Thursday, January 7, 2016

2015 Year in Review

My sewing this year has been super productive, and also pretty successful. Lots of learning experiences, but I'd also say there has been an all time low percentage of flunks. Go figure.

Here are some of the highlights and favorite projects:

White sheer: Seriously, I am in love with that dress. It's so comfortable and light, and the fit is just perfect. I still need a different corset cover. I've also spent a good amount of time wearing it, and it has proven to be the perfect summer wear. Still not crazy about the glare that comes off that thing, but oh well. Not really my problem, as I'm not the main person looking at it.

Between projects, I worked pretty hard at complicated mock ups and troubleshooting. Those went pretty well and took up a lot of time, although because they're just sheets sewn together there isn't really anything to show for it.

Penelope Lumley Dress: This dress turned out pretty good, although probably not one of my more interesting costumes.
This girls dress turned out very well, but it's been worn a lot this year and hasn't held it's color very well. The once bright blue little strip is pretty faded from multiple washings, but Camille can't seem to not get dirty in it.
My biggest accomplishment this year has been completing my first corset. And then wearing it out and making a better one.

I tried my hand at millinery this year. Not a favorite research topic, but interesting and rather necessary. It is also really time consuming and difficult; I have never had appreciation for people who are good at it until now. 

I've made enough undergarments to make me shudder; mundane things that take up way too much of my time. Getting them out of the way is nice, but the idea of starting a new time period and sewing an entire new wardrobe of boring white things is dreadful; maybe that is why they are called unmentionables.

Here are a list of the things I made for the Historical Sew Monthly challenges; some were interesting, some weren't.

#1: Foundations - I pushed myself to finish my first corset. It had been almost done for quite a while, but getting it out of the way was awesome. 

#2: Blue - this blue belt was probably the only flop of all of them; it fits, alright, but only over my undergarments. Not over the dress.

#3: Stashbusting - this chemise has been really handy, although I would like to try a real yoked chemise this year.

#4: War and Peace - my favorite completed project! This white sheer is really comfortable.

#5: Practicality - Slat sun bonnet; a little boring, but very practical and I like it alright.

#6: Out of Your Comfort Zone - my first attempt at cording turned out pretty good, I think. I still can't believe how quickly I finished this project, compared to a more fitted corset.

#7: Accessorize - this bonnet is really pretty, but I'm kind of only okay on wearing it. I didn't put enough research into it, and will hopefully rip it apart this year and make a more accurate one. This was my favorite fabric to work with, nothing can describe the color!

#8: Heirlooms and Heritage - by far the most lame thing I entered for a challenge, but definitely worn a lot!

#9: Brown - I know I'll get lots of use out of this, usually portraying a laundress, but I have yet to wear it.
#10: Sewing Secrets - I was so preoccupied that month, I didn't enter anything!

#11: Silver Screen - I love this little garment, it's really pretty.
#12: Redo - the most hard-worked on project, it fits into several past challenges.

Here are some plans for 2016! I am looking forward to challenging myself more and more. The most complicated project I hope to accomplish is a Natural form day dress. I wouldn't particularly have chosen this era, but I got one of Jennifer Rosbrugh's classes over at Historical Sewing for Christmas. Whenever the class runs, I'll use that to give me a push.

I also got the Regency corset class for Christmas; I don't really know when I'll get around to making the dress, but there will probably be a Regency ball in September. I may or may not get it done in time, I do have something else to wear just in case.

Another white dotted sheer dress is on my list of things to do relatively quickly (before May), but first a hoop skirt!

I've had the materials to re-make this Regency dress for some time, but Camille wanted to put it off once the Regency ball was canceled. She's growing pretty fast, so she wanted to wait until a little closer to the next event before I started it. I don't intend it to be accurate, all the materials are polyester, but it will be very pretty!

I've finally started that gigantic plaid! Yay! That'll be done sometime this month or the next. But....I just discovered that the plaid is printed, not woven. See that little swoop at the end of the selvedge? Argghh. The quality of the fabric alone isn't great, it has a number of unavoidable flaws. I don't think I will buy from this seller again. Despite the fabric problems, I'm still excited to have another project to work on. Coming up very soon...Dogleg closure tutorial!

At some point, I need to work a little more on a complete undergarment wardrobe for someone else, that has been held off way too long.

I've been trying to calculate how many hours everything is going to take, and I'm afraid I'm not going to get everything done this year that I would like. But at the same time, it feels like most of these things are a must. How do I decide?!?

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