Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Sunny days are the very best for housecleaning, because the sun is streaming in and spotlighting all the places that need attention. They are also the worst, for pretty much the same reason.

This is the same problem I had yesterday at an exhibit of set props and so on from the Harry Potter movies (no explanatory link needed, I think?) You know, with the costumes. I learned to sew in Home Economics class when I was about 12, and terrible as I was with the school machines, I recognized immediately the theatrical possibilities - because for more than half my life before that I'd been watching old movies on a mainstream TV station and period dramas on the public broadcasting one. I never got very good, but I did get very persistent at making over vintage clothes to fit me, and I wore them too.

My poor parents. There they were, having survived the Depression and the War and doing everything possible to give their children an education so they'd have a marketable skill and there I was wanting to find a way to sew or knit or write stories for a living.

Just as well I didn't argue though because I could see from those costumes that I don't have the spark that would have allowed me to compete for jobs with the likes of the people who made them.

There's one character whose name I forget but who wears a disheveled looking suit that makes me just want to hug him every scene he's in - and yes, it was pretty clear looking at the suit that it's made without any sort of interfacing, so the rough tweedy fabric has to give itself its own shape. And the formal dress outfit that Ron has to wear when Hermione has her date with someone much more dashing? Well, it's better than it looks on screen, and much cooler than the staid black and white that Harry wears, but you can see how the combination of fabrics and colours would make it an embarrassment when viewed through a camera. My favourite though was the Bloody Baron's costume - the fabric was nothing like anything I'd ever seen, and I can't even imagine how you'd sew it. Just the imagination required to source the materials for these outfits is beyond my comprehension.

Fortunately I don't feel as hopeless with words... and fortunately, words don't take up nearly as much storage space. Bad enough having to vacuum and clean on a sunny day without having to shift around a lot of sewing gear to do it.

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