Still Breathing, And On A New Adventure


Sorry for my abscence recently; my muse is off drinking Sangria somewhere, but occasionally she sends me postcards. I’m not sure when she’ll be back, but I shall try to manage without her for now.

I’ve been okay as far as okay goes; my Mum has decided to come and visit us next month in our own city (after my living here for five years this will be the first time she’s taken time out from jetting off abroad to visit humble little me). I’m looking forward to not having to spend any money on familial contact, to say the least!

I also have a new hobby, but only because I went on Amazon and made an “accidental” purchase. Rather a major one for me, in this case:

Not mine. Mine hasn’t shipped yet

My poor bank balance! On the other hand, I have long wanted to cosplay Jo Grant and a few other fictional sci-fi/fantasy characters. I considered Nanny Ogg for this years’ Discworld Convention, but D informs me that I am too slender, too young and have altogether too many teeth. Oh well, okay then. Perhaps Magrat one year.

The loveable, ditzy goofball that was Jo Grant (Katy Manning)

I’ve already found a pattern which I can adapt to recreate Jo’s denim pinafore minidress, and the pattern for a top that I can turn into the plaid shirt that she wore underneath it. Also my “The Green Death” boiler suit arrived this morning. Unfortunately mine is green and I seriously underestimated the amount of weight I’ve lost in the last two years (believing myself to still be twice the size that I actually am). Nothing that some navy blue dye, some deep waist darts and a re-seaming of the legs can’t fix.

I have only one problem. I’m a classically trained professional¬†upholstery sewing machinist. Sofas, recliners, stools and armchairs.

I have never sewn an outfit in my life, and suddenly I have given myself this new hobby and I don’t know where to begin!

I know that I have some experienced dressmakers following me, and would like all the help and advice I can get please!

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About Missus Tribble

Media volunteer for Epilepsy Action (UK) and advocate for both epilepsy and autism awareness. Seamstress, cross-stitcher, sci-fi lover, ukulele player and Chelmsford's own Pickling Pagan who wants to inherit a TARDIS when she grows up. In the process of writing an as yet unnamed book, with anecdotes and information about being epileptic and autistic - and seeing the funny side! Also an entertainment journalist for What Culture, where I write about Doctor Who.
This entry was posted in Clothes And Cosplay, Doctor Who, Family, Fandom, Geekiness, Hobbies, Home Crafts, I Stitch So I Don't Stab Stupid People, Jo Grant, Katy Manning, The Things I Do In The Name Of Fandom!. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Still Breathing, And On A New Adventure

  1. paulaacton says:

    half the fun will be creating your own masterpieces i know there are some great steampunk sites with patterns you can buy as I have a friend who has used them she has created some amazing outfits but I did once when I thought about creating an out fit get given one great tip….if you are wanting to mock up an out fit rather than spend loads of money buying lengths of calico go round charity shops and second hand markets and buy old curtains to hack up then it doesnt matter if you go wrong lol they are also a great source for material aswell if you look round

    • Heheh, I don’t think I’ll find plaid curtains anywhere, but perhaps I can find an old denim dress to convert into Jo’s cute little pinafore. I need to find a burgandy turtleneck to go under the boiler suit anyway :)

      I’ll have to buy her white gogo boots, but where’s the hardship in buying shoes? :)

      Thanks for the tip – I’d forgotten that some of my dresses were made out of old curtains when I was little :)

  2. Good on you. That sounds very exciting. Will you be using a sewing machine? I’ve always wanted to learn. I’m very good with manual sewing, but never used a machine. Can’t wait to see your outfit. Enjoy your new hobby and good luck!

    • I bought a lovely Bernina sewing machine from an ex-partner’s mother for ¬£50 about 14 years ago. She made clothes for Charles and Diana’s wedding so I knew it was a good machine. She had a huge sewing room which housed several tailor’s dummies, numerous sewing supplies, other small sewing machines and an enormous industrial machine that took up most of one wall!

