Intentions In 2015

How is a new year here already? Wasn't it just summer? This last half of the year has flown by like a super sonic jet. There's only 14 more days until Christmas, and I'm mostly done shopping. It's going to be a very toned down holiday. We've been putting a lot of (read: all) energy into the house. I've been working like a madwoman with two day jobs, and then my photography business on top of that. We've dealt with some pretty scary pet health issues, which are resolved now, but cost way more money than I had put away for that kind of thing. Despite all the craziness, It's still been an amazing year, and I'm thankful for all the good and the bad. I'd like to just put my intentions for 2015 out there into the universe, it'll help hold me accountable. 

Slow Down.

I've been going full speed for an extended period of time. I need to slow the pace down if not for anything more than my own sanity. I didn't even get the time to participate in NanoWriMo this year, which was a big let down. I've missed events with friends, and time with family.  I need to prioritize the important things in my life in front of the issues of the day. Things that inspire growth, creativity, thoughtfulness. 

Do more, with less. 

This is a repeat goal from many previous years, but going to be very useful this year. I'd love to be a minimalist even though it's not in my nature, but I'm going to try my damnedest to get close. I've been going through my belongings and started to pare down to what I really need. Less things, less to clean, less to spend, less to fuss over. I've also got some pretty big savings goals this year. I'd like to pay down some current debt, save for an overseas trip in 2016, and still be able to not really feel too terrible a pinch in my everyday finances. So a lifestyle is adjustment sorely needed. 

Connect. 

I need to spend more time in improving and keeping my current connections with the people I love. Friends, Family, and Brian. Living far away from family and childhood friends can make that hard. I still have a grand plan for a babe summit 2015 where we can all get some time to catch up and foster our friendships a bit more. Same goes for loved ones that are much closer in distance. More time to connect, more walks, more talks, more time. 

Make.

I'd like to produce something I'm really proud of at least once a month this year. Whether that's through sewing, writing, art, or otherwise will depend on my whim. I've been sorely lacking in any kind of creativity this last half of the year and it's been really to my own detriment. Once a month at least is doable, and worth it. 

Read.

Just as all my other hobbies have been kind of waning in all that is crazy this last half of the year, so has my reading. I did for a brief spell over thanksgiving break get to read at my usual voracious pace, which made me miss it even more. With more people in the house and more responsibilities it's been harder to find time, and a spot to really dig in to a book in the way I'm accustomed to. I need to get a good reading nook going, and find the time to do it. I enjoy reading far too much to not do it. 

More Personal Photos.

Since photography is my profession, I find myself with more photos of total strangers than people and things I actually care about. More personal photos, more everyday, more documenting. I need to start carrying my camera everywhere with me again. It's been in my pro-bag since the start of wedding season. Along with more personal photos, more scrap booking, which I love, and already have basically every supply I would ever need to get going again. I just need the photos. 

That's it. That's my intent for the new year. I will be more deliberate in my actions, my thoughtful in my relationships and more creative. What's your plan?

 

♥ Paige

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Completed: 18th Century Stays

Yes, I have been working on these forever. I did maybe half the stitching by hand, which didn't help matters. I worked on them twice while crossing state lines in the back of the car, and literally every other time I was sitting. I even bought a lap desk - it was that serious. 

Funny thing is, now that I'm done, I see about ten thousand things I'm going to do differently next time around. I hand stitched the binding on the cheater way, where you just squash it all together and stitch it once, instead of sewing on the wrong side, flipping and whip-stitching it down. I'll do it the right way next time. My hand stitching isn't the best in the world, but it'll do for the event I'm attending in January. I used store bough bias tape and silk thread to finish the edges. I also got two different dye lots on my bias tape, but didn't realize until I had already applied almost all of it to the stays. While not completely horrible, I can't wait to take my time to make a way more awesome pair next time. 

 

Supplies: 

  • Fabric: lining-cotton shirting, interfacings- cotton drill, outer fabric- seersucker)
  • Pattern: Butterick 4844 (discontinued) 
  • Notions: Gray silk thread, rigilene boning, metal eylets, and ribbon

What did I change?

  • Changed lacing pattern to historically accurate spiral lacing.
  • added five inches to length.
  • tweaked the boning pattern.
  • took two inches off front and back pattern pieces. 

Here are some photos of it actually on, holy boobs batman. Also after I took these photos I found it it's much more historically accurate to have the lacing gap in the back, and not the front. But I'd already taken pictures so you'll have to wait until the rest of my 18th century underwear is done before you see it correctly. My winter laziness has set in. 

Hopefully I'll start Brian's clothing this weekend, menswear is so much easier for me to sew. But hey! I finally finished these, yay me?

