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2017-09-23 09:57 am

Re-making clothes

Lots of re-making has been going on this week: three skirts and one top.

The top I made as late as April, my first jersey top. But by now it was way too big; I wore it to work yesterday and it just wouldn't look good (it didn't help that the dark blue pencil skirt that I made in spring and has since then taken in is a little loose at the waist. That one looks good enough as it is though, I won't take it in again. All this unpicking of waistbands, zippers, and sometimes pockets is very time consuming.

This was one was made already in January 2007 and much worn, probably the skirt I've made that has seen most use. I took it in on Tuesday and I'm happy to be able to use it again:

omsydd vinröd kjol 190923



Yesterday I actullay managed to take in two skirts (though I did the unpicking and cutting away of excess fabric on the one to the left on Thursday evening:

rutig kjol omsydd omsydd grönrutig kjol 190923


The pink top was also re-made yesterday. It puckers slightly at the armscyes, probably because I use my regular machine, since I don't have an overlock, and because I haven't done much sewing in knits.

I have this big IKEA plastic tub standing by the couch filled with clothes that need to be re-made, and I am very pleased that now you can actually see that it's getting less full.
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2017-09-21 09:41 am
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Official weigh-in 170921

 Since I'm part of a research project on weight loss and psoriatic arthritis I get to see a dietitian every month or so (don't remember the exact space between the appointments) where you get weighed on the hospital's more exact scales. My own scales show lower figures, so the official weigh-ins feel important to me, as a kind of confirmation that it's working, that I'm not gaining weight again.

Today's weight was 59,3 kgs (130.7 lb), which is 700 grams (a bit more than a pound) less than last weigh-in. That is still just a small variation, but the important thing is that I don't gain weight again. And that seems to be working, despite the fact that a busy work schedule gives less time for long walks, and a tendency to snack.

This means that I have now officially lost 39,2 kilos (86.4 pounds)  since Christmas, and I've kept my new weight, and even lost a little, since I got back on normal food again full time in the beginning of June.
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2017-09-19 09:43 pm
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Instead of text

A bunch of photos:

Today's outfit: A 2nd hand linen blouse, trousers from Heyday inherited from Anna's sister. They were given to Valeria when Sara (the sister) grew out of them, but I nicked them today (with Valeria's consent), a ten year old cardigan that I think was from H&M. The checked jacket I made this spring, the cap is knitted by me some years ago.

outfit170919_6 outfit170919_2

The cardigan is now way too big, so I have to tied it in front if I want to use it.
Since I have short legs the trousers are too long, but they fit Valeria as they are so I won't shorten them.

My latest article arrived in the mail yesterday. There's some very interesting other articles in this, the 2nd issue of 2017, of Costume too.
min artikel_2min artikel_1



And I got the best idea for the first slide on a power point presentation for my lecture of fashion, body and gender through history:
Mode, k�n och kropp

 
Other updates: Berlin was nice, though I didn't get to see much of the actual city since I arrived late on Wednesday, spent two days indoors at the Kunstgewerbemuseum, from 10  am to 6 pm and caught the train back 7 am on Saturday. Being environmentally responsible means 12-13 hours of traveling instead of 1,5. But apart from sleeping too little the nights before traveling, and worrying about delays, since I had to change three times on the way,  I actually enjoyed the train trip.
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2017-09-13 05:37 am

Soon off to Berlin

 My train leaves at 06.55 and I will arrive in Berlin at 18.19. If everything goes well, I have to change trains twice and I don't have that much time at the changes , so I am a little nervous.

Right now I feel like I ought to have taken a plane, since 12 hours on a train today, and again on Saturday, won't be good for my health, but I thought it a good and environmentally friendly idea, and I have to live with that decision. And of course it is much better than flying.

I'm not very good at posting from my phone, so I will probably not write anything before Sunday.
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2017-09-12 07:37 am
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And now I really wish that I did Star Wars cosplay

On the 30th the nazis are marching in Gothenburg. They're counting on being a couple of thousands and there are several protests against them scheduled. And one of them works with humour and plan a "Star Wars LARP" where they will walk before them, blasting the imperial march, wearing rebel outfits.

