Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Glad I Don't Live There Anymore

Ex neighbor friend told me a few days ago Friday the 13th was hell in our old complex.  All the time we were living there, there were a few fires, some kids setting the trash bins on fire, an occasional kitchen flare up, or a patio roof getting caught in too much bbq fluid on the coals, but this was the big one.  Its across from where our building was before we moved into the one bedroom.  No one was hurt, but two neighbors and my mechanic told me the company basically told the victims to go fiddle.  They had mostly just paid their 1,300 months rent for these old late 40s apartments, and the place had shitty wiring, and badly done plumbing, so who knows what happened, but it looks like it raced through the attic along the open holes for the plumbing right into the garages. 

Very nicely documented fire department work video here, so the victims will have some thing to show for pain and suffering, that's for sure.  A lawyer forced the owners to put the homeless in hotels for now.  I would say Kershner and their batch finally got what was coming to bite them in their wallet after years of refusing to fix anything unless a lawsuit was involved, so yeah, much schadenfreude.

I am so glad we do not live there any more,  You can bet the rents on the other flats will go up exponentially to pay for this.  I remember answering the question on Den of Angels, what would you grab in a fire, and thinking, ah, that would never happen, we have fire extinguishers, etc, but hearing from the ex-neighbors how fast it ripped through the building, omg! 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Heat Waves, and Flash Floods?

Friday, July 5th we had a hellish heat wave, 113 heat, that kept up through Tuesday, gradually (too gradually!) going down to 101 and then 99.  It was just Awful!  There ar no 'cooling' stations around here that allow pets, so we hit the park again.  This year we have a 10 by 10 pop up awning, which was a huge help.  Tama chose his method of cooling off.   He doesn't like grass, no matter how much cooler it is on the ground, but we got some wooden folding tables at the 2nd Chance Thrift store which is auxiliary to the Upland Animal shelter.  He took over mine.

Then Saturday, we had a thunderstorm and monsoon like down pour that lifted the awning up about a foot, and scared Tama silly.  He couldn't run for the truck, and climbed up on me and held on for dear life, until the rain stopped. Which instantly turned to hellish humidity.  I hope that was this year's extravagance.  Last year we had an 11 day heat wave but it was not as hot as this!  So yeah, hope it's not going to be a monthly thing this summer.  We were quite spoilt with our cooler of ice and fruit drinks and water, and snacks, but I think we should have packed up and headed for the beach!  The heat will be a huge factor in getting any thing done for the business in the summer months.  If our android based tablets and phones were so hot they would not charge and kept shutting down, I don't think my sewing machine would have a good time of it.  You could iron a seam with how how the phone got, just trying to make a phone call that Friday.  

I am getting the sewing area set up  in storage, now that the fridge and freezer are out of the way, but the heat blew my mental circuits and it took me a week just to get my head clear enough to think beyond daily tasks again! I was drinking a lot of water, but I needed electrolytes and vitamins to get past the heat.  Dai does better than me, but then I have that thyroid thing so maybe that's a big part of it.  I am finally getting the Dior dress bodice cut out and will have something to show for that project soon.  

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Bigger Storage Space

Friday, after getting the tags for the truck, we went to our storage place and switched to the bigger unit I have been wanting for two years.  Once the Salvation Army comes and gets the washing machine, fridge and freezer Tuesday, I will have room to organize a work space!

Edit: I am calling the Goodwill tomorrow. The lady who insisted on calling the Salvation Army for pick up neglected what I had told her, the washingmachine needs a new x-large load censor.  Salvation Army wants everything in pretty much brand new condition.  At least Goodwill will employ some one who will do the small repairs like a gasket for the freezer and a new sensor for the washingmachine and some one will be glad to have that huge old thing that does a whole bedload of blankets in one go.  I will miss the old beast! So I have no idea when I will be able to sort out the moving mess in storage, but it will happen.  In the mean time I am working on the Dior project as soon as my muscles stop aching from the moving!   

Also, we fell in love with a used R-pod trailer at a local Cruise America agent, and while we may not get the credit union to grant a loan soon enough to get it, we may eventually get a newer used one later on. They are pretty awesome and we could park it at storage for 90 a month, and take it camping.  At this point, we are seriously done with apartments.  So many people are saying screw it and going mobile, it just makes more sense to get a travel trailer and go camping.  So when we can afford one (definitly sooner than we will get into an apartment!) we can down size to a smaller storage, put everything we need for the doll business in the trailer, and just use our park pass to enjoy using it.  There are quite a few of them out there for sale used in excellant condition.

Company link here.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Truck Passed The Smog Test!

(Happy happy joy joy dances!)

We won't be in dire debt for the next two years having to put new catalytic whosits on it and all that sensor stuff!  Yay!  Not only that but the guy put a hose back on and now the truck runs much better.  No idea how that thing came off in the first place, but he said it might just have fallen off with age.  Wierd, but check all your hoses and belts for wear and tear once a month, you never know. 

