Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 In Review

Merry Christmas everyone!

I was looking back on the year and all the things I made and didn't get around to and, of course, those pesky UFO's. It's been a busy year, but I still found time to sew. Not as much as I had planned, but hey...

Actually my costuming energy was more devoted to buying fabric and antiques, this year, but that was quite fun, and I have accumulated some gorgeous fabrics. I will hate to cut into them! I'll be sharing them as projects come up. Hopefully they will inspire me to sew more.

And I must apologize, where I found time to sew, the blogging suffered. Next year I really plan to take more time photographing and sharing about techniques etc I have learned, because this year I really tried to learn more about context and construction of garments through history.

So on to 2013, in review.

I started the year finishing up a pair of blue worsted, half-boned stays. Hand sewn. I absolutely hate them. But on the bright side, I got to learn how stays were really constructed. They were a rough draft, I suppose.

I made a blue stuff petticoat and a white linen petticoat, and some white linen mitts, trimmed with leftover chintz.

I brought out the sewing machine for a sheer, white cotton, 1860's dress. This was probably my favorite thing I made this year. It fits beautifully and was perfect for the hot, Vegas summer. I wore it three times this year, and I have nothing to complain about it. I even washed it in the washer very easily.

Another favorite was a pair of turn of the century riding/cycling pants of brown wool. This was one of the most fun outfits to wear. I have some fabric left over. I must make a matching bodice one day.


Ah this poor thing... Still not actually finished, but I've worn it twice already, anyway. I like it. It fits well, and when worn indoors, it has an awesome train to swish around. For this natural form gown, I also made a ruffly petticoat and a balayeuse. 

In August, I made a little 18th century jacket and cap. The cap was started on my one day of Costume College. It was fun. I really want to attend more of the weekend next year.

September was the busiest month for me. I made a pair on linen stays, shoes, a 1790's gown, a cape, fan, lacy kerchief, wig and rump. I wore them all to a ball in Virginia. The stays started out as a fun, hand sewing project, but I ended up stitching the channels with the machine, to get them ready in time. 

The shoes were once American Duchess Pemberlies that were too large. The rump was once a fancy pillowcase.

October was spent making cold weather garments for the 1860's. My husband sprained his ankle quite badly, so we didn't end up going to the event. Bright side, though, now I have a wool pelerine and matching hood (shown below when it was not finished), a tasseled velvet, wrapped hood (not shown), a navy wool, knit sontag (not shown - but I love it!!) and a faux ermine muff, complete with chain. The muff was made of rabbit fur and silk, dotted with fuzzy alpaca yarn.

October also gave way to learning about turn of the 19th century fashion. I attended a Pride and Prejudice and Zombies ball, which I made a pair of stays, a shawl, a knit reticule, earrings, a petticoat and a gown for. 

Last month saw the start of a 1905ish petticoat. It's practically done. Just missing the waistband. I had a horse show, so this got put on the back burner. 

Now I'm sitting in my sewing room, for the first time after a busy, festive December, and I am working on a black wool spencer and making plans for a Regency era ball outfit for January. I think the spencer will be done before New Year's so I'm going to include it. Here's a quick glimpse of the the draped muslin for it. I'm kind of in love with it. I hope it turns out well!

Cheers to a wonderful 2014, all! And many, many more outfits!


  1. My but you have been busy! Yeah! I think my favorite is the western outfit! You totally look like the turn of the century cowgirls! Perfection!!

    1. Thanks! I guess I was busier than I thought. I adore the cow girl!

  2. Love them all! If you don't mind sharing, what pattern did you use for the riding skirt? And the fabric looks so appropriate, too!
    Happy New Year from the east,
    Nancy N

    1. Thank you! I used the truly victorian split skirt pattern.

  3. Oh my gaaawwd, the photo of you standing in the middle of nowhere (a desert, probably?) in your sheer dress is just so stunning. Writing my final essay about 'Gone With the Wind' right now so it really fits my mood. I love your riding pants as well!

    1. Thanks! The desert photo was taken in Red Rock canyon, at Spring Mountain ranch. Gorgeous out there!

  4. Just to let you know how much inspiration I have gotten from all your projects! Thank you for posting all your projects and how you assemble them, as well as the always beautiful finished product! happy sewing and scheming for 2014! I look forward to what's next!

  5. Amazing list of things! You certainly did accomplish a lot in 2013!

    Happy new year!