ON THE SEWING TABLE: 18TH CENTURY STAYS PART 2

It has been slow going on these stays. I gave up hand sewing because number one, I'm not good at it, and number two, I'd like to finish these stays before I turn 80. I did manage to get one side completely boned! 

The outside is seersucker ticking, the lining a blue cotton, and there's two layers of heavy duty cotton drill as interfacing. I did alter the pattern a good deal. I had to add four inches after trying on my muslin. I'm a bit long waist-ed but good god was this pattern short. I also took a good deal off the center back  as I was getting a lot of overlap at the top even though I have a very broad back. 

See how short? The neckline also seemed a bit low, and if I had planned on wearing it alone I might have raised it to prevent nip slips, but since I'm wearing a chemise underneath it I'm not too terribly worried about that. If all goes as planned I'd like to have this done by the end up of the week. I'm planning on binding it in a color that matches the lining, while the ribbons, eyelets, and possible flossing will match in a coral color. I won't lie, I'm worried about doing all those eyelets. I've even considered just using metal grommets, but figured I would do it the proper way first. 

On The Sewing Table: 18th Century Stays

Yeah, I know, I'm not posting very regularly. But it's wedding season. Sorry not sorry. I have finally started on my real live, boned, laced and very daunting stays though. I'm attending a living history event in Florida this January and want to go about my costume the right way. So I'm starting from the foundations up. I already have a few chemises, so step two are these stays. I picked up Butterick 4484 (out of print but still available), because it had everything I was planning to make.

From what I've read the stays in this pattern are just a repackage of view B on Butterick 4254, which many people have used with great success. Almost all the reviews say you need a muslin because this pattern is huge, and has a weirdly high back. Really for anything that's going to be a boned foundation garment it doesn't hurt to have a muslin. So despite my need for instant gratification I cut out a muslin. Even though I sized down two sizes this thing is going to need to be taken in a good deal, and that I can tell just from the pin fitting. 

It fits fairly spot on right now, and to actually be useful it needs to reduce a bit. There's some excess fabric in the bust it seems as well. Once I baste this bad boy together and try it on my body I'll know for sure what modifications I'll be making. I'm still pretty nervous about inserting all the boning, but hopefully it all goes smoothly. Anyone have any advice on this pattern, or stay making in particular? 

Travel: Montmarte Shops

One of my favorite ways to travel is rent an apartment and completely immerse myself in the local culture. I'd rather skip the all inclusive resorts, towel service, and maids. I want weird hallway smells, cooking for myself, and most of all grocery shopping. While we were in Paris we did exactly that. Out tiny Montmarte apartment was perfectly situated next our favorite cafe and so many also tiny but amazing shops. Nearly everyday we went to the following two stores, La Jurasserie Fine and Le Grenier à Pain Abbesses. Because honestly there wasn't a day that went by in Paris we didn't want baguettes and tartes, or meat and cheese. I think that might have been 85% of our vacation diet if we aren't counting the Gelato. Or the wine. That was like 150% of our vacation diet. 

I'm getting a little weepy today knowing I can't just walk over there, grab a bottle of wine and some sausage and go sit next to Sacré-Cœur

The bakery was always our next stop. Normally we just got a baguette or two (sometimes the one didn't survive the walk back to the apartment), but on the day I took photos we went a bit crazy ordering things a bit more frivolous than the peoples bread. Fun fact, the price of a plain baguette is actually regulated by the French government and has been since the revolution. 

That tarte though. Sometimes you've just got to go a bit pastry crazy right?

Anna's Costume Completed

Sow with a combination of a chemise (McCalls' 4548), boned bodice (simplicity 5582), a simple drawstring skirt, and a few purchased items (Minetonka Moc's and some Bloomers) we got together a pretty decent pre-1840's rendezvous outfit! 

Just some quick iPhone pictures. Don't worry we intend to fully ham it up once we're actually at the rendezvous, taking pictures in period surroundings will hopefully bring the costumes to life! I'm trying to finish my own costume tonight, so expect a quick sneak peak at that as well! 

Simplicity 5582 : A Second Run.

So I'm making two sets of costumes for the pre-1840's Rendezvous. I finished my friend Anna's Costume bodice over the weekend. It's the same as my mismatched plaid disaster (which I fixed btw, more on that later) and was much easier to piece together. It's lined with a linen-look fabric and trimmed with navy bias tape. 

I actually really like the process of setting grommets. The boning was basically the easiest thing ever as well. The only thing I don't like is how the peplum edge on the inside is sewn so the raw edge is on the inside of the garment. I might encase it if I get time after the event, but for now, no one would be the wiser. 

Simplicity 5582 Pattern Matching Fail

Guys, friends don't let friends let their fabric get off grain. 

I'm actually pretty pleased with how this bodice is coming out. I even get to use grommets for for first time! Although I spent a good deal of time matching up my plaids, I didn't realize the back of the folded fabric had gotten off grain. I was really doing very well everywhere but that one spot. You know right in the front of the garment. (Face Palm).

