Sunday, July 30, 2006

Und now is the time on Shprockets when we whine.

There are a few things about living in ALaska that I hate. I hate when people call me at 6 am because they forgot the four hgour time difference. I hate when people complain about the rain, even though they live in the world's largest temperate rainforest. And I hate, absolutely hate, when I try to order something online and it either costs $9 zillion to ship, or they don't ship to AK at all. I ran into this problem yesterday. I have set myself the date of August 25th as the completion date for the corset, becasue DJ Fab's Rocking' Pirate Adieu/Birthday Jam will be held the following day, and I intend on debuting the corset as part of my pirate gear. I realized, then, that I needed to get my Francophilic ass in gear and order the materiel for the underpinnings at least. I spent an hour just trying to decide whether or not I really needed to order coutil - a specialty fabric manufactured just for corsets - and then I finally found a website that would provide all the things I needed at a reasonable price. After poking around the site, and deciding on purchasing even a few things I wouldn't normally, I went to check out - and lo and behold, they only ship to the continental states, and they ship UPS at that (UPS shipping to AK is prohibitive.). So now I begin my search again, and hopefully I will find someplace that sells everything I need so I don't have to place several separate orders. Feh.

On the bright side, I have finally managed to choose colors: a dusty coral color that is inexplicably called 'papaya', trimmed in a muted seafoam green and pale gold. I am just waiting for the robe francaise pattern to arrive in the mail so that I can figure out yardage.

I will be digging out my Ren skirt to wear with the corset, I think. I want to modify it so it can be hiked up a la polonaise - a little cooler in August. Sometime soon I will begin adding pics to this site - stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Still asking myself what the point is.

As the first flush of creative fire dies away, I am beginning to question my own motivations for undertaking such an enormous task for so little reward. The real reason, aside from wanting to because I can, was that my best friend is leaving for parts unknown at the end of next month, and I have no earthly idea how I will pass the time without her around. (insert sniffling here.) I jokingly told her that once she is gone, this dress will become my best friend. She was less thoroughly amused than I thought she might be. This could be because she had chosen to move to literally the end of the earth, the point at which you are so far from civilization that you begin to head back toward it again. This is the place that used to be in the time zone past Hawaii, the one right before the International Date Line. Then she changed her mind. Something about being so close to tomorrow...

Anyway, I can no longer use her for an excuse. To be sure, she is still heading far away, but it still seems closer than her last choice. If you are wondering, she is contemplating Japan, which is, I realize, on the far side of the IDL, but it seems closer somehow.

So then, if distance is not the motivator, the question remains: What is? I refuse to believe it is sheer ennui.

It is puzzling, to be sure, but if I dwell on it I think that I will become obsessed with finding the answer to that in place of the truly important and daunting task before me. I received the patter for the underpinning today in the mail, and I am now attempting to figure out precisely how much spiral steel I will need - doesn't it seem that 12 yds is a lot to hold in one (admittedly increasingly matronly) figure?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Shell or dusty pink?

In my research - which has admittedly been on the web, and so could be considered somewhat suspect - I have found lots of interesting facts, some that are even pertinent to this project. The one occupying my thought-space right now is this: rococo dresses were invariably in shades of pastels, with blues and pinks being right at the top of the list. I tend toward colors that are a bit brighter - my favorites this season are the saffron yellow that Michelle Williams wore to the Oscars and the ever-popular paprika, as well as teal. The pastel thing, then was a quandry. I knew at once that I could not sport ice blue, tho it was apparently La Reine's favorite. She is pictured in it more than once in the portraits done by Elisabeth Vigee-LeBrun, and since she was Austrian and presumably blond (she seems fair in portraits), this would suit her well. I have an unexplainable aversion to the color, though, so I decided that something in the pinks family would work better. The question is, of course, which of the pinks to tend toward. A dusty mauve-ish sort of pink ( I know, mauve itself wasn't invented until the mid-19th century, but who is going to quibble?) or a warmer, pale shell pink? Today, my inclination is to go with a sort of apricot and honey approach, a peachy pink with gold accents. All of this is speculation, and contigent on my finding this fabric online and reasonably priced. My dream, of course is silk, but this is, after all only a Halloween costume. It seems to me that it would be unwise to spent a small fortune in the fabric alone.

I have ordered the patterns and am awaiting their arrival. Until then I shall bookmark fabrics that I like, and hopefully sometime soon I will begin to gather supplies.

Monday, July 24, 2006

This is probably not what you think.

It has nothing to do with the new Sofia Coppola movie. It has nothing to do with a latent Freudian-style desire for a public castigation and subsequent death. It has little to do with a sense of connection with a beautiful, powerful woman who longed for a life of simplicity and peace. It has everything to do with a poorly-hidden obsession with shiny, soft, crinkly things in which to drape myself. In short, I am going to make myself a dress. Not just any dress. A full 1780 French court dress, with hoops and four layers of ruffles. I feel you asking, "Why? Why in the name of Dolce and Gabbana would you do such a thing?" Well, because winters in Alaska are long, and besides, I think I can. This is the first in a series documenting the drama that will be the construction of said garment, and the paraphenalia that accompanies it. The deadline is the 28th of October, the day after my birthday, and the night of the Stardust Ball, where I will compete against several professional fishermen in drag for the top prize: the adoration of the population of a town with nearly nine thousand citizens. Wish me bon chance.