Friday, 17 January 2014

2013 in Review + 1 Year Blog Anniversary

It has now been a year since I wrote my first post. Since it isn't too far away from New Years, I figured it was a good time to write a year in review post.
I have completed about 23 sewn items this year. It isn't a huge amount, but this is only my second full year of sewing, and I got much more done in 2013 than I did in 2012.
First, the costumey ones.
The Cheap Easter Candy 1790s Stays. I thought these turned out very well. The colour scheme is horrid and icky, but they fit and give the correct shape, which is what counts.
A green Bum Pillow. As with the stays, the materials aren't the greatest, but it gives the right shape.
A very large White Scalloped Petticoat. Rayon isn't the most suitable fabric, but it works well enough. It's nice and swooshy and I love the little scallops.
An even larger Purple Petticoat. I am quite happy with this one. The fabric is nice and thick. I still have to make the pierrot jacket to go with it, which is currently in the patterning stage.
A Buffon/Neckerchief thing. Disappointing at first, but it became fashionably floofy after starching.
And an even bigger one. I still haven't worn this, but it is long enough to cross in the front and tie in the back. I'm sure this style will look great with the purple pierrot that I haven't made yet.
A Stripey Fur Muff. It has a few problems, but it is very warm and fuzzy, which is good.
An enormous, ridiculous 1780's Hat. This badly needs to be taken apart and re-made. It may look fine, but the improvised stiffening materials are far too heavy. I didn't have anything better when I made it, but I have obtained some fine white buckram and gauzy cotton fabric, so someday I will replace everything but the trim on this thing.
Blue And Purple Mitts. Despite the thumb fit trouble, I like these very much!
A Wooden Busk. I have yet to make the stays to go with this. They are also still in the patterning stage.
A 1790's Drawstring Jacket. I am quite proud of this. Especially the fit. It's my first garment with two piece sleeves!
An Orientalist Cap. I love the colours and the ear ornaments. I would like to make a Poiret style drapey something to go with this, once the appropriate fabric presents itself.
A Wasp Hat. Not quite what I had envisioned, but I was glad to finally do something with that beaded wire wasp. I will definitely be making more black Edwardian stuff.
A Fantastic Bow-Knot of Super-Eminent Dimensions. For such a simple project, it achieved a very high level of silliness.

And here are the everyday clothes.
Striped Waistcoat. Though I do wear this regularly, I am not happy with the quality of the materials, or the construction. One day I will do a post entitled Early Sewing Disasters, and this will be one of the garments featured in it.
Blueish Grey Cravat. The square could stand to be a bit bigger, but other than that it's fine.
And a nearly identical Cravat in white. The fabric is nice, but very prone to stains. It has got a few tiny brown flecks on it, simply from sitting in a wooden drawer.
A Neck Stock. The buttons are fiddly and the cotton in the middle is not the best quality, but it is comfortable and I like the way it looks. I will probably make another one with finer cotton and with hooks and eyes instead of buttons.
Two pairs of Diagonally Striped Stockings. I love the stripes, but I wish I had a good way of holding them up.
I also made an assortment of other things.
An Embroidered Needle Case. Quite serviceable, though I should have put some sort of stiffening in the covers.
A Hair Reciever. I didn't actually make this, I only decorated it.
It is also very serviceable. I made a large Hair Rat too.

I also made some metal things that I didn't blog about. They were from one of my Media Explorations classes. We got to spend 7 classes in each studio of the college. The jewelry studio was lots of fun. I would love to make more things out of metal, but I can't take fashion and metals at the same time.
A chain bracelet. We made all the jump rings by coiling and sawing silver wire. It hurts your fingertips.
A precious. Also silver.
A tiny copper fish. Using the little jewelry saws was so much fun! This was very shiny when I finished it, but now it is very smudgy. This might be good for a watch fob or something, though I wish I had dipped it in the liver of sulphur to make it black.
A mouse pendant. I love how this one turned out. It's also copper, but it has been blackened with liver of sulphur.
A copper bat. It has toes.
And a copper octopus pendant.
I don't really wear jewelry, but I'm sure these will be good for something or other.

Some numbers:

I completed 18 out of the 26 Historical Sew Fortnightly challenges. Some of them were late because I am terrible with deadlines.
I can only recall finishing 3 non HSF garments. I think the small number of sewn items is due to the large amount of hand sewing. Of the 23 items, 11 of them were partly machine sewn with varying amounts of hand finishing, and 12 were entirely hand sewn. I also think I could have gotten more work done if I didn't have such awful insomnia.

I finished: 1 pair of stays, 1 bum pillow, 3 petticoats (one of which is quite crappy), 2 buffons, 1 muff, 1 busk, 1 jacket, 1 pair of mitts, 3 hats/caps, 2 pairs of stockings, 1 waistcoat, 3 cravats, 1 stock, 1 horrid eyepatch, and 1 pair of horrible ill-fitting bloomers.

My fabric stash has grown considerably this year, which is good because it is a relatively new stash. I have also replaced my rusty metal ironing board with a folding wooden one, which came from my grandparent's house.
That's pretty much it for 2013.

This year I will try not to waste so much time hand sewing with lesser materials. I will also try to shrink my UFO pile. I intend to make my sewing more wardrobe focused this year. Costumes are all very well, but I have only worn my 1780's ensemble twice. There aren't any costuming groups or events that I am aware of in this tiny little city.
It doesn't make any sense to spend all my time sewing that sort of stuff when, as I have said before, my everyday clothes are so terrible. This year's sewing efforts will be directed towards making clothes that I actually like the look of (and to that end I'd also eventually like to dye my hair black with a white streak). Since I prefer the look of men's styles from between about 1770-1840, I will still try to do as many HSF'14 challenges as I can.

As for the actual blogging, it seems to be going well, although I think my writing style is rather awkward. It seems that some people find this blog amusing, which is fine, but please know that it is not intentional. I am not good at communicating with people, so if I have accidentally offended anyone I apologize.
The one post a week schedule is a comfortable pace, and on average I have posted a little more than exactly once a week. To my amazement I have accumulated 28 followers. How did that happen?

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read and comment! I will stop typing now, since I don't want to end up posting this a day late.


  1. Wow Mira. That's a lot of work. When you take into consideration that you researched, designed the patterns and selected the fabric and notions and cut and sewed and documented everything and blogged.

    I'm looking forward to reading your blog as I think it's interesting. I'm real proud of you.


  2. 23 projects is impressive (and the fact that they're all very good quality, regardless of whatever things you are dissatisfied with, is even more so). Congratulations on your one year anniversary!

    1. Thank you!
      The quality of some of them is pretty bad, but it's mostly because of the materials.

  3. You had a fantastic year! I especially love you striped stockings and the 1790's ensemble. I have been bad at commenting, but I always look forward to your new entries.

    1. Thank you! I look forward to your posts too.

  4. That's a lot of work in one year. Your jewellery is lovely, I especially like the mouse and the bat.

    I was reminded of your Orientalist Cap a couple of days ago, when I came across this while looking for something else by Poiret

    1. Thank you!
      I came across a different picture of that same cap while researching mine.
      It's odd, isn't it? It looks like it's just made from a bunch of trim.