I really had hoped to document my sewing as I went. In the end, it came down to either sewing or talking about it, so I went with actually sewing.
2016 sewing presented several challenges for me. I decided this year I would sew mostly from stash. I had a lot of changes in my weight post pregnancy to wrestle with. Most difficult was adjusting to the time limitations on my sewing (babies really don't understand the concept of a sewing marathon, nor do they care).
My very first project for the year was a bustle gown for a seaside themed party. It was made entirely from stash. I was so happy to return to sewing I was perhaps over ambitious. I love love LOVE my underskirt with all those pleats. The overskirt ended up not looking how I wanted it too, but I didn't have time to redo it (I still have ample supply of that striped fabric, so it's going to get redone eventually). I also took the opportunity to draft a shawl collar for the very first time. That was a learning curve. Due to weight loss the bodice no longer fits.
It's quite big when the dress form is set to my current measurements.
I used Truly Victorian 201, 362 and modified 403 for the bodice. The overskirt is apparently my cat's favorite place to nap (which I'd love to know how because it's been hanging in the closet...). Overall I was happy with the outfit at the time. I need to bring the waist in on the underskirt, and redo the bodice (to one that fits) and overskirt (to one I like).
My second project (and the first completely 100% totally finished staying the way it is outfit of the year) was my 1920s Miss Fisher inspired outfit. I always love wearing 1920s fashion. It's fun, it's comfortable, and it's very forgiving. I scored a straw cloche hat from Modcloth and plan to decorate it to match the outfit. I really can't wait until the weather changes and I can wear this again.
Project 3 was definitely out of my comfort zone. It was all from stash and my first step into the 1830s. This project required a lot convincing to do (I am NOT an 1830s fan, or a big sleeves fan) and a ton of searching on my part to find something I would feel comfortable in. 1830s is such a fussy, feminine era, and not my style at all. I went with a riding habit because (1) I always feel safe in black and (2) the men's inspired wear was the least girly look I could find. The bodice is a mish mash of Laughing Moon 114 and Truly Victorian 455. I used the Truly Victorian pattern for the skirt, and corded petticoat pattern from Historical Sewing. I drafted a shawl collar again, doing a little better this time around.
Channeling George Sand with my look...The hat a loan from Madame Modiste
The riding shirt is just a regency chemisette with a stock (total cheat, I know, but after all those buttons and piping I was ready to call it quits). After all that sewing the dress was TOO BIG. I was actually really happy about that, until I realized that the corded stays I made last year are now also too big. I'm not so proud I can't admit I had more fun in 1830s than I thought I would, but I have a feeling that was more to do with the company than the era. I promised my hostess that I would give it all another go if she hosted the event again and that I will remake my riding habit to fit me (and out of wool this time).
Project 4 was an ultimatum with the Regency era. I have tried and tried again to find "me" in the style, and have come up wanting. Again, it's a very feminine style that just doesn't call to me. Searching and searching, I saw an outfit with a very military inspired look. I thought to myself if this doesn't win me over, nothing will and that will be it for Regency sewing. Not only was I thrilled with the end result (now known as the Velveeta dress) but I actually have photos of me in it!
I made this hat too, and I stole the plume from my husband.He'll never know.
I used Rocking Horse Farm Regency Riding Habit for the jumper, and Laughing Moon 129 View C for the spencer. Both patterns made up quickly and easily. I didn't get the chance to make the riding shirt, so I had to keep my spencer on the whole time. I loved how it looked, so that wasn't really a complaint.
My last outfit for the year was a winter Victorian bustle, made for a holiday tea with friends. The red wool was stash. I used Truly Victorian 261, 365 and 466. I had wanted to make an outer coat and add more velvet trim for a second event I planned to wear this too, but life decided to throw a major curveball for a friend. Sewing was put on hold and that portion of this outfit will be finished another time (the coat has even been cut out!).
It might not have been the most productive year in terms of the number of costumes, but I felt like I had some major successes. I tried drafting, I stepped into a new era, I finally made friends with Regency. Pulling mostly from stash, I put more planning into each outfit. I found myself doing more trims and little details that added a lot to the overall looks.
Now, on to 2017!