Wednesday, December 20, 2017

I know I know, I'm a flake. Sue me. Now let's talk sleeve drafting. And then some.

Yes, I'm alive. Barely. LOL. I'm just trying to recover from a case of bronchitis, nearly pneumonia, which leveled me for this week. I'm on prednisone and antibiotics and slowly feeling something akin to normal tonight.

What brought me out from underneath my damp rock was a question on my most infamous post (the Benefits of a Bib-Front), which still garners countless hits and Pinterest pins nearly eight years after posting it. Always a plus right? Sort of makes me nostalgic for costuming whenever I see the hit counts. After just checking, seems like the old post on stays on the old ORS blog page is also still often-visited. It feels good to know that my efforts are still found useful. I hope to return to these things soon one day. Once my little cottage* is finished and I can breathe a bit. *I'll expound on that in a moment.

The reason for my post is that someone posted a good question. How do I draft sleeves to a Regency bodice?  I tried to answer with just words and it wasn't really working for me trying to explain it without some visual aid. So I uploaded this quick video, very spartan so that it can explain how I do it when I'm cobbling together my various drafted gowns.

If I were smart, I would have made ONE muslin and just used it repeatedly, but I tend to lose my muslins, or I just draft boldly and stupidly onto the fabric itself and then roll with whatever happens. So my advice is, do it in a muslin until it works, and then keep it for future projects. You can add wedges and extensions as you please to whatever basic sleeve pattern you create using my 'technique'.

So that is it. Fairly simple. Center all your measurements on the shoulder mark (top of the sleeve) and it should be a nicely fitted, free-moving sleeve. Add any arc *over* the top of the sleeve, not like how I penciled it, by the way. Seam allowance gives you a little give as needed as well. Wedging in fullness at the top will give you more pouf if that's your cup of tea.

Now, let's talk about THE COTTAGE and its evolution.

Now, everybody who has historically followed this blog knows that I'm a head-case. LOL. I have been stricken with an anxiety disorder that manifested itself on top of a lifelong battle with chronic depression and dysthymia. It has been a huge fucking struggle. I have never bothered to hide it or sugarcoat it, and I will talk about it everywhere I possibly can, because I will not pretend like it's something that I am ashamed of or should be worried might annoy someone to discuss. It is a real problem, and something I have had to take a great deal of pride in accepting. A control freak (who is in essence displaying overt signs of anxiety by desiring to control everything that gives them anxiety) does not like to concede that they have no control over the levels of fear and worry in their own heads.

So I have retreated. I've struggled with a balance of medications, trying to find some measure of normality. But it is a continued battle. I'll have long phases of seemingly normal days and then suddenly have daily panic attacks, some resulting in losing consciousness and striking a great deal of fear in both my husband and sadly, my son, who now has comforting and helping his mother as part of his routine, something no kid should have to do. I found him lying underneath my head once, because I had fallen onto the floor, and he didn't want my head to hit, so he squirmed underneath. This makes me so very sad. But it is my reality now. It has hampered everything I do. And one of the things that once gave me comfort and respite from it, is no longer part of my life. Which is probably a good thing, in the long run, but it means I do not get to see people I became very much attached to over the years.

Oh well.

However, I refuse to go down without fighting. And I don't like the idea that this imbalance of brain chemicals should somehow make me useless. I am a highly creative person, and one that needs many outlets for it, or I will go mad. And my husband knows this, and from the previous post last spring, you can see he cared enough to help me find a place to express it. And he built me my cottage.

It has been slow progress but in the last month, it has sprung forward quite a bit. From being painted up like a lady, to gaining an electrical system with plenty of outlets and light cans, to now being insulated and wall-boarded. The mudding and taping will soon be underway at the beginning of the year, and that will leave only washing up the messy floor, painting, and furnishing it with all my crapola.

Then Feffie's Cottage will be born in earnest. And it will be where I will be vomiting up my creative energy in droves, I hope. From busting out more novels under my Miranda Mayer nom-de-plume to creating more hats and costumes, to returning to miniatures and dollhouses and dollhouse kits, to drawing and making prints and postcards, to fashioning stuffed animals and plushies, to dolls to whatever floats my god damned boat.  And I will sell my shit. Because being an anxious ass doesn't mean that I can't contribute to the household. I will just do it on my terms, without an overarching presence who will set off my anxiety and make me crazy.

I hope you folks will be with me on this journey. However it may end up. You've been reading this blog for god... years now, and I'm still here. Scrabbling along. You were with me from the first office specials, the struggle for pregnancy, the surprise child, the costumes, the drama, the snark. So here I am. Hoping to pick myself up and get back to my Hungarican ways. :) Maybe I'll even post a new recipe or something? I don't want to get ahead of myself. These are no longer the days when I posted my updates on the clock of my job. But maybe this can become part of my job as owner of Feffie's Cottage. Maybe.

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