Colette Patterns’ Laurel: Muslin. Fitting the back.

So I’m writing this a few weeks after I took this picture which is a bad thing.  First off, this is going to be a “hmmm.  I think I was doing this here” sort of post.  But here goes.

I’m pretty sure this was the first go-round with the muslin.
Back. It would behoove you to take note of how loose and floppy the back is, especially in the lower back area.

Front. You can see where I’ve drawn in a line at my waist.  Also, please note the lines radiating from the bust point above and below the bust.  This will become important later.
More back?  Or perhaps a picture where I show off my massive arm?

After I took those pictures, I’m pretty sure I had Matt pin out the back according to the instructions on the Threads Torso Fitting DVD.  It seems that patterns are drafted as if we are straight up and down in the back and surprisingly, we are not, so there is usually a ton of excess fabric.  So here’s how it looks now, after pulling some of that fabric out.  Better along the top.
But still a bit poofy nearer the waist.  Except apparently I found that okay at the time.
 The cats helped by watching.
Here is my muslin ripped apart and set up to redo the seam.  Look at all that I took out.
And then, due to my massive deltoids, I just went ahead and gave me more room in the underarm area.
Given the wrinkles around the bust line, I finally agreed that perhaps I am not a B cup any longer.  Which means it was time for my first Full Bust Adjustment!  And here it is.
And here is how it looks recut and resewed.  So much more room.  It was a bit of a revelation.
But I think there might be too much room now? And look how much extra is in the stomach area.
 This is me frowning because I’m not really sure how to get rid of that excess material.

Three sentence movie reviews: Fast & Furious 6

This movie had absolutely every single thing one could ever possibly ask for in a Fast & Furious movie* and thus I greatly enjoyed myself.  Everyone is up to their old tricks, everything moves in a fast and furious manner and every single part of the movie was great fun, especially recounting in dramatic fashion to the boyfriend, who despises these movies.  Which is to say, if you need me to convince you to see this, you are not already a fan and shouldn’t see it, but if you are a fan, you already have seen it.

Cost:  $4.00
Where watched: Jubitz

poster from:

*Includes: stunts that defy every law of physics; people returning from the dead who are not zombies but nearly fully healed people; massive plot holes; Vin Diesel mumbling important lines**; plot points that are laughable at best; a street race IN LONDON, ENGLAND; Gina Carano wearing very low-cut shirts; super cool hand-to-hand combat (because they can’t just drive well, they can also fight, goddammit); jokey dialogue that is funny; funny dialogue that is supposed to be serious; cars traveling through fire; cars being destroyed every which way but loose; incredible lapses in time; and our team having absolutely no problem adjusting to the fact that the steering wheel is on the other side of the car!

**Watching a certain scene in this movie, I am quite interested in seeing if Mr. Diesel could pull off the lead in a dramatic love story kind of movie.  I think he could.  Thoughts?

Three sentence movie reviews: Much Ado About Nothing

I see a lot of Shakespeare and I mostly enjoy myself, but it can have a bit of take-your-medicine-quality, even in the more delightful plays, of which this is one.  However, I can say that this movie had not a whiff of cod liver oil about it and was the kind of charming where my front teeth dried out because I was smiling so much.  It was interesting to observe the cuts Whedon made* (I’ve seen this play a goodly amount, as it’s rather popular) and to watch the romances develop.

Cost:  $7.00
Where watched: Cinema 21, with Kelly.

*fear not, Whedon fans, he does not employ his usual Whedon trick of killing off favorite characters in dastardly and tragic ways.

Essay: On Smoking.

