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Me cook, you hit things with hammer - Tactical Ninja

Mar. 26th, 2012

09:53 am - Me cook, you hit things with hammer

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This weekend we were Gender Normative (well, except for the bits where we weren't)! This meant that Dr Wheel used power tools and did DIY while I cooked and sewed. Seriously. I did help with the power tools - there was the bit where I stood poised with my finger on the mains switch while he drilled into the wall* and the bit where I held up the plank while he marked it with dots for the holes, but for the most part the DIY was a testosterone-soaked affair. And right good it turned out as well. It's a storage thing that makes use of the 10 foot stud in our hallway for putting away things like suitcases, tents and the like that we only use occasionally, and leaving space in the more accessible cupboards for things we need to get at. Nice.

It's not quite finished yet - needs a couple more screws and some cosmetic treatment to make it match the rest of the space, then there will be pics.


I thought it was pretty good of Dr Wheel to take on that job while I played around with fabric - although I did bake some cookies and that makes it ok right? I don't really know how this gender-normative thing works tbh.

Anyway, I couldn't get deep lustrous blue fabric. I nearly bought acetate lining fabric for the practice run in one of those WTF Were You Thinking moments, but luckily I thought better of it and ended up going with poplin which was the same price but much nicer to work with, wear, wash and well, everything really. And it was auspicious that the poplin came in Illuminati Purple. Taking vernacularity's suggestion, I bought some in a contrasting pink for the ruffles so that they'd flash when moving. In total I ended up with 20m of poplin, a zip, and 5 rolls of thread.

So what does all that fabric look like?



Like this. Not particularly overwhelming really, is it? I let this sit for a day or so and started cutting out the pattern at 4pm on Saturday (yes I am documenting this so that I know how long this takes me). In the evening I laid out the pattern on the cloth, which stretched the length of the lounge and most of the way down the stairs. The bit below is just the dress part:



Please note my balls in the background. That is the third batch and they are on their third coat. I expect they'll need 5 coats because that's a light colour but yay! Nearly finished painting my balls! Anyway, the after an evening and half a morning of cutting and a blister on my little finger, I had a pile of mysterious and exotic looking bits of fabric:



Still doesn't look that overwhelming, does it? The next step is one not mentioned in the instructions. You see because I'm using contrast fabric, the ruffles each have to be purple on top and pink underneath. This means that each of the 30 different ruffle pieces had to be paired with its contrasting partner and sewn together:



Luckily I realised before I stitched anything that not only did they have to be paired, they had to be paired a particular way (as a left-turning ruffle and a right-turning one) because as you can see they are spirals not circles, since there's an increase in width from front to back. Getting this wrong would be disastrous in that FUCKITYFUCKITYFUCK *unpicking for the next three days* kind of way. *phew*

Then each piece had to be sewn to the one next to it in the sequence, to create the four tiers of ruffles that will go on the skirt. This was a bit like putting together a model aeroplane (but less sticky), and the whole thing comes with a Ruffle Assembly Chart to help you get it right. I got it right:



Tonight's mission is to turn them the right way out and press the edges to make them ruffle in a ruffly sort of way. Then I'll sew the dress together - which I'm starting to think might need to be double-thickness to support the weight of all those ruffles!

In today's Weird Things In The World Of Sewing, my machine coughed up a furball while I was making ruffles. This furball consisted of very-recognisable strands of fun fur from the Stealth Cloak of Raveyness which I made in 2009. Yes, I have cleaned my machine since then. All I can think is that the SCoR is appropriate attire for an apocalypse and resulting dystopian future, since its fabric can survive being cleaned, oiled, and chewed through a machine, and will be spat out intact several years later. Hmm..


I finished The Land of Painted Caves. It got interesting towards the end and finished on a note that made sense. The scene that I hoped would be used to bring closure sort of did, although it merely expanded on an idea that had already been explored earlier. The kicker was pretty good, in that it actually did make me think. However, it could all have been done in a much shorter book, without the endless descriptions of painted caves. I get it Jean, you went to all these caves, thought they were cool and wanted to share. The rest of us just wanted to know what happens to Ayla. Sorry. Worth reading? Yes, for the closing of the loop. But skip the middle 300 pages.

