Scruffy Nerf-herders

Hello friends and faithful readers. Yes, I’m still alive. Once again, it’s been a while. We all know how life can sometimes grab hold of you like a wild dog and just shake and shake and shake until you’re either dead or so rattled that you can’t think straight. Such a thing has sort of happened to me the past couple months. It’s been a lot of up and down, with a few really bad days sprinkled about where I just wanted to curl up under the blankets of my bed and retreat from the world. Or maybe say “Screw it all!” pack a few things in my car and head off to live in a tent in the woods in the middle of nowhere. Somedays, being a predominately cheery optimist isn’t enough to deal with the world.

That being said…I’m back. I had put the majority of my sewing/crafting/costuming products on the back burner of late and thought to myself recently “Perhaps that’s why I’m feeling so out of sorts and unable to deal with all of this foolishness.” After all, I’ve written before about how sitting down to my machine and sewing for a while always seems to make my brain quiet down…or, at least, makes it more likely that I can put my million-and-one thoughts in some semblance of order.

The same goes for writing here in blogging land. The post topics don’t always come easily – sometimes I sit here and have to browse through ideas before I really feel compelled to write – but sitting down and making myself write something tends to have the same effect as sitting down to my sewing machine. At the end of both ventures, I’m bound to have something to show for my time. Now, whether that something will be anything I’d be proud to show people is another story all together. 🙂

Suffice it to say, it was time to get back to work.

And so I have.

First off, I’ve been working on a Civil War-era corset for a friend of a friend who is now a friend. (Try saying that three times fast) Hesa works down in the Richmond area, doing all sorts of history-related presentations, as well as spending part of her free time at conventions and creating awesome anime costumes. Basically, I want to steal her life.

Yes, I realize that sounds kind of creepy.

Anyway, as part of her job, she is occasionally required to dress in period costume. In order to do this comfortably (and be period-correct) she needed a corset. Currently, she’s using one that also doubles as part of her new Renn Fest wear. She’s told me it’s not the most historically accurate piece for her work, and wanted one that actually fit the period she deals with at work.

So…corset work.

This is not the first corset I have made. It is, however, the first time I will be incorporating a front-closing busk into a piece. It’s also the first time I’ve ever tried to do an honest-to-goodness Civil War era corset. My previous pieces have fallen into the category of Elizabethan-style bodies (they weren’t really called corsets at that point), Regency-era corded stays, and what I would classify as costumey corsets.

What is the difference between the costumey corset and what I might consider an actual corset? Simple. History. The corset I’m making for Hesa is based on the kinds that are documented as being used in that period. The blue and gold corset I originally made to go with my steampunk outfit (and which, subsequently, got paired with other items for outings to Fairie Fest) is not exactly linked to a particular point of time in history. Neither were the original corsets Maggie and I made when we first started out doing our costuming.

Looking back at the stuff I made way back then…part of me cringes.

But then, that’s the point of doing this stuff – both the costuming itself, and the blogging about it. One has to start somewhere and, with luck and hard work, it is possible to improve in skill and knowledge and ultimately turn out better products.

Of course, that’s what I’m saying now, before I’m finished with the corset I’m currently working on. We’ll see how well this turns out in the end.

Anyway, before I head off again to my work space – where the alterations to the pattern for Hesa’s corset await – I should probably explain the heading for this post.

If you are, in truth, a Star Wars fan I probably don’t have to point this out to you, but, in case you haven’t noticed what day it is, or in case things have slipped your mind…

It’s Intergalactic Star Wars Day today!

All day long, I have been telling friends “May the Fourth be with you!” It’s the first day in weeks where I haven’t had to inquire about the date as I write a check or try to put a freshness sticker on a newly-made pitcher of iced tea at work.

In a massive turn of the ironic screw, I will tell you all that I – who regularly dresses as a Jedi, built a lightsaber out of bits from the plumbing aisle, often quotes the original trilogy, and frequently giggles at the Jawa bobblehead in my bookcase – don’t own any Star Wars movies.

Shocking, I know.

Technically, they are in the house I live in. We’ve got old VHS versions my mother taped off of HBO back when I was about three. My brother has all 6 movies, I believe (though I’d only be interested in watching A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, or Return of the Jedi). But as for myself…I only have Star Wars-related videos. I’ve got the first season of Chad Vader on dvd, as well as Fanboys.

I think I might just have to pilfer one of the original movies from my brother’s collection, while I work on Hesa’s corset.

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