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!

Suits, Shoes, and Cats! Oh my! (Photo heavy post)

I took a couple of days off of work last week. By the end of the week, I was kind of regretting not taking the whole week, but I did have a good time on the days I did take. The Saturday before, I got up and decided to get started on cutting out my Wearing History 1910’s Suit:

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In the middle of that, Miss PJ called and wanted me to go shopping with her for lace and supplies to make a wedding veil for a friend’s daughter. How could I say no? lol. When all was said and done, we have been gone for five hours, hit two craft stores, and 2 home improvement stores and I came home with the tulle for the new crinoline I want to make for my next 1950’s dress:

I just love this color!

I just love this color!

And some herbs to plant in the containers I have on the deck:

just a few of the fresh herbs that'll be growing on the deck this summer

just a few of the fresh herbs that’ll be growing on the deck this summer

And, PJ picked out her pattern, fabric and notions:

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After we got back from shopping, I finished cutting out the rest of the suit, and started on getting the pattern for the Elsie blouse put together. On Sunday, I got all of the herbs planted, and then headed to PJ’s for the afternoon, and later, dinner.

I was off last Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Miss Elma came over and joined me all three days. Monday we had lunch out, and hit the big box store for a few things I was going to need for my Tuesday evening cooking class. On Tuesday, we hit the thrift store for a bit of fun for my class started. I came out with a couple of vintage patterns for my collection:

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Besides the patterns, I found a vintage style hat and some sewing notions that were bundled together for under a dollar. On Wednesday, I was up early and cut out the blouse pattern. I figured I would start with sewing that, but didn’t get started on it until after Miss Elma left for the day. Then, I set up my make shift sewing station on the kitchen table, turned on a movie and got started:

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I only got as far as getting the body of the blouse sewn together (fronts to the back, and collar on), then I had to knock off to make dinner. I didn’t get back to it until this past Saturday, and pretty much got the blouse finished. That is, until I realized the cuffs where way too big! But, I would rather have them too big than too small. Sunday morning, I seam ripped them back off, cut them down, and then reattached them. After that, I packed up my sewing operation, and headed over to PJ’s to sew in the sunshine:

Sunday sewing, complete with orange margarita and bag partial bag of combos - lol

Sunday sewing, complete with orange margarita and bag partial bag of combos – lol

She has a huge Victorian house, so we set up on her very large front porch, and got down to business. I finished off the button holes on the front of the blouse, came to the decision that I need smaller buttons for the cuffs, and started the suit skirt. After that, I packed everything down, we had dinner, and enjoyed the great outdoors for a bit longer. After I got home, I dressed Jane up in what I have done, so far:

Wow! Looking good, Jane! Looking good!

Wow! Looking good, Jane! Looking good!

I just about have the skirt done. Just waiting on some buttons I ordered from eBay. Once I get those on (adding them all the way down the front), I just need to hem it. I really love how this is turning out! I’ll be starting on the jacket during the evenings this week.

Oh! And, a pair of shoes I ordered for this costume came in last week. Still can’t afford the American Duchess shoes that I really want, so I went with the cheapy shoes from Amazon, again. But, they do look good, they fit really well, and are much closer to my budget, so I can’t complain too much. Here they are:

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I ordered the the same brand as I ordered my Edwardian shoes last year. You can find this pair here. They come in three other colors (I’ll probably be ordering more, somewhere down the line, lol), and they run pretty much true to size, I didn’t have to order a size up like I had to with the other pair. And, in true feline form, as I was trying to get photos, both cats had to do a photo bomb:

"Look! Mom has a camera out. She must want a photo of use. Oooo! What's this?"

“Look! Mom has a camera out. She must want a photo of us. Oooo! What’s this?”

After all of that fun, my goal is to get as much of my suit done as possible by Saturday, as PJ and I want to start on our new 1950’s dresses this weekend. If we don’t kill ourselves working on the garden around the pond in my backyard, that is. lol. Miss Lily is coming over this evening with some fabric to pick out a dress pattern so we can make sure she has enough of what she has on hand, and Miss Elma is making her final fabric selection. We really need to get moving on those, as we want to wear them at the end of the month. No big rush there, or anything! lol. Until next time…. Happy Sewing!

