfit photos seemed like a rather useless activity while we were trying to make this last few months of life with us comfortable. He was 17 and was diagnosed with GI lymphoma in May; he started to slowly deteriorate during the fall and his lymphoma finally spread in early February; we put him to sleep on February 16 and things have been sort of difficult since. He was actually my husband’s cat (we each had one of our own when we met). The husband adopted him as a kitten during his first year of living here in the States back in 1995, so he is not taking this loss lightly. He basically had the cat for his entire life spent here, and that makes up most of his adult life. As he keeps telling me – “the cat lived more years with me than anyone else except my mother”. But despite only spending the last 4.5 years with him, I was very attached and had not dealt with the loss of a pet in quite some time. So it’s been hard.
Some new developments – my sciatica has been bothering me off and on, so I stopped wearing heels. I am back to wearing Dansko/Sanita clogs to work every day, which makes my back, hip, and feet feel better but which makes for fairly boring outfits. I used to plan outfits around a pair of shoes. Now, well, not so much. I did splurge on 3 new pairs of Sanita clogs around xmas time, because I figured if I was going to only wear clogs, I might as well have some fun clogs.
I’ve been sewing steadily, and have added 3 new dresses to my closet, but have yet to photograph any of them. And for the first time, I started planning an actual seasonal wardrobe, complete with a plan of which patterns to make with which fabric. I decided to focus on a few colorways for spring 2012 – greens/blues are everywhere, so that takes up two dresses in my current lineup (with potential for one more). Then there is pink/orange, and I have some patterns and fabric lined up to cover those. Finally, I’ve got a hankering for some stuff in yellow and black, and I have fabric, but am still decided on patterns.
In terms of patterns, I am going primarily in a vintage 60s direction (like that is different from any other direction I have ever gone in). I finally (FINALLY!) started watching Mad Men, and I truly love the show. But quite honestly, I love the characters, the acting, the writing, the cinematography, and the overall production quality of the show more than I love the clothes. Oh sure – I do love the clothes, but I find the show’s treatment of certain components of life in mid century America fascinating. My mom graduated from high school in 1962 and was married by the end of the year. My brother was born on November 30, 1963. I just finished season 3 of Mad Men and I had never really given much thought to the Kennedy assassination – what it was like, the impact on average Americans. Anyway, when they mentioned the date, I realized that my mom was 19 years old and in the last week of her first pregnancy when Kennedy was shot. I asked her what it was like, and she said she spent the entire week watching TV. As she put it “well, he was shot on a Friday, then Oswald was shot on live TV on the Sunday, and the funeral was on Monday, then I was in the hospital on Friday to have your brother.”
I feel like I should ask my mom more about life in the 50s and 60s. I know that because she was married with a young child, she basically missed Beatlemania and the whole Mod movement. I never really paid much attention to old photos of when my brother and sister (born in ’67) were young. I have had conversations with my mom about certain sewing patterns, and how I currently own several that she made over 35 years ago.
Which leads me to my latest project – the dress has a definite Mad Men style, as the pattern is from 1963, but the print is more Mod than classic early Kennedy era 1960s. I don’t have any dress pics yet as it is only halfway done, but here’s the pattern and the chosen fabric.
The dress pattern is a size 8 junior petite – 31.5″ bust, 22″ waist, 32″ hips, specially sized for petites 5’1″ and under. This meant that I did not have to make any major modifications to the pattern. Normally I have to take a significant amount of width out of a pattern, even with the smallest available size. I also have to slim the hips quite a bit. With this pattern, I had to add in some width at the waist since I do not have a 22″ waist. I also am using a 1/4″ seam allowance on the bodice because the original pattern fit with no ease, and since I don’t wear the type of undergarments worn by women in the 1960s, I needed something with a little more breathing room. Then of course there is the issue of my ginormous rib cage, which only makes fitting patterns more difficult since I am wider at the rib cage than I am at the bust.
The bodice is currently sewn together with lining and facing. Tomorrow I will tackle the skirt, and with any luck this will be done and ready to photograph.