Captain’s Log, Isolation Day 34. The crew of the Starship “No, I’m Zelda” is doing well, combating cabin fever with good books, engaging school work, intriguing games, refreshing afternoon trips to the backyard, and a steady stream of Harry Potter content. In an effort to improve costume quality, most sewing activities have been converted to manual; however, this has begun to interfere with Animal Crossing time. Momma’s got digital loans to pay and these hands ache. End log.
Hoo boy were we in a different place in last month’s post…. Complaining about the pile of projects on the studio table in preparation for dance and costume events, prioritizing con crunch over sleep, feeling [mild] guilt over skipping regular workouts. I knew the lockdowns were coming, but lived life as if they weren’t, and now I’m four weeks shoe and bra free with too many project options. My muggle job is one easily worked from home. I have a supportive partner and fairly independent kiddos who make the day-to-day less grindy. Despite my enjoyment of faires, cons, and space exploration, “Professional Homebody” has always been a way of life for me. It’s glorious to have weekends free of commitment, but I’ll admit to feeling overwhelmed at the amount of content being pushed out to keep us all connected in a time of distanced socializing. The costuming world is pushing the envelope for online engagement, and while my eye strain is real, I’m still here for it.
Burnley & Trowbridge is producing a YouTube series of all levels 18th century sew-a-longs, complete with Friday live Q&As. I’ve finished a set of hand sewn pockets and a petticoat, and some stashbuster fabric is currently being transformed into an apron. B&T’s hyper-personable videos bring endless joy on each release day. The next trial will be struggling to find similar content for my medieval and 16th century ‘jawns’. Someone should start a channel for that….
Mostly off the table are both Orko and Allura. The Wizard needs his LED eyes mounted to a balaclava, but homebound or not, I’m lazy and there’s no rush. The Masters of the Universe photoshoot at The Great Philadelphia Comic Con has been pushed to September for now. I still couldn’t find the dark place within my soul to weather the robes, but I might consider some scorch marks and airbrushed dirt if I get bored.
The Princess is awaiting a few finishing touches for ultimate fangirling and fancification. As soon as life outside got postponed, I decided to take my time and go at the gown without a machine. As always, the hand sewing process is wholly relaxing and extremely rewarding. Who knew that rolled hems on cotton voile would be much less terrifying and stressful than expected?!? Once she’s done, we’ll be ready for a backyard photoshoot, while my pre-preteen pouts that her corresponding Pidge ensemble hasn’t even been started.
Speaking of her little highness…as an unexpected by-product of distance learning, Mini-Me The Elder has expressed a desire to try out blogging. She’s named her new feature, “Being in the Background” and plans to provide you with 9 year old glimpses into our costume studio.
During all of this non-travel, I’m also doing my darndest to support my favorite costuming suppliers while I can still pay and they can still ship. Most recently, I’ve patronized the American Duchess Spring Cleaning sale, ordered fabric and sundries from Burnley & Trowbridge for their sew-a-longs, requested samples from Silk Baron and some yardage from Renaissance Fabrics, threw a bunch of pewter goods into a Billy & Charlie cart, and ordered a couple pairs of earrings from Dames a la Mode. Half of that should get me into a position to start my version of Carracci’s “Portrait of an African Slave Woman” and my Medieval Link. I’ve also watched, liked, followed, and subscribed, as necessary to help out where I can. This is my hobby now.
With the hour-by-hour existence in which many of us are currently living, I try to keep myself focused with low pressure “Maybe I’ll Do” lists. One of my items was cleaning out fabric scraps and old (like, old-old) UFOs in my studio. I was able to fill three shopping bags of questionable fiber content scraps and remnants that I know I won’t use. Since we’re all stash busting now, taking a couple of hours to re-sanctify my studio space and really sort through what I have has been both useful and therapeutic. There’s still work to do, but the work I did was a great distraction.
While my eyes have stopped doing the “office twitch” in these four weeks of isolation, it still took me three days to publish this post. I don’t want to explore what that means, but I do want to say that we all process differently. Stay home, stay healthy. I see you.