many things

Aug. 2nd, 2016 02:22 pm
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Decided I'm going to cheat a little with the non-visible buttons on the grey linen suit; so now I only need to make 46 fabric ones. I'll use grey MOP for the breeches waistband and fall opening.

Been busy creating our new Treadle class schedule. I'm also making lots of new adorable handouts for beginning sewing and others.

Loving everyone's Costume College pictures!! More please!

Already dying to know what next year's coco theme will be so I can start planning. And I'm already thinking about what I want to teach.

Irish Fair is coming up and I am back with the dance group for this one. Should be fun, if tiring - it'll be two performances of a very full set after a whole day at Treadle.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
The Girl has been on spring break so I haven't been doing much sewing. We have had a busy schedule of goofing off to attend to.

I've done some mockups and pattern work for the HB's new Victorian stuff. Yawn.

On Monday I got distracted and made another Colette Moneta from some deep orange jersey I had in recent stash. I love one-day dresses!

I helped The Girl make her very first all-by-herself-on-the-machine project, a simple elastic waist skirt. She did great and she's so proud!

We had our monthly sewing bee last night at the LeDuc house and I worked on a new knitted lace edging.

I am thinking of making enough for a V neckline and wide cuffs for an early 1870s dress. I know I might be bending the rules a little by using knitted lace on an outer garment, but making lace is just too much work to waste it on underwear. And I like knitting lace, so I want to make it and use it where it can be seen.

This'll do

Jan. 23rd, 2016 09:05 pm
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Just sittin on my couch, under the blanket, drinking beer, sewing buttons, and watching Spinal Tap.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
First all the slippers I made this year.

The chunky clogs came out pretty nice and I think they were well liked by the recipient.

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My HB got these felted slippers. The sizing was good but the two layers do not like to stick together and they shift and slide around. Fiddling with them is required before he will wear them for real. :P

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The fluffy bunny slippers came out a little big but she can grow into them. And so cute!

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I made a big dinner for all of us. I roasted some chickens (this is the time of year when my vegetarian household binges on meat) and made butternut squash and rice pasties.

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I was very happy with this scrumptious puzzle I received and have been spending hours doing it. I love puzzles!

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I also got a great fashion plate book.

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As well as several novels and a copy of How To Be A Victorian.

I am very skeptical of pseudo-history books like this, but this one looked good and everyone I know is reading it, so I put it on my list and my sister picked it up for me. Looking forward to it.

One other gift I am really pleased with is a new perfume from Love and Toast. I find most perfumes cloying and horrible and headache-inducing, but these are natural and mild and lovely. Last year I got the Paper Flower scent and this year I got the Sugar Grapefruit. Yum!
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Tomorrow is our last chance to attend the local Renaissance Festival, and the weather forecast is looking good. I finished The Girl's new outfit this morning before work, and it's so freakin cute I just wanna burst!

The HB and I are wearing the same old. I just need to replace a hook and eye or two before bed. So everything is fine except. . .

I don't have a shift. I used to have one. I used to have a few. They were old and crummy and machine sewn with big raw seam allowances and made from unbleached cotton muslin with all the big brown flecks in it. I threw them all out during my last closet purge. And I was so sure I would make new ones!

So of course I forgot. I really shouldn't be allowed to throw things away until I have a replacement. I thought getting rid of old stuff would motivate me, but I guess not.

So after a slight panic, I decided that for tomorrow I am borrowing one of my husband's shirts. And if it's roomy on him, it's HUGE on me. But I can make it work for a day. I just hope I don't ruin it.

Once again, I really wish I had gotten my act together for some new costumes this year, and I am going to try to make it happen again next year. But I am still looking forward to a fun day tomorrow!
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I don't know if you guys all have this where you live, but up here, the family cabin is a Thing. And it's not usually an actual cabin, it's usually just a house, in some small town, in a rural area. It's almost always near a body of water, it smells slightly like mildew, and you spend your weekends there when you want to get out of the city.

Our family doesn't really have a cabin, but my uncle has a place on the St. Croix river, about a half hour's drive from the city. It was my grandfather's house and now my uncle has inherited it and lives there, and we tend to gather there in the summer for barbecues and such.

