Hello! I’ve been absent from my own blog, but I have been sewing (though not costumes). The holiday season saw me making purses. This was a second attempt at such a thing, the first being a very simple pattern in gorgeous fabric. These Christmas purses were made in no less beautiful fabrics, but were a bit more complex. I’ve learned more about interfacing than I expected. As a historical costume sewer I don’t use modern interfacings very often. I’ve also been learning to crochet.

 

 

It’s the new year, but I don’t like setting resolutions. My feeling is that, if you can’t manage to do something because you need or want to, the fact that it s a new year isn’t going to help you. But it is a great time to contemplate a new project list. I don’t have anything firm yet, except for a belated Christmas gift, two baby presents and a wedding. I do think this will be a good year to focus on steampunk, starting with a tentative plan to make spats for my new boots.

The other thing I have on the schedule for this year is to participate in The 1912 Project. I’m pretty excited about it. Vintage patterns tell us more than just how a garment could be made. They give you an idea of what people valued, what kind of time they put into such activities, what materials were available (and so, what kind of industries were going on). They make assumptions about sewing skills that we may not understand today. They give you little hints about how things were done by hand, individually, in a slower world. The Vintage Pattern Library is working on digitizing 1912 editions of La Mode Illustree, including making detailed full size patterns of the garments therein, in memory of  the sinking of  the Titanic in 1912. Last July my small town marked the 100 anniversary of its incorporation with some period festivities and that’s when I started to research and become interested in the period. I recently had  the chance to watch all of the first season of Downton Abbey, which starts with the news that the Titanic had been sunk. I find the period and costumes fascinating. Things were changing between the classes, women were starting to have a voice, old ideas about clothing and medicine were relaxing. It was the dawn of our modern era. And the hats were awesome. I will be making at least monthly updates on the  patterns I am given to sew.

Additional photos after the jump that do the fabrics more justice.

The main fabrics are from the Robert Kaufman Jewels of India collection

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