Now we can move onto the plan to get a larger storage unit and set up the business better.  Too bad we have to do it in the heat of summer, but there you go.  A unit big enough to put stuff on one side and the sewing/computer stuff on the other would be a huge improvement on the OMG don't open the door! mess we have now.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

IP SID Dior Goddess Dress: Under Dress

Updated for close up bodice photos.

This is my version of the original here.  This is the foundation for the goddess dress, the cake to the frosting.

Dior was inspired mainly by Nature; the gardens he grew up with are apparent in so many of his more complicated works, and at the Atelier Dior to this day.  The foundation for all this gossamer and fairy work was an under dress that could support the weight of the outer dress, whether it be silk flowers, Brazilian Embroidery, or bead laden.  The models who first swooped into the Dior show room in the New Look were described in “Vogue on Dior” as knocking over the ash tray stands with the weight of their chiffon, silk and lace skirts.  I sincerely hope there were no lit cigarettes in them to leave burn marks in the gowns!

I was very happy to follow the steps described, photographed, and video recorded in everything I could lay eye on re Dior, and find that the under dress looked exactly as it should!  Unlike the original heavy net, I used muslin for the corset, with plastic boning, hooks and hand made loops.  The classic shape (Mid-Victorian) of the corset determined the Dior swoop of the hem, ankle length in front, heel length in back. I put a sliding ribbon tie at the inner waist to allow for snugging it to the slightly smaller waist of the new SID bodies, also a fitting trick of the 50s, and chiffon pockets in the bust for medium or large pads to be put in, depending on the bust of the doll who will eventually wear it.  The dress is patterned to fit the Glamour bust size at 30cm.  My girl is a small bust at 28cm. 

Edit: I will change the slippery waist ribbon for a gross grain one in a bit.  

Photographing in the park has its issues.  First, there is finding a stable flattish area to place the little folding table.  Then adjust for the shade of the trees.  All the while panicking over the dogs barking behind me and the fear that one of them will race up and wham!  So I was incredibly nervous.  I learned a lot of respect for those who routinely take their doll out on location this morning.

The skirt photographed beautifully on the first shot. Except then I realized that her elbow was disjointed. O_O  So I tried to take another photo.  And the wind came up.  

Then the tree branches started moving and a batch of photos came out blindingly sunny, and by the time I tried to take the side view, the wind was blowing all that tulle around to the front.  I gave up.  

And the close up of the bodice structure.  Note that the pads are for 30cm, and I can make thinner ones, depending on the doll who will wear the dress.  The ribbons loops are dress hangers.  I have often seen girls with their first prom dress try to use them as shoulder straps so yeah, just a 'so you know'.  ^_^

And the library has only PowerPoint for any kind of photo editing, so I have to just take the best ones I can.  Next time I will take the tripod.  I don't know why I forgot it, I always use it, but I am a bit ditsy lately.   

Now the fun part begins.  I have no idea how long it will take me to embellish the dress itself, and I have to test some theories I have on some elements, and it is all being done by hand sewing. 

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Dior Project: Under Dress

I've managed in the past week to come up with a fix for the 5 different size Iplehouse SID problem.  The waist only varies by 3 millimeters.  This is a structured shoulder-less formal dress.  The rest is the bust area.  Dior constructed his dresses over a corset and slip under dress.  It was not unusual to use bust 'enhancers' for some figures.  The only thing I am having issues with is that Dior underdresses were mostly netting and the netting these days is not as sturdy as in those days, due to its being finer.  And I don't want to scratch up a doll with the rougher net, so I will stick to muslin and chiffon for the under dress.  This is my goal for the under dress, as I have posted previously; Pictures swiped from the Metropolitan Museum collection,

This is a tea-length version but you can see how he emphasized the waist by dropping the skirt's attachment point.  I read somewhere ages ago in fashion classes that his models had to have waists no bigger than the circumference of their heads.  Of course he hired girls who had been half starved during the war so yeah...they probably were not as big as modern girls are, or as tall as most models these days are required to be. I believe his Asian ethnic background model was only 5 feet tall, but that might be a mis remembered factoid, too.  

Once the under dress is done, the actual dress was draped and pinned on the model wearing it, and the fabric manipulated into position by pins and basting stitches.  The dresses were so structured and supported, they could practically stand on their own in many cases.
This was screen capped from the book, "Vogue on Christian Dior".   You can see the little tweaks to make things fit well past the pattern part.  Things like sweat shields, letting out, taking in, refitting, last minute design changes can be traced, as long as the dress looked good on the outside, the silk and chiffon covered skyscraper-like support on the inside.  And all but the long, straight seams were typically done by hand. If you watch the Dior YouTube vids, it's amazing what they do by hand, and the hours of work that go into each dress.  Thank goodness, I can cut all that by one-third.  Maybe, LOL!