2016 Year in Review

2016 was not a productive year by most standards, when it comes to my sewing projects, but compared to the several years prior, it was a great year. I started to thinking about the project list I set for myself for this year, and how much of I didn’t finish. Then, I started thinking of how much I did get finished, and how for the several years before I had barely sewn at all. It was very good year in the sewing room after all. So, I thought I would take a look back at what I had wanted to accomplish, and at what I actually did accomplish:

The 2016 Costume Plan
1. 1912 Walking Suit – This is a costume that I have been trying to make since 2013. I nearly finished it this year. I only have a corset, the jacket and the skirt to make for it.

2. 1887 Mourning Dress – A newer project to the list. Never even had a chance to get past the beginning of the planning phase.

3. Great Gatsby Dress – A project that was planned for 2013. We had all planned to wear 20’s dresses to go to see the movie when it premiered, but none of us made it.

4. Regency Half Robe Set – I had bought about 3 yds of two matching fabrics and planned on making a matching set of half robes to wear over an under dress. Well, this goal was mostly met. I did get the under dress and one of the half robes made.

5. 1950’s Christmas Dress – I just wanted to make a lovely dress for the Christmas season. I was going to postpone this project until 2017, but then got it in mind to try to make for this year’s company Christmas party. I almost hit the mark, too. If I had just decided to start a week to two earlier, it would’ve been done. As it currently stands, I just need to attach the sleeves to the bodice, attach the skirts to the bodice, hem the skirts, and make the cumberbund.

Now, for what I did actually accomplish this year:

Mostly finished blouse

Mostly finished blouse

The Gibson Girl blouse for  my 1912 Walking suit.

Folkwear # 203 - Camisole

A full set of Edwardian undergarments, minus the corset.

Wow! Looking good, Jane! Looking good!

1910’s Wearing History blouse.

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1910’s Wearing History Suit

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1950’s Tispy Tea Dress.

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Regency Half Robe with under dress, along with a new chemise and stays.

All in all, a total of 13 individual garments completed. Not bad after a three year dry spell.

Now, time to look forward to my planned sewing list for 2017. What do I want to do in the new year? Let’s have a look, shall we?

  1. Finish the 1912 Walking Suit
  2. Finish the 1950’s Christmas Dress
  3. Sew the 2nd Regency Half Robe
  4. Finally make the Great Gatsby Dress
  5. Sew the Late Bustle Era Emerald Green Dress
  6. Sew a new set of Victorian undergarments, along with a bustle

There is the list, so far. No doubt that it will grow and change through out the year. It looks to be a fun list of goals for the year. How did you do this year? What’s on your list for the new year? Comment and share. I would love to hear what your goals are for the new year.

Be sure to drop back by in the new year. I’ll have lots more My Fave 5 Fridays, along with progress on my sewing list. Until then….. Happy Sewing! And, Happy New Year!

Progress during some down time

I don’t usually get to take much time off of work, as we are a small office, and there’s a lot to be done. However, our company has an accrual system for vacation time (for someone that have over 10 yrs in, like I do, we stop accruing at 200 hours until we use some), and sometimes I have take time to keep the accruals moving. This was the case recently, and I was off of work yesterday and the day before. This meant a four day weekend, plenty of sewing time. Or so I thought.  My Saturday was spent on much needed time with my best friend. With the way our weekend schedules have been lately, we haven’t spent hardly any time together. And what did we do? Shopping, of course! We started out at the fabric store, as I needed to get the snaps for my princess slip and lots of lace trim for my Edwardian underthings. I pretty much stuck to my list, until I found a cute little straw cloche that would be perfect for my Gatsby dress.

A lovely summer cloche

A lovely summer cloche

I was a little surprised to find that it was made by Simplicity, and was only $15. Even better that I have a 40% off coupon. So, into the cart it went. From there, we ended up hitting two  more craft stores. While we were in the second craft store we started getting messages from the men folk that they were starving. So, we called for pizza, hit the big box store for drinks and snacks, and headed off to pick up pizza. While we were in the tiny strip mall (and I mean tiny, like 4 businesses in it), we decided to stop at a new meat jerky outlet to see what they had. I had heard a rumor that they made some really, really, really spicy beef jerky, and this sounded like something the guys would love. So, we picked up a bag of the hottest stuff they had. Later, my husband accused me of trying to kill him. LOL! The one I got was called Diablo, and was apparently hot enough that it affected my hubby the next day. But, needless to say, I didn’t get any sewing accomplished on Saturday. On Sunday, the hubby decided it was time to finally go see Deadpool, so we caught a late morning matinee. As it was a rainy afternoon when we got home, I sat down to sew the snaps on my Princess slip, and then curled up on the couch and napped as the hubby played video games. So, yeah, the only sewing I got done was to get the snaps on the slip, which is now finished. Yay! On Monday, after the hubby got out the door to work, and the teen-aged attitude got on the bus for school, I curled up on the couch and tried to watch some of my shows from the dvr queue, from behind my eyelids. lol. That didn’t last too long, as I had a quick trip to the office supply store to make. So, I was out the door early, hit the office supply store and the grocery store for dinner, and then headed home to get down to some serious sewing.

