Thursday, April 23, 2015

Turning the lights back on

Despite radio silence on the blog for the past three (has it really been that long?!) months, there has indeed been some sewing going on. :)  I need to get better at taking the blog posts in my head and making them a reality.

The Tang dynasty project is on hold for the time being. The 5000 Years of Chinese Costume book had absolutely nothing regarding the hezi in it, so I'm at a bit of a loss when it comes to documentation. The silk brocades I  brought back from Taipei are too heavy. And I need to put work into on overall concept and colours before I move forward.  The Asian color aesthetic is difficult to get my head around.  Or perhaps I'm just justifying the need to watch more gorgeous Chinese costume dramas like The Empress of China...  either way, I do not have a current need in 2015 for a Tang dynasty outfit, so its been moved to the back burner.

I've also decided not to push to do the Historical Sew Monthly this year.  I was wildly creative doing the half year I did of it in 2014 but it was an epic fail in coming up with costume pieces that were useful for my costuming closet.  So I am going to enjoy watching the gorgeousness from the sidelines with popcorn this year.

In lieu of that, I have set myself the following goals.  I am woefully poor when it comes to follow through on projects.  Combine this with limited time to devote to costuming (an uninterrupted three hour stretch in the sewing room is a miracle) and I am trying to lower the bar a bit and set some more manageable objectives.

The first step was to clean up the sewing room.  It was full to bursting, hadn't really been used since last spring and was definitely in need to some attention.  Once I gave it some organizational love, it was amazing how much higher my will to sew was.

Introducing the new and improved sewing room:

 Part I of the stash wall

 Part II of the stash wall and Lucy my vintage 1914 dummy

 My research library

 My idea/miscellany boards and Mimi, my modern dummy

Where I actually sew

The big win was moving my pattern collection down to the cutting room in the basement and everything is now organized by time period. I am lucky enough to have two rooms to spread out in. *happy dance*

Based on the amount of fabric and number of patterns I have, 
clearly I need to do more actual sewing!

Goal #1 for 2015:
Clean Up My UFO pile

My completion rate is pretty good, but I do have some projects that have been in the UFO pile for a number of years).

So far I've managed to finish off the hand sewing on the 1880s bloomers I submitted for last year's HSF #8. (ironically, the UFO challenge) and finally added the second row of trim on the 1890s capelet I submitted for my very first HSF challenge in 2013. (I said some of them had been sitting for a while *blush*).  Which leaves half a dozen projects left to tackle this year including finishing my 1880s hat, taking a first mockup of a 1940s dress to completion as well as  a mockup of the TV 1880s corset.  Any bets on how far I will get by December 31?

Goal #2 for 2015
Ren Faire Outfits for Jay and I

The  Georgia Renaissance Festival runs April 18 through June 7.  Jay and I are planning on going Mother's Day weekend.  I have various pieces currently in progress for both of us and will blog more on those separately once they are closer to complete.

 Sam supervising my cutting out the waistband for Jay's breeches

Goal #3 for 2015
Steampunk Alice in Wonderland outfits for The Great Canadian Steampunk Exposition

The theme for the Great Canadian Steampunk Exposition this year is Alice in Wonderland.  The event is in a cool historical fort in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario in late September.  The moment I heard the theme, I had ideas dancing through my head.  We're adults with decent jobs, so flying out for it isn't completely crazy. (Flying with multiple costumes may be, though!)

Right now we are thinking of doing the Queen of Hearts/White Rabbit at the Trial

And I also have a crazy vision of Jay in a fez and a smoking jacket (I've been dying for a reason to make him a smoking jacket!) as the caterpillar, walking around the event, asking people: Whoooooo. Arrrrrrrre. Yooooooooooou?

More details post Ren Faire, once I start actually get past the pintrest idea of this project.  But this is going to be something fun to spend the summer on!

Goal #4 for 2015
Blog on a semi regular schedule
I am  bad at finishing projects and taking progress pictures, so I am going to try to start doing shorter posts as the inspiration hit rather than large scale "project start to finish" posts.  We will see how successful I am at this.

Anyway, the lights are on in the sewing room again and I hope to share more about my sewing adventures (and misadventures) soon!