Friday, January 1, 2016

Projects of 2015, a Review

I didn't get nearly as much done as I would have liked last year--I had major motivation issues.  I found that when I work on a single project, I tend to maybe work on it for a couple of hours at a time, then set it up, having gotten tired of it--which really isn't too productive.; which means, when I have a project that takes a couple of months, my total number of projects goes down drastically.  I can say that I finished a couple of major projects, at least.

This year, I will try the opposite--work on multiple projects at a time, with varying (or no) deadlines, and discuss my planned projects for 2016 (although planned is such a strong word...hoped for would be better).  But to start, I will go over everything I remember making this year.

A pair of Norse shoes, based on the Oseburg 303s.  They look terrible.  In part this is because of the leather, but also because I made them for winter wear--to wear over multiple layers of socks--so they are somewhat loose.
11 hours of construction time, and many, many more patterning.

A plain, woolen undertunic.  Nothing much to discuss here--it was fairly routine.  I did, however, discover a practical reason for the off center slit--it allows you to stagger the opening for undertunic and tunic, helping to keep out the cold.  It is machine sewn, but hand finished (in the dark, in the back of the truck on the way to the event, in fact).  This was my entry into the January Historical Sew Monthly.
Approximately 6-7 hours for this project--I wasn't really paying attention.

The Sture Suit: My longest standing UFO--I began working on it in...a long time ago.  2011?  Then worked on it a couple times a year before giving up from frustration.  And I decided to finally finish it this year.  Technically, it still isn't finished--I need to make a hat, and there /was/ supposed to be trim.  I am fairly happy with how it turned out though, on the whole--and even if they don't quite fit correctly, I am quite proud of those stupid pluderhosen.
I ended up entering it into the February Historical Sew Monthly, for Blue.
60:10 hours of actual work--not including redoing the doublet (I was 24 hours into mark I before scrapping it) or mockups.

1370s Blue Cottehardie:  Another major project--a completely handsewn cotehardie, using period methods, patterning, and construction.  The only thing (to my knowledge) that isn't period about it is that I used cotton thread rather than linen (I was out of linen thread, and don't care for working with it, anyways), and cotton instead of silk for the buttonholes.  Again, I am fairly well happy with this project--it was a bit of a challenge, getting the fit correct with only side seams and the front edges.  It was my entry into the HSM War & Peace Challenge.
This project took 71:45 hours, not including drafting and fitting.

The most major project of the year--the infamous Franken-frockcoat.  The fashion fabric of the frankenfrock is made entirely of upcycled men's tweed blazers.  It doesn't belong to any period, but was a "fun" (hah, hah) creative project--good for steampunk and daily wear.  The leather buttons are also upcycled--I lucked out and got two coats with blue leather buttons.  I am quite proud of this project--the pattern matching was a serious pain, and it was my first time quilting.  The frankenfrock took months of work; I started gathering materials in November of 2014, started working on it (and drafting) in mid-March, and finally finished it in Mid-August.  It took a total of 133 hours of work, and is a main reason I didn't get as much sewing as I would like done.

The Dungiven Jacket:  The Dungiven had been on my to-do list for several years--complete with the fabric picked out in my stash.  It is a 100% self-sewn replica of the original, with only a couple modifications to make it fit me (just had to make it a little wider). The Dungiven doublet is an Irish bog find dating to anywhere from the 1570s to the 1640s.  It only took 40 hours, but several months, due to lack of motivation.  I entered in it the HSM December challenge; Re-do.

A Richard III style hat, made in tweed:  This was a last minute project made for Grandma.  The material choice isn't period, but I believe the pattern is (I assume--I based the pattern on the one I got as a Queen's Artisan a few years ago).  The top is a circle, the diameter of which should be the average between the over-head measurements (side to side, and front to back); the circle gets pleated down to the head circumference, with the slightly overlapping brims sewn on.

This one was fun--another "quick" hat, made for my Uncle.  He tends to (always) wear ball caps, so I included the brim of one--it is essentially a souped up Stormy Kromer.  I used a six panel top (Now, I believe ball caps use five), with the front and back panels a full inch longer than the side ones in order to improve the fit.  The ear piece is one piece and similar in shape to that of a ushanka, and can button on top in nicer weather.  I love this hat--I didn't want to give it up, especially since I rather doubt it will be worn.  It took me around 10-11 hours to make both hats.

