AJAX BELL

Author of the Queen City Boys books


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Everyday dress

A few days back Cabbage Babble linked to this dress.  I decided to try my hand at making one for myself.  I have some silvery black lightweight denim what would be perfect.  Today I patterned the dress out and made a muslin with some burgundy twill I had in my stash fabrics:

red-twill-dress01

red-twill-dress02Clearly it has some fit issues, which is why we make muslins, right?  I made on-seam pockets instead of the small patch  pockets the original had and I am very happy with those.  The shirring will need to go higher up the back and I’ll space the rows farther apart the next time around.  Also I’ll curve the back seam a bit so the neck doesn’t gap.  The bust darts need to be reshaped as well.  The original dress had bias tape trim on the armholes and the neck, and I interfaced the dress instead.  Partly because I didn’t have enough of the fabric to make tape (it’s interfaced in a darker, solid purple twill)  and partly because interfacing is easier for me.

Over all I’m pretty happy with it.  I think this is a wearable muslin, which is exciting given the amount of work it took.  Seriously, everything takes twice as long as I think it will.  When will I learn to double the time it will take from get go?  On the other hand, it did only take about 5 hours and that was with having to rethread the serger 27 times (each time taking about 5+ minutes).


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the news is blues unless the news is new shoes

Saturday I read political blogs all day. ALL DAY. Shockingly I did not suffer an aneurysm. However I do have much much much less faith in the human population than I did before.

Sunday I read sewing blogs all day. Now I want to cut up everything I own and sew it into something else. The only thing that is stopping me is that I need to spend an hour finishing and cleaning up all my other craft projects in order to set up the sewing machine.

Of course I spent much of both days watching seasons 2 – 4 of Scrubs with Ladybug. We really do lead the most interesting lives. Now I am supposed to be coding (I was until I started writing this) and Ladybug is actually cleaning the house and being productive. We did, maybe go shoe shopping yesterday. In honor of that, here are the new shoes I’ve I acquired in recent weeks:

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Ladybug and I both admit that we have shoe problems, we buy many and hoard them. In an attempt to end that, we both cleaned out our closets yesterday of shoes that were worn out, fit poorly or simply weren’t going to be worn again. Here are the shoes we are getting rid of:

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Yes, that is a laundry basket each (and how amusing are the DSW bags in the background?)! No, I don’t know yet what we are going to with them. I wish I knew someone we could give them to to make art out of or something.

I’ve been thinking about ti for a while, but after seeing the shoe madness here, I’ve been much more seriously taking a three month non-consumerism pledge. Which is to say purchasing nothing beyond what I need for survival food etc) for 3 months. If I want new clothes I have to make them, etc… And of course I can make gifts etc, as that is clearly possible from the massive of amounts of craft supplies I have stashed around the house. Still it is a big decision. I’ll probably sit on it for a while.


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crafty sewing fool

I do not have even half the time I need to do everything I want to do.  And yet here I am buying sewing patterns.  Because I am going to sew when?  Maybe I can get a monkey and teach it to do some of my stuff so I don’t have too?  A good, flattering skirt pattern that will work in multiple fabric weights will be endlessly useful in our house and, because I’ve been thinking about it for far too long, I am determined to make the Butterick 4790.  Also contemplating buying a crinoline to wear under all my full skirted dresses.  Is that ridiculous?


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Ginger and rhubarb are really good friends

Things I meant to tell you yesterday:

At work the other night a couple of regulars came in and while I know them on sight, I hadn’t much talked to them. It turns out they are from Seattle. I like really from Seattle, grew up there and everything. So we talked for a while comparing high schools, neighborhoods we’ve lived in etc. As it happens, they live like 9 blocks from me for a while, and they moved to Nashville the same week I did! Totally bizarre! I am glad to have new back-home friend here. Hooray.

Another friend of mine was in the bar later and was pretty drunk. As he left he pulled a classic, “I love you, man” on me. Except nicer, telling me how much better I make the world, how people in general should try and be like me and on and on and on. It was very sweet. Sometime I forget that people really like me. I mean, I’m not all moping around, “I guess I’ll eat some worms,” but sometimes you really click with people and it’s good to be reminded of that. Even if it takes the effusive, unrestrained love of drunk folks to make that reminder.

