7 meters of fringe

I’ve been madly sewing 7 meters of fringe on to my latest project.  Hand sewing.  You know I “love” that.  I hope to have the project done by New Years and structurally speaking, that is very doable.  But, all that trim is making it a bit of a challenge to say the least.  Add to that, I have a work project I need to get done by New Years as well.

I have nothing done to show you today so I will show you one of my Christmas gifts from my costuming buddy, Shirley.  Shirley gave me some cabinet cards.  Two are very unique to my collection as they are of the same woman but 10 years apart.



I love her large pin and the military inspired trim on her bodice.



She is wearing a smaller pin for this picture as well as massive mutton sleeves of a brocade material.  I also like the pleating done in her bodice.

I was looking at her hair.  It is similar between the two decades but different as well.  In the 80’s photo she has the back of her hair pulled back tightly and the bangs are wildly curly.  In the 90’s she has tamed the curls and loosened the bun in the back.


My Computer Christmas…

I have to admit I’ve been attached to my computer quite a bit this Christmas.  That sounds a bit terrible but not really.  On Christmas Day, after gifts and before dinner, we used the computer to talk to my oldest boy who is on the other side of the world doing some travelling.  Seeing him moving and looking me in the eye and talking to me (even if his nose was all scuffed up from a swimming accident) took the sting of not having him with us opening gifts.

For Boxing Day, we have traditionally kept things very quiet, each pursuing hobbies that regular life keeps us from.  When the kids were little we called it “No Rules Day”.  One day in the Christmas holidays (often Boxing Day), we’d spend the day in our pj’s, doing exactly what we wanted.  When they were little, I told them how much TV, video games and sugar they were allowed and how many vegetables they must have and when they must have them.  On no rules day we could eat cake for breakfast and sit in front of the TV until our bums ached.  This “No Rules Day” I sat in front of my computer with my knitting in my hand and I watched one episode after another of the Victorian tale Lark Rise to Candleford.    It isn’t for the action adventure lover but I like it.  The people are all nice people who I’d like to get to know if they are real.  I got the tip from another blogger, but I can’t recall who.  Who ever she is “Thanks for the tip!”


Well, that isn’t gonna work out

For my final project of the year, I was planning on making a matching mantle for my 1873 Polonaise gown.  I had the pattern and I had the left over fabric.  Yesterday, morning I pulled out the pattern and began to read the instructions and then I pulled out the leftover material so I could cut it out.  Well, it seems I didn’t have nearly as much as I thought I did.  In fact I was short by at least 6 meters!

I hopped into the car and drove to the fabric store.  Every time I have been there, I have seen the bolts of fabric unsold, just sitting there.  Months, they have been sitting there.  But, now that I need them…gone.  So my plans for a “matchy-matchy” mantle are out the window.  Oh well it isn’t reasonable to assume that the mantle would match.  Most folks couldn’t/wouldn’t have a matching mantle for every outfit.

If I can’t make it match, I decided I would find another fabric that “goes” with the dress.  As you recall, I have my usual criteria: it can’t be expensive so it will likely be at least partially synthetic and hopefully on sale. (And hopefully looks reasonably believable as a historic fabric.) So now I needed a fabric that was inexpensive, believable as a historic fabric and “goes” with my dress.

Every time I found a fabric that was the right color, looked believable to my eyes and reasonable to my wallet, I discovered that there wasn’t enough of it.  I had 3 different fabrics at the table.  3! Not enough, not enough, not enough.

Well, my modern day coat doesn’t “go” with all my outfits either.  So I just went with a fabric that I liked and color be danged!SAM_1625


I went with this blue fabric.  I have laid scraps of the green from my skirt and the purple from the bodice underneath it.  The photo doesn’t show the color well but the blue and the green doesn’t look horrible together and that is what would show when I am wearing the mantle.  The blue and purple is a bit icky together though.

Alas, who knows what other dresses I’ll make in the future…the mantle may “go” just fine with them.


I know this is planning ahead a tad but, well, that is why we are told so far in advance what the HSF challenges are going to be.  The challenge due in April is Fairytales done in the era of our choice.  I had no hot foggy clue what I was going to do about that.  Then I went to read an on-line comic that I have been following and look what I saw.

Check out the girl in the bottom left corner.

Check out the girl in the bottom left corner.

I’m seeing an 1890’s skirt and shirt waist .  On top of that is the 1890’s corselet some arm bands and a vest.  I have the shirt already made.  I have the patterns for the skirt and the corselet.  The arm bands would be easy enough to make up.  The tricky bit will be the vest.  And if I just alter a bodice pattern, I should have that too.

Oh, did I mention which comic it is? No? It is Valter’s Rebellion drawn by my very own youngest son.  And what kind of mom would I be if I didn’t suggest you go and read it….

If I can get myself going…

My next project is to be a mantle for my 1870’s gown.

I think this might be my favorite photo of myself in this photo shoot.

I didn’t need a mantle for this shoot.  I was a tad hot as it was.

And I plan on using TV501 from Truly Victorian and some leftover material from the dress.

Ideally, I’d like to make it reversible so that sometimes it can match the purple and sometimes the green.  That is all dependant on if I can get it to do that without destroying any resemblance to accuracy (I haven’t actually read the pattern yet to see if it is possible or done the research to see if it is plausible) and if I have enough of the fabric left over to pull it off.

But, the real challenge is getting my butt into gear.  Maybe if there was some inspiration….

Nope, not yet.  Sigh.  Oh, for a few days with nothing else to do and tons of energy and drive!

Motivation vs Procrastination

I have no idea where my get up and go has gone.  I can’t seem to stick to a project for more than a few minutes!  I’m blaming the craziness that is Christmas time.  When you are on constant “run mode” at work and home, it is hard to sit down and work on something for an extended period of time.  And the drive to create is also stunted by and equally powerful drive to not make a big mess!  Those of you who must use their dining room as a sewing room know where I’m coming from.  Sure could use a day or two off.

Special moments

One of the perks of my job is being able to say that I have had a hand in planning and initiating recreation programs that bring special moments to seniors that are warm, meaningful and sometimes  bring tears to my eyes.  This past week I dressed up as Santa and we did pictures with the seniors I work with.  One of the down sides of the job is that privacy laws prevent me from sharing photos and detail specific stories with anyone else.  I have to hoard these special moments in my heart and enjoy them in private.  I can share a couple of photos.

Shirley has joined me at the igloo.

Shirley has joined me at the igloo.

This is one costume event that the corset must come off!

It gets a might hot in a nursing home when you are dressed in faux fur.

It gets a mite hot in a nursing home when you are dressed in faux fur.

This was one time the frigid temperatures we have been experiencing felt good!