Tag Archives: year in review

2013- A Sewing Year in Review

I put off doing this post, because I honestly thought I was going to finish a few unfinished projects before the year was out, but I have come to the realization that I most likely won’t, so I’m just caving in and accepting it, and here is the post!

2013 was the year of less projects than I usually do.  This was, in part, due to that I was working full time doing theatre work in the field of costuming, and I didn’t have the desire to come home and do more work, even if it was for myself!  But the projects I did finish, for the most part, I liked.  There were, of course, a few failures.  But it seems like this was the year of BIG PROJECTS.  Most of these were for Costume College.  This could account for why I didn’t finish as many vintage projects as I have in years prior.

A big mention needs to go to The Dreamstress’ “Historical Sew Fortnightly”. It kept me motivated throughout the year, and I loved seeing the sewing projects of other members!  I’m really looking forward to it next year.

Click on the picture to be taken to the blog post, if applicable

January

Finished the 1899 Jacket.  This will be the first Wearing History pattern of the New Year, after I finish it up (I know, it’s been a long time coming… sorry).

February

1868 Blue Corset

March

1930’s Dust Bowl Dress

Jenn’s Wedding Reception Dress

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1940’s Bra (for work’s stock) from my digital pattern.

April

Nothing.

May

1940’s Overall Pattern Sample

Jeans from the Overall Sample (I guess I never took pictures!)

June

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1940’s Dress for Swing Dancing.  Upper Photo by Sylvia Wong.  I guess I never did a blog post for this.  Oops?

White Petticoat

White 18th Century Petticoat

July

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Late 18th Century Stays

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Late 18th Century Curtain-Along Dress- doing my best Mrs Miggins.  (I forgot to do a blog post on this.  Whoops?  Photo by Lauren of American Duchess).

August

18th Century Silk Petticoat

Striped 1780’s Dress

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Plaid Late 1860’s Dress

September

1930’s Sport Dress from a Bed Sheet

1930’s Adventurey Suit Frock

October

1930’s Corduroy Sports Jacket

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Pattern Sample- 1930’s Day or Evening Blouse and Skirt

November

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Gray Corduroy Smooth Sailing Trousers

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Two Dahlia Blouse Samples

December

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1930’s Chiffon Dot Blouse

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1940’s Sporty Jacket (just finished two nights ago. No blog post yet!)

I guess I got more done than I thought!

UFO’s (Unfinished Objects)

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- blue short sleeve knitted cardigan

- blue knitted sleeveless pullover vest

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-1940’s Knit for Victory knit-a-long blouse

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-Edwardian Truly Victorian S-curve corset

-gray denim from the 1940’s overall pattern

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-border print 1940’s summer dress (A total and utter failure)

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- Edwardian tea gown/wrapper

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-1910’s linen skirt

-1910’s striped blouse from my Edwardian Blouse pattern

-striped 1940’s blouse from a thrifted man’s shirt

Yup, a lot of projects were started, then abandoned because of lack of time.  If I had been more disciplined, I would have followed through, but I didn’t!  They’re sitting and waiting for me to finish next year, or to abandon for good.

This year I have learned to spend more time on detailing.  What makes me proud of my work are the little fiddly bits that go into them.  Be it insane tucks amount of tucks (like my 18th century silk dress), or pattern matching, or seam and hem finishing- I find I need a good balance of durable, serviceable everyday vintage, and more intricate, difficult, accomplished projects to make me happy with my accomplishments.

Here’s to 2014!  May it bring lots of fun, creativity, and sewing!

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A Personal Reflection- Vantage Points Looking Back from New Year’s Eve

2013, I am going to say, for once I’m glad to see the backside of a year.

Not that each year isn’t without it’s trials and joys, but this year has been an exceptionally hard one for me.  I thought I would write down a poignant, reflective post, but, among other things, it seems I’ve lost my flair for writing.  Instead, I’m just going to be honest and jot down my personal reflections, from an emotional and personal journey.

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2013 Was the Year I Lost Myself, and then Found Myself

That’s it in a nutshell.  I went through so many HARD, life-altering things this year.  Most of these were related to close family members.  I found strength I didn’t have, until I was a shell of a person- operating purely because I knew the moments left with the person I loved were few- even if she didn’t comprehend I was there, I knew I was, and that mattered.  I had moments of illumination, where all the pieces that I thought made up another person fit together, but the puzzle I found was a very sad picture, and the person involved, in the end, had pieces missing, and it wasn’t their fault.  I’ve learned about realizing the promises you’ve given in your youth, can often be a cover up for hiding other things, or making excuses.  But, I’ve learned to forgive and love, because human nature is a horrible thing to live with if you don’t seek another path, and people who can’t escape it can torment themselves until they are, literally, living a second life and don’t remember the first one.  Sadness, loss, and smoke and mirrors.  But, in the end, love.  Love is HARD.

