Back Into the Fray



I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve been silent for a while on the subject of actual projects. The reason is, besides fighting off a mystery bug for more than a week, I’ve been suffering from Total Bustle Burnout. I am sick to death of fiddling with what seems like miles of pleated organdy, making innumerable adjustments to the overskirt sides so they hang the way I want them to, and looking at the same blue cotton fabric for days on end (although I still love it – I’m just tired of seeing it).

I’ve been so temporarily Over It that I forgot to post my HSM #10 project, even though I finished it weeks ago. I forgot Your Weekend Wow, for which I apologize profusely. Such a mental muddle tells me it’s time to set this beastie aside and move on for a while until I’m ready to love the process all over again. (Although if I’d actually been sewing, instead of moaning about it, I’d probably have been done by now. Oh, well.)

So. Onward. There are only two HSM Challenges left in the year. Considering that last year (my first attempt at what was the HSF – “F” for Fortnightly) I only made it to March, this year I’ll make it to the end of the challenges. Fortunately, December is a “re-do” month so I can make up for the two that didn’t go so well – January’s “Foundations” and April’s “War and Peace.” And because I’m loathe to start any clothing, at least for now, I’m going to focus on accessories – smaller, though not necessarily simple, projects yet still things I need to complete my period wardrobes.

The HSM Challenge for November is Silver Screen: “Be inspired by period fashions as shown onscreen (film or TV), and recreate your favourite historical costume as a historically accurate period piece.” Well, I’m not feeling up to doing an entire costume. I had planned to make a Regency cloak. I’ve had the wool and quilted lining piled up in the sewing room for months and was looking forward to finally getting it together and off the table. However, I ran into a small problem.

I’d ordered the wool online. It was a nice, dark. inky blue that would span quite a few decades rather well. But when I picked it up to lay it out for cutting my fingers said “wait a minute…” and I noticed that it didn’t feel right. The online description said it was a tightly woven 100% wool. My brain said it felt like tightly woven 100% polyester. So I did a burn test. Under the match it turned into a tightly globbed 100% ball of plastic. Grrrrrrr.

Today's lesson: Natural fibers do not glob up into a shiny ball when burned.

Today’s lesson: Natural fibers do not melt into a shiny blob when burned.

Now, I can give myself permission of fudge on some things with my historical sewing. Using the machine for hidden seams. Modern elastic. Snaps. Knee socks instead of over-the-knee stockings. But I draw a solid line at using polyester in an age when it didn’t exist. Sadly, I’d ordered the fabric eons ago and no longer have the receipt. I can’t even remember the seller. So I set the whole thing aside to wait until I find some wool I love and start from there.

As for the polyester, I do like the color and it has a nice weave. So there might be a 1950’s or 60’s swing coat in my future. Maybe there’ll be a HSM 2016 retro challenge. I can only hope The Dreamstress reads minds.

What to do for November and HSM #11?

I have all the makings for a Late Georgian/Early Regency bonnet, a pair of embroidered mitts, a Victorian lady’s pocket watch and chain, and a Late Georgian/Early Regency embroidered (or not) reticule. I also have everything I need for a corded petticoat, but that might prove a bit much at the moment and is tricky to work into the “Silver Screen” theme unless the heroine is falling down a lot or takes a tumble down the stairs. (Although Jane Eyre seems to run down the stairs quite a few times, revealing her petticoats. Hmmm…)

The only thing left to do now is choose a project and dig in.