Sunday, December 18, 2016

2016 in Review

This definitely was not the intensely sewing-productive year that I anticipated. I thought that my schoolwork would be lighter (hah!), but instead, I ended up practically living in the lab on campus, working on projects for 8 hours a day during the spring semester. I spent the entire summer in Africa on an archaeological dig, and barely had any down time while I was there, so I didn't have a chance to even work on a small hand-sewing project while away. Then, the fall semester has been just as busy, with the added stress of having to find a new job and trying to catch up on bills from my time away. Definitely not conducive to sewing! Oh, and all those goals from last year? Nope, didn't achieve a single one. Sigh.

But, a mere two days ago, I graduated with my Bachelor's! That means that, for a little while anyway, I won't have a school schedule and unexpected assignments popping up to take away from sewing time. There will be a pretty intense job hunt going on for a while, but in the mean time, I do have the opportunity to catch up on some long overdue costuming that I've been meaning to do.

Before I get into my goals for 2017, let's take a look at what I did actually accomplish in 2016.




I did learn a few things about my wardrobe this year that need to be addressed in the next few months. First, some of my garments have real fit issues, and I've discovered that it's because the mannequin that I usually use for my projects is WAY more short waisted than I am. Those lovely red silk stays above? Too short. Same for a couple of gowns I made. I'm going to try and make a custom form for myself so I have an exact copy of my measurements to work off of.

So, this year, I'm doing it a bit differently. Instead of overall improvement goals, I'm going to set myself some very particular sewing goals that I want to meet.

1) New full sets of undies for Regency, 1760s, 1870s, and 19-teens. By full set, I mean two petticoats, two chemises/shifts, one new corset/set of stays, and a new skirt support. The exception is the bustle era, which I've already made a new chemise and bustle for. Everything else needs new things.

2) Make new outerwear. For 18thC, especially a pelisse. I just love the mantelet I made for the Georgian Picnic, and I want one in a cream and black color scheme that I see in so many portraits. I also need some outerwear for Victorian, 1890s, Teens Era and Regency. I do have one pelisse for the Regency, but it shrunk when I washed it, and needs to be redone.

3) Make a complete outfit for each time period above for M. He needs to finally have a complete outfit, we can't keep cobbling together things for events, it just never looks correct.

4) Concentrate on making some accessories. I need hats for all periods, purses, pockets, reticules, caps, fichus, gloves, fans, the list goes on. I need these things, and I've never bothered to make them.

5) Make shoes. Seriously. I can't afford to shell out the money for American Duchess or other HA shoes, but I sure can learn to fake it by altering some cheap eBay shoes.

6) Make more double-duty outfits. I need some Victorian outfits with matching day and night bodice options. I just dug out a whole bunch of Victorian skirts from the closet and realized that I never really did anything more with them after the initial outfit. I also want to remake one of my first Victorian outfits to more accurately match the fashion plate I drew inspiration from.

7) Finish that damned 1905 evening gown, dammit.

8) For that matter, I need new day and evening wear in almost all the time periods I do regularly, for both myself and M. Our evening events may not be very frequent, but I don't want to be stuck whipping something up at the last minute over and over, especially for menswear. 

9) Make more wigs appropriate for my most costumed eras. Regency I can do on the fly before an event, but 18thC is a little harder, and Edwardian is nearly impossible for me to get right. I need to really experiment and play around with hairstyling so I can finally have an idea of how to properly do these styles in the future.

10) Concentrate less on getting things done quickly, and instead take my time, do things right, and don't rush it. I've had some major fit issues because I've rushed things before, and I need to just slow down and do things the right way the first time. I tend not to rewear the stuff that doesn't fit properly instead of remaking it, so if I just make things right the first time, I'll end up with more rewearable pieces.

So, there it is. Ten big goals for the new year! I'm excited to start on these goals and to improve my overall wardrobe and skills. Will I stick to these goals? I sure hope so. We'll see at the end of the year!

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