Reality Checks (and Bites)

Sketch courtesy of

Sketch copyright Randall Degges, rdegges-blog

Things here at the Emporium of Fiber Folly have not been running smoothly, in the way that falling off a 16-foot ladder constitutes a slight miss-step.

It’s been humid, which is something I don’t tolerate very well even thought it’s cool. I’ve been feeling out of sorts and a bit run-down. My closest friend is seriously thinking of moving away (fab for her, sad for me). The closing date on the house keeps changing and I remain at the mercy of the person I now refer to as “the theoretical buyer.” OK – no more whining. Things are as they are. Period.

There are nine days left to meet the Historical Sew Fortnightly deadline for my Regency corset. Let’s just say I’m running a tad behind and the chance of meeting the deadline is somewhat less than zero. Especially considering my desire to do all of the lacing eyelets by hand…that about a week’s worth right there. I can’t afford the stays, so I’ve been holding off. The original fantasy was to make the entire thing by hand, which would result in a finish date somewhere around 2015. Trust me – I know myself. When I conceded to reality and accepted the need for machine work, I found my machine in need of a serious tune-up. Another $80 that has to wait.

Front shoulder joined to left sleeve

Front shoulder joined to left sleeve

As a result, it’s the Regency chemise that it getting whatever attention I can muster. It’s all hand sewing, which is very relaxing for me, and easy to stop/start as circumstances (or migraines) allow. Here’s how it’s looking so far in its rumpled up state. The front and back shoulder seams are done and the sleeves are done as well. Next are the gussets and it’s pretty much a cake-walk after that.

I make flat-felled seams a little differently, but the outcome is exactly the same. They look a little puckery now, but straighten out when ironed. As you can see, I haven’t been exacting in securing the seams…the top-stitching could be smaller and more evenly spaced, but it isn’t. I’m fairly certain the world will not stop rotating. (At least not because of my relaxed attitude toward needlework.) The saving grace in all of this is that I don’t have any hard, absolute, must-meet deadlines.

And so it is onward and (with any luck) upward. There is a whopper of a storm front blowing in this afternoon. Thunder, lightning, pounding rain and screaming winds (as in 50-60 mph in some places) for almost 2 days. I have a camper’s headlamp in case the power goes out, a propane stove so a cup of tea is always available and a propane standing stove for heat. Sophie, the wonder pup, isn’t afraid of big storms, so she’ll just curl up by my side and sleep through it.

Perfect conditions for some relaxing and productive hand-sewing. The chemise may even get finished.

Maris Anderson -1893 (

Maris Anderson -1893 (

PS – I just found out that it costs $30/yr to become ad-free. Next time I see the Money Fairy we’re gonna have a serious chat.