That “Ah Ha!” moment

So, last week I mentioned the awesome, free fabric a friend passed along to me, right? Well, my brain just wouldn’t stop thinking of what I could make with it. It has created what I’m calling Obsessive Costume Disorder. I spent several days thinking on it, and shortly after I posted, it hit me. It was the “Ah Ha!” moment, for certain. I just might be able to squeeze out Wearing History’s 1910’s Suit.

Wearing History's 1910s Suit

Wearing History’s 1910s Suit

I purchased the e-pattern the next day, along with the Elsie 1910s blouse to complete the look. After I printed off the patterns, I tucked them into large pouches, and tried to move on to thinking of my other costumes. Which, I did do successfully, for a couple of days. So, I’ll come back to the 1910’s suit in just a moment.

As for what I currently have to work on? Well, I still have the stuff I’m working on for PJ sitting around, haven’t really touched that in a couple of weeks. I did manage to trace the glove pattern I’ll be using for my 1912 suit. I still need to order the stuff I need for my 1913 corset. After the corset is made, then I can start on the skirt and jacket for the 1912 suit. And, this past Sunday I hit the fabric store to pick up the fabric I want for my next 1950’s tea dress.

Gertie's Tropical Sateen fabric and Butterick B6055

Gertie’s Tropical Sateen fabric and Butterick B6055

After picking out Butterick B6055 to use for the new dress, I went in search of what fabric to use, and I was drawn to this one. It’s Gertie’s Tropical print in black sateen. I just love the large, blue hibiscus flowers. I took the bolt up to get about 5 or 6 yds of it, and ended just taking the whole bolt of 8 yds. I can always find something to use the left overs for. I have decided that I want to make a lovely blue crinoline for this dress. If I can’t find the blue that I want, I’ll just fix my black one and wear it. I’ll be accessorizing it with black tea gloves, my black retro 1950’s heels, and maybe a large, black sun hat. Oh, and while I was the fabric store, I found patterns on sale and snagged my copies of these beauties:

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They are the American Duchess patterns. I was so excited when she announced them, so I was sure to pick up my copies as soon as they went on sale. I also picked up a couple of the vintage patterns I didn’t have already.

It was after I got home from the fabric store, and after Miss Elma went home from our afternoon of iced tea and brownie bites, that I decided that I just couldn’t put off looking at the wool to see what I had enough of to use for the Wearing History 1910’s Suit. It’s almost as if after deciding on the pattern, it became an obsession. I just really want to dive right into making this suit. So, I grabbed a tape measure, a pad of paper and pen and started measuring each piece, one by one. Here is what I have found that I may have enough of to use:

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I figured that I could use the gray for the skirt, the cranberry for the jacket, and the scarlet and gray plaid for contrast on the collar, cuffs and belt. But, I’m still worried if I can squeeze it out of what I have, so I sat down last night to catch up on Arrow and started cutting around the edges of each pattern piece so that I can tape them together, and cut out each pattern piece. Of the 88 pages, I got through 40. Here is what my evening looked like:

An exciting evening, huh?

An exciting evening, huh?

Dinner was cheese tortellini with sauce and cheesy garlic bread, and dessert was blueberry pie. I’ll be trying to finish up the rest of the pages tonight, after a surprise visit to see dad for his birthday. I’m taking him an apple pie, as it’s his favorite, and some vanilla bean ice cream. I told mom not say anything, and that we would be out as soon as I got off of work. It won’t be a long visit, which will be good, as I’m antsy to get back to the 1910’s suit pattern. If it wasn’t for the fact that I do have to get up at o’dark thirty in the morning, I would probably be up until the wee hours to work on getting it cut, taped and then fully cut out. But, since I’m not in my twenties, or even thirties, anymore, I kinda have to get some sleep for work.

Has anyone else had a particular project hijack their creative mojo? If so, please comment and share, I would love to hear about it. Until next time… Happy Sewing!