And ever since somebody who saw a photo of us together said that Rickard and I should do Rey and Luke cosplay I've sort of wanted to do it. But I don't have money for fabric and I don't have time for it, since I'm totally broke, will be away from home from tomorrow until Saturday night and then will work an insane schedule the following two weeks.

But I would have loved to. But we'll join some of the other protests against the nazis instead.

The photo:
20170818_134228


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2017-09-11 06:09 pm

Another skirt taken in

And we're talking 25 centimetres (ten inches) here!

It looks very nice, though when I tried it on I noticed that the zipper buckles because the fabric has stretched on the bias where it's sewn in. So when I get home from the football (soccer) game I'm watching tonight I'm going to unpick the zipper. It's sewn in by hand so it will take a while, but I'm sure it's worth it.
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2017-09-11 01:44 pm

Making an effort to dress nice

Though this may be against people's preconceptions i find that it's harder to bother to dress nicely when I'm thin. Because you know that you look cute (for a 50-year-old) in a jeans and a top too, so you don't have to make so much of an effort as when you're overweight.

It doesn't help that most of my nice skirts and tops are now way too big, so it is more complicated than before. But I'm working on it, and I will try and get some more nice knit v-neck tops when I get my next salary. I had five or six of them in different colours, that I had inherited from Anna, and they were a wardrobe staple - paired with a nice wool skirt I looked well dressed and professional.

A big problem is also that current fashions are for oversize and weird asymmetrical tops, not for classic fine knit cotton sweaters following the shape of the body.

Right now i have very few tops and no money, but I'm doing what I can with what I have and I'm re-sewing skirts as fast as I can/have the energy to.
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2017-09-10 10:31 pm

A very good Sunday

 At 9.30 Anna came over to pick up her son who had spent the night here and have a cup or two of tea. I did some sewing on my white late 18th-early 19th century muslin gown and she crocheted. She had been to the local burlesque party and had had a great time, which made me very happy. She didn't feel at all like going out yesterday and I was afraid that she wouldn't like it, but she did. I like that she's trying new things - she divorced her husband a couple of years ago (or rather, he found another) and since they had been together since they were 15 she has needed a lot of time just to figure out who she is without him. Ironically, he is the one who's depressed and she's pretty happy with her life. However, her social life has very much been me and her sister and a few other people interested in textile crafts and she feels that she needs to get out more. 
So she went to Tip te Velvet with another of my friends, Alfhild and they both had a ball.

We had a good nigth at home too, Alex (her son) got to see Star Wars 5, and hang with Maja, who he admires a lot since she's big (13, he's 8).

But back to today - at 11 am Rickard and I went down to the storage in the basement and brought up my winter clothes - it is no so cold that I can't wear summer dresses anymore, and I need  a little heavier jackets and thicker coats. And that's about all that I had in there that fit: five coats, and three wool suit jackets. 

Rickard was going to play X-wing away from home so we  all took a walk downtown, Maja and Valeria too, to get new shoes for Maja for PE and to catch pokémon. Valeria got her first Entei. Rickard then caught the tram to where they are playing and the rest of us went home.

I unpacked the winter clothes, finding only coats and wool suit jackets that actually fit me, and quite a few skirts that needs to be taken in. I have a plastic tub from IKEA standing in the living room with clothes that need to be re-made into a smaller size. When packing away my summer clothes I went through that one too and exchange summer re-make projects that I hadn't had the time/energy to do, and exchanged them for winter re-making projects.

And I actually took in two skirts too! One of them, a teal wool skirt, was made in 2012 and very soon got to small fro me then, the other one was made this spring and already needed to be taken in.

I worked on them while watching american football - And Ravens won! First time they beat Bengals on their home turf since 2012. And now I have two more skirts to wear, bringing the sum up to 4 in all.


I also tried a new for me Indian recipe today: lentils with spinach and it was really good.

So - a very good Sunday in all.

