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24 March 2005 @ 11:34 pm
Randomness  
I tried Tabata squats again tonight. I only made it a bit over 2 minutes before I crapped out. My legs will probably scream at me tomorrow, but I'm never going to get better at these unless I just keep doing what I can.

I got a bunch of nifty crap at the fabric store today: a 2'x2' cutting mat (that I laid at the end of my existing mat, resulting in 10 square feet of contiguous gridded w00tness), another blade for my cutter, some assorted notions that will make my life easier (like a magnetic seam guide to run the fabric up against so you don't have to think too much about steering it - now why did I not get anything like that ages ago?) The best part is that most of it was on sale. I love it when I happen to hit the store when stuff I need is cheaper than usual.

I started sewing the surcoat trim yesterday. With the presser foot tension on the "applique" setting (one down from "normal") and the thread tension set to 2, the satin sandwich wound up BEAUTIFULLY smooth. Seriously...I haven't even ironed it yet (just peeked inside at the seam) and it looks mad spiffy. The downside is that this isn't a particularly strong seam, but I don't see why it shouldn't work for a piece that is functionally similar to a collar.

Once I get the rest of the trim prepared and the brocade cut out, I'm going to have a real adventure ahead of me. Because of the collar and bottom trim, this is no ordinary lined vest. I'm intrigued by Sandra Betzina's Gold Medal Lining, which involves sandwiching the individual pattern pieces' layers together (so you don't have to worry about making a perfectly matching inner and outer layer) and somehow assembling the pieces so you can turn the whole shebang right side out and slip stitch the bottom shut and have all the raw edges enclosed, but it won't work for this garment. Short version of my best idea: sandwiching the pattern pieces and partially sewing the edges together (leaving the part with trim and the shoulder and back seams alone), turning the sandwiches, pressing under and sewing the lining along the trim, edgestitching around the sandwiches, putting them together, and binding the shoulder and back seams for a nice finish after the garment is done. That was probably more confusing than anything else. My apologies. I promise to take pictures during the process so I can make a detailed writeup later on (and I hope said writeup is actually illustrative).

My wig will arrive by the second week of April. Pictures will be posted as soon as possible. Weeeeeeee. ^_^
 
 
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lemeanie on March 25th, 2005 05:13 pm (UTC)
hmmm
What exactly are Tabata squats? Are they easy to do?
The Heavy Metal Matador: frylockrydain on March 25th, 2005 05:31 pm (UTC)
Re: hmmm
The form is easy and the idea is simple to remember, but the routine itself is difficult as hell. The Tabata protocol involves working very hard at something for 20 seconds, resting for 10 seconds, and repeating. So, to do Tabata squats, I squat up and down in place (going down until my thighs are about parallel to the floor) during the 20-second work interval. I can go rather
The Heavy Metal Matador: frylockrydain on March 25th, 2005 05:41 pm (UTC)
Re: hmmm
GAH! I hit the Post button by accident. Anyway...

It might sound like a simple idea, but you bust your ass during the work intervals and don't get to recover very much during the rest intervals, so it gets very tough very rapidly. I can go rather quickly at first, but then I slow down a ton and can barely do any squats at all. If I keep at it, I'll eventually be able to complete eight work intervals with 20 squats in each interval, and then I get to start adding weight.

This protocol is amazingly effective at improving your aerobic and anaerobic capacity (and cranking up your metabolism to help you lose bodyfat), but like I said, it is fricking evil. It was originally developed to train elite athletes, and it knocked them on their asses. I wouldn't recommend going all out at it unless you've already done a fair amount of high-intensity interval training. For more info on interval training and more friendly approaches to it, look here.