Friday, June 19, 2015

Chemise-Shirt Blouse

blouse dimensions

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Of Stuffed Animal Cakes and Imaginative Play

Isaiah is now really playing with other kids (his siblings). Let me explain why this is a big deal.

In the past, he sometimes tried to incorporate children into his interior universe. He spends a lot of time in his interior universe, making up stories, or wandering about holding a sword, wearing his helmet, with a noble look on his face.
Last week, Jenny was crying. "Idaiah hit me!"
"Isaiah did you hit Jenny?"
"I need to kill the dragon"

Or, today, he was waving about his little ruler Anduril that Josh made him back when he was 2 months old, swinging it at Keziah's head "En Peter took out his sword en cut off duh man's---?" waiting for me to fill the words in. Mommy only talked about spankings and losing the sword.

He likes other kids, since he was 2 years old, trying to make friends with them by running up to them and hollering "DADDY BLUE BEAVER!"
But mostly these attempts (that I have observed) resulted in the other kids looking at him like some sort of freak and backing away. (There was that one kid that shrieked in his face, and Isaiah responded by growling, the shrieks and growls escalating, before I dragged him away....looking back I think I misinterpreted things and they were becoming friends....)

He's played "with" Jenny and Kuzzles, but its mostly what child psychologists call "parallel play," Jenny builds her "caves" and Isaiah builds his superheroes out of megablocks, happily side by side except when the inevitably clash over the dwindling resources as "Big Captain America" is as tall as the blue blocks can go until he runs out,  etc....

But now, I really am noticing it more and more where he actually plays with them. This week, as I was trying to put Keziah down for her nap, Isaiah and Jenny crept into the darkened room, Isaiah holding a big stuffed Panda. He burst into a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday to you", and instructed me to blow the candles out on my "black en white cake". Then he cheered for me, and we "ate" it. Jenny got really into it.
Now, the kids room is covered in cakes. We have the "moose cake" and the "sheep cake" and the "pink pig cake" etc. It has become a ritual, with Isaiah and Jenny singing happy birthday to themselves and eating their stuffed animal cakes. Jenny actually tears at their fur with her little teeth. We're working on that part.

Isaiah dressed up in his (beloved) Captain America suit. Jenny was donned in the Spiderman suit. "Isaiah is Capun America and Jenny is Spiderman"
Then he turned and looked up at Josh who was helping them suit up. (He was wearing a plain green T shirt). Isaiah considered a moment and proclaimed. "Daddy is Big Green Hulk"
Josh then went back and put on his purple shorts. He came back "Isaiah, Big Green Hulk has...?" "Purple Pants!!!" Isaiah was so excited, he picked up a block and placed it on top of another block, in the shape of a hammer. He came up to me and handed it to me. "Thor needs his hammer."
Then he looked at Kuzzles, playing with blocks.
"Kuzzles is Hawkeye"
But then he changed his mind on that, looking for his pool tube lightsaber.
"Woki needs his wightsaber" and he gave Kuzzles the lightsaber. So Kuzzles was only briefly an Avenger before becoming Loki.

Jenny is still working on the concept of pretend eating. The other day, when we were outside, she told me. "I'm a sheep!"
"That's nice"
"Sheep eat gwass"
"Yes they do" I affirmed. A moment later I turned and saw blades of grass sticking out of her mouth....

Jenny also randomly announces "Jesus says 'I wuv you Jenny'". Sometimes its "God says, 'I wuv you Jenny'"

The other day I was having a bad day. I yelled at the kids and was generally being an awful mom. Jenny and Kuzzles way of reacting was getting into more trouble. Isaiah looked over at my glaring face and said "Mommy, dont' be sad"
That kid is so perceptive. I went off into another room, calmed down, and 15 minutes later asked the kids to forgive me.
Isaiah burst into "Jesus shed his blood for us" and went on to explain the process of Salvation, quoting from the Donut Man's "Repair Shop." He frequently quotes long bits of movies, but I don't think the choice was accidental....