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2017-09-08 11:56 am
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A seriously busy week

 Monday : Giving two lectures , one 10-12 (What is textile history) and one 15-17 (Ancient Greece)
Tuesday one lecture, pagan pub moot in the evening and I was responsible for the booking so I had to go.
Wednesday: One lecture (Ancient Rome), full moon celebration in my home in the evening. Which meant vacuuming and mopping the floors in the kitchen where we celebrate when we're at my place.
Thursday: No lectures, preparations for later lectures, excursions etc and I tried to write an abstract. Sewing meeting at my place 16-20.30. I managed to take apart my wedding dress, which is in Italian 15th century style and needs to be taken in if I'm going to wear it. I also made a modern stretch top before the meeting.
Today: Laundry. At 1 pm my friend Terese defends her PhD, then her PhD party.
Saturday: Talk over the phone with my friend Sara (yes, these things have ot be scheduled), hopefully a walk with hubby and then I'm babysitting Anna's son over the night.
Sunday: Hopefully some sewing.

Fun, but a bit exhausting.

Next week I have only one lecture, and then on Wednesday I'm going to Berlin for the Dressing the Early Modern conference.
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2017-09-02 09:57 pm
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The empire picnic

 Anna had to sew all the night before (she stopped at 5 am, slept three hours and continued sewing), but her dress got finished except for trimming. I made small chicken pies and bought fruit and almond biscuits for uss, which was very nice to eat on the lawn outside the beautiful 1796 summer house of Gunnebo.

I've put lots of photos over at my costuming blog, including a photo of me not wearing anything ;) After the picnic Anna and I walked through a lake and had a swim before going home.

I won't clog up this post with lots of photos, since you can find them here, but here's two. 



 



Tomorrow I will re-make another modern skirt, so that I have something to wear to work now that term has started again.

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2017-09-01 07:34 am
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I made another hat

It needs ties and trimming, but otherwise it's pretty nice and will work well with my velvet spencer I think. It's from raspberry pink silk shantung. I had hoped that there would be enough velvet for a hat, but there was only small scraps left when I had finsihed the new collar.

rosa regencyhatt


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2017-08-31 08:09 am
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Regency update

 I finished the velvet spencer on Tuesday, but I was not happy with how the collar looked. I had scooped out the neck too much in the back. So yesterday I ripped off the collar and started on a new version. It won't solve the whole issue, but hopefully it will look better.  It is now past 8 am, so I think that I can safely start sewing it. And then work, of course, but since I only work part time I can arrive rather late at work.

Anna has finished her transitional stays and they look amazing on her, and yesterday we worked on a toile for the bodice of her gown, which means that she will be finished with her outfit for the picnic on Saturday. I will make the picnic food for both of us, so that she can sew the whole Saturday morning too.
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2017-08-29 07:42 am
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How I hate velvet

 Well, actually I love velvet, but not sewing it, my entire kitchen is covered with raspberry pink lint.

Apart from making lint I am going to make a spencer for Saturday's picnic. Just to ensure that the weather stays nice and warm. 

I really want to start on it now, but since I'm using the sewing machine for htis and live in a flat I think I ought to wait until after 8 am.
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2017-08-28 07:43 am
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No surprises there

 Well, it appears that this is by far my most popular post on my costuming blog - can't see why ;) 



In other news I started on a spencer from velvet remnants yesterday. I was disappointed to find that there wasn't enough for long sleeves, but accepted this as you must accept what can't be changed.
The I found some more scraps of the same velvet and now I have to decide whether I should piece the sleeves at elbow length to make them full length or not.

That decision will probably be postponed to this evening though, since I have my first lecture this semester today and has stuff to do at work before that. Yesterday I suffered from quite a lot of anxiety about this, but now I feel much better, despite the fact that the department just moved and I don't exactly know where I am to teach.

Oh, and Anna loved her blue silk bonnet.


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2017-08-26 11:35 am
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It is good to know that the levels of insanity are constant

Yeah, you all know me: I have a tendency to get very enthusiastic about new things, so what I did yesterday is not so strange: I started on a pair of late 18th century transitional stays.

Anna has chosen the very late 18th century as her period for our upcoming regency picnic which of course fueled my enthusiasm. Since I had already bought white thin cotton to make a round gown to be worn either separately or with an open gown, the idea was there already. It was mainly the timing that was affected, since I had thought about making this later in the autumn.