My uncle was out of town when my sister flew in, so she and my mother planned to stay at the house for a couple days. The Girl and I decided to come down and spend a couple days with them having Summer Fun.

Here's the view from the house.

river 008

Goofing off with The Girl is the best!

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Two long flights of stairs take you down the bank to the river.

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We swam, of course. And took a long beach walk and explored.

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More! )


Jan. 10th, 2014 03:35 pm
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)

Still sick, still crabby. The Girl is on her 17th consecutive hour of cartoons. I really hope tomorrow's ball is still going to be possible. We'll see.  Maybe I will make a miraculous recovery.


Silver lining: I got a box in the mail today.  Finally took the tiara plunge! Photos on the way.

elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
It’s December, and I am switching into full-time Secular Christmas Mode. For the next 3 weeks, I am going to focus (almost) exclusively on making gifts, decorations, cookies, and all the rest. I will be sprinkling glitter on pretty much anything that doesn’t move.

We are not a religious household, and I wish I had a better name for our favorite holiday than Secular Christmas, but there you are. I don’t. And since “Christmas” is the word everyone else is using, I figure I’d better just go with it.

I identified as pagan for many years, and now I think I’m too lazy to continue doing that. My husband is into meditation and believes in angels and the sentience of rocks, so we don’t have an atheist household, really. I tried for a long time to morph my Christmas around my beliefs, but it always felt a little false.

Now we just have a totally godless holiday. It’s about lights and glitter and songs, family and friends and good food. It’s about gifts and cookies and time off work. It doesn’t need to have a specific spiritual component. I can put that elsewhere in my life.

I love gift-giving (and, of course, receiving, too) and I’m striving to create a balance between the joy of gifts and my non-materialist values. Gets me thinking about work, family, money, life, and the Inter-Connectedness Of All Things.

I bought a chair recently. (Please bear with me, I promise this is going somewhere.) Now I really didn’t have this chair in the budget, but I’d been ogling it at Ikea for months, and finally I just had a spare hundred burning a hole in my bank account and went for it. And it’s nice, and I think I needed it, and I don’t regret it.


It has served as a reminder to me that it’s better to use your money on experiences than objects. Christmas coming up makes me think about this anyway. There are about a bajillion things I would be buying right now, for myself and everyone I love, if I had a little bit more stable work. But the things, they weigh you down after a while, and the shine gets dull, and the rush of something new fades. But experiences last longer.

I know, this isn’t new. We all know this, right? But of course,I forget. And of course, I love having things. And I think I’ve gotten pretty good at choosing things that provide enjoyment that lasts. But I feel like I want to re-prioritize and put experiences a little higher.

To sum up, I think I should put more money/time/effort into travel. Travel for fun, for costume events, to see things, to do things, with family and without. And doing things in my home city, too.

Also, I just can’t wait for Secular Christmas!!


Sep. 19th, 2012 06:03 pm
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Victory!  All the ren fest costumes for this year are nearly done.

All the machine work is finished, and I just have a little hand finishing (armscyes, etc.) on L's dress.  

We're planning to go this weekend.  The forecast looks like the weather will be FUH-REEEZING!  But hopefully long underwear for everyone will help.
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

What I've been doing for the last week:

  • Sewing a dress for my sister (she hasn't had a chance to come over and get it yet, so I don't have any photos)
  • Playing with F in the garden (she ate green beans!!!  Victory!)
  • Working at Treadle, a lot
  • Sewing eyelets on L's gown
  • Knitting, mostly swatching and ripping out
  • Trying to figure out how many more summer projects I can squeeze in before fall

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

Blocked the Citron, had a good time at Shepherd's Harvest, bought some yarn, had a fun Mother's Day.  My whole weekend was Go! Go! Go! what with driving out to visit my mom Saturday and the yarn fair the next day and then working all day Monday.  I did manage a nap on Sunday afternoon, but I didn't really have a choice, I just collapsed.  Today, F and I are finally having some nice downtime and doing some sorely neglected chores.