I started smoking when I was 20.  I read somewhere once that this makes me a statistical anomaly—that people who smoke have almost all started by the age of 18 and if you are past that age and have never smoked; the statistics say you won’t ever smoke.  But not me.  I just had to be different.
I started smoking because I needed a vice and I didn’t favor the loss of inhibition that drinking and drugs promised.  Plus, unlike alcohol, I was of age to buy cigarettes, so smoking it was.  I needed a vice because at the time I felt too goody-goody.  I was in college, that college was a women’s college, I was getting very good grades, I was on the straight and narrow as far as the substances were concerned.  I was even a resident assistant in my dorm, which meant that I “got” to write up people for drinking and other infractions.  I hated feeling like I was all good—and the people I wrote up made comments along those lines—so I started smoking.  Just to show them, and the world, that I wasn’t quite the goody two-shoes they thought I was. 
I bought my first pack (Camel Ultra Lights) during Christmas break my sophomore year and smoked a few cigarettes on my own before heading back to college. In my anal type-A way, I planned to smoke for five years and then quit, figuring I would have gotten what I needed from cigarettes by then, and the health damage wouldn’t be too profound.  I did not at all realize at the time that this is perhaps the greatest of goody two-shoes plans for a vice.  At any rate, it didn’t work.  My twenty-fifth birthday came and I smoked my last cigarette.  But that lasted a few days and I bought myself another lighter and another pack.  I quit several times, but it didn’t take for a long time.  In all, I smoked for seven years, until a combination of worry about those fine lines developing around my lips, a regimen of the Nicoderm patch as well as moving across the country and not setting foot in bars for many years finally did the trick.
When I first started, cigarettes were a treat.  On Friday nights, my friend and I would meet up behind our dorm and have a cigarette to celebrate the end of the week.  Saturday was a work and study day for us, and so we met up Saturday night for a smoke too.  It was our time to rebel, and chat, and only one person ever came across us during our smoking time.  I didn’t need all the people who saw me as a goody two-shoes to know that I smoked, I just needed to know that I smoked. 
I transferred colleges and cigarettes went from a treat to a crutch.  I still kept my intake to more-or-less to once per day, but I started to slip now and then and one turned into two.  Then, the summer after junior year I lived alone and cigarettes broke the monotony of time spent by myself.  That was the summer I learned to roll my own, buying first a packet, then a can of Drum Tobacco.  After a time I switched back to filters, (American Spirits, blue or yellow box depending on how virtuous I was) but I’m still glad I have that rolling-your-own skill to fall back on, although I have no idea when I would use it. Perhaps the Zombie Apocalypse will call upon that particular skill set?
After college was when the smoking really took off, especially after I went to work at Whole Foods.  We got two fifteen minute breaks and a 30 minute lunch and I could fit at least one cigarette in all those breaks.  Plus, I moved into a house where my roommates all smoked and we could smoke inside, though we tended to go through stages of quitting so the numbers varied from five smokers to one stalwart firmly gripping the lighter and ash tray.  I also discovered just how much fun smoking in bars could be.  There were times when I went through three or more packs per week.
There are so many reasons I’m glad I don’t smoke. Health, of course, and money.  Those packs of cigarettes add up after not too much time.  And my clothes don’t smell and I don’t have to find places and times to smoke.  Someone once remarked that their favorite thing about quitting was that they never had to manage their cigarettes anymore.  Gone was the pressure to make sure they had enough to last, gone was the search for matches.  And of course, location is a major factor.  Let’s face it, for 10 months of the year Portland, Oregon is a horrible place to smoke.  There are few indoor places and outdoors is miserably cold and wet.
I haven’t smoked for over eleven years now and I’d love to say that I’m completely free of the addiction, but I’m not.  There are times when I would still love to have a cigarette.  There was something about smoking that was just so damn comforting.  I loved the ritual of it.  The chair, the ashtray, the smell of the struck match.  I loved that initial first inhale, watching the flame catch on the smooth edges of the papers, taking in the smoke.  I loved managing the ash—either letting it grow long, seeing how long I could keep it all together, or tapping the ash off the cherry, rolling the cigarette a bit in the ash tray, keeping everything neat. I loved holding an unlit cigarette in my mouth, I loved blowing the smoke of a lit cigarette in different directions to make a point. I loved lighting two cigarettes at once and passing one over to a guy.  I loved when my friends and I would share one. I loved that sometimes when I didn’t want to figure out what to eat for dinner, I could just smoke for a while and call it good.
But mostly what I loved about smoking was that I could do nothing for a set period of time.  I consumed a lot of cigarettes while chatting with friends, but a good portion of the smoking I did marked the transitions in my day.  I could come home from work, collapse into my chair on the porch, light up and watch the smoke dissipate as I thought about my day.  It was a break.  I didn’t have to start right in on the dishes or figuring out when I would get my laundry done, it was just me and the cigarette and time passing.  Since I quit, I’ve never had those breaks again and I miss them still.  Sure, I could come home and set the timer for 10 minutes and just sit, but it isn’t the same.  My hands aren’t occupied, my mouth isn’t occupied, and the cigarette itself served as a kind of timer.  When I finished one, I had to make the decision, “one more?” or move on with my day.  A timer doesn’t do that. 

