Year In Review

I have an awful time remembering what projects I do each year. Luckily, I started a list at the beginning of this year. Then, I forgot to keep writing them down.

Projects of 2016:


PPandP book coverTo start the year off, I launched Paisley, Plaid, & Purled: Shawls of the Mid-Nineteenth Century. My many, many year writing baby was finally in print. Well, E-print.


We also started the year with a Sew-Along. The first of the year being a work bag in cotton or silk. I had no idea how popular these would be.

wpid-2015-11-17-18.16.54-1.jpg.jpegIt seems January was pretty busy. This is also when I started my pin cushion experiment. I took the same shape and size pin cushion, made of quilt weight cotton, and stuffed each with a different filling to see how each performed. This will be a continued experiment.



Going from February into January, the local historical Sew Along group worked on pin balls. Participants used a wide variety of researched techniques for their pin balls.


2016-03-30-10.25.47.jpg.jpegCome March and April, I was focused on preparing sewing boxes for a discussion during the 140th’s Civilian Seminar in the Greene  Gallery at GCV.


I lined two boxes, one for original tools and one for reproduction tools.I used hand marbled paper for the original sewing box. I used fabric for the box I was constructing a tray for.


20161001_160937.jpgThe next Sew Along: A Purse began in March, but became a many month project for me. I made a crochet long purse, known as a miser purse.


I first made one for Cali. Then made the one for me. Both are silk with cut steel beads.


As the weather warmed, estate and yard sales began. Several local friends were looking for appropriate chairs. Inevitably, as I was photographing chairs, some came home with me. In a couple ways this is good because my well used chairs are getting loose and now, we almost have enough seats for Christmas.


Galaxy arrived some time in May or June. It is kind of a blur. Clara joined the family in February.


June was pretty packed.This is when I fell behind on the purse project and way behind on the slipper project (see below.)


I decided I needed a dress appropriate for demonstrating sewing straw in. Something very much a work dress that could handle getting wet and I could be comfortable in.


The dress got a test run at GCV’s War of 1812/Jane Austen event in June. I had a delightful day demonstrating the cottage industry, sewing straw plait into bonnet and hat forms.



After the Regency era of June, was a switch to mid-Nineteenth century for July. I got to transform the museum’s Law Office into a Millinery for the Civil War weekend. This meant making the building obviously say Millinery – dressing the space with bonnet boxes, stands topped with bonnets and hats,  bringing in additional color. It was a great weekend.


Somehow, I don’t have photos of just the boxes I worked on. Here is a mini-verion for Cali. I made a couple boxes. Then I recovered a number more in period appropriate papers. For next year, I really want to get to Cooperstown to buy a few of their boxes.



August was all about sewing, sewing, and sewing. I did break my “no more folding chairs” rule when I saw this chair in a yard sale listing.

August also saw Lily off. We spent much of the summer trying to visit a museum or site each week.


It was back to school in September. These transitions are usually difficult for me. I get in such a rhythm of heavy sewing through the day. Though I did have one project for October I was greatly enjoying….



I had so much fun making my basket of vegetables in velvet. Some were cotton velvet, already dyed. Others were silk velvet, needing to be colored in chalk after I made them. I do wish more people were able to see this at the fair.



November was back to being busy again. First came the Domestic Skills Symposium at the Genesee Country Village and Museum. I lead a Sunday workshop on Millinery in Miniature with my helpful side-kick, Cali. Each participant made a doll scale hat while learning period appropriate straw sewing techniques.


The following weekend was Preparing for the Holidays, back at the museum. This is when I was just amazed by how interested people were in the strawberry emery cushions I was making. I left completely thrilled and dumbfounded.


My big goal for December was launching my new Mid-Nineteenth Century Winter Hood Pattern. Drafted directly from an original hood in my growing collection, this pattern has two sets of directions in the information packed booklet.

Millinery, straw and winter, spanned the year. I had a few goals with straw  for this year. I wanted to explore fancier plaits, learn decorative manipulations for plait and learn to make straw motifs. I also wanted to dig further backward and forward in time. I didn’t get quite as far as I had hoped. But, I did expand quite a bit. Here is a gallery of this year’s millinery:

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Projects Yet to Complete (Or start in some cases):

This year has more than its share of projects not yet finished. Here is just a few:

I had this whole plan to roll research on veils into making veils. I got as far as doing a good bit of research and even a materials comparison. I have yet to make more than the veils used for the July millinery.


I have a box of Shaker boxes I meant to line and make sewing accessories for. So far, I have made this one and one that is a gift. I will hopefully get the others finished before it is time to buy some more. This really is one of the most convenient sewing boxes to have.


I have an on-going pin cushion project. One part is the filling analysis. The other is making pin cushions from original directions or replicating originals. I thought I might do one a month…  Not so much. Next year.

Picture1The slippers that were started last spring have not been touched in months. Some time in the depths of winter, when my feet are cold, I will finish them just to have them done.


I had wanted to learn to make straw decorations and motifs. I got as far as learning to make leaves in the spring. Then I got so busy with bonnets and hats, I didn’t get back to it. This will definitely be explored more next year.


Next Year….

I will be doing a looking forward post soon(ish). I have dress lengths that have been long neglected. I also have some presentation/workshop topics churning around in my head.


Published in: on December 5, 2016 at 6:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

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