Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2015 in review

I find it is very helpful to review my creative year at the end.  This is mostly because I always feel that I got very little done as I seem to focus on the costumes that did not get completed rather than remembering the times I finished things.  So here is my year in review.

Historical Items
1883 corset for HSM foundations challenge
I really like the way this corset came out, it is very comfortable and easy to wear.  The fit has improved since this set of images as the corset has broken in. I later added flossing to each of the ends of each of the boning channels and I really like the contrast the flossing creates.

Regency bonnet or hat made for the HSM stash-busting challenge
I still have not had a chance to wear this hat so I have no idea if I will like it.  However, it was fun to make something completely from my stash.

A set of simple Victorian Skirts for HSM practicality challenge
I love that these skirts are based off of an original set and I love the way they look.  However, I am still kicking myself for misunderstanding the size for the back panel on the over skirt.  The over skirt is just too narrow for any form of a bustle or bumpad at all and of course I did not buy extra fabric which would allow me to fix this issue. I can still wear them for steampunk, where the silhouette is less important but I really wanted them for Victorian. I did learn a lot and am hoping to remake these skirts in the future for Victorian wear now that I have a good finished pattern.

Regency Diadem for HSM Accessorize challenge
I really enjoyed this project and the tutorial by Mistress of Disguise was wonderful. Surprisingly, making the diadem was relatively easy.  I finally got to wear my new Diadem for a Jane Austen birthday celebration in December and got many compliments.  A goal for 2016 is to finish the rest of the outfit this Diadem was actually made to go with.

Victorian Mourning Dress (final images here and making of here, here and here)
This was my big project for the year, at least in terms of sewing.  This dress took so much work and there was so much hand sewing that went into both the construction and the trim addition, but I am so happy with how it came out.  This dress was a joy to wear.  I would still like to finish the butterfly train and a hat to wear with this in 2016.

Embroidery for an SCA sash
This is more historically inspired rather than historical, the embroidery is done in silk and with historical stitches and techniques but the motifs are modern.  This project was my most time consuming of the year, I am just not very fast when it comes to embroidery but I am happy with the result.

Regency circular reticule for HSM Re-do challenge
Similar to the diadem, this project was inspired and based off of a tutorial by another great costumer.  The Couture Courtesan did the research and made a circular reticule that was so lovely, I was inspired to make my own.  I have not yet had a chance to use this reticule, but it was fun handsewing project to keep with me.  I really need to keep a project like this with me at all times as I think I would get many more things done if I keep something with me for the down times in the day.

Fantasy Items
Dr. Who inspired Victorian vest
Making my own buttons with resin and getting to make a silly vest from a historical inspired pattern was a lot of fun. This vest was a birthday present for my husband who loves both this vest pattern and Dr. Who.

Day of the dead inspired fan
This was a great quick project that took only 2.5 hours.  I cant wait to apply this technique to making historical inspired fans.

Lock, Shock and Barrel from Nightmare Before Christmas (final pictures, planning and sewing, making of the hat and masks)
While the sewing for this was really straight forward, the accessories had a really steep learning curve.  Both the hat and the masks had many new techniques for me.  The fosshape for the hat was completely new to me and there is obviously still much I need to learn about using this material for hats.  The building of a base mask and forming the Worbla thermoplastic over it was also completely new to me, but went fairly well. In both cases there are things I think I could do better and I will at least redo the hat in the near future.

Steampunk Items
A teacup holster and a tutorial
I made a teacup holster for tea dueling for my husband and made a quick tutorial of how to make this style of teacup holster as well.  This was a fun project and fairly quick.  As I am still fairly new to leather work, I was really proud of how this project went. This was also my most accessed post for 2015.
Steampunk vented top hat
This hat was inspired by 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and was intended to make a top hat less hot for wearing in the desert of the Southwest.  The addition of the vents did make the hat cooler to wear and were not too difficult to add.  It was also a good excuse to use up some EL wire and make a unique top hat.  Overall, I am happy with this hat and so it my husband.

Creation of a diagonal seamed corset
I took the pattern for a corset created from the HSM foundations challenge detailed above and made it into a diagonal seamed corset.  Diagonal seamed corsets are historical and I did base the placement of the diagonals on historical references, however the color choice and the intended use of the corset is definitely not historical.  I do love the way this looks and may make a historical version in 2016.  This new corset was part of the revamp for the Steampunk Cheshire Cat which also included a new tail attachment.

Also part of the Alice in Wonderland revamp in 2015 was a new turban/hat for the Caterpillar.  This was a fairly easy project and by using a baseball cap as the base it actually stays put even with the huge antennae.
Here are to complete costumes together at Wild Wild West Con.

A light-up flower crown and leather plague doctor mask inspired by Dia de los Muertos
The flower crown was my first experience with worbla and was great fun both to make and to wear.  The leather masks were from a difficult pattern and took a number of tries to get right but was a great project to do with my husband.  I am so happy with how these pieces came out.

Final thoughts
I wish I had finished more historical costumes and I wish I would have been able to better keep up with the HSM challenges.  I do intend to try again this next year as I find the HSM to be very helpful in motivating me to finish projects.  I hope to do many new things in the next year and I hope everyone has a wonderful 2016 and finishes many projects.