Saturday, October 31, 2009

Like, How???

Okay, so I'm putting together a mock-up for my spencer jacket-- I think I got the redrafting thing figured out-- and I was sewing the sides together when I realized that something was really weird. The side back pieces were not matching up right. Then I figured it out:

The back is supposed to look like this:

The side back seams are supposed to grow wider towards the waist. SOMEHOW (???) I sewed on one of the side back pieces upside down! (See how it gets smaller towards the bottom and is bunched up at the top because it's not right on with the lining piece below it?
Yeah... seamstresses do some very silly things without realizing it.
Oh well. It wasn't as stupid as when I sewed a pin in between the two layers of my bodiced petticoat and couldn't get it out because it was closed in by the lining and the main fabric. :-P

At least this was just a mockup. I think I am ready to start with the fashion material. *Gulp* Wish me luck! :-)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A New Project is Cooking!

Shall I tell you?

Shall I not tell you?

Shall I leave you in suspense?

Hm.........

Okay, I'll tell you.

I am putting together a collection of screencaps from "Wives and Daughters", dissecting the different dresses, and, where applicable, giving ideas and resources on how to recreate them. So far I have seven of Molly's outfits done. I would like to do all of her outfits (including coats, bonnets, etc.!), Cynthia's, Hyacinth's, and Lady Harriet's dresses. (Possibly some of the other characters too; it all depends on what I feel like. ;-) )

So keep checking in to see what's up! NOTE: I was working on a mock-up for my Regency spencer but am kind of "sticked" ("stuck" in my language), trying to figure out how to alter the front. :-S We'll see what happens. I also need to get started on an Edwardian blouse for a friend. :-)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Emma, Episode 4 (Final)

Last night we watched the (sadly) last episode of BBC's new "Emma"! I think I have been spoiled by "Little Dorrit" and "Bleak House"-- 4 episodes just didn't seem enough. ;-)

But first things first: my thoughts on Episode 4.

(contains spoilers! Don't read if you don't know the story already!)

Very well done; Box Hill, the conflict between Jane and Emma, the conflict between Harriet and Emma, and the proposal were all very well done. It really had a very tense climax in that Box Hill scene-- it showed Emma at the peak of her immaturity, vanity, and carelessness of the feelings of others; and of her sudden crash as she realized how very wrong she was, after Mr. Knightly rebuked her. "Well done, very well done indeed!" ;-)

Emma's making fun of Miss Bates was better done than any I've seen yet. It took me a while to figure out, in the other versions, what was so bad about what Emma said. This made it very clear that she was being incredibly rude and thoughtless.

When everything begins to become clear about Frank and Jane, and Harriet's feelings for Mr. Knightly, there are lots of flashbacks which are fun and also helpful so that you can remember the things that happened earlier and think, "Oh yeah! I guess so! How could Emma not have noticed that?"

A couple things about Episode 4, though, that I didn't like. The most terrible was that in the Box Hill scene, when Frank and Emma are flirting, he lays his head in her lap in front of everyone! TERRIBLY inappropriate for that era (in any era for that matter!) and in that setting, considering that they weren't married, much less engaged! (I'm not the slapping kind, but if a guy tried that on me, he might end up with a red mark on his face and a sore neck!) However, it did show, in a modern way, I guess, Frank's terrible immaturity, and Emma's condoning of it, and why Jane would feel so hurt and angry towards them both.

As I said, the proposal was good; however, I personally am not crazy about people kissing or leaning on each other's shoulders. Strange that I'm not, being such a romantic, but being a romantic doesn't mean I'm touchy! That was just a matter of taste though.

The ending was somewhat rushed; when Harriet and Mr. Martin get married, a person who didn't know the story might wonder, "What in the world happened?" and would not get an explanation. Of course, with a BBC television show meant to stay within the confines of an hour per episode, it could be that they were running out of time.

View Episode 4 at Tudorphiles.


Now for an overall review of the whole show:

Excellent excellent excellent! It included the things in the book that the other movie adaptions left out, had the "sparkle" of Mirimax's "Emma" though it was closer to the book and had it's own interpretation of some things...

When we finished the movie, I was really in the mood for spiritual application. Jane Austen really had a way of working in the matters of the heart and the importance of godly living in her stories. This "Emma", developing Emma's bad character and her realization of it and her change, was very good, and made me think: Am I, like Emma, full of myself? Vain? Prideful? Immature? Inconsiderate of other's feelings and needs? Impatient? Or do I allow the Spirit of Christ to control me and influence what I do? Do I truly desire others' good? Am I kind? Do I use what influence I have to help others do right? Am I bold to speak up, like Mr. Knightly? Life isn't about us-- it is about loving God and loving others. Sometimes we must fall hard after a major mistake, like Emma, but God uses those falls to make us dependent on Him and moldable in His hands.

