Friday, May 29, 2009

A Pocket

Or Saccocchia. I got bored yesterday and decided that I needed one. (As if I didn't have other things I should have been doing.) It was a very quick and easy little project sewn on the machine except for the rolled hem on the opening and blanket stitches to reinforce the bottom of the opening.

My inspiration came from these images in Moda a Firenze. (Note that these ladies are not fully dressed and the pocket would be worn under the gown accessible through openings in the outer skirt.)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Something Else

Something else that happened while my older daughter and I were in Georgia was that my younger daughter went to her junior prom. We didn't plan to be out of town but the prom was postponed because of the swine flu scare at her school and it was just too late to cancel our trip. It all worked out okay in that the friend that we had planned on asking to do her hair agreed to help her with her makeup and dressing, too. Doesn't my baby girl look so grown up and beautiful?!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I really did scrap!

I really did scrap at the Georgia retreat! Okay. So I'm not like some people who can pre-plan for then assemble 87 layouts in a weekend. I'm pretty proud of myself for completing six layouts over the weekend! It took me all day Friday to do one two-page layout based on a sketch because I am so anal about copying sketches exactly. (I get annoyed when I see pages that are supposedly inspired by a sketch and I can't find one element of the page that looks like it came from the sketch!) but then I stayed up half the night and had a couple of drinks and the pages started to flow because I didn't give a shit about following the sketches that closely. LOL

Friday, May 22, 2009

Road Trip!

I haven't posted lately because I've been busy! My oldest daughter and I were invited to join a group of our online scrapbooking friends for a retreat at a beautiful cabin in the mountains of north Georgia. Since it costs an arm and a leg to fly anywhere from Grand Rapids we decided to drive. We had some stressful moments driving through Ohio in the pouring rain then negociating the mountain roads that could have passed for bicycle paths to get to the cabin but all in all it was worth it and we had a wonderful time!
The trip down:

At the cabin:

We visited cousins in the area before heading north:

Going home:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Navy Campi

So the second Campi inspired dress for camping is nearly finished (It's got temporay lacing strips basted in. I still need to stitch the eyelets for lacing and plan to work on that on my upcoming road trip.) This one is made from navy linen interlined with cotton twill and trimmed with berry colored bias tape. I did this one with side lacing and a gathered rather than pleated waist thinking it would be faster and easier than the front closing cartridge pleated dress. Boy, was I wrong! I got everything cut out and the bodice pieces sewn last week without incident then set it aside while waiting for my "new" sewing machine to be delivered. I picked it back up again and started triming the bodice. It took alot of pins to hold the trim in place. The sewing machine needle kept hitting the pins. I had to replace the needle four times, running to the store to buy more, before I got the trim sewn on. Then I started the skirt. I decided to go with three panels as I did with the other skirt and french seamed them together. When I went to start gathering the skirt I discovered that I had twisted one of the panels when I sewed them together. So I got to undo a french seam, untwist, and resew. The next step was the gather the skirt and sew it to the bodice. I decided to sew one panel to the front of the bodice and two to the back because I like my skirts full and swishy but didn't want too much fullness over the tummy. I had to gather the back as tight as possible and it just barely fit, any more fabric and it wouldn't have worked. When I sewed the skirt to the bodice I didn't pin the lining far enough out of the way so I had tp pick out and restitch about half of the back. Then I decided I didn't like the way some of the gathers looked so I picked it out and redid it yet again. And yeah- lots of pins meant two more broken needles. Last night I sewed the trim to the bottom and this morning I pinned it up and stitched the hem. I like how the bias tape trim adds just the right amount of stiffness to the hem that it hangs in nice folds. I measured the skirt length to be the same as the first dress but somehow the bodice ended up a bit longer so the hem is just barely off the ground. I would have preferred it about an inch shorter but I am NOT redoing it!

Friday, May 08, 2009

What if the world ran on clockwork?

"Clockpunk is a genre of speculative fiction that explores the concept of technology based on clockwork and Renaissance-era science rather than on steam power, the internal combustion engine or digital computers. It can take the form of alternate history, fantasy or simply an aesthetic.

A clockpunker’s home period is the Renaissance. Thus, he or she must be a Renaissance man or woman, able to spend the day building a flying clockwork battleship, the evening dancing the pavane, and still have the dexterity of hand to slip arsenic into a neighbor’s wine. Creativity, genius, charisma and ambition are all essential qualities for success. Nothing is impossible to the talented and the determined, but beware: the road to greatness is treacherous."

