Friday, October 31, 2008

What fun!

I got to bed at 03:00 this morning, and still hadn't finished up my costume. I got up, ran out to get some socks and a stuffed dog to be Toto, and came home to finish up the last bits. The slipstitching on the blouse went reasonably smoothly. I totally overmeasured on the bib on my dress, so I had to shorten that; I just folded it down to the bottom of the waistband and stitched it there, which turned out to be exactly perfect. I had everything finished up by 13:00, and then got myself cleaned up and ready to go. I was late to my therapy appointment, which made me a little crazy because I hate being late, but it was a very productive session today, so it balanced out. And my therapist complimented me on my costume. Yaay!

I then headed over to C and E's for the Halloween festivities. They have 3 little daughters, so trick-or-treating was the order of the night. They also invited a couple other families who also have their daughters in the same day care. That was rather interesting. It's not too hard to figure out that I'm male-bodied - my facial hair shadow is reasonably obvious right now, even when I get a really close shave. One of the moms tried to give me a compliment, that she totally thought I was a woman from the back. It was kind of insulting, but she didn't know; I didn't want to get into a big explanation of transness, and possibly ruin people's night. Parents of little children can sometimes get pretty touchy about things that are not mainstream. The dads who came didn't quite seem to know what to make of me, it seemed. One was pretty nice, and friendly, and the other was pretty distant.

We went around the block, doing trick-or-treat, and in fairly short order, the girls all either got tired out, or lost interest. There were tons of kids out in the neighborhood, and lots of parties going on in driveways and cul-de-sacs. Everybody was having a really good time. My feet were killing me, because those shoes are not made for real walking, but I dealt with it, and kept my spirits up, and had a good time too. One lady had a little dog, and wanted to get a picture of me with her dog as a real "Toto". A few people gave me some funny looks, but I was past caring much; they say that Halloween is a transperson's favorite holiday, because they can get away with anything, and it was definitely true for me this year. I wasn't passing at all, but it was all good anyway.

Once things wound down and most everybody left, E took a couple photos of me. I don't know if I want to post them here, but if people ask very nicely, I might. Or for those Second Life residents who know me, ask me in-world, and I'll give you a copy (once I get it myself, of course). As I was leaving, C said that my costume was really good, and fairly obvious, but the stuffed dog I had in the basket I was carrying just pushed it over the edge into awesome-land. So I'll take all those compliments I received, pat myself on the back, and call it a major win.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Almost there...

I went over to C and E's tonight, and E worked on the dress, while I finished up on the blouse. She called her mom, to see if she had any ideas about the strange instructions I got stuck on, and she figured them out, even without benefit of the (poor) picture. Yaay! If it hadn't been for E, I would definitely not be able to go visit with K and some of his family tomorrow, and my finishing up would be much more stressful. I kept her up waaaay past her bedtime, but she hung in there, and she did awesome work.

So the blouse needs 3 1/2 more buttons sewn on, the front facings stitched closed, and then a washing, and it's ready. The dress needs to be hemmed, the waist stitched closed, and the straps and buttons need to be sewn on, and that'll be done too. Probably another 2 or 3 hours' more work. I also need to go find a stuffed animal for my basket, and some socks.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

More progress!

I've spent most of the evening tonight sewing. I got the rest of the pieces for my blouse cut out, and started stitching them together. The thread tensioner on my machine is a little tricky to get threaded properly, so after some abortive tries at threading it, I got everything working, and got quite a bit done. The bodice is basically done, with the exception of the facing pieces on the front and the buttons and loops, and the sleeves are about halfway done. I'll start doing the gathering on the sleeves tomorrow, and hopefully I'll be able to sew everything together and call that one complete. Then I can start on my dress and petti.

I told E that I probably wouldn't be able to come to her house on Wednesday because I had too much work to do on my projects, so rather than not get to spend time together, she volunteered to help. So I'm taking my sewing machine and my projects over there, for a big sewing extravaganza. It should be a lot of fun!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Costume shenanigans

After all my struggles with finding the right fabric for my dress, and ordering it and all that, it turns out that the place where I ordered it doesn't have enough to fill my requirements. So I'm back where I started. It looks like my vision of a home-made costume for this halloween just became a lot more difficult.

There are a few things I can do. I can always buy one. E saw an advertisement for a store which had costumes very much like what I had planned to make (though much shorter), for not a huge amount of money. Another option is that the nearest fabric store has a bit over 4 yards of medium blue 1/4" check gingham, but it's not in one continuous piece. I might be able to modify my pattern a little bit, possibly changing the half-circles for the skirt into quarter-circles, and just stitching them together. Based in the sizes of the pieces that the store has, I think this can definitely work. There is also a pattern available which is very cute, is very similar to what I want (also much shorter), and only requires a bit over 2 yards of fabric, which the fabric store definitely does have.

And not only is there the drama with my dress, but there is also a problem with the fabric I got for my blouse... it's too short. The cutting instructions are a little more involved than "fold in half, layout like so, and cut"; it's a couple step process. I did the first step, cut, and set up for the last part. The piece of fabric I have left now is about 3" too short for the pieces I need. So I have to get more of that too. Note to self: always get more than the pattern calls for, just in case.