      Years ago I began making a black silk evening dress and it was going really well… but then my council house was demolished and all my lovely fabrics went missing when we were rehoused and moved. I’d made the top, which needed some heavy adjustments (which I easily could have done), and then suddenly it was gone :(

      • That sounds terrible. Hopefully it won’t happen again and from now on you can wear your own creations. :-)

      • That silk wasn’t cheap so I wasn’t amused at all! I was working full-time back then and so I could just about afford the financial loss, but you still don’t want that kind of thing happening!

        The patterns I’ve chosen to mock up Jo’s “naughty schoolgirl” outfit can also be used to make pretty tops and sundresses, which I’m really looking forward to doing! If we get to another Discworld Convention I’d love to have a beautiful Discworldian-style dress that I can say I made myself too :)

  3. willowdot21 says:

    welcome back chic glad to see you , no good asking me about sewing I am useless !!

    • Thanks for the welcome back!

      I tried to adjust the boiler suit last night; it worked out pretty well for a trial run, but still needs to be unpicked and redone. I wasn’t that far out though :)

  4. littlesundog says:

    I’m no good at sewing either. All I’m good for is a little mending and patching. Keep us posted… maybe we’ll learn something from you!

    • Adjusting the boiler suit last night was *almost* a success! Not quite though, so it needs unpicking and starting over. It came out quite well for a first attempt though.

      Also the patterns I ordered arrived this morning! Now to hunt charity shops for denim dresses that I can tear down for the pinafore – I’m so excited to get started :)

  5. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Pardon me, it MUST be a reflection of where I’m “coming from”, but I thought you wrote “Sorry for my abstinence lately” !! Sorry! “It’s just me!”

    I love your new hobby. You are SO brave! I wonder how it will shipped to you…. in pieces, or laid out like, well, like a body in a coffin! I just can’t imagine sewing anything, and all because I tried, I truly tried, I tried to sew my Barbie doll a dress. My beloved Aunty Betty encouraged me, gave me a needle (bless her, I just realise she taught me how to sew on a button… must show my son Daniel) – and gave me material, and encouraged me to give it a go, and what do you know, threads screwed tight, pulled, knots, a dress that looked like a towel wringed out. Oh mercy, I DO think you’re brave.

    Good luck! Your muse will come back. It always does – trust me (it’s YOURS) :)

    xx

  6. pixilated2 says:

    I think you will do fine on this project. I have learned many new tasks by going to Youtube. Over the past year I have bought several new pressor feet for my Viking, and the instructions on how to use them are severely lacking! I went to Youtube, typed in what I wanted to know, and voila! Several lovely and cheerful people’s videos popped up to help me learn something new. And, of course, there were the most recent videos that helped me to fix my clothes dryer and my dishwasher! You can do this! :)
    Lynda
    PS: It occurs to me that fitting fabric to furniture might be a really good skill to help in fitting fabric to the human form. Am I wrong?

    • Thanks! I began cutting the fabric yesterday, and after so long being forcibly inactive it was like a full body workout!

      I have a Bernina and have all the feet I need for it (Overlocker, button-holer etc) – I bought it from an ex-partner’s mother years ago. It’s a really nice machine, and an absolute dream to use when you’re used to industrial, pneumatic machines (believe me, you don’t want the foot of one of those demons landing on your finger).

      You’re right about my being able to put my upholstery skills to use here; some of those 3-piece suites were bigger than me fabric-wise, and extremely heavy. Clothing shouldn’t be an issue for me at all :)

      PS: A friend of mine gave me a fabulous tip, due to the fact that I’m quite busty. She adviced to set the back of the dummy 2″ smaller than you actually are, put a bra on it and stuff the cups with kapok so that the top is form-fitting. That way you get your true size and shape instead of too tight/too loose tops :)

      • pixilated2 says:

        Thank you for that tip! While I am not busty by any stretch of the imagination… My ‘older’ shape has me feeling a bit tight across the chest these days. I will try this! ~ L

      • Happy to share! My friend is a cosplayer, LARPer and semi professional dressmaker who is a busty lady herself, so I take on board anything she has to say :)

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