Sunday, January 12, 2020

2019 Wrap Up

Hello again dear readers! I was a bit optimistic last January when I thought I would be more productive with both sewing and writing. At some point in late 2018 I gave myself permission to just... Take a break. That break ended up being a LOT longer than I thought, but it was good for me. Primarily, this is a hobby for me, and I wasn’t enjoying the self-inflicted pressure. Giving myself permission to take a break was really the hardest part. I spent a lot more time knitting, which gave my hands and brain the creativity they needed while not putting any pressure on myself to keep going. Since knitting takes so much longer to create a finished object, this was just the change of pace I needed. There is just no rushing a knitting project, your hands can only knit so fast. As the year progressed, I have more stability in my moods and life, and I’m starting to feel more up to taking on projects.

I did make a few things last year. Nothing spectacular. In fact, it was just a handful.

Transitional Short Stays

1790s White Roundgown

Cheers Photography for Regency Encounters

Larkin & Smith English Gown

White Ruffled Apron

This is the only photo I apparently have of it right now.

Black “Vigee Le Brun turban”

Regency “Moping” gown

Cheers Photography for Regency Encounters

Yep, just 6 things! But the best part was - I was really happy to make them. I made the L&S gown 100% by hand, and it was such an enjoyable sew. The roundgown was mostly machine done, to replace my old white gown that was dyed pink in 2018, and it was both fast and a delight. The apron was made the day I wanted to wear it, partly to prove it could be done - the base was made in 2018, and I put the ruffle on before running out the door.

While I was sewing the “moping” gown, I was thinking about how much I was enjoying sewing again - exactly the thing I wanted to hear myself say. I finished the gown and dropped it off to its recipient, and then ran back home to make myself the turban to wear that night. I cheated A LOT on it and it’s largely machine-done with a serged rolled hem on the ties, but it was redonk cute and I loved wearing it.

I also started and worked on a couple projects, just nothing else finished. I cut the silk for my next sacque gown, started a petticoat to go with the English gown from last year (both of which are now done), and got the tapes sewn on and down for a faux fur muff.

Most excitingly, while at the October Pride & Prejudice Ball, I met some new people who all echoed the same sentiment - “I want to dress up more, but I feel so isolated”. There are lots of historical costumers in the province, and I know of nearly a dozen in Edmonton alone! So I started a Facebook group for Albertans to find each other - Historical Costumers of Alberta. It’s intended to be more of a bridge between living history (European history in this part of Canada doesn’t really exist before 1759, and even then not until the mid-19th century; both major history parks don’t cover the periods before 1840) and the pure fantasy of steampunk and cosplay. We even had our inaugural picnic, on a blustery October day, where the dress code was “something from your closet”. I rewore my 1840s dress for the first time since CoCo 2017! (I forgot my cape and muff though, and it was very chilly)

For 2020, I started to make a list of all the things I wanted to sew now that I'm feeling ready to take it all on again, and quickly got overwhelmed with the sheer volume of plans. So instead, I want to focus more on HOW I sew. I spent the first bit of January already finishing up some UFOs, and I was taking more time to just enjoy working on them without a deadline, and so spending more time on the little details, such as basting up a hem before stitching it down. Who would ever take all that time, I thought. Y'all - I'm a convert. That was one the nicest hemming experiences I've ever had. Because the first bit was basted, the second turn-up didn't wibble at all, and there was no fighting with pins and being stabbed in weird places. I'm excited to try out new techniques this year and being more thoughtful about the HOW instead of the WHY.

That’s all for now! I hope to post again soon!

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