25 March 2008 @ 01:08 am
I watched the second episode of the John Adams miniseries on HBO tonight. I think I'm addicted, though the poignancy of it all keeps bugging me a lot. I feel like a lot of the acting is overdone, not in a hammy sense, but in a sort of history angst way. Instead of being the intelligent, witty family that their papers show them to be, Adams et famille keep coming off as rather . . . dull. Not dumb, but boring and poignant. Everything is on a knife's point -- I really feel that it needs a little bit of lightness thrown in to relieve the emotional manipulation. The only relief is little Charles constantly running headlong into danger.

So, to relieve myself when it all gets to be too much, I start singing this song from 1776. That makes me feel better.

I am enjoying it, despite the heavy handedness. The theme song, for example, is fantastic. I hope we play it in city band this summer, or something like it. I'm just a fool for a sea chantey on a fiddle with some flutes backing it up. Makes me want to jig or break into a hornpipe. The costuming is also pretty good, though I wish they had given Nabby Adams some extensions. Shoulder-length hair on an 18th-century girl just seems wrong to me.

One product of unmitigated good:

I am definitely in handsome-guy-in-a-wig-and-knee-breeches overload. Mein Gott in himmel! Mr. John Hancock looks very good in a powdered wig. Very good indeed. And the representatives from the Carolinas in their entirety all look pretty fine in their side curls and finely fitted coats.

It's all really making me wish there such a thing as Hallowe'en in April, though, because I absolutely feel the need for a robe a l'anglaise now. And big hair. HUGE hair.

I have the third episode recorded, and I cannot wait until they arrive at the French court. Whoo! Ben Franklin sexing up the French ladies!
Current Music: High Germany -- Heidi Talbot
13 May 2007 @ 10:18 pm
I still can't get a robe a l'anglaise out of my head. I intended to cut the skirt for my Tudor kirtle today, since that's really the last thing left to do, but instead I looked at robes a l'anglaise on the Internet all day. Like this one, which is truly lovely. It also brought me to the realization that I'd be willing to use *gasp* shantung for this project. So, I trundled over to Fashion Fabrics Club and found a billionty beautiful silk shantungs for $9/yd. Oooh, copper. Oooh, pink. Oh, holy drooling, royal blue! Obnoxious, obnoxious royal blue!

Wait, when did this become a project? I haven't even decided if I want to make this, right? I don't even know anything about the 18th century, past watching the musical 1776 an indecent number of times.

I've also come to the realization that I hate bag lining. I can never get it to turn neatly and the lining is always rolling out and BLAH. I can't even figure out why patterns for modern clothing always call for bag lining. I always end up flat lining and finishing stuff with bias strips or facings. Flat lining and finishing seams with tapes, etc. is so much easier. You just have to be willing to do a little handsewing.

I can make a corset, I can drape a pattern on a dummy, I could probably even drape a pattern on a smart person, but I cannot bag line worth a damn.

Pah. I wish I hadn't sent all my fabric home with my mom on Saturday. I could be doing something easy like making a partlet, but instead I'm sitting here looking at shantung I can't afford and making little hamster noises. The kind they make when you hold a carrot just in front of them but don't let them touch it.

No! Bad Sarah! No shantung for you!
Current Music: Caravan -- Mills Brothers
13 May 2007 @ 02:44 pm
I've been doing random Web site cruising tonight, and now I can't get these lines from Beauty & the Beast out of my head:

Gaston: Le Fou, I'm afraid I've been thinking . . .
Le Fou: A dangerous pastime.
Gaston: I know.

Because I'm afraid I've been thinking, too. About what?

Pet en l'airs. Striped anglaise. (Which makes me think of creme anglaise, which makes me want Boston cream pie. Yum.) Saucy little jackets. Quilted petticoats. In my stripey green fabric.

The only problem is that I only have barely five yards of the fabric. Oh, and I have absolutely none of the underpinnings for an 18th century outfit. ButI do have an 18th-century corset pattern that fits me. I've just never gotten around to making it.

And there is a French & Indian War reenactment that takes place every fall near my hometown, though I'm not sure I'm bold enough to just show up in full regalia, since nobody else does except the sutlers and guys who fire the cannon. Apparently there is also a period dance group in Milwaukee, that I wish I had been aware of earlier.

But stripes! New corset! Silk petticoat with ruffle!

On the Tudor kirtle front, I've bound the armhole, and I think I'm going to end up ripping out the neckline and doing it by hand. There's some wonkiness in the front that needs to be taken care of.

Would anyone like to weigh-in on my embellishment question from a couple days ago? Mad Photoshop skills, I know.

Four choices, and I can't decide if it's even a good idea )
Current Music: Victimae -- Anuna