Quoted from


According to Da Vinci Automata- "Clockpunk is a genre of science fiction similar to Steampunk (some people even consider clockpunk to be a sub-genre of Steampunk). Clockpunk can be divided into historical and non-historical Clockpunk. Historical Clockpunk explores how the world would have turned out if certain technological developments that occurred later had happened in the Renaissance and or certain inventions in the time of the Renaissance were created on a mass scale in the time period.Non-historical Clockpunk is set in settings similar to the Renaissance but on alternative worlds, planets etc. The suffix punk is actually misleading but the name has stuck just as it has stuck in the case of other sub-genres of science fiction that were inspired from Steampunk. While there is sometimes overlap between Clockpunk and the fantasy genre, for the purpose of the current blog we shall try to keep these overlaps separate." (Apparently we were a little slow to jump on that bandwagon since the post quoted is from March 2007.)

It seems Clockpunk may be the "proper" name for what we are calling Renpunk. I had never heard of it until this thread on the Brass Goggles forum. I'm sorry that Mr. Sprocket feels that mixing ren and steam "cheapens both" but, as he said, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Now that I've seem the term I have more research to do! Google comes up with both a and a

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


So I was thinking this afternoon about this whole Steampunk-Renpunk thing. Some of the conversations around the internet have been talking about taking elements of Steampunk fashion and combining it with things we already have in our renfaire wardrobes. Playing with the idea of what if DaVinci's inventions had all worked in his time? How would that have effected the renaissance? I find that a fascinating concept! I started thinking about how I could put together a Renpunk outfit. I wouldn't want to put too much money or work into it because I'd probably only get to wear it on Labor Day for "Day of Wrong" at MIRF. I could wear my reversible pirate corset on the cobalt and black side and pair it with the taffeta skirt from Moresca that I never wear anymore. I just have to figure out how to bustle the skirt. I know I've seen the info, I just have to find it again. I think my pirate boots would be fine. I already have some Restoration Hardware googles waiting to be modified and some really cool round glasses with cobalt lenses. I'm thinking a bolero/shrug in black lace, a tophat with some cobalt tulle, and lots of brass accessories could make this work! Time to go poke around at etsy! :D

eta: I completey forgot about my lace trimmed bloomers and my Chinese parasol!


Remember a few weeks back when I was whining about my "baby" sewing machine breaking in the middle of a project? But then I discovered that the ancient Kenmore my son had dragged home would still work for a straight stitch even without the missing cams? Since then I have been scouring the internet in search of the cams, had only found one set for this model (Kenmore model 158.523) on ebay, and was outbid at the last second at a selling price of about $40. So last week I was searching again but removed the word "cams" from my search. I found the same sewing machine listed as having the wiring replaced and coming with "all original accessories". I went ahead and bid $50 for it and won the auction. It arrived this morning and not only did it come with all of the cams, an extra "regular" foot, a buttonhole attatchment, a boatload of bobbins, a boatload of needles including a double needle it also came with an automatic buttonholer attachment (Um..gotta read the instructions for that puppy!) AND a box of "Genuine Greist sewing aids" including a cloth guide, an adjustable zipper and cording foot, a gathering foot, a quilting attatchment, a narrow hemmer (for machine rolled hems), a 1/4" hemmer, a multiple slotted binder (for stiching seam binding on all in one step), and a ruffler (again gotta study the instructions on that!). :happydance: Now I have two matching machines with one giganto set of accessories! :happydance:
Oh! There was another thing here that I overlooked after unpacking the box: There's a leatherette case containing a White Magic Key Buttonhole Worker. It has some different sizes of buttonhole thingies that weren't icluded with the Kenmore butonholer so I'll have to figure out if they are interchangable or not.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Some cards

I really should be scrapping today. We have until midnight tonight to complete the National Scrapbook Day challenges at ScrapFreak but I just can't find the mojo. I didn't feel like scrapping once I finished my dress yesterday and I keep finding other things to do today. Oh well, at least I got a couple of cards done so I got a few points toward the prize drawings.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Finished Campi

Got 'er done! It goes fast when you use the sewing machine. LOL I did cartridge pleat the skirt by hand while watching Leverage with Tom last night then stitched it to the bodice this morning while watching Ever After. All the bias tape trim was machine sewn and I used a trick I read in a dress diary (Festive Attyre?) to sew the trim to the bottom edge of the skirt then flip it to the outside and stitch it down creating the hem at the same time. Now making two more dresses and three more tunics in the next three months doesn't seem so daunting.

eta: For whatever reason I can't see it right in front of me but when I look at the full-size photos I can see that the looser pleats at the front need a few more stitches. The white of the camecia shows in a few spots. :sigh: