We have plans…so does life

At the beginning of the year I took the time to sketch out some projects that would go with the Historical Sew Fortnightly themes.  As the year has progressed, I hit some road blocks. (Projects that took longer than expected.  Supplies for projects getting ordered but not showing up.)  And then there was the drop in my own enthusiasm.

I had started to feel more intensely that I was making items I didn’t really want at this time or making items in strange orders (accessories before outfits, for example) so that I could match a challenge or really stretching the parameters of the challenge to make something I wanted to only to rush through it to meet the deadline as reasonably as possible.

Don’t get me wrong!  I loved doing HSF!  It did exactly what I wanted it to, which was motivate me to get started on projects AND actually finish them so that I could build a wardrobe for costume events.  Now I have a huge wardrobe. I have actually reached the point that it is to big! I have more outfits than I can wear in a year.  Several of which, I am no longer satisfied with.

With those thoughts and feelings in mind I decided a few months back that I would finish the HSF year out and next year I would change my way of doing things.   First I’d pack up the outfits I no longer love.  They’d go into storage until I reached the point that I could part with them.  Then I’d limit my creativity for the year to finishing UFO projects (the vast majority being modern knitting) and limiting myself to one costume, which I would take great pains to choose, to shop for and to sew slowly and carefully.

And then life stepped in.  There is actually a lot going on but the primary stepping has been done by my doggy.  This is her last Christmas.  Lookin’ fine!

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She has been slowing down lately and I thought “hmmm, old age is kicking in”.  But within a few weeks, old age seemed to be running her over with a truck.  Here she is lookin’ not so fine.  And starting to have accidents in the house, which she has never done!

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I took her to the vets a couple of weeks ago and the old age turned out to be diabetes.  We are early into the treatments (strict diet, twice daily insulin shots) but already we are seeing a vast improvement!  It is like having a young dog again!

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Mom!  Stop takin’ pictures!  We are playin’ here!

 

But, keeping her this way means I have to do some changing.  I have fast forwarded my plan to back off of the HSF challenges (though I intend to watch and be amazed by the work of others!)  Not having the deadlines takes some un-needed stress off of me.   And I am vowing that any future projects be either UFO or at least 80% stash busting thus freeing up some cash to support my insulin junkie’s new habit.

Who knows, I may have to start a blog about my life with a diabetic dog!

The line between weird and cool

I had absolutely no inspiration for a blog post today until I read another bloggers post.  The gist of it was her experience with two groups of costumers, those who would live in their costumes and feel as comfortable in them as they do modern clothes and those who are slow to get into them and quick to get out of them.  The idea of going to a modern venue still in costume or the idea of walking down a modern street ALONE in costume is uncomfortable. It was a well written post-the best feature being it was non-judgmental about either stance.

I think I fall a bit in the middle.  I have no problem going to a modern place in costume.  But I need to be with at least one other person in costume.  It is the idea of STANDING ALONE that freaks me out.  The idea I am not part of a recognizable group makes me feel weird. In the States, Reenactors are fairly common.  It is almost unheard of here in my part of Canada.  So a woman walking in period clothes alone would garner the same kind of stares as a person who chose to wear a wet suit and tutu down the street.  We would not be part of a recognizable group so we might be dangerously insane. If you see a person in punk clothing, you may not trust them because of their counter culture stance but you do not wonder if they will be unpredictably unbalanced. They have conformed to the standards of a recognizable group and therefore capable of predictable social behaviors. Wet suit and tutu guy…not so much.

The other considerations for the “I’d live in my costumes if I could” stance, is I actually am more comfortable in modern clothes.  I feel PRETTIER in Victorian clothes but I feel more comfortable in modern clothes.  A lot of people do.  That is why leggings and yoga pants are so popular in spite of them not being the most stylish thing on many body types.  And most of my friends and family are not costumers.  The fastest way to socially isolate myself (and loose my job) would be to attempt to wear a costume every day.

And that is why I have Victorian “costumes” and not Victorian style “clothes”.  What do you think?

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.)

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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”.

 

Crazy inspiration sources

I’ve been binge watching the many Star Trek series.  (Thank you Netflix)  And lately, I’m on The Next Generation.  In the second season, Data and Jordi go into the holodeck to solve a Sherlock Holmes mystery.  The doctor goes along and I gasped and hit pause when I saw her dress!holodeck_tng_s02e03

I have a real thing for black on red (old high school colors don’t ya know).

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Cute little jaunty hat too!

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Ooooo, that black soutache is so yummy!  And the broach is lovely too.3a60dae00ee7b40a11b26a6afdd774c4

I’d be lookin’ smug too if I looked that fine!

My first instinct is to say “I must make that!”  But then I realized I have one that looks too much like it already.  Not exactly, but too close to go through the process of making another one.

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Last worn at CoCo’s Circus themed social.

I was also temporarily side tracked by a comment from one of my readers.  She asked if I’d be making a dress for Canada’s 150th birthday, which will be happening next July 1.  I considered it for a second and then decided against it ….for now.  I have two dresses that are 1860’s and one is red and white (and black).  It will do…especially if I can find a pattern for a corset so it fits better.

My plans for this coming year is a complete Edwardian suit (one year to late for women’s vote anniversary and several years past the Titanic anniversary).  Plus an earlier period corset.

Plans

Every year, my “Sewing Plans for This Year” gets altered as the year progresses.   Aim high and be flexible enough to accept an incomplete list.  I still plan on getting my leather gloves done for this months HSM challenge.  They will likely be late.

This means I would be late starting November’s project idea.  It is a massive idea so there is no way it would be finished by the end of the year…never mind the end of the month.  So this idea gets filed away until next year.e4890f80a30fb38258693b97224dbf71

Instead, I will do this.  Not as historically accurate but much more manageable!untitled.pngBut I do look forward to having this item under my skirts one day!medium

Self Discipline

I have made a rule for myself that really sucks but it is a necessary evil, especially since my sewing room got moved down into the laundry room.  My rule is that after a project is finished, I MUST CLEAN UP MY SEWING SPACE before I start a new project.

0000Pick things up.  Straighten things out.  Put things away.  Sweep.  Boring as h-e-double hockey sticks.  But, once it is done, I’m glad I did it.000

Makes it easier to find things.  I’m afraid the next cleaning cycle must involve purging fabric and hat trims because I have run out of room. (Note red fabric sitting on top of fabric bins and flowers poking out of their drawer.) It could involve purging all the knitting project ideas that are filling up the cupboards over top of the counter too…but lets not talk crazy!

Anyone else do this or do you go with the creativity inspired chaos?

HSF 15: #1 Foundations

I hope my sewing this year will fit into one of five goals.  One is to sew things that will make my current Victorian wardrobe more useful.  An example of this is I have an 1870’s mantle that doesn’t really go with anything.  That makes it useless.  I hope to fix that this year.

The second goal is to blast through some of those stashes (fabric and wool). If you sew then you know….

Third goal is  making something for others and I have a few ideas for my son that I’d like to work on.

Fourth goal is the UFO pile which hasn’t gotten out of hand but I’d like to keep it that way.  Okay, okay, I lied.  My sewing pile isn’t too bad but the knitting pile is moving into a hoarding kind of scenario.

The fifth goal is to keep my wardrobe from growing to much…really, there is only so many places I can wear this stuff.  So instead of growing my wardrobe I’d like to enhance the things that I have.  Add some trim, lace, beads…. what have you.  If you look at authentic Victorian clothes…at least the museum pieces…they have trim on their trim.  This goal will also help with the stash busting.

My first submission for Challenge one is going to meet the challenge and my fifth goal.  I took my bustle, which is a foundation garment, and I fixed the broken hook, shortened it because I keep stepping on it when I wear my flatter heeled shoes and I added lace because it was simply a bare bones garment.  Victorians would pretty up even their undies. (Oh that bodice on Trudy is one of those UFOs).

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The Challenge: #1 Foundations

Fabric: cotton

Pattern: TV 101 wired bustle

Year: 1870-80

Notions: lace and ribbon

How historically accurate is it? The pattern and fabric are fine. The lace is a poly something and I’m not sure they would have put lace there. I’ve seen ruffles. It is plausible enough. So 70%

Hours to complete: As I said the bustle was made previously but it needed a repair on the hook and eye, needed to be shortened and was too plain so I added the lace. That took about 3 hours.

First worn: Can’t remember first time I wore it in its original incarnation. Summer 2013? I haven’t worn it since it has been updated.

Total cost: Can’t remember what original cost was. To do the repair, alteration and update $0. (Unless you count the thread…the lace was all given to me.)

 

So I have some plans similar to this entry where I can meet my goals, participate in the challenges for Historical Sew Fortnightly and not kill myself with deadlines that become less of a motivator and more of a burden. Wish me luck!