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My closet

My closet is finished! It actually wound up being a pretty quick project. On Monday, I installed the left side shelf/rod/brackets, which took me a little over an hour, and seemed somewhat difficult. Yesterday, I turned the shelf unit around, and oddly enough, the wood was much nicer on the back side, and it fit against the wall better that way. I realized if I anchored it back to the wall, it would still be quite functional and probably pretty sturdy, since it had previously held quite a bit of weight. So that's what I did - it has two screws anchoring it to what was the back workbench support beam, which I left up on the wall. I also added the shelf/rod/brackets to the right wall, which took me under an hour, even including a 20+ minute break to allow my drill to get a tiny bit more juice (it died when I put the shelving unit screws in). I'm hoping it was the lack of a full charge that was the reason why two of the screws were not going all the way in. I'm going to go back and try those this afternoon - they just kind of got to a certain point and stopped...



I ordered some more garment bags on Amazon prime, and they should be arriving by tonight, so I think I can even move a bit more in to the closet, though I have a feeling I'll wind up needing to get even more bags. I'm probably going to leave most of the silk and possibly the wool things inside, and put everything else out in the outside closet. Also, anything that is too long for a 72" garment bag will have to stay inside, too. I can't wait to have more room in my coat and bedroom closets, and be able to get the garage a bit more organized. 

My next project will be a quick jaunt back to sewing - I have to get estimates done for two commissions, plus I'm making my mom's birthday present (which is a tool roll-up for her glass tools). And then I'm back to house stuff, painting the 5 lower cabinet doors for my kitchen, installing a new shelf/towel bar in the bathroom, and (hopefully) figuring out my leaky faucet. That one still seems really daunting! 

House Projects

I got some done on my house projects this weekend. Namely, my friend's husband came over on Saturday with a chain saw and helped hack up the trunk/base branches of the giant shrub on the side of my house, so that is now gone! Or rather, it is a stump, and about 4 branches that didn't fit in my yard waste bin this week. The branches will go in next week, and I will either live with the stump, or eventually decide to dig it out. But this means I can get to my gutters! So that will be one of the next things on my list, when it stops raining. I have to clean the gutters on that side, mow both lawns, and shape the rest of my hedges. And I found 4-5 gutter guards left over from when I did the back of the house, so I can go ahead and put those up while I'm at it. 

In the meantime, while it's raining, I have my indoor projects! The closet has definitely climbed to the top of the list. Unfortunately, I had to return some of the things I bought from Lowes, because it turns out that not only can they not cut closet rods, they can't even cut closet shelves! When I called Home Depot, they said they could, so I am going to stop there after work today, buy two shelves and get them cut, and probably buy rods from them, too, if they can cut them. Otherwise, I guess I have to go with the extendable metal rods. I also have to get screws so I can put the brackets up. 

On Saturday, I managed to get the workbench out. For one thing, I did find another spider behind something that had been leaning up against the wall under the bench. Luckily, this spider was stupid, and when I started spraying him with poison, he came out from underneath the workbench (on the floor), and I stepped on him. He was the only other one I found, though. Taking the workbench out was really hard. They really had nailed/screwed that thing in there, stripping the heads of all the screws in the process. I was able to get all the screws out, though I had to do it by hand, and wore down my phillips head in the process (the drill couldn't handle how stuck they were). I got enough of the nails out that I was basically able to lift the plywood tops of the bench up, and bend a lot of the nails out. It was really tough. And now I have even more plywood that I don't know how to dispose of, this time with nails sticking out of it...

The shelf unit that had been "built in" to the workshop was actually only screwed in to the wall with one screw, and it is super flimsy when it's not leaning on the wall on one side. So I'm going to put that out at the street and hope that someone takes it, so that I don't have to dismantle it. I might get a cubby or shelf unit eventually, but I have a plastic drawer set that I will put in there for now. I'm just excited to get the bar and shelves hung!

Closet planning

Because I knew this would happen, I am probably going to work on the closet before the two more important projects.

Last night, I went in and cleaned off most of the workbench, including killing the biggest spider ever. I sprayed him with poison, he pretended to die for like 10 mins, and I thought all was well. Then I hear a tapping noise behind me, and it's because this humongous spider has come back to life and was so large that his feet were literally making tapping noises on the wood as he walked. Gross! So I sprayed him with a lot more poison, and before he could come back to life again, I used one of those claw extended reach things to squish him with a piece of poison soaked cardboard (that had been to near to the spider to remove from the workbench in the first place). Then I threw a tissue over him, and picked him up within the tissue using the claw grabber, deposited him in a trash can, and then squished him with the claw some more. I just needed to make sure he was really dead. 