In exciting news, we are getting our buzzer hooked up! This means you'll be able to push buttons and buzz us and we can push some and let you in! Cue this morning in bed, coming up with suitable comebacks for drunken revellers who push the button in the middle of the night. Best so far: "Initiating countdown. Launch will occur in 5 minutes. Please vacate the immediate area. Walk don't run."

*cough*

* The stud finder is supposed to tell you where the cables run, but the one we have thinks our entire house is made of electricity, including our windows. Thus we had no idea if he was going to die horribly or not through doing this. I'm glad he didn't.

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:pombagira
Date:March 25th, 2012 09:38 pm (UTC)
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yeah my sewing machine sometimes coughs up firballs.. but find that the overlocker does it more.. hmm.. could be a fluff/cutting/fabric ratio *ponders this*

and soon i will be staying just upstairs from you.. you might need to ship in another crate of tea, just in case.. *grins*
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[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:March 25th, 2012 09:40 pm (UTC)
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It's the end of this week, yeah? I think we have enough tea to last till Sunday morning...

Also, my overlocker has been mainly doing lycra and it seems to mostly spit its furballs out as it goes. However I haven't taken fun fur anywhere near it.
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[User Picture]
From:pombagira
Date:March 25th, 2012 10:00 pm (UTC)
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yeah.. could be interesting to show fun fur to an overlocker.. eek.. tehehe..

also awesome ruffles.. wheee.. am quite interested to see how your Spanish dress turns out..

*skips about*
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[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:March 25th, 2012 10:02 pm (UTC)
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I was considering making the bottom ruffle detachable because it's designed to drag on the ground and I'll most likely wear this outdoors.

But now I'm thinking of making some kind of hidden hooking system to just hitch the back up for walking around. Still not sure. Luckily that is the last bit to go on so I can decide after putting all the others on.

Also, the next ruffly thing will be even more ruffly. O.o
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[User Picture]
From:pombagira
Date:March 25th, 2012 10:39 pm (UTC)
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hmm.. well i have a couple of skirts with hook thingos that are attached up so that they don't hang all over teh ground when walking about.. so it is ultimately do able.. and you might be able to get some of those large hook and eye thingos.. *ponders this*

so you are going to make a thing that is more ruffles.. gosh.. are they going to be all different coloured ruffles?

*ponders this*
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[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:March 25th, 2012 10:41 pm (UTC)
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They are indeed. And not double-thickness ones, also possibly made from a lighter fabric. Kind of going with the 'flash of fluoro' idea.
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From:nessaneko
Date:March 25th, 2012 10:39 pm (UTC)
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You know what I found really frustrated about Land of Painted Caves? (Spoiler below for those who haven't read but want to, just in case).


The idiotic relationship!drama with Ayla and Jondalar. Specifically, Jondalar being like "I'm gonna go have an affair with this chick who I know has it in for my wife and who specifically humiliated her on her first welcome to the tribe". And then Ayla for some reason deciding drunkenly to get back at him by hooking up with that creepy dude (I can't remember his name). I just feel like after all the drama we went through during the Mamutoi book, they should have had their act together, and the soap opera-y teen-drama of "OH NOES RELATIONSHIP" really grated on me. And I also felt like Auel was completely going against the entire characterisation she'd built up of them by setting them up in that situation. It was ridiculous.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 25th, 2012 10:46 pm (UTC)
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Yeah. The explanation of why it turned into drama was sound, but them getting into that situation in the first place was .. well, it was a clumsy setup for Ayla to be taking the Massively Hallucinogenic RootsTM, which is what brought about the closure and finished the story.

Personally I reckon she could have spent 50 pages on the Donier Tour and used that other 250 to create a better setup and more closure.
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