It’s 2019! How did I do on my 2018 sewing goals?

Happy New Year!

New Year’s is not my favorite holiday exactly, but I do like laying around with the hubs and dogs and thinking about what transpired and what lies ahead.

I made a big post about my sewing goals for 2018 so I thought before I post about my goals for 2019 I should see how I actually ended up doing.

Generally speaking, I feel like 2018 was not a particularly productive year for sewing. Everything seemed rushed and last minute. I had a lot of real life interruptions, the biggest being my major house renovation finally beginning, so it’s not surprising that sewing took a back seat.


Here are my 2018 goals and what I managed to do with them.

Late 1860s Ball Gown and Day Bodice — I still don’t have a hoop so nothing happened on this one. My next step is to try to make the elliptical hoop from the Laughing Moon pattern. I feel like I can’t let this dress / era beat me but man, it’s been annoying so far.

Early Bustle Era Day Dress — Nope

18th Century Riding Habit — I did not make this either but I did manage to make my first 18th century outfit.

More Regency —  I made one new dress and a spencer

1910s Ball / Evening Gown — I did the mockup but stalled out on actually making the gown. I couldn’t figure out exactly how I wanted it to look. I ended up making a guimpe and (sort of) fixing the hem on my existing 1910 skirt. I need to revisit this era.

Figure out how to make myself a pair of jeans — Nope

Actually typing that out bums me out a bit that I didn’t manage more. Honestly, 2018 was a heavily mixed year for me so it’s not surprising that the mix is reflected here.

Patriotic Protest Pantsuit

Ever since I got into sewing with vintage patterns I’ve been fascinated with the tunic pantsuits that seemed to be a part of every casual wear pattern in the 70s. I was born in 1973 and while I don’t exactly remember these garments from my childhood, they can be found all over my family photos and media from my toddler years. img_6576I’ve had a plan to sew my own version just for kicks for at least a year and a half. I decided to use Simplicity 5556, also from 1973, after making two versions of the dress from that pattern. Somewhere along the line I acquired a huge and cheap piece of blue and white double knit perfect for this project. I just needed to get around to sewing it.

In the run up to the election I was tentatively swept up in “pantsuit fever”. Despited my dearest hopes, I had my misgivings on how the election would really go. I considered trying to sew the pantsuit in time for Election Day. It would have been a crush but I could have done it. A friend suggested that I could wait and have it ready for The Inauguration. Since I was worried how I would feel if I burned the oil and it all went pear shaped, I took her suggestion.

And, as we know all now, it most certainly went pear shaped.

As soon as the Women’s March was announced, I considered going to Washington DC. In the end, I stayed and marched in Atlanta with old and dear friends who happened to be in town for the American Library Association convention. This was the time to make my pantsuit.

Since I had used part of the pattern before I felt like I had a decent chance of success without a mockup. I was a little concerned about the fit of the pants though. I measured my rise versus that of the pattern. It seemed like it would work and the tunic would come to the tops of my thighs anyway.img_2159It went together pretty quickly but it was looking pretty blah. I decided it needed a little jazz so I used my newly learned double needle trick to topstitch the neckline, all the hems and the tie belt with red thread. img_2160The pattern suggested that you could add a crease to the pants. I thought this would help tailor my look. To really accentuate the crease, and make life easier after washing, I sewed the pleat in, also in red. The only real problem was that somehow I managed to get one leg an inch shorter than the other! I’m not really sure how that happened. Maybe I am out of alignment these days? I’ve never noticed this on any other garments though. How odd. I had to make do since I didn’t quite have the extra inch to spare on the shorter leg. See if you can guess which one it was!img_2163In the end I wore my pantsuit with my 1976 bicentennial liberty bell pimp chain and a button I received with an Etsy purchase the day before the march. It was tucked in with a vintage pattern purchase. The button had clearly seen better days and its original pinback had been replaced with a safety pin. It reads “I Support America”. When I found it in my package, I really did not know what spirit the button was sent in but I took at as an omen and wore it.img_2208The day of the march it poured. We had scary storms and thunder so intense it knocked pictures off my neighbors’ walls. The start of the march was pushed back by 30 minutes. I debated on wearing my pantsuit in the pouring rain. I certainly gave up on any effort with my hair. I pushed the meetup time with my friends back and somehow, we managed to avoid the worst of the rain. Then the rain stopped. It was gray but we were ready. The estimate was 60,000 people marching, many of whom had come in the worst of the weather to get there. I certainly don’t blame people for not being sure. The storms that morning were downright frightening. I can only image how many people we might have had on a bright sunny day.img_2162I think in some ways my bling, button and pantsuit kind of confused my fellow marchers. I didn’t have a pink pussy hat or a protest sign. I could see how my oddly aggressive groovy patriotic garb might not “read”. Even if it didn’t resonate for others, it reminded me of everything that was a new step forward in 1973, everyone who had fought before and how we have to keep fighting. It was also really comfortable. Never hurts to have a comfy outfit for a protest!