So anyway, the workbench can now be removed. Though I am kind of paranoid that I'm going to run into another spider! And last night, I ordered hopefully all the closet supplies I will need, though I know that's a little premature. But I got brackets, shelves, and rods. It will wind up being kind of walk-in closet style, with a rod on either side of the entrance. In the back center, I hope to have some sort of shelving unit that can also act as a desk, because I want to see if the room would also work to do voiceover in. There is a shelving unit currently in the storage room, that were presumably built by whomever built the workbench, so I'm hoping that I can maybe just move that, since it would save me from dismantling it. 

I'm still trying to figure out lighting. Right now I have one of those clamp-on ikea desk lights in there, but I'd rather have something with a bit more even light. The problem is that the only plugs come from a surge protector that has been mounted on the wall by the door. 

Anyway, I'm hoping to have a little time tomorrow to start dismantling the workbench, though I also need to take a little time today or tomorrow to do yard work as well. 

Apr. 1st, 2019

I'm still editing pictures from the three costume events I attended in March (the Outlander Ball, Emerald City Comicon, and the Victorian Festival). I've been posting some pictures from all three on instagram, and once I finish editing, I'll try to do a little picture post of each of the first two events on here. 

In the meantime, I'm on a sewing hiatus this month. I'm kind of in between roommates this month, as my current roommate is partially packed up and mostly living at her mom's house already, and I don't yet have one finalized for May yet (I'm hoping to this week, though!) Because of that, I've decided that it's time for house projects:

  • I still never finished painting my cabinet doors and drawers from my kitchen, which I started and abandoned back in Dec 2015. My goal for this project is to get the 5 lower cabinet doors painted, plus at least two drawers (I've become used to using the drawer spaces as shelves, so I plan to continue doing that for two of the four existing spaces). 
  • My bathtub faucet has been leaking for like a year, but has gotten pretty bad the last couple months, and I'm sure it's hurting my water bill. So I really want to get that fixed (though I have no idea how!)
  • I want to shape all the shrubs in my front yard. They were nice little round things when I moved in. Now they're pretty huge. I'm almost done with removing the giant shrub on my side yard, though - all I have left are the thicker base branches, which I will need someone with a chainsaw to help me.I'm hoping that I can still get my ladder up even with the base branches there, though, because that means I can finally clean the gutter on that side of the house (and probably install some gutter guards). 
  • The project that I'm most excited for, though, is revamping the storage closet area in my garage. It was built as a workroom, with a waist-high workbench on two walls, and shelves on the third wall. I'm going to remove the workbench and set it up as a closet! It already has actual dry-walled finished walls, so I think it's pretty well-sealed. I would love to be able to put up actual closet rods, and hang all the costumes in garment bags, but if I can't figure that out, I will get another ikea wardrobe, and move my existing one in there, too. I'm even wondering if I can set up a little space in there to do voiceover work. I've been wanting to get into that for a long time, but haven't had a space available for it. 
So anyway, there really won't be any sewing updates for the next month or so, other than a commission I might have, but I will be posting about housy stuff here!

Victorian Festival

Port Townsend was lovely! I didn't wind up finishing 100%, but I got about 98.5% done, so I was still happy. I didn't make the belt, for example, but I made the bow that goes on the belt, so I just pinned that onto my skirt waistband. And I pinned my petticoat closed instead of having hooks and eyes, and wound up sewing on the buttons to the plaid dress in my hotel room on Saturday night. But everything else was done, and I even had bonnets/hats for both new looks! I'm also super pleased with how the Fairy Godmother dress came out, and I can't wait to wear it again. 

Here's a few bonus pictures. I'm still working on editing all the pictures, but they'll be up on Facebook eventually. 

Last minute extensive to-do list

Gah! I only have one day left! Hats may not happen. I'm getting really nervous...

I got home at about 5pm yesterday, and other than a break for dinner, I pretty much sewed until 10:30, when I forced myself to stop so that I could at least get about 6.5 hrs of sleep. I still have so much to do, though! 