If I had known this costume was going to be this much drama, well, actually, it probably wouldn't have made any difference. It would have been dramatic regardless.

Monday, October 20, 2008

More costume parts!

I went to the nearby fabric store on Saturday night, and spent a good bit of time looking through the pattern books. I found a blouse pattern which was almost exactly what I wanted, but nothing that was exactly what I wanted. So the almost one won out. I also got most of the items to make the blouse while I was there; I need interfacing for it as well, but that's actually pretty far into the instructions, so I can (hopefully) wait for the interfacing to arrive from my Internet fabric order.

After getting home from work yesterday (what a waste of time that was!), I traced and cut out all the pattern pieces for the blouse, and the one piece for the petti (one piece, cut 14 times), and the waist pieces for the dress. I have to finish drawing the three remaining dress pattern pieces, and cut them out, and then I can start working on cutting the fabric for the blouse.

The clerk at Jo Ann gave me a flyer for their "Moonlight Madness" sale this week, with pretty big discounts on a lot of things. McCall's patterns are 99¢, and a bunch of items are half off. I'm pretty sure the sale prices are also good on Internet orders as well.

I actually have some pictures of my patterns, so I'll post those when I figure out how to work the photo album here on Google. UPDATE: I took quite a few pictures with my camera-phone, but they turned out horribly. So no pictures. Sorry!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Next appointment is set

I just called the hair removal clinic, and my next appointment is on the 6th of November. It will be nice to get rid of this dumb shadow once again.

Yesterday, I went to another four fabric stores, and was unable to find what I was looking for. So being the Internet knowledgeable girl I am, I came home and ordered my fabric online. I really hope it gets here in a good amount of time, because otherwise I'll have to rush, and I usually don't do very good work when I'm in a hurry. This afternoon, in between some things I'm doing in Second Life to get ready for an art show opening tomorrow, I'm looking for a good pattern for my blouse. I also need to draw and cut all the pattern pieces for my dress and petti.

Friday, October 17, 2008

One costume, coming up!

So now that I have Fridays off (I've moved to a Sunday-Thursday shift at work, ugh), I've spent the morning going over the patterns for the dress and petticoat for my Halloween costume. I have my list of things I need at the fabric store, and once the laundry finishes, I'm going to venture out and hopefully I can find everything. I went to three different fabric stores yesterday, including the one that always has everything, and none of them had the kind of gingham that I need. How completely disappointing! I did some searching, and there are several more fabric stores within reasonable distance, so I'm still ok.

Once I can find all my items, and get them marked and cut, I think it'll be just a couple days to make each piece. The tricky parts on the dress will be the zipper (because they always are, for me), and the order that I need to assemble the pieces. The barely-difficult part on the petti will be gathering, plus lots and lots (and lots) of straight lines. Then I'll have a little over a week to either find or make a blouse. And then I'll be done! Perhaps while I'm at the fabric store, I can look at the pattern books for possible blouse patterns.

I'll try to post pictures of my progress. I haven't made any clothes in quite a while, so this should be lots of fun. I'm very excited about this dress - it's going to be soooo cute!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Just tired

It's a tired week, and is turning into a tired weekend. My heart wasn't really into things this week; I got into it with one of my coworkers, and I've basically lost all respect for him, and that kind of colored my week crappy.

I went to the rifle range today with some of the boys, and did ok. I shot on the 200m range, and once I figured out how crazy my sights were, I managed to be pretty consistent. 13 of 16 shots hit the paper. Then we got back and started cooking. I brought sausages, and made apple pie. I undercooked the pie, but it was nice anyway; the apples were a little firmer than I would have liked, but everything tasted fine.

I received one part of my halloween costume this week in the mail. Now I just have to get working on the rest of my dress. It's going to be cuter than allowable by law. E and E's mom know what it is, and maybe C (if he was paying attention). Oh, and it turns out that there will be some more people at C and E's on Halloween, so maybe that's a good boundary that I can push. I can't say I'm totally looking forward to it, since my beard shadow is back in about full force, and it's giving me some anxiety when I'm presenting "her". I won't go in for my next laser treatment until early November, so I'm stuck with it for now.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Progress, perhaps

After the group session last weekend, this past Friday's outing was a little different. Some of the things the group members said must have wedged in my subconscious and done something, because I had a whole lot less anxiety in walking out the door to the car than I usually do. And traffic was bad (it's Houston, on a Friday night, of course it's going to be bad), but I didn't have much anxiety about the people around me, and whatever they might have thought they were seeing. It was pretty cool. Even getting out of the car, it wasn't too bad. We were wandering around outside before dinner, because C and E wanted to show off the results of the cleaning they did to the garage that day (good job, you two!), and that wasn't a big deal either.

Another weird thing I've noticed lately. It almost feels like I'm having phantom sensations in my chest, as if I was missing my boobs. Which, in a manner of speaking, I am, except for the fact that I never had them in the first place. Usually it's the day after I go out in girl-mode, which makes enough sense to turn it a little mundane, but it's still kind of cool.

And I spent waaay too much on shoes today. W00t! I still didn't find any good sandals, but then it's about to start getting too cold for sandals anyway.