Time to get down to business!

Time to get down to business!

I decided to work on the petticoat from Folkwear # 203 for my Edwardian Underthings. Since I had spent the evenings last week cutting everything out, I was able to pull out which garment I wanted to work on, and get started. I moved my machine to the opposite end of the table (so I could see the tv), turned on Indian Summer, and got started around 11 am. At about noon I was to the point of putting in the placket on the back of the petticoat, and knocked off for lunch. After a yummy lunch of leftovers, I started back in. I didn’t take too long before I had the dust ruffle on the bottom.

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Up next was the ruffle, with it’s layers of pin tucks, it’s lace inserts, and the lace ruffle along the bottom. But, I only got the pin tucks done after that, as one of the panels wanted to fight with me on the placement of my pencil lines. No matter what I did, they just didn’t want to line up like the other panels. So, after much cursing and re-drawing of the lines, I said forget it, made sure the marks at the very ends of the panel lined up with the other panels, and sewed them together. After that was when I sat down to start the slow process of pinning each tuck, one at a time, and sewing them, one at a time.

Miles and mile of pin tucks

Miles and mile of pin tucks

That was all I got done on Monday. Yesterday saw another trip to the store for supplies I needed for my cooking class I had to teach last night. In between baking up, and cooking up, a few samples for the class, I worked on the lace insert.

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I have never done a lace insert before. I have done lace overlays, but not inserts. I found that I really liked it, and loved the way it turned out.

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You can see in the photo above where my lines just didn’t want to line up for my pin tucks, but I whipped them into submission. 😉 I still had time before my class, so I hemmed up the ruffle real quick. After I got home, I decided to go ahead and get the lace sewn to the hem of the ruffle. Here is the ruffle, hanging over my petticoat, waiting to be gathered and sewn on.

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Tonight I will sit down after dinner, and get this finished off so I can move on to the drawers and camisole. It feels good to finally make some progress. I am getting more and more excited to get this costume finished. Hopefully, the next post will see all but the corset done on the undergarments. I still need to find some spare fabric to make the mock up of the corset, and then pick the actual fabric I’ll be using. So, until next time…. Happy Sewing!

Lost things become found, and pattern stash enhancement (again)

Several years back, my mom gifted with some family heirlooms that she was on the verge of selling. They were ambrotypes of some unknown ancestors. I had carefully wrapped them up, and stored them in the corner hutch in the great room. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to pull them out and look them over, but when I opened the hutch, they were gone. It was another case of “I moved it – where did I put it?”. Well, I found them last week, in the corner of the sewing room, near the temporary home of all my patterns, and came across them when I went down to pull patterns for my 1912 suit (I was silly and filed them away when I reorganized the patterns last month). I was excited and immediately unpacked them to look them over. In the original post, I did say that I wanted to re-create the dress that the young lady wore, and have now decided that it will probably go on my 2017 costume project list. I think I have even found the pattern I want to use for it. I have decided that I will be using a Simplicity pattern (at this point, anyway. We all know how fickle I can be when it comes to planning a project that isn’t going to be made right away, lol). It is a pattern that was originally OOP (out of print), but I have recently found it on their site in their Premium Print On Demand patterns. I’m actually kind of impressed that they have started this service. In my opinion, their quality of patterns has lapsed a bit in the past couple of years, and with so many good patterns that were made OOP in the years that I couldn’t afford to buy/wasn’t collecting patterns, this service offers up a chance to pick up a few of them. At first, I was a little taken aback by the prices, but when I read the description of the service, then I could justify paying the prices for patterns from one of the “Big 3”. Besides, some of the prices for the original patterns on eBay far surpass the price I’m willing to pay for a pattern made from the typical tissue paper, no matter how much I like it, or how long ago it was made OOP. Here is the photo that I want to recreate:

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I know that the fabric needs to be dark in color (black, navy blue, deep burgundy, or dark forest green) with a small floral or polka dot print. I will now be on the look out for fabric, and I’m leaning more toward navy blue or black. The fun part will be seeing what I can come up with. The pattern that I will be using (at this point) will be Simplicity PPOD EA455101. From the look of the photo, I will be using view A with the sleeve caps from view C. In the meantime, I have been researching to see if I can better pin point the year this photo was taken. If anyone has any ideas, please comment and let me know. Any and all help is greatly welcomed and appreciated.

As for pattern stash enhancement, I was out with my mom this past Saturday, and she said she had to go to the fabric store to get some thread. Let me just say it was a happy accident. When we wondered in, I made a bee line straight for the pattern section. Lo and behold, McCalls patterns were on sale! Yay! I was able to pick up the archive patterns that I have been wanting, especially since I will be using one of them for part of my Gatsby costume.

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With all these new patterns, guess I need to start making progress on all of the planned projects, huh? So, until next time…. Happy Sewing!