Friday, May 21, 2004

Works, spanner in the

After ringing Whaleys earlier to enquire about the delivery timescales of my linen, I was more than a little peeved to find that their Amtrak delivery service (cost: £7.50, billed as "Quick, inexpensive delivery") can take up to a week to get your fabric to you. That is neither quick nor inexpensive in my book, and wasn't stated on the website, so I had a good whinge at them. Thing is, I know that Amtrak deliver faster than that, so it's their dispatch service that takes the time. That's particularly irritating because, unless they're continually accumulating a dispatch backlog, they must, on average, be shipping a day's worth of orders every day. So they're just running late! (And that's nothing; they say standard parcel post can take up to 14 days to get to you. Royal Mail may have it's downsides, but they're not that bad!)

So I was surprised to get back from lunch to find an email telling me my recent order had been partially refunded - but no reason why. So I ring them again, hoping against hope that they've refunded me some money for being pants at delivery (though 50% would be rather generous...). Of course, my linen is out of stock. Now I'm *very* peeved!! Happily, I do know that they have some white self-striped linen that is rather nice; it's a woven stripe, and I've had a sample of it before. They haven't run out of that, so I ordered that instead. And am now faced with the delivery dilemma again. I can either pay £16.50, and get the stuff by Tuesday(! - it's Friday today) or pay £7.50 and get it *next* Friday. Which is cutting things a little fine - there's only 2 weeks left to get it done in. So I go quiet and mumble about disappointment and urgency and the fact that the delivery will be costing me more than the fabric (considerably so - this stuff's only £2.25 a metre!), and the nice girl eventually says she can do it delivery free for me, since they've let me down. Yayyy!! Wish I'd ordered more of it, now. But still, no linen till Tuesday, so no shift-making till Wednesday, at least. In *good* news, I finished the hoop pockets last night. They are remarkably sturdy. And they are made out of foxglove pink glazed cotton, and make me look like the dame out of a pantomime. They're great!! I think they should be tied further away from the waist than I have was trying them, though. Period pictures seem to show the natural (well, corseted) swell of the hips for a short way before the skirts really get going. See? This will also make the top of the hoops less horizontal, giving a gentler swell to the skirts rather than an enormous 'floof'. They are very 'floofy' at the moment; I can't go through doors straight on, for example. I think the somewhat extreme angle may be toned down by wearing lots of heavy skirts on top of them. Hope so! Will try and get a photo of them up at some point, along with design sketches (whose skirts look a lot less floofy than the paniers, and which I infinitely prefer!) Slightly worrying, that... ;)

This weekend's aims, then, will include fitting the stays, making the stays, making a petticoat from the remains of the pink cotton, and if I have time, draping/drafting the robe pattern using the calico that arrived this morning (that I ordered yesterday from Online Fabric UK - shame they don't do linen). If I'm lucky, the draft can also be the robe lining - 2 birds, 1 stone. I must remember to take a paper pattern, though, if I do that - don't want to have to do it all again another time!

Ideally, I'll also find fabric for the jupe and stomacher, but we'll see.

So it's not like Whaley's have severely impacted my sewing schedule - I'll be amazed if I get through that lot, and I have three skirts and a dress to make on order, to boot - but I'm still peeved. I'm really looking forward to making a shift, for some reason!


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