I’ll never smoke again.  At least I hope I won’t.  I fear that if I have one, I’ll be back up to a multi-pack week in no time.  But there are still echoes of smoking in my life.  Sometimes I inhale when walking by a smoker.  Sometimes, I toss a pencil in my mouth to hold it while my hands are occupied with some other task, and the sense memory overtakes me.  I still dream of smoking now and then, and when I get very tired and very overwhelmed there that craving is again.  But I just can’t put my toe back in, so those ghost cigarettes are all that’s left.  It’s for the best, really, but a part of me hates it.

Pike Schemes found some good postcards.

I sent postcards when I was in Boise, but Pike Schemes found theirs in a different location than I did.  Two arrived today.

Get it?

(Um, in retrospect, you might not get it if you are not familiar with the touchy nature the natives of Idaho’s capital city feel about the pronunciation of their city name.   But for those of us in the know, it’s funny.)


I love that the Boise Rescue Mission has a neon sign.  It’s one of the things I never found odd while living there, but seems strange now.

45RPM: Wagon Wheel

Where I match a song to a specific memory.

I first heard this song at a friend’s singing party and experienced that weird feeling I get when everyone is singing along to an awesome song I’ve not heard before.  It was forgotten in the crush of songs that night but found again in a tiny Hawaiian restaurant in a mountain town in Colorado.

We had traveled to the cool breezes of the summer mountains to see my boyfriend’s brother get married.  It was a fun wedding on a ranch where we rode horses and every morning ate a good breakfast.  Our last night there we drove into town to see (follow this chain if you can) my boyfriend’s mother’s partner’s son Jon play a set at local restaurant.  I’d met the player in question at a different family wedding and found him full of good humor and easy conversation.  That he also lived in Colorado and played the guitar was a revelation for this trip.  It was sunset when we arrived and as the light faded we sang along as Jon played many songs I know.  His set lasted longer than we did and as we packed up to leave he launched into this song.  We walked to our car, we could still hear his singing drifting across a creek that ran through town.  I sang along with the chorus, “Rock me mama like a wagon wheel,” but the next line was interrupted when John spotted us across the way, “Rock me mama–goodbye Dad!” he called mid-line.  We laughed as we found our car and sped off into the night.

Take your poet to work day.

It’s Take Your Poet to Work Day!

I brought my favorite poet, Marge Piercy.  Of course, one of her cats had to come along too.

To alert everyone to this most important day, I made a quick display in the window.  On the right is the announcement from tweetspeak about TYPTWD and a cutout of Emily Dickinson, one of the featured poets they suggested.  On the right is Marge Piercy and two of her poems. (They happen to be this one and this one, both of which I have committed to memory.)

I never saw anyone look at my display all day long.  Alas.

(prompt) ends. Broadsheet Published.

For the past 10 weeks I’ve been taking a writing class called (prompt) given by Write Around Portland.  It’s been a fabulous experience and this night was no different.  Tonight we got our broadsheets, which feature work by everyone in the class.

I was quite happy with my (prompt) experience and in the future I will publish a few of the pieces I wrote during the class on the blog.  In the meantime, thanks to Write Around Portland, my fellow class participants and especially Matt Blair, our instructor.