A little shameless self-promotion here. In case you haven’t seen or heard (about) it yet, I recorded a podcast with Lauren and Abby of American Duchess at this year’s Costume College. They were kind enough to express an interest in my academic research on 18th century women’s clothing alteration and my related reproduction project this past spring and we ended up having a really fun time chatting about it!
Go ahead and have a listen, if you’re interested!
As a refresher, or if you haven’t seen them yet, here are links to the posts I made about the alteration reproduction project I undertook back in February/March:
Part 1: Project Intro and 1760s Version
Part 2: The Alteration Process
Part 3: 1780s Version Reveal + Thoughts and Conclusions
And I’ll be back soon with more sewing/costuming posts, I’ve got a whole slew lined up from Jane Austen Fest and Costume College!
If you wondered at all why it’s been so quiet around here the past month the answer is simple: Costume College!
This year was my very first time attending Costume College, the annual 3-4 day costume conference in California. And, whoo-boy, what an experience!! I had a fantastic time, met lots of awesome people, got all kinds of inspiration from both them and the classes I attended and have come home with my mind in a frenzy of possibilities for CoCo 2018 and the year in between!
But, for those of you who didn’t get to attend, you’re probably really just mostly interested in what everybody wore, right? There were so many good outfits, on a wide range of themes. However, to make things more digestible I thought I’d start with my own CoCo 2017 wardrobe.
I had 6 outfits/costumes in total. Three come from my costume closet and three were new makes.
Things kicked off properly on Thursday evening with the Pool Party. The overall theme for CoCo this year was to do with the 1960s so I paid my one homage to that at the pool party:
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! Continue reading
Next up in my Summer Frock Parade is this little number in a cute pistachio and ivory print cotton (probably a quilting cotton). It also continues with the mint/aqua and coral theme I’ve got going on this year – yes, I know, I haven’t posted anything coral yet, I’ll get there!
Some months ago I pinned this vintage dress to my “Sewing Ideas” board:
Happy Canada Day everyone! Or, for those of us who like to “kick it old school”: Happy Dominion Day!
My husband and I moved to Washington DC this past August for a 3 year stint. We moved from a wee 2 bedroom condo in Kingston, Ontario Canada to a rather grand historic row house on Capital Hill. We had a loveseat back in Kingston that served as our sofa, but it was a hand-me-down and getting ratty so we left it behind and just brought our pair of Ikea tub chairs (I’ll hopefully be blogging about them in a bit, too). In our new house there’s a beautiful front room, but with just the 2 chairs and a small accent table it felt kind of empty and also forced us to use the dining room table as a sitting room stand-in. We needed additional seating in the front room!
Ok, so I have a lot of catching up to do on here! Between finishing up my PhD and then an international move, there hasn’t been much time for blogging over the past few months. But I have been sewing during a lot of this “away” time. I made a natural form era summer suit, a vintage mash-up summer suit for my thesis defense, and three new dresses over the past 2-3 weeks. I’m also in the middle of a white cotton regency gown to wear with the blue silk spencer.
Today, I present a project I made for a Historical Sew Monthly challenge back in the spring: War & Peace. I did get it done and posted to the fb challenge album in by the challenge deadline, but never got around to blogging it. In the interest of catching up, this is going to be short and sweet, but I hope will still be worth your taking a look.
I hummed and hawed about what to do for War & Peace for some time trying to figure out what to do. Then I remembered those smart military-inspired hats women wore during the Napoleonic wars – feminized versions of the Shako hat/cap:
On Monday (Monday? Yes, I think it was Monday) I read through Lauren’s (American Duchess) sewing year in review post and enjoyed it so much I decided to do my own!
My ulterior motive for this is that I’m so behind on my blogging that I don’t think I’ll be able to catch-up, so there will be (several) new reveals to get them out of the way. Some of these will still have dedicated posts, but it should ease-up some of the backlog.
January – March
This period was taken up almost exclusively by the herculean effort of reproducing Charles James’ Tree gown:
This past June I had occasion to do a pretty significant purge of my sewing paraphernalia. For the past several years I’d been renting a room in back of a sewing machine sale & repair shop as my sewing “studio” (more like windowless-hole-in-the-wall, but it did the trick at the time!). However, the building was sold this spring, I knew I wouldn’t be able to find another such arrangement and I was already tired of travelling to sew anyway. Thus, everything was “repatriated” to our condo. It’s not a bad-sized condo, but it’s not a house either. While I knew I’d never be able to make the sewing stuff invisible, I was determined it should be as unobtrusive as possible. This meant a serious purge was needed – something I think is a good and healthy thing to do periodically anyhow and I was overdue.
Long story short, my loss may be your gain!
There hasn’t been much crappy stuff in my stash for years now, so I felt that what’s been purged was too good to go right into the donation bin. I wanted to try and find good homes for as much of it as possible and also try to recoup a small fraction of what I’d spent on it over the years accumulating it. I have an old etsy storefront, so I’m using for an online yard sale, and you can go check it out here.