Sunday, April 1, 2012

March Round-Up of Awesome

The first awesome thing is all my lovely friends and followers who voted for me in the Whimsic Alley costume contest! As of Friday night, I had the most "likes" on my photo, but I'm still waiting for an official announcement before I do any celebrating.

Not entirely related: Now that it is well and truly spring, CSA boxes are super productive again! Walnut is nonplussed by the giant leek we brought back from the farmer's market.

Other awesome things that caught my attention this month:
  • I am super excited that Avatar: The Legend of Korra is out! I haven't had time to watch the first two episodes yet, but I can't wait til I can sit down and reenter that world. Related: this article about why ATLA is perfect for steampunks.
  • This article about 1911 sewing stitches is perfect for VPLL's 1912 project! They also have a very basic, fuzzy, hard to decipher pattern for a 1912 evening gown that I am itching to try. I've got the perfect slate blue-green chiffon for making Lady Mary's evening gown, and the pattern is remarkably similar, but I am held back by 1) hope that the 1912 project will release an actual evening gown with a clearer pattern and instructions, 2) too many other sewing projects higher in the sewing queue (where would I even wear such an evening gown if I made it up successfully?), and 3) my inability to figure out where some of those pieces go/how they function. Anyone have any clue?
  • I totally laughed at this article that I'm sure many of you have seen already; I just love that the Dowager Countess is the only one who gets portrayed by a cat. Also, I totally thought Mr. Bates = basset hound even before seeing this article.
  • I really appreciate this post written by a friend of mine about what she's learned from fashion bloggers. Natalie always has really thoughtful posts about body image and relating positively to oneself, but this one particularly resonated with me because I feel the same way when I read other sewing blogs. For example, I adore Oona's style; I don't think I could ever pull it off, but I absolutely love it on her.
  • Awesome sewing: I was so impressed with Poppykettle's suit; I swear, one day I will make myself a suit that amazing. And seeing Tanit-Isis' daughter's bear for her teacher's baby made me incredibly happy, because I know how incredibly difficult and occasionally thankless teaching can be, and seeing other people appreciate their teachers warms my heart. On a totally different note, Meg the Grand has been blowing my mind this month with her dresses; I absolutely love her Couch of the Irish dress (she is my hero: a sleek green dress from upholstery fabric?) and Sassy Secretary dress (I knew it; I should've just gone with Joan as my inspiration). Also on the Joan-imitation front, I am in love with Adey's rendition of this dress. I really wanted to make this dress, but I don't even know where to begin with those sleeves.
  • Sewing pictorial: Steph at 3hourspast posted a pictorial for lace insertion. This will come in handy for Edwardian blouses for sure! 
  • Kind of sewing related: Justine at Sew Country Chick summarized the major blog cliques, which I found both amusing and informative. She totally pegged the whole chevrons and Silhouettes thing. I don't fit into any category in particular, as I'm all over the place, but it was fun to see her breakdown nonetheless. 
Now that we're entering April, I am pleased to say that it's National Poetry Month! I'm not an English teacher, but I do love a good poem. I miss the days when Elaine and I were roommates and would stay up late reading poems to each other; it seems that there is very little time/space for poetry in the modern world (or at least in my life; I don't know about yours). So I'm going to try to post one of my favorite poems every day (along with my regularly scheduled sewing/project blogging) for the month of April.

Elaine and I used to read each other angsty poems all the time (we were college students longing for true love and full of feelings), so in tribute to that, and to the month of April in general, one of my favorites of Sara Teasdale's:

I Shall Not Care

When I am dead and over me bright April
Shakes out her rain-drenched hair,
Though you shall lean above me broken-hearted,
I shall not care.

I shall have peace, as leafy trees are peaceful
When rain bends down the bough;
And I shall be more silent and cold-hearted
Than you are now. 

This poem (unsurprisingly) actually has very little to do with my current stage of life, but when I was suffering from unrequited love as a melodramatic teenager, I thought it was the best thing ever. I still love that she manages to capture that sentiment so well, even if now it just makes me think of the poor late Lavinia Swire and how Matthew was so horrible to her.

Everyone knows that x's for eyes and a tongue sticking out signifies dead. Also, look how silent and cold-hearted Matthew looks here! {picture, Lavinia cartoonified for deadness by me}


    1. That post by Natalie is just completely spot on. And your cartoon Lavinia cracked me up. :)

      1. I felt slightly bad drawing on her sweet, blank face. I mean, it's bad enough that she died, did I have to deface her too? ;)

    2. Does it make me immature that I really like that angsty poem you posted? I hope not!

      1. I don't think so at all! I really love that poem still; it just doesn't match my current feelings anymore.

    3. Lovely poem! Good luck I hope you have one. Have a great April! XxxX

    4. Aww---I will tell Tyo you appreciated her bear! Today is their first full day with the dreaded New Teacher. (Which reminds me, must arrange to meet him.)

      I think the gathered-sleeve Joan dress would be a similar basic pattern to my gathered sundress, except with gathers added to the sleeves rather than all across the shoulders. I bet you could get there from a fitted, cap-sleeve type bodice with a little bit of work (hey, it can't be trickier than your cheongsam!)

      My fave high-school poem was Ozymandias by Shelley. Mmm, still gives me a warm tickle. Or TS Elliott's The Hollow Men. :)

      1. Oh, I really hope New Teacher is okay! I would never want to take over someone else's classroom in the middle of the year; it's so weird and stressful. Hopefully the class and him and work things out with each other.

        One day, when I get over my fear of slinky fabrics (and work through my sewing queue -- hah!), I will try it!

        I just read the Ozymandias poem for the first time; thanks for the rec!

    5. I loved this post and all the links! Meg the Grand's Sassy Secretary dress is amazing, and the post about fashion bloggers is exactly what I feel about sewing bloggers. I follow a lot of fashion blogs as well, some for inspiration, and some just because I love their style and the way they write, even if I'd never pull off their outfits. My favorite author ever is Catherynne Valente, and her poem "A Monstrous Manifesto" is posted on my wall at work. I think you'd love it. :)

      1. I used to follow a lot of style bloggers, but for me, that quickly decayed into "why aren't there more rayon bird fabrics in stores?!" Now, I just pin actually potentially-sew-able items to my pinterest.

        I've totally read that poem before and loved it, then promptly forgot about/lost it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention again! I love that sentiment; you were totally right about me loving it!

    6. I'm so glad that you posted that poem. I had it memorized from when I was an angsty teen as well and couldn't remember the poet to save my life!

      1. Oh, Sara Teasdale is full of great angsty teen poems! She was one of my favorite poets when I was in high school (actually, still is); my teenage journals are full of her poems recopied for better angsting :)

    7. OMG I HEART YOUR FACE. Thank you for the shout outs, my darling friend!!! You are fabulous fabulous fabulous :)


    Thank you for taking the time to tell me your thoughts! I appreciate reading them and I try to reply to most, if not all, comments, especially when they are questions. I ask that you keep your comments polite, and if you're a spammer, don't bother because your comment will just be deleted! Also, if you're commenting on a post that's more than two weeks old, it will be moderated.