As great as the Women’s March was, it was only one event. The hard work of fighting for and keeping rights was and is on going and is done generally without regard to glamour. But if you can make it a little glamorous by marching with friends in a handmade double knit pantsuit, it’s just that much better.

Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award!

Color me shocked and delighted to be nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award by Jeanette of The Perfect Touch. I don’t have a ton of blog followers, although I think I get a few more readers via my reposts to Facebook. It means a lot to me that Jeanette tapped me for this honor. I am not the most prolific blogger but I try really hard to make well written, interesting and entertaining posts. It seems that I’ve succeeded! Thank you Jeanette!

And now, the fine print!

The Official Award Rules are:
1.  Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
2.  Put the Award logo on your blog.
3.  Answer the ten questions sent to you.
4.  Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
5.  Nominate ten blogs.

Numbers 1 & 2, CHECK!

On to Number 3, Jeanette’s Questions:
1.  What is your favorite fabric?
For sewing, probably broadcloth cotton. For wearing, anything soft.

2.  What era would you most like to visit?
The Victorian era around the turn of the century, when everything was happening with technology and the world started to change at a high rate of speed. Or maybe the late 1960s into the 70s. It seemed to be a completely insane time to party and the music would be fab.

3.  Does anyone else in your family share your hobby/hobbies?
My mom and grandma were sewers, knitters and crocheters. My nana was crafty too. Between all of them I got a firm start in sewing and crafting. They gave me my start and eventually, I ran with it.

4.  What part of the world have you not seen and would love to visit?
I’ve always been interested in travel and I have been extremely lucky to have already visited many of my “dream” destinations. There’s still lots of places I haven’t been though. Prague, Moscow, Budapest, Iceland, Hawaii, Seattle and Egypt are some places I haven’t gotten to yet.

5.  Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

6.  Have you ever ridden a horse?
Yes, but honestly, they scare me.

7.  Do you have your blog printed?

8.  Are you a morning person?
Absolutely not.

9.  Have you invented something?
No. Well maybe some embarrassing dance…

10.  Do you use Pinterest?  If so, how many pins do you have?
Yes. 7k is what it’s telling me.

My nominees are both established and newer bloggers. Time to give them all the love! And Make them answer all the questions!

My Bloggesses:

1.  Gina @ Beauty From Ashes
2.  Fanny @ Temps d’elegance
3.  Anne @ Dogwood Girl
4.  Breanna @ The Lady Nerd
5.  Cat @ The Gluttonous Geek
6.  Diana @ Beyond Victoriana
7.  Megan @ Shoes Before Stitches
8.  Lauren @ American Duchess
9.  Lara @ To Dream Out Loud
10.  Kat @ Madame Modiste

My Questions:

  1. What is your favorite part about blogging?
  2. What is least favorite part about blogging?
  3. Why do you blog?
  4. What was the last project (sewing, craft or otherwise) you completed?
  5. Cats or Dogs?
  6. Do you have a blogging soundtrack?
  7. Do you have a blogging “hero”?
  8. Who is your favorite writer?
  9. Who is your favorite artist?
  10. Who would you push off a cliff?

Thanks again for the nomination, Jeanette!!!

Pouches for Joeys

You may have read about the recent call for mittens to protect the healing paws of koalas burned in this year’s Australian bush fires. The appeal went viral and within a week, the IFAW had enough mittens (Mitten Accomplished!) for both this year and also (unfortunately, because more fires are inevitable) next year. I had planned on making some mittens. The pattern is super easy to make and uses small pieces of fabric. But the IFAW politely asked that if you hadn’t started mittens, would you please consider making pouch liners for joeys. Kangaroo and wallaby babies are also victims of the fires, both as victims and orphans. They convalesce in makeshift pouches. The preferred fabric is soft cotton flannel which happened to be on sale at Joanns. So I made 6 pouches in two of the five requested sizes.

All the Joey Pouches

Here is an shot of what I assume the pouch might look like in action.

Pouch Action Shot!

After buying fabric and paying the postage to Australia, I suppose it could be argued that I could have done just as much good by making a $25 donation to IFAW. While this might be true, I probably would not have even thought to do something without the call for making. Not because I don’t care, but because the call was something tangible I could do. I was just in Australia in November. I saw both kangaroos and koalas in the bush, steps away from me. I have never been as close, in nature, to any other “zoo” animals. It gave me all the feels. Also, koalas make crazy noises!

I hope my pouches help keep the joeys cosy and that maybe the prints I chose will entertain their caretakers too.

If you want to help out the animals injured in the fires, here is the link for IFAW donations. You can find the sewing patterns here.