Here's the Citron:

And laid out flat )

Now I am desperate for a new portable project.  (Is this why people knit socks?)  I plan to do another simple lace scarf in a yarn I bought a few years ago that's just a little too variegated, but I'll use it up and do something simple before tackling another complex lace project in my new All For Love Of Yarn yarn.

work blog

Mar. 27th, 2012 02:00 pm
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

While my coworker is on maternity leave, I've been promoted to store blogger!  I'll be featuring new fabrics, trims, and books; cool stuff made by employees and customers; news about sales and classes; and perhaps some simple sewing tutorials (we'll see how organized I can get).

Please check it out at:

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I need to drop the url here for the new/reformed old local costume group, because the old website is gone (I was hoping it would redirect for a while) and no amount of Googling was getting me there.

It's  That's Historic, not Historical.  No wonder I could not find it.  It's not much more than a placeholder but I'll be keeping my eye on it.

I agree with others that it ought to be suffixed with mn; the name is just too common.

elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I'm getting bored with my clothes.  Every summer I make dresses, or try to make dresses, but they never come out the way I want.  Either they turn out really super nice and pretty so I am afraid of messing them up by wearing them for everyday, or they turn out so crummy that I scrap them.  Even the nice pretty ones usually have fit issues, like high sleeve caps, that don't affect the look, but make it harder to wear them while doing everyday chores.

And that's what I want: everyday, chore-doing, kid-taking-care-of, sitting-around-in housedresses.  I hardly ever go anywhere in my day-to-day that I need to look really nice for, just basic and presentable for the park, the library, the grocery store.  Some days I don't even do that, just stay home and hang out with the Girl.  And I need to roll around on the floor and ride my bike.  And look pretty, but not too cute (so jumpers are pretty much out).  Is that so much to ask?
I keep trying to find/create the right pattern so I can just sew a hundred of them and be done with it for a while.  I guess now that the Girl is weaned I have more options (side zippers perhaps?).  And not having a job does give me a bit of freedom style-wise.  I suppose I'm still trying to figure out what my style is at this point in my life.  I'm trying not to feel like I am too old for certain things, but I doubt I could wear jeggings, for example.  (Not that I'd want to, but it proves my point.)  Although, does that mean I am now old enough for housedresses?  If so, yay!
Dressing up modern is hard.


Apr. 3rd, 2011 09:45 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I got distracted from laundry this morning and took inventory in my costume closet.

Forgotten things re-discovered:

My super-ruffly early bustle petticoat fits over my pink hoops, yay! 

I don't actually own a single decent Victorian chemise.  Though I think I would probably wear my combinations out of period for most things, because they are so comfy.

I used to really have a thing for unbleached muslin.  These days I'm so much more likely to use white for undies.

My red corset still sort-of fits, but it's a little large in the hip because I am lacing looser in the waist.

Things thrown away:

A straw cowgirl hat from my hippie-er days.

An 18th c-esque hat from my "costume for everyday wear" days (I'm actually pretty sure those are not over).  It was cute but never really looked quite right; kind of lumpy.

A really crummy bumroll that never got worn.

Half of my senior prom costume.  This was awesome.  I made a long, empire-waist, tie-dyed dress (which was lost long ago) and a green cotton coat to go over which had long sleeves, a scooped front that laced under the bust, and tuxedo tails in back.  I also made a little top hat covered in brown satin.  I just found the coat and it was so poorly made and ill-fitting that I couldn't hang on to it any longer.  At least I have a photo.  (If anyone wants to see that, please let me know!)
I love costume inventory.  It's nice to know what I have and what I need, but mostly it's just nice to touch all my pretty things.

down time

Jul. 5th, 2010 07:27 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I swatched for the my next sweater and got gauge on a needle I don't have the right length of.  So I need a new needle before I can cast on.

I'm figuring out the applique but I need some new floss colors before it can all come together.

I don't have any other current projects and I don't want to start something else new since I already have these.

So until I can get out to the yarn store, I'm twiddling my thumbs.  After doing that almost all weekend, I am getting kind of antsy.  I will probably start sweeping floors soon if I can't get to some knitting or something else crafty.


Mar. 7th, 2010 09:38 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

By now, the magentic closure on my green polka dot buttercup bag has almost entirely ripped out, so yesterday I switched back to my bird purse.