You can check out a new pic on my instagram: www.instagram.com/p/BvQnjyzg7PU/

Still to do:
  • Stitch down 6" or so of net trim to FG evening bodice
  • Put 10 bars on the FG evening bodice closure
  • Make and attach the 3 bows that go on the back of the skirt. Actually, I have to cut out half the pieces for these, too.
  • Stitch together/attach the 2 bows that go on the front of the skirt, the 2 bows on the day bodice, and the 1 bow on the evening bodice
  • Bustle tapes for FG overskirt
  • Make a belt for FG including making 1 bow
  • Add decorative buttons to the front of the plaid skirt
  • Decorate a hat to wear with the plaid bustle outfit
  • Re-decorate my old candy bustle hat to wear with FG day bodice
  • If time, make two pink bows to put on shoe clips for Amelie pumps
  • If time, add a dust ruffle (purchased from aliexpress) to back of hem of FG skirt. 
  • Try everything on, do laundry, and pack!
I honestly don't think I'm going to be able to finish that all tonight, and I'm hoping to leave at about 10am tomorrow... At the very least, I need to do the closures, stitch together all the bows (I can always pin them in place if need be), add the bustle tapes for the FG skirt, and add the buttons to the plaid skirt. If I run out of time to do hats, I can always just go hatless, and I suppose I can go without the belt, too. And I guess if there's small hand-sewing things to do, I could do them Friday night once I get there. I just hate sewing at events.

After my gig yesterday evening, I managed to come home and sew for the rest of the night. Actually, I stayed up way too late, and am regretting that today, but I wanted to get to a good stopping point, and apparently that meant sewing until midnight (and I wake up at 6:25). 

Anyway, I managed to knock off a fair amount of my list. I started with the day bodice sleeve trim. At this point, it's almost entirely done. One sleeve is 100% done. The other sleeve just needs the lace ruffle sewn in (it's already pinned in place). I also sewed down the lace trim at the back of the neckline. That means all I have left on the day bodice is the lace sleeve ruffle and making and attaching two bows! 

Then I moved on to the evening bodice. I added the rest of the hooks onto the front closure, so I just need to do bars there. And I figured out my trimming! I took the fine net that is over the sleeves and added a 4" wide ruched section to the bodice front, and then over that is a 2" wide strip that is heavily gathered down the middle. This strip goes all the way around the neckline, curving around to be over the 4" wide net at the bust. This has all been pinned in place, and I started sewing down the 4" strip this morning, though I still have a long way to go on it. Naturally, all of it has to be handsewn. Once that is all done, this bodice just needs a bow at the CF. 

Go to my instagram for a pic of the evening bodice. 

So here's my to-do list now, in the order that I plan to do it. I hope to accomplish at least the first four items today: 

  • Stitch down two layers of net trims to FG evening bodice
  • Stitch the lace to the one sleeve end in FG day bodice
  • Put 10 bars on the FG evening bodice closure
  • Finish the other 12 or so pleat edges on the FG skirt trim
  • Make and attach the 7 bows that go on FG. Plus two for my shoes if time and fabric allows
  • Bustle tapes for FG overskirt
  • Make a belt for FG
  • Add decorative buttons to the front of the plaid skirt
  • Decorate a hat to wear with the plaid bustle outfit
  • Re-decorate my old candy bustle hat to wear with FG day bodice
  • Try everything on and pack!

Oof. This sleeve trim is so fiddly and time-consuming! It's not that it's hard, it's just that it takes forever. I got all the trim (minus the lace ruffle) completely sewn down on one sleeve. I also prepped all the rest of the half bows for the other sleeve, plus prepped, pleated, and pinned on the pleated section, and prepped (but not pinned) the ruffled part of the other sleeve. There are a total of 62 half bows on this dress, by the way, between the day bodice neckline, sleeves, and the front of the skirt. And each one is sewed down (by machine) inside the pleat, and then has the pleat hand-sewn in place over the half-bow. Have I mentioned I'm terribly slow at hand-sewing?

So anyway, my to-do list today is not much smaller than yesterday: 
  • Finish prepping and pinning the sleeve trim on the other sleeve, and stitch it all down
  • Add lace to sleeve ends
  • Finish the last 5 mins of stitching the lace on the FG day bodice neckline (already pinned in place)
  • Net trim around the neckline of the FG evening bodice
  • Finish the other 5 hooks and 10 bars on the FG evening bodice closure
  • Finish the other 12 or so pleat edges on the FG skirt trim
  • Bustle tapes for FG overskirt
  • Make a belt for FG
  • Make and attach the 7 bows that go on FG. Plus two for my shoes if time and fabric allows.
  • Make a hat to wear with the FG day bodice
  • Add decorative buttons to the front of the plaid skirt. And probably make a hat for that as well, come to think of it. 
  • Pray that the rain currently forecast for Friday, and especially for Saturday, goes away. FG is too big to fit under an umbrella! (It worked - the forecast is now predicting dry weather all weekend! *knock on wood*)
I have a gig tonight, which will eat out a couple hours of my sewing time, but I still hope to complete all the sleeve trim (including the lace), finish sewing the pleats on the skirt, and finish stitching the neckline lace on the day bodice tonight. 