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But, you come out of the haze and fog that took up, what seemed like the whole year, when in reality it was just a little while, and realize that the people you held hands with, who you leaned on, just to keep each other up and keep each other moving, have a solid, close bond- something that can’t be broken.  Something that you didn’t realize the strength of before.  Family ties are strong.  When you twist together the twines that you feel are left of the rope that used to be your strength, you can create a rope of iron, and pull each other through the toughest situations.

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I found out what it was like to lose one of the people who you have the most love, respect, closeness, and friendship with.  Losing my grandmother this year was one of the hardest things of my life.  The process of losing her was hard, but not as hard as not having her to talk to.  Luckily, I still see her in my dreams, so I know I can pass the time until I meet her again.  She was one of my roll models.  She knew what it was to live a truly meaningful, happy, contented life.  She loved her family, she was content with what she had, and she loved everyone.  She was the woman I want to be.

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When I woke up from this (some of which is still ongoing), I didn’t know myself.  I lost something when I lost her.  I don’t think it will ever come back.  And, strangely, I found my body and face had changed as well.  This could be, of course, due to my age.  I’m now solidly in my thirties, and my body is changing (again).  My metabolism changed- not as fast as it was in my youth when I was hopelessly skinny and didn’t have to worry about eating and exercise.  I see lines on my face, gray in my hair, and my body is a shape I’m altogether uncomfortable with.  I didn’t think aging would be hard for me, but I feel uncomfortable in my own skin.  That’s why there’s been so few pictures of me on the blog this year.  I need to find my self confidence again.  I need to learn new good habits I never bothered with before.  I know I’m not overweight, but I’m not the size I was two years ago and my mind is playing tricks on me, and I don’t feel pretty.  It’s such a silly thing, what we women do to ourselves, but I want to be one of those women who sees beauty in themselves in all times of life.  I just need to learn how.

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In the meantime, I tried an occupation I really thought could be my career.  Well, it ends up it didn’t work out.  I’m not meant for high stress jobs, and I went through crazy anxiety attacks (again).  I enjoyed the paychecks, and for the most part,  I enjoyed the work.  But I tell you what, whatever self-importance you may think you have as a blogger, as a pattern maker, and in your “scene”, when you get out of that and in something completely related where no one knows you, and you have to prove yourself, and prove the abilities you’ve spent your whole life developing… well… it’s hard.  It’s enough to let the steam out of anyone.  So, again, I was deflated.  But, through the process, I realized exactly HOW strong my skill set is.  And, I have to say, amid finding so much negativity in this year, I am very positive in my skill set and what I do.  Too bad it’s so hard to make money doing independant patterns.  My website may look fancy, but that’s all because of my family and friends who are generous with their time and talents, and the website services I use that make a website easy.  I learned that making money isn’t as important as happiness- and sometimes happiness means making very little money but doing what you love.

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I’ve dropped the ball on a lot of things this year.  I’ve come back and I feel like no one knows who I am, what I do, or reads my blog.  I’m struggling- feeling like I have good product, but needing to find a good formula to make money with business. Moving to e-patterns has really helped, and THANK YOU to everyone who supports my little enterprise.  I’ve had only a couple of pattern releases this year, but looking back on the year, I’m honestly amazed I had ANY patterns come out.  I’m amazed I managed to ship product, during those hard months!  I’m amazed I answered emails, worked a full time job, and came home and worked more, and spent as much time as I did devoted to family duties, whatever they were.  I’m amazed I’ve been dedicated to getting my allergy shots when needed (now down to once every three weeks! Yay!  It was twice a week at the beginning of the year).  We’ve torn all the carpeting out of our house and are living on concrete until new flooring is in, we’ve paid of ALL credit card debt, financed a few things at 0%, and are almost finished paying off a few of them.  We got a new car, which we managed to finance for 0% as well, so I’m thankful to say that I officially am not paying a percentage rate on ANYTHING, and it’s been over ten years since I could say that.  That feels good.  I feel like I’ve learned more about money management, which will really help out now that it’s really needed.