Other projects not deserving of details:
  • A pair of netherstocks, and a pair of chausses, both in cotton flannel (which works quite well for the purpose, by the way).  Actually--that seems to be all, at least that I can remember.  I did have one or two UFOs, though.

2016 "plans" 

Plans....dreams is much more like it.  Some of these are for the 2016 Historical Sew Monthly--and those have priority, but there are others too, including major projects.  As I said in my intro, I intend to try something new this year by working on multiple projects at once, in order to keep from getting bored.

And sew, in no particular order (and fully acknowledging that many will not be made):
  • 1853 red, double breasted waistcoat.  As I type this, it is mostly together--but I procrastinated for ages because of the single welt pockets (which weren't as difficult as expected).  January HSM; Procraftination.
  • 1/6th Scale body double:  Essentially a scaled down custom fitting dummy.  I want one to allow me to play with drafting interesting patterns, and let me practice doing so...without spending a fortune on fabric for full size.
    • I really would like to make a female one as well, for the same reason.
  • Patchwork Paletot:  Exactly that--the sequel to the Franken-frock, a matching double breasted overcoat lined in faux fur.  I am basing the pattern on a French overcoat--the pattern is quite similar to Regency overcoats, actually.
  • Finally make the hat for my Sture suit; a pleated Elizabethan tall hat (which would work for HSM Feb)
  • Norse Shoes:  I actually have already started drafting these, based on the Staraya Ladoga pair.
  • Either/or: They would work for the pleats and probably protection HSMs.
    • A padded doublet and trunkhose
    • or a doublet and pluderhosen
  • A pair of pile lined Heynes mittens.
  • Herjolfnes Hood; A working replica of Norlund 78.  I drafted out the pattern last May, but had to wait to finish the Dungiven in order to begin on it, since I'm using the same fabric.
  • A square skirted medieval hood--I'm thinking something nice and warm, and of lining it with sheepskin.  Not looking to be perfectly period, here.
  • Men's Stays: Well, I have been saying I should make a corset for myself for quite some time.  I ran across this one, which I rather like--it is essentially a weight belt.  Of one point my brain was chewing on a nearly armour grade steamy pair...
  • Justaucorps, patterned off of the 1730s grey velvet one.  I would be using a brown suedeish synthetic--stash materials.
  • 1730s Waistcoat.  Likewise in stash materials.  I have a light blue, patterned grossgrain type fabric that I've been eyeballing for the purpose.  This or the Justaucorps would work for the Holes Challenge (buttonholes).
  • Canvas top coat: I am rather excited about this one, actually--it is essentially a frock coat without a waist seam, made in canvas without linings.  I'm looking at this for my entry into HSM Traveling, and may experiment with period forms of waterproofing to boot.
  • A set of ruffs.  I have been needing a set (neck and both wrists) for some time, it would be an entry into HSM Monochrome and of a style suitable for the 1560s.
  • Dungiven Trousers: Finally make a pair of pants to go with the Dungiven jacket.  They will likely be a plaid cotton flannel.  It would be nice to finish them in time for Summer Coronet (likewise the ruffs).  They would be entered into the Patterns HSM.
  • A banyan, dammit!  I need a new robe, and would like to make a better one, now that I know more about drafting for the period.  I have a couple of design options, but regardless, it will be of the fitted style.  In all likelihood, it will be patchwork.
  •  A 1560s Jerkin in red brocade. 
  • HATS!  Just random soft hats, because I have a thing for them... 
  • 16th Century belt; because I really, really need one.
  • Antler combs
  • Norse bone buckle set.
  • Modern Double breasted suit: Made of an ok looking synthetic in my stash as a "working mockup"; purely because I was told I shouldn't do it (since it isn't wool).
Quite a few projects, including major ones in there.  I'm really hoping I can keep my enthusiasm.

© John Frey, 2016. The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial private research or educational purposes provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.  Photographs of my work may not be duplicated.

1 comment:

  1. So many nice plans for the coming year! I'm excited to see how far you will get with them. :)

    To start of the year, I have also nominated you for an award: