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July 2004

July 31st, 2004 — 5:33pm

July 2004

July 31 — Ugh I fell behind for a while. Sorry. This morning (Saturday) I woke up early and took H to San Diego, and got back around 10. Then Dan and I hung around pleasantly, and I worked on my brown plaid dress — basted bodice to skirt and tried it all on. It’s going to be great! Then Kirsten and Chloe came over and helped me make a paper-tape dressform. I’m too tired to describe the process fully right now, maybe tomorrow. It was a rousing success though. Then we ate pizza and watched Bend It Like Beckham and I did some sewing for K and C. Fun day :)

July 27 — Henry helped me with the groceries this morning, and then we picked up Chloe and brought her home with us. I worked on her dress while we all watched her new dvd of The Beatles’ First US Tour. Then gymnastics, students, home, dinner, bed.

July 26 — I like Mondays :) Today I listened to loveline and cleaned the house and did laundry etc. And then I worked on my semi-regency dress bodice — found some old brown plaid cotton in a bag of scraps, and I _think_ there will be enough, since I’m doing a short A-line skirt. Oooo also the Bas Bleu catalog came today!

July 25 — Chloe came over today! When I picked her up, we went to the fabric store for her regency dress cloth. She picked out a lovely delicate white-on-ivory print. When we got home, she worked on tracing off her pattern while I made food for Dan, and then we went to work. We got a bodice toile made and fitted, and then worked on the actual bodice. Although we went by her bust measurement, the final bodice turned out to be a bit too broad across the chest, but that was easily fixed with a little seam up the front and more turned under for the buttons at the back. Got the sleeves attached and are all ready to work on the skirt next time she comes over. Note — if you use the Regency Dress pattern, you might want to enlarge the armscye. I needed to enlarge it for both of us, and my arms are unusually thin. Dan bought us pizza for dinner, and we wanted to rent Cold Comfort Farm, but no one has it.

July 24 — After we dropped Henry off in San Diego, Dan went to a job interview and then we went to the zoo for a while. It was hot and crowded but we headed for the less-crowded areas (not the new primate exhibit, heh) and had a nice time. There’s a Giant Anteater (near the elephants) that I’d never seen before — what an amazing animal. Also there are a few Ankole Cattle on exhibit now on the Hoof and Horn Mesa — I’ve seen them from a distance at the Wild Animal Park but never close up. Wow! It was very very tiring to walk about in the heat so we didn’t stay long.

When we got home I found that my Regency Dress Pattern from had arrived! I am super-impressed. The pattern come in a fine large envelope, the largest of any pattern I’ve ever bought — I won’t need to buy a manila envelope to store it in. The instruction booklet is well-written and has good illustrations, and is stapled along the spine. No stupid map-style instruction sheet. The pattern itself is printed on heavy paper with thick black lines — perfect for tracing off the appropriate size. I’ve already made a toile of the bodice. I made it an inch longer all around, to acccomodate my low bustline, but I think it’s still a bit high. Tomorrow I’ll experiment some more. I’m going to make a front-button bodice with no sleeves and a knee-length (or shorter) skirt — Yeah Jane Austen will roll in her grave but I want to be comfortable on these hideous hot southern California days :)

One more thing — the pattern only cost $12. Amazing. In the fabric store the other day, I noticed that a basic little dress pattern by Simplicity or someone was $16.50! Here’s this lovely woman putting her heart and soul into designing and selling beautiful old-fashioned dress patterns and charging far less then than the big companies charge for a mass-produced run-of-the-mill pattern. AND she has a fabulous website filled with step-by-step instructions, fitting instructions, alteration suggestions, photos of finished dresses, etc etc. She has more than just Regency dresses too — there’s a lovely 1910 Tea Gown which I adore, and much more. Go buy a pattern from her.

July 23 — I just finished a really good book — “The Hills at Home”, by Nancy Clark. It’s one of those lovely books about people, in which nothing really dramatic ever happens, and it’s all about how the people relate to each other and the little things that happen. Hard to explain, really, since there’s no Murder or Betrayal or Big Plot Devices. It’s just several generations of family members who come to visit elderly Aunt Lily in her big old house in New England and end up living there for about a year. Marvelous characters, very believeable. I loved the bits where everyone was talking at once. You don’t always know who is saying what and it doesn’t matter:

“They’re hoping to make Stockbridge by dark.”
“Whose car is that?”
“Oh, Louis bought them… He took one look at the VW.”
“Stockbridge? I assume they’re staying at the Red Lion? They’ll enjoy that. We always do.”
“But what’s the name of that wonderful inn in Lenox?”
“They’re not going to Lenox, they’re going to Stockbridge”
“Is that the new bigger Civic?”
“Why does it matter if they get to Stockbridge after dark?”

Etc. The back flap says the author is working on another book about the Hill family and I am looking forward to it so much!

July 21 — I sewed all morning (I love my Pfaff) while Henry played and we listened to audiobooks. I made two pairs of Henry-shorts out of Dan’s old t-shirts, and I dug up my unbleached muslin Regency dress, which was nearly floor-length of course, and hemmed it to just above knee length. Now I might actually wear it sometimes :)

After lunch, which we ate together while watching Star Trek (“The Apple”), I was so tired that I fell asleep on the couch for a little while. And then later we went to the library (yay!) and then picked up Kathy so she could come along and watch Henry’s karate class.