My thoughts on all the main characters:

EMMA: Wonderful! A little modern, but I actually liked it. She was funny, interesting, spirited, and very real.
MR. KNIGHTLY: *faints away* SO THE BEST KNIGHTLY EVER!!! Jonny Lee Miller was wonderful as Mr. Knightly. I'm quite carried away. :-)
MR. WOODHOUSE: I love Sir Michael Gambon in all the roles I've seen him in, and he made a very lovable Mr. Woodhouse! A little off from the book, but not too much.
ANNA TAYLOR WESTON: She seemed quite young, but actually the actress's age is about right! I thought she was a good Mrs. Weston.
MR. WESTON: I think he was the best yet. He just.. was... Mr. Weston! I liked him a lot.
FRANK CHURCHILL: Again, the best yet. Not so ... blaagh... as the other ones, but terribly annoying as the story moves along (as he's supposed to be!) Good choice on the casting.
MISS BATES: She was... okay. An interesting take on her character, definitely! Not quite talkative enough, and a little tragic... but she was okay.
MRS. BATES: Again, an interesting and somewhat tragic take. Especially how she begins to talk at the end of the movie!
JANE FAIRFAX: She was wonderful! Not so dull and depressing as the A&E one. I think she was more right-on with the book. I liked how she was more spirited, and I also like how it showed her being trodden down by Frank and Emma, and how they are reconciled in the end.
MR. ELTON: Hilarious! Almost every line of his made us laugh! :-)
MRS. ELTON: The best yet. A much better age, and much more accurate to the book's description. I love how she takes charge of everything and thinks herself so great. :-)
JOHN KNIGHTLY: Perfectly irritable. :-)
ISABELLA KNIGHTLY: She doesn't have too much personality but I thought she was well-done anyway.

Did I get them all? Let me know if I missed someone and I'll edit the post. ;-)


View the trailer here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Emma Episode 3

Forgive me for taking a while to post about episode 3. We watched it on Monday, and whew, it was good!!! Each episode gets better and better! :-)

In Episode 3, we meet Mrs. Elton. She is by far the best Mrs. Elton I've seen! She a much better age than the others, and she is so totally full of herself, always taking charge of everything and patronizing people of her choice. She is very well done!

The best part of this episode was the ball!! It was 99.5% perfect! I say 99.5% because it left out one phrase that I like very much from the book: "We are not so much brother and sister as to make it improper." "Brother and sister? No indeed, we are not!" I wish they'd left that in, but besides that it was perfect! Mr. Elton's snubbing Harriet and Mr. Knightly coming to her rescue was perfect. Especially the look Mrs. Weston gives Mr. Elton. Hilarious! The dance between Mr. Knightly and Emma was beautiful! I loved it. Could've watched it again and again.

This part also develops very well Frank Churchill's immaturity and unkindness to Jane. I really, really like the casting for Frank-- unlike the others, this Frank is the kind I think most girls would easily fall for... whereas the other two were.... um.... I didn't like the other two. Jane is great too, and has a little more spirit than the others, which I like.

There is a HILARIOUS scene when Emma is talking to herself about how she can't stand Mrs. Elton. It is so hilarious, because Emma is so mad at her!! :-P "Knightly! She calls him Knightly! I have known him all my life, and I don't even call him that!!" We got a good laugh out of it. :-)

We liked it so much we watched it twice. :-)

I can't wait for the next episode! And I can't wait for it to come to DVD! :-D


View the first three episodes here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What Happens When...

....you see a fabric you've been wanting for a long time, now at a very good price...

...you decide you can put off that other project...
...to make what really wanted to make but thought you couldn't afford.


:-D
Velvet was soon expensive at JoAnn's so I thought I might have to put off that project, but velveteen was just $5.95 per yard at WalMart so I took advantage of the price and bought it! I need to make a mock-up first and also buy lining and frog closures for the front, and then I should be set.

I will make the corduroy 50's jumper, I promise! Just after the Spencer jacket. I must have a Spencer before fall is over. :-)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Decision

Wow! I can't believe how many people voted the '50's jumper on the poll!

So I have decided, ("I have really almost made up my mind" ;-) ) to make the jumper. I think I will make it out of corduroy, which is on sale at JoAnn's right now (we are planning on going tomorrow.) It will be cheaper than making the skirt just now, and I believe the Lord wants me to use a majority of the money in a ministry opportunity for someone. Besides, corduroy just sounds cozy and fun-- I haven't worked with it before. (Any suggestions?)

Keep your eyes on Jesus!

~"Elinor"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Emma Episode 2

We watched the second episode of Emma tonight, and, believe it or not, we liked it so much that we are presently watching it the second time! :-) This episode was even better than the last episode. Mr. Elton continues to double me over laughing. He is SUCH a dope! His attentions to Emma and his proposal are hilarious!! The riddle was great too!