I wore the cute green plaid dress to work. All the boys noticed. I don’t mean in an oo-la-la kind of way. Usually a cute dress will garner comments from other women, asking where you got it or just telling you it’s cute. It takes a very special dress for half a dozen guys to comment on it. I mean the fact they even noticed seems impressive. It probably didn’t hurt that I was rocking the whole 50s looks, sans irony or cheesy rockabillyness.

Right now, on my TV, Jamie Oliver is making rhubarb compote with honey sweetened yogurt and ‘cookies’ made of puff pastry coated in sugar and cinnamon and pan fried. This is so close to the hippie desserts of my childhood. I want it so badly. It would appear that I am making brunch tomorrow. I wonder if I can get rhubarb at the farmer’s market this early? Also Jamie just said, “I’m going to make a fantastic dish that I made up out of thin air the other day.” God, I love him so much. Maybe I’ll have an all Jamie Oliver recipes brunch tomorrow… Oh, “groundnut oil” hehehehehe! I swear I could write pages of running commentary on lovely Jamie’s own comments.

Seriously, Jamie’s food is sooooo distracting. I had other things to say. Let’s see, uh… Oh! So last night I was talking to this cute boy I met recently and after two meetings with me he was somehow laboring under the impression that I had two teenage daughters.

“Ginger and rhubarb are really good friends.” Oh, Jamie! He’s beating ginger biscuits with a stick. Hehehehehe. Perhaps I shouldnn’t try and do anything else when I’m watching Jamie Oliver. It’s really so distracting. Rhubarb custard souffle? Nomnomnom.

Anyway, wow, two teenage daughters? Me? Seriously? Sure, I guess I am old enough for that, but no. No. No. No. Miss Sparkle wondered if he wasn’t confusing her and Ladybug with teenage daughters, rather than housemates. Miss Ladybug wondered if he didn’t have some crazy drunken dream in which he recreated me as a more bizarre character than I already am. I find over all I’m pretty disturbed by the entire thing. Yes, I’m not having kids, but I do take parenting very seriously so I think maybe I’m just really shocked that anyone would think that someone with my lifestyle was a parent. Yikes.

Of course, if I did have teenagers, I could send them out to work and make them support me in my old age. Heh. That’d be nice.

I should go wake Ladybug up and get started on our errands for the day. Number one, buy a fan for my room. It’s finally warm enough that I couldn’t sleep last night. I’m sure it was just a week ago that I went to sleep in sweatpants and worried that there weren’t enough blankets on the bed.

There was some discussion of swimsuit shopping today. As there is poolside sitting in our future. I think I am in denial about it still. Ugh.

Now Jamie’s making vodka/rhubarb cocktails. Why am I not tiny enough to live in his pocket and sample everything he makes?


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brainless

Yes, work still consuming my fucking off time.  Lots to say, no time to say it.  Got clothes and  a song of the day and not much else for you:

DealershipFaded Crushes (clock to download)

When I have time, maybe later today, hopefully I will remember to tell you about work last night, the people from home, the love of drunks, and boys & dresses but for now I will leave you with today’s dress:

Although I’m wearing it in dark brown (I did buy both dark brown and the pretty purple). I think it looks way cuter on me than it does in that picture.


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dressed to eat, shut up about drinking

This morning was a getting dressed and having my usual trouble picking shoes. Hmm, I thought, the white flats with strawberries on the left one and cherries on the right one? Perhaps a bold choice with this dress:

And then I remembered that I am covered in tattoos, and while my friends might wonder at some fashion choices I make, no stranger on the street or customer at work is going to look at me in a sleeveless dress and think, wow, that was a bold shoe choice. It’s kind of freeing, actually. Fashion laziness by default.

Yesterday I lost 6 hours of my life to taking the class to get my ABC card. This is my permit to serve alcohol in Tennessee. Getting it entailed 5 hours of listening to the instructor literally drone on about the archaic liquor laws in TN and then endless discussion of how to tell if someone is intoxicated, and graceful ways to decline to serve more drinks to an intoxicated person (um, yeah, right). Hours of my life that I am never getting back. Fortunately the card is good for 5 years, so I don’t have to suffer through it again for a while.

Today is also the second day in a row I have left my phone at home. ARG. I don’t really even need it, you know? But not having it feels weird, like a continuous vague sense that something is missing. I think perhaps I should leave it at home more often. As I don’t like being that dependent on anything.

I had some stuff to say about food, but I’m at a loss. I did spend an hour on the phone last night talking about food, which most definitely is not the extent of what I have to say on the subject. Maybe I just need a little more coffee so I can go on to day dreaming about lunch.