- I need a hat. Or several eventually. They really do finish off an outfit. My print polonaise really, really needs a hat.
- I'm figuring out the projects that I will be working on in the next year or two. Some of these have actual occasions to wear them. Most of them can be made out of stash fabrics. Some of them require whole new sets of undies, others only require a thing or two. They are: 1896 tailor made gown (for a conference in April 2016), 1867 cotton dress (for the 150th anniversary of Confederation), 1916 outfit (for the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in Manitoba), 1780 painted dress (I would REALLY love to get to the Francaise dinner in 2017 and check out the D.C. area).
- I feel good about the things that I'm making. They aren't perfect. But learning new skills and trying new things keeps it interesting. And I feel like some things I am getting a really good grasp on, like fit, that I used to have major issues with. Progress!
- Sewing for oneself is really empowering. We can put on different identities at will; one day I can dress like it's 1795 and another like it's 1882. We can make something out of (practically) nothing using our hands and brains. We aren't limited to how the clothing industry tells us we should look, whether it's particular styles of clothing or clothes for particular body types. Within certain physical limits, we can control how are bodies look, through corseting, use of colours and patterns, and padding. We can consider earlier beauty ideals as we strive for accuracy in our historical clothes and understand that a particular aesthetic is fleeting and, in many ways, meaningless as a standard that we need to hold ourselves to.
- Above thoughts are a result of the positive way I feel about myself when I'm sewing. Remember my naval gazing post from last year in which I felt rather lackluster about myself? A lot of those feelings have gone away since I got into some regular sewing. It actually makes me feel kind of bad for people who don't have a hobby in their lives, something where they can learn and strive and see results and feel accomplished. (Of course, there are some major downswings when things aren't going well and you just want to throw everything in a corner and have a tantrum, but looking back over the long term, improvement is generally the rule, not the exception.)
- I need to hurry up and finish my Little Mermaid gown! The waistband is on the train now. Just needs a closure, ties underneath, and the balayeuse. Then bodice!