Well, that was not to be: having run out of hand sewing projects that I could work on in the evenings - the embroidered smock I am making for  Valeria requires good lighting and eyes that are not tired - I needed another project. I started with the skirt for the round gown, which will have two rows of very pretty coral pink silk tabby ribbon around the hem. I could not, however start on the bodice before I had decided whether to wear it with my slightly later regency stays, or make a new, late 18th century pair.

And yesterday I decided to go for it. I dug out some strong linen for the stays, my just a little bit too large effigy stays to have some idea of size, and an extremly sturdy polycotton twill that I use for mock-ups for stays.

I also looked around on the internet and found several useful blog posts to help me figure out what I wanted to do.

These were the ones I looked at the most, two of my old friends here in the costuming world, and a new for me blog.

Festive Attyre

Katherine's dress site

Rococo Atelier

Most of these mentioned the book Corsets by Jill Salen, and I have ordered it on ILL, but of course I couldn't wait for that to arrive. So by studying the pictures on Rococo Atelier, which showed both her version with cups, and the original pattern with a gusset I came up with a pattern that I tried with enough success to go on to cutting the linen.

I got as far as making all the lacing holes on one front piece yesterday, and the rest this morning, and I have now also sewn all the boning channels on machine. Yesterday I was sorely tempted to make it all by hand, but sense prevailed, I have lots of real life work and many other projects to work on.

Since I don't have any white bias tape at home, and I'm not that interested in making some I am going to take a walk downtown and get it, as well as catch some pokemon.






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2017-08-24 02:31 pm
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Anna's jockey cap

It's finished.

annas hatt


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2017-08-22 10:53 pm
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Sneaky sempstress

 Yesterday I came up with and idea for Anna's birthday present - she doesn't expect one, but she's one of my best friends so of course she should get one. Since she earns about double as much as I do buying stuff seemed pointless, so I decided to make her a bonnet for the Regency picnic. Then she won't have to worry about that.
Her dress is c. 1800 and will be made from yellow silk with blue ribbons to trim it, so I dug through my plastic tub with silk, and found some scraps from a lovely blue habotai that is now, with the help of some linen and fusible interlining (for the brim) a soon finished very pretty bonnet. All it needs is ties, and I will make those tomorrow.
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2017-08-21 08:10 am
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Not thinking is a bad idea when sewing

I started working on taking in two of my many too large skirts on Saturday night. Unfortunately I was rather tired and stupid, so while I removed the right amount in the side of one skirt, I removed the same amount on both sides of the other one!
I can close it, but it's not comfortable, so I will have to add small gussets at the sides. Very irritating. But at least I know that I am the kind of person who will actually do it, and soon (probably this afternoon), not just put the skirt away.

The semester starts in a week and I need to have some more professional looking clothes to wear.

In other news I've re-made my net and lace regency cap cap, made a triangular fichu from spotted net with a lace edge, started the embroidery on Valeria's new 16th century smock and also sewn the skirt of a white muslin 1790s round gown.

Add to this that I have had family over to celebrate the twins' birthday, been to a football game, and to a manifestation for Afghan refugees - I think we can without doubt say that my weekend has been productive.

Now I just have to be productive at work too. Today the plan is to finish my presentation for the Dressing the Early Modern Network conference in Berlin on the 15th of September, and to unpack books at my new work place. Tomorrow I will have to start on a new class on written sources to dress history that I'm giving on the 5th of September.
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2017-08-17 11:30 pm
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Hats!

Apparently hats was the theme of the day. First I made a sort of bonnet with a fabric crown.

lila bahytt_sida


Another photo )Then I lined my straw bonnet.

bahytt med gröna band, fodrad

Takign selfies while trying to show off the bonnet is NOT easy.


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2017-08-16 12:09 pm
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Photos of the teal Regency gown

Today, instead of working I got dressed and took Rickard with me out on the lawn outside our house to takesome photos of my new regency outfit. This is my first attempt at rag curls, and except for curling too much hair I am reasonably satisfied. The lace cap was finished at breakfast this morning.

regency petrol fully dressed_front4

I will make a proper page for it over on my costuming blog, but not now, sicne I am - after all - supposed to be working :) Tonight maybe, though I'm going to spend most of the eveningover at Anna's plae, encouraging her to work on her transitional stays, and making a chemisette.