2016 Sewing Year In Review

Hello! Happy (Belated) New Year! I’m a little late to the 2016 review/ring in 2017 party but better late than never, right? I hope you all had a wonderful and as unstressful as possible holiday!

I’ve only done one sewing year in review before (for 2014) – I only started this blog in 2013. Last year I just could not get my act together for it, there was WAY too much going on – namely, frantically preparing to teach (for the very first time) 2 courses at a local university for which I’d been hired only just before the holidays. This year I’m teaching again, but it’s not quite so insane…..yet, lol. And man, has this been a bumper year for me in terms of sewing! It didn’t seem like so very much while I was in the middle of it all but looking back it’s surprising even to me how much I got done! Going through this list I’m counting 31 distinct projects – several of them made up of multiple garments. Holy Doodle! I guess this is what happens in a year when I’m engaged in neither all-consuming-research/thesis writing or working a normal-people-hours job! And somehow my fabric stash is only slightly smaller than it was this time last year………………………….oh well.

I’ve decided to break down this review into the three main categories of Historical, Non-Historical, Home Sewing with sub-categories of “blogged” and “not blogged.” I think I did manage to blog most things but there are a few that got missed so I’m using this post to play some catch-up – I hope you won’t mind!

I think 2016 was probably unprecedented for me in terms of the number of historical makes, never before have I had so many reasons/occasions/events to do historical sewing for. I’m getting totally spoiled here in DC and already don’t know what I’m going to do without this kind of vibrant historical dressing community when I go back to Canada in a little over a year and a half.

I did a little calculating and discovered that I sewed 101 metres (approx. 110 yds)) of fabric over 2016! Although my net reduction of the fabric stash was only 23m…….. Anyway, I’d like to say that this year’s goal is to beat that figure but I’m not sure if that will even be feasible, I guess we’ll see!

Historical – Blogged


White Cotton 1797 Gown


Blue Velvet 1795 Open Robe



Lavender Silk Taffeta 1795 Open Robe



“My Nearly Fabulous” Teal Duchess Silk Satin Francaise

from Taylor1

The fit of the dress needs a little tweaking and the wig needs re-doing (it was my first try at one of these!) so I’m considering this the trial run of this look.


DAR Ensemble


This may be my current fave picture of myself – thank you Taylor!



Rust Silk Taffeta “Italian” Gown

Although I do also love this rather saucy one – thank you again Taylor!




Plum & Chartreuse Natural Form Gown



Historical – Unblogged

Of  course, I intended to blog each of these, just never quite managed it.

January – 1908-Inspired Dressing Gown

When we first moved into this house I had plans/dreams of creating a whole 1908 wardrobe to go with the house but this is as far as I’ve gotten. There have been just too many Georgian/Regency events down here to sew for that those have forced 1908 to the back burner!


February/March – Purple Silk 1780s Stays

For all that Georgian sewing I was starting to do I needed some 18th century stays. These are the 1780 stays from Jill Salen’s book. They’re a mix of HA and not, the pattern and overall construction being HA but done on machine with metal grommets and not all HA materials. The silk taffeta covering was scraps left over from one of my Garrison Ball dresses.

2017-01-18-10-02-48 2017-01-18-10-02-57

November – Black Silk Mantle

A very sweet little piece made from the pattern in Linda Baumgarten’s Costume Close-Up.



December – 1910-12 Burgundy-Plum Wool Walking Suit

This suit was made using tracings of three original late teens commercial sewing patterns – an interesting sewing experience!



Modern – Blogged

Most of this is my “Summer Frock Parade”


White Cotton “Canada Day” Dress

2016-07-01 10.29.13

“Minty Fresh” Stretch Poplin Dress


Pistachio & Ivory Print Dress


Mini-Print Cotton Lawn Dress


Lavender Border Print Dress


Flamingos! Dress


Light Grey Cotton Dress


Vintage Bedsheet Dress


Olive & Aqua Print Lawn Dress


Red & Aqua Print Rayon Dress


Modern – Unblogged

Olive, Ivory & Orange Silk Dress


Coral Silk Dupioni Cocktail Dress



Hot Pink + Black Balenciaga-meets-Schiaparelli Evening Gown



Coral Cotton Pique Dress


Red Cotton Sateen Dress


Chartreuse & Turquoise Cocktail Dress + Bolero



Black & White Polka Dot Dress


Polka Dot PJs


Home Sewing – Blogged

Loveseat Slip Cover


Tub Chairs Slip Covers


Home Sewing – Unblogged

Crewel work bedspread


No, I did not embroider this! But I was almost as happy as if I had.

I’d had this piece of cotton with wool crewel embroidery for at least 15 years and had never figured out just the right use for it. I always wanted to use it as a whole piece and not cut it up and everything just aligned earlier this year to make a bedspread out of it, and I love it!

How did your (sewing) year go?

12 thoughts on “2016 Sewing Year In Review

  1. Wonderful! Also, a big duh! from me- I’ve been following your blog for quite a while now, but had not actually made the menatl connction between ‘modern’ you and ‘historical’ you. Must be all those wigs! Hilarious…


  2. Wow! Quite the parade! I am impressed with the volume of projects you completed. 🙂 And of course they are stunning and lovely.

    Happy new year! I’m looking forward to seeing what you create.


    • Hahaha! Well, I’m so spoiled for events to wear things here around DC that several pieces/ensembles have been worn more than I initially anticipated – the DAR ensemble, for example, has been worn for at least 3 events so far!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there, thank you! Yes, the coral pique one was made from a vintage pattern…..McCalls 8946 to be exact. I actually sort of copied one of the envelope illustrations as one of the versions pictured is also in coral! That was not an accident ;o)


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