In this episode we are introduced to Frank Churchill. He is played by the actor of Frederick Hale from North & South, and I like him so much better than either of the other Frank Churchills. We also meet Jane Fairfax in this episode. She doesn't have the deep voice of the others, has a much nicer singing voice, and is sweet and pretty. I can't wait to get to know her better. (I like how it gives her more background so she doesn't show up all of a sudden and make you wonder, "Who is this girl and where did she come from?")

Right now we are rewatching the moment when Emma comes to explain to Harriet about Mr. Elton. It is such a sweet moment as it shows Harriet's sweet, humble, and giving heart.

My only "dislike" about this version, I believe, is Miss Bates. She is not as breathlessly talkative and terribly cheerful as the others-- she has an element of the tragic in her. Perhaps I don't dislike it, but it is rather different. There is a most hilarious line, though, when she is talking about Mr. Elton being engaged, and about the pork that the Woodhouses sent the Bates. "Mother especially liked the hind quarter of the pork. Her name is Augusta Hawkins, and she is worth 20,000 pounds!" We girls just doubled over laughing and almost couldn't stop. It was hilarious!

And what more can I say about Mr. Knightly? *sighs* Oh!!! He is the absolute most wonderful Mr. Knightly! I adore him. He's handsome, he's kind and thoughtful and good... Every time he steps onto the scene it's like, "Woohoo!!! It's Mr. Knightly!" He might be my favorite Jane Austen hero now. :-P I like this portrayal of him even better than Jeremy Northam's, believe it or not! :-D

Costumes are nice too! Lots of jumpers and high necklines. I like that.

Well, without any further ado, here's the link to Episode 2, or if you can figure out the BBC iplayer, good for you!

http://tudorphiles.ning.com/video/emma-part-two-2009-clip-1

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Emma, Episode 1

"Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her." -Jane Austen's Emma, chapter 1

BBC's new movie edition of Emma is presently playing in the United Kingdom. I thought we would have to wait for it to air on Masterpiece Theater, BUT to my excitement, someone has downloaded the first episode to YouTube!!! WOOHOOOO!!!! So this evening we "Dashwood" ladies set the chairs around the computer and played the first episode off of YouTube. :-)
While I do like the Mirimax version of Emma quite well, and don't mind the A&E version with Kate Beckinsdale, both are far too short to contain all the information in the book. So when I heard that BBC was creating a new version, I was terribly thrilled!! :-D

So far I think I like it. It is certainly different than the other two films, and the makers definitely interwove their own interpretation into it. But I think it is very well done so far. It isn't so "fairy-tale-ish" as the Mirimax Emma but definitely more lively and colorful than the A&E Emma.

Awesome casting, lovely music score and sets, and already some good lines to quote, I think. ;-) Not to mention, there are some lovely dresses, bonnets, and spencers. :-) I like the gown Emma wears to the Westons' wedding.

Romola Garai plays a vivacious and often truly hilarious Emma. ("Marianne" said she reminded her of herself. :-) ) Jonny Lee Miller plays Mr. Knightly very well indeed; he's very handsome (I think) and does a good job "rebuking" Emma. :-) Blake Ritson (who played Edmund in the recent film Mansfield Park) makes a slapstick Mr. Elton. When I heard he was playing Elton, I couldn't imagine him playing a dope, but boy, does he do a good job!!! :-D Mr. Woodhouse is portrayed by Sir Michael Gambon-- wonderful!! I love Michael Gambon in all the movies I've seen him in. He makes a good Mr. Woodhouse. :-) Harriet (I don't remember the actress' name) is really cute and quite ditsy. I'd say even ditsier than Toni Collette's Harriet! :-) I can't wait to get to the letter part! :-D Miss Taylor and Mr. Weston seem like they'll be great too. :-)

The beginning has an interesting twist, different from the other versions. It begins by giving a background of Emma's, Frank Churchill's, and Jane Fairfax's lives, and shows Emma matchmaking John and Isabella and Mr. Weston and Miss Taylor. Not quite in line with the book, but interesting. The one thing about it that was a little alarming was that when it was talking about Emma's mother dying, it showed her in her casket... Not that there is anything wrong with that, but Jane Austen rarely (or never?) shows dead people in her books, so I wasn't really ready for that. Not a big deal though. One thing I liked about the flashback was that I never really considered that "big" events were happening in Emma's, Frank's, and Jane's lives all about the same time.

The makers of the film wanted to add some "modern interpretations" to the movie, such as some modern lines and hand motions. Some people who have shared their thoughts already about it have found it distracting and/or disagreeable. Again, I thought it was an interesting touch and don't mind it too much. They did a great job of adding humor, certainly!

Well, I shouldn't say more because I don't want to spoil the fun for anyone. I can't wait til next week; I sure hope the next episode is loaded to YouTube!!

BTW, as this *is* a needlework-related blog, I should add that I worked on sewing one of the jumpers while we watched. :-) I am on the final jumper and it is SO CUTE because it is SO SMALL! :-D

Cheerio!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sewing

Been sewing today...

Denim...

Flat-felled seams...
One down, two to go...And my new pattern...


Fun fun! :-)