Another year bites the dust.

If I don’t look globally and only focus on my own front door, 2016 has been pretty good.  DECEMBER 2016 can bite me, but 2016 as a whole has been fine for me and mine. I hope 2017 is a good one as well.  And to my 4 readers, you know I wish you well too.

Blogger traditions says I must do a completed projects run down.

First on the list is that dumb cloak that never did hang right and I never had occasion to wear (thank God).IMG_20160110_183519126

Then there was several knitting projects, most have not yet been used.  I just don’t costume in the winter much.  Going outside sucks.

Then came all the parts for the Spanish Senora dress-blouse, skirt, jacket, belt and hat.5c

The lace cap is the part of the Spanish dress I am most pleased with.IMG_20160625_123514487

More knitting…a tulma that I did actually wear.img_20161022_130710981_hdr.jpg

And more modern knitting.

Then I fixed my garage sale find loom…still haven’t used it.img_20160611_162710381.jpg

I made some steam punk earrings.  Which were worn once for the steam punk tea at Coco and never again.  img_20160619_163512.jpg

And I made some wings for the Coco gala.172

I made the Ugly Bag of Tea Gown less hideous…again for Coco.187

Atessa was the dress I was most pleased with this year.img_20161031_205643558.jpg

My first attempt at leather gloves.img_20161010_204650046

My second attempt was meant to be completed on time for the final HSF challenge of the year and as my final completed project of the year…but as I said earlier, December 2016 can bite me.  I’m too grumpy to be bothered and we all know what happens when we push through when the mood is off.

There was some more knitting.  Not shown is neck warmer for my son…turns out I made it too big and I’m now making a smaller one.img_20161113_173000892.jpg

And finally a pretty nice bag.img_20161127_213658667.jpg

Knitting was a real theme this year.  I should probably reduce that for next year or actually get out of the house in costume during the winter.  Or stick to modern stuff…but how much does one actually need…even in winter.


Year in Review: costumes worn

I had big plans to wear all my dresses this year but that didn’t happen.  I blame my new job…not having vacation time, Shirley and I were not able to go to Saskatchewan for the Dickens Festival.  That trip alone would have had at least 4 dresses out and about.

But lets see how well I did.

1838-40 Queen V dress.  Check. That was worn at the Coco Gala.172

1845 Atessa dress was worn for Halloween.


The 1860’s  Silky Skies dress got put on for this photo but I can’t figure out where I wore it.  I wouldn’t have put all that on for a chance to try on the apron!IMG_20160807_121745

Oh, wait!  Good ol’ Facebook!  According to Facebook I wore Silky Skies to the 7 Oaks Museum.  For some reason, those photos didn’t get posted here!  I will remedy that next post!

1861 Senora dress was worn to the St Boniface Museum this year.


1872 Basque in Blue was used during Coco’s Steam Punk Tea.  200

My 1872 Lilac dream was worn to a play (I had almost forgotten about this fun event!)SAM_3652

1873 Purple Polonaise went to Little Britain Church.53

1880’s Half Grand Surprise Dress was used during the Circus themed social at Coco.


My 1880’s travel outfit was chosen for our annual ride on the Prairie Dog Central Train.


The 1882 Tea Gown finally got a real wearing during the Sunday breakfast with the artists at Coco.  I still don’t love the gown but I no longer loath it.189

My 1890’s swim suit was worn by the pool Friday night at Coco.29

My 1895 Summer Ensemble made an appearance at the Steam Punk wedding.img_20161022_130710981_hdr.jpg

1900 Widows Weeds got worn twice.  Once by myself at a celebration and fashion show at work…img_20160930_153444423

…and once by another person at the Vaughn Street Jail event last spring. (Serious nip tucking needed on the dress for this event.)



Four dresses didn’t make the cut this year: 1840’s Copper Penny, 1850’s Tea Dress, 1895 dinner gown, 1895 Walking outfit.  It is probably best that I have only one dress on the docket for 2017.  If I can’t get them all worn, then I have to slow down production.  Or I have to part with some of them (gasp!)  Trouble with that is, if I am disenchanted enough to be willing to part with one of my babies, I am disenchanted enough to feel that no one actually would want it!  Then factor in size…nah.  I’m just going to have to find more times to wear them or set my goal to “wear once every two years”.