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Feels good to have a reliable source of transportation.  Feels good to know I’m still here, still plugging away, and still feel creativity and passion and drive.  I found out, deep down, I like who I am, when all came to the end.  I didn’t know I could do it, but I have.  It will take strength going forward, but I can do it. God has been by my side all year, has given me strength, and helped me learn to fly when I have had to get over a hurdle.  I always end up on the other side.  I couldn’t do it without my Lord.

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Thank you, to everyone, for your love and support of me, my blog, and my business.  Truly.  If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be able to be here, doing this.  I’m eternally grateful.

Sewing Year in Review- 2012

It’s New Year’s Eve!  2013 is literally just a few hours away, so I thought it might be fun to do my yearly sewing and creative recap.  Click on any image for a link to the post, if there was one :)

January

Regency Short Stays

A Regency Turban, and new trim added to the dress above. (photo from Beth)

February

A cheery dress from a 1938 pattern.

A 1910s Corset

Two blouses, two skirts, and one dress as pattern samples for the Cordelia skirt and the Edwardian blouse patterns.

March

I suffered a bit from burnout this month, so I only made a checkerboard ruffle dress from 1917.

April

A modern Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity dress for Easter

A skirt from a 1910s vintage pattern in remembrance of the Titanic.

And a hat to go with the outfit.

May

A 1940 seersucker dress and a late 1930s white jacket that I forgot to post pictures of until now.  Oops!

July

Three pairs of shorts, and two peasant tops to take photos of the Rita shorts pattern.

A 1940s poncho blouse

August

A plaid 1870s Victorian Dress, and trimmed a vintage hat to match.

Trimmed a hat to match the Tissot inspired dress I finished last year.

A 1930s Old Hollywood inspired dress, slip, and cape.

A white late 1930s blouse to go with a vintage skirt.

A 1940s white fringey dress inspired by “You Were Never Lovelier” and a turban inspired by Carmen Miranda (photo via Beth, who is on the left).

September

1950s western shirt for my husband (which still needs buttons), and a dress for me to match that I’ve still not taken proper pictures of.

A pumpkin made from burlap.

Brooches and hair flowers made from old sheet music and felt.

I also made a tent interior for our easy up tent.

I also almost finished a tatting project that’s sitting in bits, and started a corset mock up that I still haven’t finished.

October

An autumn floral version of the 1930s Smooth Sailing blouse.

A sample of the Loretta pattern in the day dress version and I also made the hat by draping   on a hat form.

November

Finished a sample of the Loretta evening dress version that I haven’t taken picture of yet.

December

Finished a crocheted sweater project that I still don’t have pictures of yet.

Finished a 1940s knitted sweater.

Made a white blouse from a 1940s pattern.

And I just finished a green plaid 1930s blouse, but I haven’t gotten pictures of it yet!

Also finished several pairs of pajama pants as Christmas gifts for family.

In retrospect, compared with previous years, I did more historical sewing that I am actually more proud of in construction and detailing than in previous years.  I’m pretty proud of myself for finishing two corestry projects, which I usually don’t like making at all.  And I think I was a bit more ambitious than I had been in the past with choosing patterns, plaids, and stripes that actually matched pretty well!  I am most proud of the 1870s bustle dress I made, as it was such a challenge to match the plaids.  I was most unhappy with the 1917 checkerboard dress, since I  *really* should have made a mock up first, and the 1930s plaid blouse I just finished since I think my construction was sub-par, and the plaid didn’t match as well as I had hoped.  But in general, I’ve been pretty happy with the projects I finished this year.

This coming year, I’d love to make more clothing I can incorporate into my daily wardrobe that I’ve made from authentic vintage patterns.  I’d also like to finish my late 1860s corset, and make at least two really awesome Victorian gowns.  And possibly make an 18th century project since I did get two Waverly curtains for the sew-a-long that several others I know are making or have made.  And maybe a Regency dress, since those are always fun.

Hope you have a very happy New Year!  Wishing you much happiness and sewing in 2013!

And if you are planning on going out tonight, DRIVE CAREFULLY!  Keep your eyes peeled when driving home.  If you’re planning on drinking, make sure you get a ride home or stay where you are.  Make sure your 2013 starts well, and safely, for you and everyone else on the road tonight.

God bless!

Lauren

2011 Sewing Year in Review

I’m a tad late with this post this year, but here’s my recap of my sewing projects accomplished this year!  Click on the images for links to blog posts or pattern listings.

January

Regency Sari Evening Gown, 1950’s Plaid Blouse, and Green Gaberdine Smooth Smooth Sailing Trousers

Click on the link below to continue reading. If you see no link you’re in the right place!

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