July 20 — Henry’s shoes were completely worn out, so we went shoe-shopping before the grocery shopping this morning. He chose black Converse hightops, so now of course he can run faster and jump higher than ever before! He looks so cute. Now I want some too! Tired and headachey. Bah.

July 19 — Did a super-good job on the house this morning, listening to Loveline mp3s all the while (Henry was still down in SD), then hung out with Chloe and Kirsten and Marcos until it was time to pick H up from karate. Got some red ribbon to finish my jeans shorts — I cut the waistband off and then sewed on the ribbon to tie at the waist, very cute, heheh.

July 18 — Dan and I went to Felicita Park in Escondido and walked around there a bit. Nice park.

July 17 — Beatlefair. Chloe and Kirsten and Henry and I went together — Kirsten drove, thank goodness. It was not a great Beatlefair, but when Rockola played at the end of the night it was all ok.

July 16 — Chloe arrived late last night so this morning we went over to Sal’s to hang out with her and Kirsten. Watched Hard Day’s Night (preparing for Beatlefair tomorrow) and part of Spiderman, lazed around. Crampy.

July 15 — Up early, did some sewing (I love my Pfaff). Doctor appointment, then to the lab for more blood to be drawn, then home for lunch (Henry and I ate together while watching Mister Rogers — very pleasant) then off to Park Day, then to Sal’s to teach, then a few errands, then home, dinner, bedtime for Henry, Jeopardy with Dan. Very tired, time for bed.

July 13 — Taught a zillion students for mom. Tired.

July 12 — Woke up early but feeling relatively good, filled with ambition to clean the house a little more thoroughly than I usually do on Mondays. I’m in the middle of floor-mopping right now, but taking a little break. Don’t want to get worn out.

I discovered this amazing woman’s website today: Historically Dressed. My god. Drool. Look at her Historical Sewing Projects page, and also her very thorough Pattern Review Page. I’m so inspired! As soon as Dan is employed and I have the funds, I’m making a paper tape dress form and doing some serious sewing. I adore the vintage reproduction Butterick and Vogue dresses on that pattern review page. Yum.

July 11 — Sunday. I don’t believe I mentioned yet that Dan was laid off on Tuesday (yeah, the day before the Rush concert). His job was outsourced. Delightful. But he’s been spending almost every waking moment seeking a new job, and things are looking promising. His resume can be found here.

He has several job interviews lined up for next week, so today we went to Mervyns and bought him some dashing new job interview clothes. And I polished his shoes :)

July 10 — I actually felt pretty good today, for a change. Spent a long time browsing through GBA game reviews, trying to pick something to play when I’ve finished “A Link to the Past”. I found a few that look like they’re worth trying, so Dan installed “Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland” on the flash cartridge for me. So far it’s fun and cute and not too hard. :)

July 08 — Last night we went to the Rush concert down in Chula Vista. Henry was so thrilled to get to see them! I’m no Rush fan but it was fun to go out with my guys and hear music. We didn’t get to bed until 1am so today I’ve been pretty tired. So I’m going to bed, goodnight. Oh we hung out with Kirsten and Marcos tonight so Dan could help them set up their new TiVo, and that was fun!

July 04 — Happy Independance Day, people.

I am still working on Dan’s quilt. I’ve completed five 2′ x 2′ sections, and am halfway done with number six. Here’s a photo of what I’ve got so far. The one on the table is the half-done one — notice the basting threads. The long section on the couch is all sewn together — eight feet long! That’ll be the length of the quilt, so I just need to make three and a half more strips like that and then I’ll be done heheh :)

Melissa, I wrote back! Ute and Julie, you’re next. Peer V√∂lkner, where are you? Hugs, and forgive me for being such a bad correspondent.

July 03 — Henry’s off with Matthew for the weekend. I did some sewing, and we watched a few more episodes of Northern Exposure (My parents bought the first season on dvd). In my opinion, the first season isn’t that good, and I’m wondering if it will get better over time, or if the show is just not as good as I remember. I think I started watching in the 3rd or 4th season. It’s still fun to watch, though.

In the afternoon, we went to Guajome to play scrabble in the fresh air. Very nice.

Hey look at what They Might Be Giants is doing: They’re selling their own music over the interweb, in plain old .mp3 format (no “digital rights management”), cutting out the middle-man and trusting their fans not to illegally share their music. YAY TMBG!!! I still prefer to buy actual physical CDs though. I like liner notes.

July 02 — Friday. Henry and I took in his recycling and he made $5.48, so then we went to a few stores trying to find a squirt gun just like the one he borrowed from his friend, but had no luck. Also browsed around in Game Stop (or is it Game Spot?) and Henry played a little of the new Spiderman game, which looks pretty cool. I sewed two more pairs of t-shirt underwear. Oh I LOVE my new sewing machine!!!

July 01 — Happy anniversary parental units!

Took Henry to park day, where he and the other guys ran around with squirt guns the whole time, while I beat the “Misery Mire” dungeon in “Link to the Past” and worked on the quilt. In the evening, H and I went to see “My One and Only”, a musical out at the Moonlight Amphitheater. Kirsten gave us one of her comps (she’s in the pit band) and we sat with Marcos and a couple of their friends. It was a fun show, and we had a fine time!

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