Wednesday, October 23, 2013

HSF Challenge #21: Color Challenge Green

Green is my favorite color.  And originally I wanted to make a green 1930's dress for this challenge.  But a dress requires the perfect fabric, and I couldn't find the perfect fabric.  So I settled for a cute little regency bag instead.

The Challenge: Color Challenge Green

Fabric: Silk shantung, random silk remnant for the lining

Pattern: mine

Year: early 1800's

Notions: Silk embroidery thread, random ribbon for a temporary drawstring.

How historically accurate is it? I studied a lot of extant regency bags, and just made something up.  But I used period appropriate materials, so about as much as possible.

Hours to complete: about 10 for the embroidery, and 3 for the construction.

First worn: Not yet, need an outfit to wear it with.

Total cost: I only used part of both pieces of silk, but the shantung cost about $15, and the lining piece cost $4.  The embroidery thread was $2.  So all told, $21.  But I hope to get gloves out of the shantung too.
The color is closer to this picture than the next, but less saturated.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

On Learning Dutch

I've been a bit absent lately, partly having to do with the fact that my computer is headed back to the states for repair, which means Dan and I are sharing his, so the process of uploading photos, new especially, has just gotten more annoying.

But in the mean time I've gone back to reading Harry Potter en de Geheime Kamer (aka the Secret Room) (aka the Chamber of Secrets).  At the rate I'm going, I'll be done in only 75 more hours.  Actually, I thought that number would have been higher.  It'll only take me 4 months or so; that's not that bad!

With the reading of something that is clearly above my reading level, I'm coming across a ton of new words (obviously), and I've started a list of the ones that I find the most awesome.  Some are simply amusing, and some send me into a long, somewhat ridiculous thought process about the English language.  Because that's one of the best things about learning a new language (at least one that English has strong ties to), some foreign words make you re-think the way you've always thought (or not thought) about a word you use all the time.  Anyway, that will be made clearer in a moment.  

So with that excessive introduction, here's my little list.

Vleermuis - literally, flying mouse--a bat  (and keep in mind that the 'ee' is pronounced as a long 'a', or like it's spelled 'flaer-mouse')

Tjokvol - this is one of those words that I'd have to do a bit of digging to find out if the Dutch came first or the English, as sometimes Dutch takes English words and changes the spelling to be more Dutch, but the word still sounds and means the same as the English word.  In this case 'tjokvol' is both pronounced (more or less) like it's English equivalent 'chock-full'.

Adem - this one is more philosophical, but it means 'breath', and the interesting thing is that it's akin to Adam, as in the first Adam.  I really like the tie-in.

Smaakvol - tasteful.  This is the one that sent me down the rabbit hole.  'Smaak' is a bit like 'tasty' or 'lip-smacking good'.  Not the understated elegance we associate the word 'tasteful' with.  'Tasteful' has nothing to do with 'full-of-flavor', but is it supposed to?  Did it originally?  On the tasteful to tacky spectrum, when someone several hundred years ago went into a room and saw the purple shag carpet and lime green throw pillows and pink walls did they think Wow! this is amazingly tasteful!   actually maybe they did, because men's garments in the late 1700's were those colors and everyone thought them at the epitome of taste and fashion.  Which got me thinking about a lecture I heard recently about how modern men dress and how it's the most boring it has ever been.  And it completely diverges from nature--think peacocks--in that men have always been the ones to put on the fashion show for prospective partners, and now they're in dark suits with a splash of muted color they call a tie--which we would call tasteful!  But maybe the peacocks and Louis XIV (or XVI if I want to stick with the time frame above) are actually the ones who are tasteful--they're certainly smaakvol!  So if I'm looking at a man in a well-tailored suit or a beige and cream colored living room, maybe I shouldn't be thinking about how tasteful it is, but how tasteless?  Hmmm, I wonder if 'smaaklos' is a word...

HA!  It is...although it's actually spelled 'smaakloos'

And that's why I love language.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tiny Top Hat

I had a request (from my mum) to post more pictures of the little top hat I made for Elfia.  So I thought I'd include some construction notes too.

I started with a cardboard (cereal box) crown, taped together.  I added fabric over top of this and tacked it down around the base of the crown.  I then cut a cereal box brim and used double sided tape (I didn't have spray glue) to attach a layer of blue fabric to the top and bottom.  I then attempted to tape the brim to the crown, but it didn't stay, so I had to sew it in.  This was a bit of a trick--hand sewing (the hat was too small to get around the arm of my sewing machine) through 4 layers of fabric, 2 layers of cardboard, and a layer of really sticky tape.  I bent a rather sturdy needle and went through several improvised cardboard thimbles.

After that, I added bias binding (made from the brown silk I used for the corset) around the outside of the brim.  Thankfully I was able to machine sew that on.  I finished the hat off with some leftover scraps for around the crown, a bow, and the dangly bits.  I also added a couple yarn loops inside to to attach it to my hair with bobby pins.

The inside still looks a bit ridiculous, so I may add a lining before its next outing, and the yarn loops didn't work at all, so I'm now on the (rather passive) hunt for hat elastic.