See? In fact I might just go buy a half yard and fix it it's bothering me so much. Anyone else have a good sewing fail this week?

Thoughts On The Bum Roll.

Yes, you read right. Thoughts on the Bum Roll. I've been in a costuming sewing marathon because of the upcoming living history event I'm attending. The event is Pre-1840's. Normally I don't go above and beyond in my costuming. Since I've been planning a little better this year, I thought I would throw some foundation garments into the mix. For those of you who don't know what a bum roll is, it's basically a pillow you tie around your waist to make your booty look like a table. Case in point, Claire from the show Outlander wears one. 

Outlander is copyright The Starz Channel

While looking at the photos you don't think wearing said bum roll would be all together not too awful, but let me tell you, it's strange. It's pretty much opposite of what you want to do with modern clothing. I'm not sure I need any help in the shelf shaped booty department either. Using Simplicity 5882 I made the bum roll. Check it out on my dress form. 

The Chemise is Simplicity McCalls' 4548 (Which I think is discontinued?). I ended up hating the Kannik's Korner Pattern. The instructions were a mess. I completed the chemise though, and despised it enough to cut out a completely different pattern. But that's a whole other post. The bum roll was easy. So easy you pretty much don't need a pattern. Instead of twill tape I made fabric tubes from the left over muslin from the chemise. I threw a simple drawstring petticoat over the bum roll to see what kind of effect I'd be getting in the photo below. 

It's honestly kind of intense ha. Once I have my heavier over-skirt on though, I think it might downplay the volume of the bum roll a bit? Anyone here have any experience with bum rolls? I was thinking I might make a pair of hip pads instead to see if those suit me better!

On The Sewing Table : Kannik's Korner Woman's Shift 1790-1820

Surprisingly I'm sewing something not for myself at the moment. This is in fact for my Grandmother. What can I say, love of costuming runs deep in my family! In fact, so deep that my Aunt hosts thousands of people at her farm every other year for a pre-1840's primitive rendezvous. Think historical camping. Think french fur traders. It's kind of a blast, and everything needs to be period correct. So She's commissioned me to make her a long sleeve version of this pattern.

kind of boring right? I assure you it's completely necessary, and probably the most important garment for your get up. You wear it under your skirt, stays, and apron. Or if you're bougie enough to have a dress, under that.

Although this pattern looks easy enough, every seam is flat felled. It's not hard to do, but certainly more time consumer than using my serger, which I'm sure would be frowned upon. I'm currently hardworking the eyelet holes and should hopefully be done this weekend. Anyone else doing some historical sewing? 

Gingerbread Spice Dutch Baby

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A dutch baby as described by Wikipedia -

"Dutch baby pancake, sometimes called a German pancake,[1] a Bismarck, or a Dutch puff, is a sweet popover that is normally served for breakfast. It is derived from the German pfannkuchen. It is made with eggsfloursugar and milk, and usually seasoned with vanilla and cinnamon, although occasionally fruit or another flavoring is also added. It is baked in a cast iron or metal pan and falls soon after being removed from the oven. It is generally served with fresh squeezed lemon, butter, and powdered sugar, fruit toppings or syrup. A basic batter incorporates 1/3 cup flour and 1/3 cup liquid per egg."

A dutch baby as described by me- 

"Delicous."

So having no clue how to make one I turned to some of my cookbooks.The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook  hasn't ever really let me down in the past and this is no exception. I omitted the cloves and they tasted to me a bit like pumpkin spice dutch babies. In the way that pumpkin spice lattes don't contain any real pumpkin that is. 

 

Yield: Makes 2. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon light molasses (I used cane syrup)
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Lemon

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the eggs in a blender and blend for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth and pale in color. Add the brown sugar, molasses, flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and milk and blend until smooth.
  2. Melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a 8-inch ovenproof skillet over high heat, swirling it up the sides to evenly coat the pan. Pour half the batter into the skillet and immediately transfer to the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the pancake is puffed up. Remove from the oven, dust with powdered sugar, and drizzle with lemon juice. Serve immediately. (I cooked two skillets simultaneously without issue.)

 

Something New.

I've run Lux Per Diem for the past 3 years, it was time for something new. Consider "Very Paige" that something new. While I've tried to define my niche over the years as a blogger, I always regret trying to stick to one topic and my blogging suffers. This blog will encompass anything and everything that appeals to me, it's very me so to speak. There might be some dust over the next couple of days, but bare with me as I get everything into top shape. 

For those of you who need information from the old blog posts, you can find them here. 

♥ Paige

I love reading your comments! If you also have a blog don't forget to put it in the comment form so I can check it out. Thanks for reading, you're the best! Disclosure Here.