Thursday, January 9, 2014

2013 No New Fabric Year in Review

My No New Fabric challenge ended up being much easier than I had anticipated, and way more productive!  I finished a total of 18 items, and started 3 more.

My costuming goals shifted focus over the course of the year - in January of 2013 I had planned an extensive 18th Century wardrobe which has only partially materialized.  However, attending a Regency ball last March expanded my historical fashion interests, and joining the Regency Society of Virginia has given me numerous opportunities to wear my new early 19th Century costumes - and reasons to make more!
I did make several of my planned items, though.  Let's start with those:

Full set of 18th Century undergarments

See?  I was already thinking about the Year of Foundations a full twelve months ago!  I didn't make foundations a priority, though, which is why I accomplished very little in that area.  My goals were to complete the following:
  • shift
  • stays
  • garters
  • pocket(s)
  • bumroll and/or pocket hoops
  • petticoats
I completed:

1 shift
1 pocket
18th Century Accessories

I had planned:
  • mob cap(s)
  • fichu
  • handkerchief(s)
  • velvet muff(s)
  • sewing kit
I completed:  

1 mob cap

1 muff base and two removable covers
Curtain-Along Cloak

This was a UFO at the beginning of the year, and I still want to add trim to it.  But it's wearable, so it's done!

18th Century Petticoats

I had planned to make several of these out of various fabrics/curtains in my stash, and I completed...

White muslin "Felicity" dress

I had planned a recreation of this American Girl Felicity doll dress:

Then the Historical Sew Fortnightly happened, and my plans shifted to an 1813-era silhouette, coming up with this:

Now for the items I had NOT planned to make at the beginning of the year, but I'm so glad I did!

Blue Day Dress

I made it for the Regency Ball back in March, and I've worn it to numerous RSV events since I moved here in April.

Sheer Ball Gown

This gown has now been worn to TWO Regency balls, over both the white and the blue day dresses.  Also, I seem to know only one way to pose for pictures.  :p

Regency Dancing Slippers

This was such a fun project.

Green Straw Bonnet

I bought an ugly straw-brimmed baseball hat at Walmart, and turned it into a Regency bonnet!

Striped Cream Bonnet

I finished this bonnet just in time for my mom to wear it to the RSV Ladies' Tea during her visit in October.  I drafted the pattern myself!

Gold Velvet Spencer

This was an ill-fitting modern jacket before I cut it short and tailored it to make a well-fitted Regency spencer.  Also, the sleeves are removable so I can wear it as an evening bodice if I so choose.

Dotted Chemisette

This one was super simple to make.  It's actually less simple to tuck all the edges neatly under the neckline of my dress.  :p

Striped Reticule

I also drafted the pattern for this reticule, made from the scraps of the striped bonnet.

Green Swallowtail Jacket

Made from a bedsheet.  True story.

And that's my year in review!  I made everything from fabric that was already in my stash, or purchased for specific projects before December 31, 2012.  I spent less than $200 total, and that was on notions, trims, and accessories.  Now I can buy fabric again, and my first purchase of 2014 was this remnant of royal blue cotton velveteen:

This purchase actually represents an enormous amount of self-control.  I bought it at the Colonial Williamsburg Costume Design Center (where I work) from a table in the Accessories department that has held an ever-changing selection of fabric remnants and craft supplies for sale since...  August?  I've walked by this tempting buffet every day on my way to the break room, and I didn't cave once!  I did purchase some buttons and crochet hooks, but they're not fabric so it was ok.  :p  But now that I'm back - watch out!


  1. Kudos and Brava on your success! I've been following your No New Fabric challenge all year, and have been anxiously waiting for this post since Dec 31st. I can't promise myself to not buy fabric (there are a few projects that need fabric I don't own), but I do plan on using as much as my fabric stash in 2014 as possible. *nervously eyes fabric stash* I hope I can do you proud.

    1. Sorry I kept you waiting! I've been really bad about blogging lately. I need to do better. And I was only able to make the promise because I had already planned so many garments to be made from fabrics I already had - which only made the unexpected projects a challenge!