I'm starting to panic...

Ack! It's really crunch-time now for VicFest sewing, and I still have so much left to do! I got almost no sewing done this weekend, because I spent most of it at Emerald City Comicon. I went the whole day on Friday, leaving the house at about 8:30am, and getting back at about 8:30pm, so I was way too tired to sew after that. Saturday, I spent most of the day cleaning my house, and then had a slightly early birthday party for myself, since I will be in Port Townsend on my actual birthday this Friday. And yesterday I went back to Comicon - mostly for the Rupert Grint panel, but also to take more pictures and see more cosplays (I wore Anna Frozen Fever Friday, and Elizabeth Swann yesterday).

I did get a tiny bit of sewing done this weekend, though. Thursday afternoon, I stitched down I think about half of the pleats over the half-bows on the skirt, and added most of the lace trim to the day bodice neckline. And yesterday, I got 5 out of 10 hooks on the front of the evening bodice (I brought sewing to do while waiting for Rupert Grint's panel), and then when I got home, I managed to get the pleated and ruffled sections prepped and pinned onto one of my sleeves. Of course, since I was already tired at that time, I cut them out totally wrong, but I was able to salvage them with small seam allowances. I'm almost out of the pink fabric now, and still have to cut out all my bows, the belt, plus the half-bows for the sleeves. I hope I can make it!

So here is my updated to-do list. It doesn't look much different from the last one, especially since I forgot some things on the last one!

  • Stitch down pinned-in-place sleeve trim on FG day bodice. 
  • Prep, pin, and stitch the sleeve trim on the other sleeve
  • Make and attach the 16+ half-bows for the sleeves
  • Add lace to sleeve trim
  • Finish the last 5 mins of stitching the lace on the FG day bodice neckline (already pinned in place)
  • Net trim around the neckline of the FG evening bodice
  • Finish the other 5 hooks and 10 bars on the FG evening bodice closure
  • Finish the other 12 or so pleat edges on the FG skirt trim
  • Bustle tapes for FG overskirt
  • Make a belt for FG
  • Make and attach the 7 bows that go on FG. Plus two for my shoes if time and fabric allows.
  • Make a hat to wear with the FG day bodice
  • Add decorative buttons to the front of the plaid skirt. And probably make a hat for that as well, come to think of it. 
  • Pray that the rain currently forecast for Friday, and especially for Saturday, goes away. FG is too big to fit under an umbrella! 

That's a lot to do, and when I type it out it feels even more! Luckily, other than one gig tomorrow night, my evenings are free this week. And I have a feeling I will wind up forgoing the gym on Wed and Thurs, too. My goal for tonight is to completely finish the sleeve trim. Then finish stitching down skirt pleats and the lace trim on the day bodice. I'm exhausted just thinking about it!

Naturally, other than the few that wind up on instagram, pictures from both the Outlander Ball and Comicon will be coming after VicFest is over. 

I've started in on all the hand-sewing I have to do on Fairy Godmother. So far, on the day bodice, I've sewn on all the neckline trim except the lace, plus I did all the hooks and bars. And I finished the sleeve binding on the evening bodice.

So here's my current to-do list for Port Townsend:
  • Sleeve trim on FG day bodice
  • Lace at neckline on FG day bodice
  • Net trim around neckline of FG evening bodice
  • Hooks and bars for closure of FG evening bodice
  • Stitch down pleat edges on FG skirt trim
  • Bustle tapes for FG overskirt
  • Bows! I need one for day bodice back, one fo day bodice front, three for the skirt, and one for the evening bodice front. 
  • Make a hat to go with the FG day bodice
  • Add decorative buttons to the front of the plaid skirt (redoing the front panel will have to wait, since I'm running out of time)

I also have to fix or remake my hairpiece for Anna Frozen Fever for Emerald City Comicon tomorrow, because I'm pretty sure my hair is lighter than that hairpiece right now, despite using the same hair dye. I also need to press my skirt. And Rupert Grint was supposed to be at the con tomorrow, but his panel has been moved to Sunday, so I may attend Sunday as well (for just his panel and possibly a photoshoot). If I do, I'm thinking about wearing Mary Poppins, but that needs a few repairs. Or I might do Elizabeth Swann, since that's ready to go - it's just a harder costume to wear and less recognizable. 

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