Thursday, January 7, 2016

Looking Back & Looking Forward

It was one of my New Year's Goals to start this blog a year ago, and I am glad that not only did I start it, I have maintained it as well. I haven't lived up to my cooking expectations, and with the exception of my recent trip to Maryland, haven't delved into archaeology at all! 

I have been distracted by sewing! And I accomplished a lot more than I thought I would in the past year. And while I do have several sewing projects in the wings,  I hope that I can make time for the other things in my life that interest me and are worthwhile. 

When I was making my 18th century stays and getting ready to start my Kelvingrove Dress, I was very enamoured of the 18th century, and was sure I would want to make several gowns - or at least some petticoats and short gowns once I had finished the Kelvingrove Dress. While I still maintain that the 18th century is one of the loveliest of fashion history, I no longer wish to create an extensive wardrobe from that era. 

I was afraid, when I began creating my 1910s wardrobe, that I might have the same reaction. But I didn't. I love the 1910s, and the changes that occurred within the decade. With that in mind, here are some of my New Year's Sewing Goals. I would like to submit some to the 2016 Historical Sew Monthly, as it has been a huge source of inspiration and challenge to me in the past couple of years. I don't think I'll manage every challenge (I didn't this past year either), but will do those that fit in with my own personal goals. 

January - The HSM challenge is Procrastination. I should fix the bodice of my Regency Shawl gown (which I have been putting off for nearly a year), or try to finish my knitted 1920s shawl (which has also been languishing for a year or more!). I am not sure if either of these will be rescued, but we'll see. 

The Wearing History blouse I'm slowly working on. 

Inspiration for my 1916 Wearing History skirt. 

February - I really want to work on a new 1910s blouse and skirt. I   love wearing my 1912 skirt, but would like a greater variety of blouses! And I got a soft, yummy olive wool from my mum for Christmas, which I plan on making into a 1916-ish skirt. Notice how much fuller it is than my earlier tapered 1912 skirt. Exciting! This doesn't really fit in with the HSM, unless I add specific tucks or pleats to either the blouse or the skirt. 

Circa 1815 Spencer Jacket, Augusta Auctions.

Printed Spencer Jacket from the 1995 Pride & Prejudice. 
 March - for the HSM it is protection. I could cover my Regency-looking bonnet that I found in an antique store in Maryland, or make a Spencer Jacket from a cotton print I bought specifically for that purpose. Either would work well for the challenge. Most Spencer Jackets were a solid colour, and many were decorated in a military style, as the Spencer Jacket was adopted from the man's wardrobe (the jacket, then, might fit into April's challenge, which is Gender Bender). A few, however, were more homely looking, and were printed material, as those are shown above. This is the style I am wanting to make. 

Josie Lawrence in Enchanted April 1992

Miranda Richardson & Josie Lawrence in Enchanted April 1992

April - For *years* I have been saying that I would love a dress that looks as though it stepped out of the film Enchanted April. This year, I am determined to finally do it! I have a simple early 1920s dress that is falling apart, sadly. I intend to draft a pattern from it and make myself an Enchanted April dress! Though, I admit, it might fit their London attire more than their Italy garb! But I can't wait!

A close-up of the Paisley Petticoat. Look at that! 

Isn't this petticoat lovely? 

May - I am definitely planning on participating in the HSM challenge, which is holes. Ever since I saw a stunning petticoat in the Sma' Shots cottages with eyelet embroidery, I've wanted to try it. I think I might just attempt a collar, not an entire petticoat, though! 

August - the next month I'm definitely going to try. The HSM challenge is pattern - make something in a patterned material. I bought so much printed cotton fabric last year, and I am hoping that most if not all these challenges can use what I already have on hand. Therefore I'll make a dress or blouse from my patterned material. 

That's a lot of sewing! I also want to devote a lot of time to my writing, and I'd like to continue trying out old recipes, though I don't think I'll restrict myself to the Modern Priscilla cookbook alone. It might be fun to branch out a little. I'd also like to do some posts on this blog about the small historical clothing collection I have - and which has just been added to by my friend Tamara. It will be exciting to take a closer look at all of that and learn from the past. 

We'll see in the year to come if I get even a portion of this done! Happy New Year, everyone! 


  1. I love those Spencer jackets. I am entirely drawn by the paisley petticoat, and want one in the fiercest way! Hope you can reach a balance, and end up doing the things that matter most, whilst working in writing and other skills as well. More power to you. You ARE an amazement!

  2. Very nice! I look forward to your posts about everything. I can't wait to see your posts about your historical clothing collection. What a great idea! I should do that too. :-)