Monday, August 12, 2013

Costume College 2013

I debated which of the two blogs this should go on, since it's got both costuming and intensely personal things. But it's Costume College, so... on the Costuming blog it goes. :D

Costume College and I go back a long ways, though I don't always attend and I don't always write about it. I took a year off when it moved to the Warner Center Marriott, because first years are often really difficult. But I've taken off other years too, especially in those dark years between graduation and having some semblance of a steady career.

I'm always fascinated to see what changes, and what stays the same. New events are invented and discarded, new traditions, old traditions.  And what my gripe was last year, was the same-y-ness of the classes offered. This is not a criticism of the CoCo board, but instead one of those realizations of adulthood: If I was grumpy at the lack of classes, I should find something I knew and teach it.

So what do I know?  How procrastination screws over your ability to complete large projects? Right, no, not that one. Umm, fabrics and burn testing...? I'm still not great at burn testing. Recycling thrift store things into historic costume? Yes, sure, because nobody else knows how to spot useful bedsheets, curtains, duvet covers...  So... Sewing machines it was.

Naturally, I procrastinated on actually writing the presentation until the last minute, and I was up until 2am the day we left getting it ready. In the end I had to distil it into Powerpoint at the last minute, fix up the animations, and make a few last changes before teaching.  BUT! With all the machines I brought, a helpful dose of lolspeak, and a bare sprinkling of profanity... It went well.

I would hazard to say even that it went REALLY well.  When I looked up from my nerves and presentation-clicking, I noticed people standing against the back wall. I took up the remaining 15 minutes between classes fielding questions and showing people my 112-4 video. Every-other time I got into the elevator the rest of the weekend, I got complimented on the class.

I also taught a short class on making lacing strips, which went well even if we ended up running over with the students bottlenecking at the grommet setter.

So let me back up now a bit and tell you what a FABULOUS time it was, hanging out with Michelle and Cherylynn and Marion and Claudia and Cathy and Tonda and all the rest. Holy crap, I think I've found My Peoples!   We made a food run Thursday night, and did dinner after the meet and greet party. The rest sort of blurs into a wave of awesome: the huge group dinner at Maggiano's, dressing in our Super Secret Group Costume ("The Collected Works of Alphonse Mucha"), going to PF Chang's in said costume and getting alllllll sorts of people daring each other to come up and ask us who/what we were. And Sunday Undies with three of us in peignoir sets.  And this is to say nothing of the late night drinking.

Between teaching and partying, I didn't have a lot of time for costumes, surprisingly.  I didn't bother dressing up Thursday. I wore my favorite black-and-white polkadot dress-from-Ross to teach in on Friday. I put on the Blue Hawaii Jiffy dress for the Ice Cream Social Friday night, then changed into a doric chiton made out of a bedsheet, and a giant drapey pink dupatta as a palla for the pink princess toga party-or-whatever-that-was. Saturday I got dressed up in what I call "The Tackiest Pirate Ever" costume. Saturday night was the aforementioned Mucha-ing, Sunday Morning was again the aforesaid peignoir sets. Sunday day I put on the newly-finished red Butterfly Blouse (I LOVE THAT PATTERN SO MUCH) over a pair of jeans because I Simply Couldn't Be Bothered.

There are not many pictures of any of these ensembles, sadly.

The last class I took on Sunday was actually about how programming works. And between what I gleaned from that and Michelle's curiosity about Limited classes, we have Plans to help bring CoCo into the 21st century. Oooh, but we do!

Monday, I somehow managed to be the Tour Leader for an independent trip to the Garment District. We got there early-ish, or at least before the bus, and hit up Em-Bee. He's got some reallllly nice fine linen right now, so I snagged two yards to make headcoverings out of. We then remembered ourselves and dashed to Home Fabrics before the bus got there. I found lots of interesting stuff for other people, but nothing sadly, for myself.  Much Shopping ensued. Some of us who will go unnamed nearly bought out Fabrics and Fabrics. ;) When we took a break to head over to Maple Grill for lunch we found that they'd closed down! Sadness. So I asked the shopgirl at the Epic Trim Place for a recommendation, which she gave. We walked the three long blocks to find possibly THE best koobideh kabob and falafel ever.  And on the way there (and consequently on the way BACK!) we passed the Fashion Bookstore. They're in a nice building with nice bathrooms, so double-bonus.

At that point we started wrapping up and trickling off, since it was a long way home.
The drive home was, well, the long drive that it always is, except this time lengthened a bit by someone overheating in the "bypass" lane on the grapevine. I think we lost about an hour there, sadly. But stopping early for dinner at Tejon Ranch meant we saved ourselves the extra stop at Kettleman City, so it worked out in the end. I got home and frantically unpacked so that Chris (who'd been in Las Vegas at a hacker event all weekend) could come home and crash out with the con-crud.

A+++ event, would do again. :D

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I know, I know

Things have... not been going.
I got home from CoCo last night, and it was a GREAT event, but there was a moment when I was packing when I was so desperately unhappy about the amount of sewing I have not done that I was in tears. I managed to put together a bunch of good costumes despite this, but I still feel awful - I made one outfit for our awesome group costume (and I'll post more about that later) but I honest-to-God haven't had time to really SEW anything.

I've finished a bunch of unfinished things (and boy-howdy do I have a lot of unfinished things), but nothing new. (Butterfly blouse, two aprons, the old 1950's kit, the Kentwell English Fitted Gown.) I've even got a pile of things that will never be completely done (pre-making aiglets, making stuffed-fabric buttons, lucet cord) and it's just... unsatisfying. 

I'm posting this because I feel like I need to get this out, that I'm about to start unfollowing some people because I find myself actively resenting the amount of time and motivation you find to sew. (I probably won't, but it's just a sort of cry-for-help, I-need-you-to-understand-where-I'm-coming-from statement. When your reaction to some of your friends is "oh geeze, another gorgeous gown, and I still can't even figure out if I'm the same size as when I started this one, oh crap..." it's maybe time to step back and reconsider.

It's the social aspect. It really is. I suck at holing up in my cramped, dark apartment by myself to sew. I can force myself to do it, but what I really want to do is hang out with other people... which means I hang out on the internet.  Which means I get no sewing done. I get no exercise. I feel like crap.

And then I feel guilty about it and go months between posts. :(