Fluff lump

My last post was about my Halloween costume and my little dog Ginger was in the photo.img_20161031_205736490.jpg

One of my (4) readers commented that I needed a lint roller to remove a lump of fluff at the hem.  When I read the comment, I was only half way through my morning coffee and so my mind went to the fact that the photograph was taken after wearing the dress for 8 hours at work.  I actually thought I had picked up some dirt from the floor and dragged it home.  I then remembered the “dirt” was already at home waiting for me.  My reader will be pleased to know the fluff is now off my hem and on the couch with me.img_20161103_082122372.jpg

Sorry for the shaky picture.  Half a cup of coffee to go….!


Halloween is a good excuse to wear one of my outfits and this year I had one that has never been worn.  All my seniors thought I was Laura Ingles (especially when I had the bonnet hanging from the strings down my back.)img_20161031_205736490.jpg

All in all it was very comfy but there is an issue with the hem.  It hangs longer in the front than the back.  It doesn’t do that on Trudy but I think that may be because I have more “junk in my trunk” than she does.  A quick fix.  Hopefully I do it before I decide to wear this again!


The issue isn’t as pronounced when I stand up straight.  May be the problem isn’t my “junk” but my posture.

HSF: 2016 challenge 8 pattern

Challenge #8: Pattern


I’m using the photo I took before hemming and adding the hooks because I haven’t taken a new photo yet and really…not much difference would be seen between the two photographs.

What the item is: German day dress

Fabric/Materials: cotton

Pattern: TV 454

Year: 1845

Notions: hooks and eyes, cording, bones

How historically accurate is it? Pattern is good.  Fabric is 100% cotton so that is good.  Print is paisley, which is good but paisleys changed over time and I’m not knowledgeable enough on the topic to say this would be a good version for the 1840s. I’m also not knowledgeable about weave to comment on that. The colors are believable. I machine sewed a lot of it so “no” for technique.  Notions were metal hooks (I think some of them are actually vintage and I used natural fiber cording.  The bones were plastic.  I will be using it for a lower middle class woman for day to day wear.  I think, with enough petticoats, the silhouette will be fine.  I give this a generous 70%

Hours to complete: 15

First worn: not yet

Total cost: the notions were in my stash (cost already accounted for in other projects).  I don’t recall the cost of the fabric but I think no more than $30…I was on a tight budget during the shopping trip where this was bought.

Can I use Grandma’s bonnet?

There has been progress on the Atessa dress.  In fact, just the hooks and eyes left to do now. I hope to have those on and pictures done so that I can do my HSF post tomorrow.

I really want to honor my grandmother by using the bonnet she made some 40 years ago with this dress.  The colors are perfect!img_20160908_095927506_hdr.jpg

(Ignore the way the crown of the bonnet poofs out…It is the wig Trudy is wearing.  Not at all authentic looking!)

The hundred dollar question is: Would this be remotely plausible? The dark print cotton could imply more of a work dress so a cotton bonnet or sun bonnet would work in terms of class and use.  But the bonnet was definitely of the “Little House on the Prairie” style, which I typically think of as more 1880’s. Did they use bonnets like this in the 1840’s.  I searched the Met and here is what I found….61-141-41_cp2

They did have cotton sun bonnets in the 1840s.  But this one is corded, mine is not.  This one has a long neck cover.  Mine does not. The shape of the brim is not quite right.0415

This hat is from Augusta Auctions. It is dated 1850-90.  That is a bit old for my dress but being middle aged, I can get away with more…”Just an old fashioned girl who likes dress styles that are a bit dated.” The brim is right but the neck drape is not.ci60-23-33_s

The drape is a bit shorter on this one but still too long.  And it shows that they used more than check patterns.  It is dated 1838.  Again, that middle aged thing works for me and the slight discrepancy in dates is okay.  The straw stuff is a bit odd isn’t it….

Just as I was beginning to despair that I could use this I found more that were closer matches. This one is 1838 and has the shorter drape.  It is also quilted and mine is not but that would be an easy fix. ci59-48-4

So what do you think? Close enough and I can just go with it? Not close but not any worse than some of my other choices and adaptations? Just wrong-use the left over fabric from the dress and make something more suited to the “Little House on the Prairie” hat…like 1880’s?