It's a nice change; the buttercup bag was feeling pretty cramped.  It just barely fit the essentials.  Very cute, not very practical.  I was getting tired of having to carry my water bottle in my hand everywhere I went.  Now the bird purse feels huge, but I like to have space for water, snacks, or a random button or thread purchase.

I was torn on the magnetic closure at first, and now I think I am entirely against it.  It might be nice for a flap or other secondary closure, but as a primary closure, it fails.  And stuff kept falling out, too.

I never used to be a purse person, but most of my clothes don't have pockets.  I like the way pockets look in skirts. . . until you put something in them.  And all my skirts with pockets have always ripped in the pocket area first.

I think I want to sew a new purse this summer in an in-between size.  The bird purse is starting to get a little frayed in the corners.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)


I spent a couple hours today knitting the 2nd sleeve on the baby sweater.  I want to block it tonight and then when it's dry I'll seam it up, add the buttons, and it's done!  It did end up taking me a little longer than I had hoped, but I am slow and it wasn't that much longer.  Now I just hope it will fit her at some point during this fall/winter.

Besides that I've spent just about every waking moment this weekend getting the garden planted.  I wish I could find a more emphatic way to say this: my hands are tired.

elizabeth_mn: (needlecraft)

And the snow hit today as predicted.

Okay, so it's only sticking to the grass, not the roads/sidewalks, and it's about 1/4" at that, but still, it 's all white and frosty out there and that's kind of a bummer, since it's April now! I love winter, but even I have limits. I'm ready to break my hibernation, go outside, dig in the dirt, play frisbee!

Anyway, I don't know if it's the cold, but something compelled me to pick up my long-neglected green alpaca sweater a few days ago. When I left off, I had finished both fronts, the back, and the collar. Sleeves and seaming are left. I've done about 2.5" of the seed stitch sleeve cuff. Another half inch and then I can switch to stockinette, which will go a lot faster. Seed stitch is just so slow. Sometimes I think I'd like a sweater done entirely in seed stitch, but I'd probably never be able to complete it. It would be cute, though.

I borrowed Folk Shawls from the library the other day. Now I'm determined to knit a shawl sometime in the near future. Something thick and wooly with just a little bit of patterned stitching in the border. No flimsy lace for me; I want something that will keep the cold out (but still be pretty!).

I know I have a lot of sweater left to knit, and I promised myself I would not buy any new yarn until it is done, but I still can't help but plan new projects all the time.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I spent all morning today sorting through all my fabrics.  I was feeling very burdened by the sheer mass of them.

I finally got rid of the last impulse purchase from the Textile Center's bag sale a few years ago.  I think I left there with a dozen pieces of fabric and used one; the rest have been slowly whittled out of my stash during periodic cleanings.

I also abolished the scrap bag.  It was becoming the size of a couch and full of stuff I realized I will never use.  Half of the scraps went in the trash, another 40% in the cleaning-rag drawer, and the remaining ones into a piecework bin with my fat quarters and small silk pieces.  I do end up using a lot of the scraps for quilting and crafts, and now I have a manageable amount and all the pieces are big enough (and pretty enough) to be worth keeping.

I separated pieces under 1 yard into the piecework bin as well, keeping garment-sized pieces sorted into the other bins by fiber type.

There's also a stack of bigger pieces I need to find a home for (this is the 'what was I thinking?' stack)  If nobody local is interested (anyone?) I'll probably just Freecycle them.

I still have too much fabric.  But I went from 5 crammed-full plastic boxes and a giant scrap bag to 3 full boxes, 2 partially full boxes, and no scrap bag.  Plus I swept out a heap of old dust behind the bins.

Now the sewing room is all tidy for actually working in again.

Projects for the next few weeks:
  • Re-line old wool cape - I already ripped the old lining out, cut the new lining, washed the cape, and shortened the hem.
  • Spring/summer skirts - I have 4 or 5 fabrics ready for these
  • Spring/summer shirts - 2 fabrics for these
  • Knit dress - the blue floral one I cut out last year
  • HB jeans - Sigh.  More jeans.
After that, something costumey is sure to happen because the TCCG 18th c picnic is coming up in a couple months.

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