Tuesday, May 3, 2011

In which links are substituted for content

Today is a sewing, errands, and perhaps even reading day, so here are some links that I'm thinking about.  The insightful Ethel Louise has a very smart post on the recent celebrations over Osama bin Laden's death, and her discomfort (which I share) regarding both the message such celebrations send abroad and their meaning for policy and thought at home.  While I saw my facebook overflow with the kind of nationalistic celebration at the news which is being reported in the media, I'm skeptical regarding the extent of such celebration.  The reports I've seen, at least of the street celebrations, seem to have been small in number and in participation, making me think that they are being reported out of proportion to the number of people participating in them.  Which makes me wonder why the media finds it important to focus on these celebrations--perhaps to convince viewers that the news of bin Laden's death is more important than it is, both symbolically and strategically?  EL has much more on the symbolic importance of the news.

Tenured Radical has a provocative piece on the intersection of war abroad and the war on women, responding in part to a piece in the Nation on the recent rollback of American women's access to basic health and reproductive services.  While teaching the 20th century history course this semester has been very difficult given my background, that course and the Obama administration's ambivalence towards the attack on half the nation's (and, through foreign aid spending policy, half the world's) population have convinced me of the conservative turn of both the GOP and the Democrats.  When Eisenhower, Nixon, and even Reagan look progressive compared to the sitting Democratic president, you know the left in this country is in trouble.  Which makes the use of socialist as a political slur all the more infuriating: what we have seen is the expansion of state power without the expansion of state protection.  Given the erosion of citizens' access to government after the Citizens United SCOTUS case, the non-wealthy in this country, especially women, are increasingly subject to the will of the government without a voice in its implementation.

In less upsetting news (or possibly more, depending on how you feel about sewing), I'm going to do So Zo's Me-Made-June challenge, and try to wear one item of self-sewn clothing during the month of June.  I'll be trying to take daily photos of what I'm wearing, but I'm only going to do weekly posts of the photos.  I like the idea of trying to move more away from purchased clothing, and I think I finally have enough clothing made to go for a month.  I'm planning on making a top or two to round things out, though, because I have a lot of dresses and skirts and not much else.

In RTW news, the jacket is coming along, but I'm stumbling on the handsewing in the jacket front.  Well, not so much stumbling as taking a long time.  I'm cheating all over the place by mixing methods.  I'm doing some of the RTW techniques, like the block fusing for some pieces, but the jacket front has different interfacing requirements, so I'm doing a mix of the pattern's couture methods and the pattern's suggested RTW methods.

Blog Pictures 384

As you can see in the photo, I'm doing fusible interfacing but also handstitching things like the tapes for the roll line and the pocket fold, as well as the pad stitching for the collar.  I also forgot somehow that the couture method requires an underlining (a layer between the outer shell fabric and the regular lining) to provide body, so I had to rip some seams and put in the underlining, which took some time.  It's also not benefiting from being schlepped around in my bag, which is the primary reason my knitting is on hold, because the second little sweater has suffered a few too many dropped stitches in my bag going from home to class for me to want to pick up for a while.  My jacket fronts were stuffed in my bag yesterday for between-class sewing, and suffered quite a bit of wrinkling in the interfacing.  It doesn't translate to the outer surface, but I hope it doesn't mean the interfacing will peel off at a later date from wash or wear.  Has anybody found a way to keep your bag from eating your projects?  (Or a way to follow the news without becoming totally disenchanted?)

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