Keziah is now climbing everything. She can climb up the slide in 20 seconds, and stands triumphantly, beaming at me from the top of the slide while I run to grab her. I've found the only thing that really works is to put on her little crocs, which lessen the friction enough that she flops scrambles at the bottom of the slide, venting her frustration with little yells.

Keziah loves yelling. She yells when she's happy. And she's happy a lot.

Keziah also loves climbing chairs. She climbs up into the rocking chair, and rocks herself looking triumphantly at the world. It's a heady drought, being able to look down on the heads of the masses.

Keziah is now fighting for her toys. Today Jenny took a toy away from her and Kuzzles tried to bite her. I'm afraid I just watched in admiration at Kuzzles futile attempts to get Jenny with her few teeth. But Grandma intervened in time and restored the stolen toy.

Keziah is also very affectionate, the most affectionate child I've met. She now will randomly bestow her "kisses" on you, where she makes this little clicking kissing sound with her tongue, and then bestows a slobbery mouth on your cheek. And then beams at you, before going back to playing.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Arwen's Bridge Dress: Analysis and Planning

Analysis on Arwen's Bridge dress. (Analysis on Arwen's Bloodred dress here)
So here are some thoughts on making a cowl-neck, Arwen-inspired maternity dress.

I have now come to really like this dress, even though initially it was not my favorite from the movie. Maybe it was the fact it only showed up in a smooching scene.

Watching people kiss...especially when us as an audience is forced to be right up in their just, so, awkward for me. I mean, if its sillhouetted against a sunset, and we're kind of watching from a distance (like an unscrupulous 14 yr old might, say, watch the neighbor boy and his girlfriend kissing in his front yard, in this completely hypothetical situation...) then its kinda sweet.
But when we get camera angles like we're watching from 3 ft away while they're kissing....well...I'm pretty sure the hypothetical neighbor boy would have minded that....

Um, I love cowl necks.

This cosplayer made it so beautifully, she convinced me to try to make it.
Farothiel on Deviantart "Arwen's Bridge Dress"
Farothiel on Deviantart "Arwen's Bridge Dress 2"
Maybe its because the way she made it reminded me of my dream wedding dress (that, alas, I had neither the funds for nor the skill to make when I got married.)
From here

from here
 Some other cosplayers who did a decent job...
Therese on the Alleyscratch Scrapbook

by Eryndis-Waldlichtung on Deviantart
Sidhe on the Alleyscratch Scrapbook

Sidhe on the alleyscratch scrapbook

Looking at all of these, I know I really like the cowl neck. 

I also like the look white chiffon hanging down....even in Therese's example with the little bit of chiffon, its still beautiful. I'll probably do sort of petal-like half sleeves...maybe removable...we'll see.

I think I prefer fitted bust, and empire line for this one...actually, I think I end up preferring that for all of Arwen's dresses....

While the exposed shoulder top looks lovely on these folks, I just can't get used to it on myself. Firstly, the tops of my shoulders BURN LIKE CRAZY (I don't even know why. But they do). And secondly, it looks (on me) a little too night-gownish, I think.

So, onto practical construction...

Ta'anit Isis made some cowl neck shirts, and made this handy infographic.

from Ta'anit Isis HERE
As you can see from her pictures, her cowl extends under the bust. 
As my bust will be full of milk, I don't think I want it accentuated any I will only slash my pattern (the red lines) to above the bust apex point.
My favorite part of her design, is how the back shoulder extends to the front, where the cowl actually starts. This is an ideal way to add in a gathered shoulder, without having to worry about the shoulder, or the cowl, becoming all untucked, because they are actually separate pieces.

The other thing I love about this design, is I can make it nursing accessible by having 2 layers of "fronts", the under-front is just there to form the armhole and keep the shoulder line, its neckline will go under the bust. Then the over-front layer will be the cowl, but where the pleats are, its actually just hooked (2 sets of skirt hooks?), making it simple to open and nurse, and hook it up when you are done.
I will make my own infographic at some point to illustrate....