Sunday, August 14, 2016

Gwendolyn, what HAVE you been doing?! Plus a bonus costume tragedy

So this past year has been one of constant change and constant travel and I'm only just now starting to be able to sit back, take stock, and settle into myself a bit.

It's now been... oh... over three years since I've done any sewing or costuming for myself, which kind of pushed this blog into a semi-death. Getting my masters while dealing with severe depression REALLY didn't help, and after that I was expending all my energy on freelancing. In fact, until this past month, (in which I found a stable job within theatre and actually signed a year-long lease on an apartment) I'd been essentially living out of suitcases going from job to job since last November. Not conducive to maintaining any sort of hobby.

However, I'm now recently back in the States (my almost 70-year-old dad had a very serious health scare which made me super anxious about being so far away from family) living in the greater Chicago area, am some-what stable, and am actually finding myself picking up sewing again in my spare time! I think it helps that I'm now working as a Draper, and have found that doing patterning/fitting all day results in far far FAR less burnout than sewing all day did. I've always far enjoyed the research/patterning/fitting side of costuming over actually cutting and stitching a garment, so getting Draper jobs this past year has been a very welcome change.

And now that I'm in a better physical and mental space to pick up personal costuming again, I have loads of plans and am starting to form a line-up of projects.

 I desperately need to sew EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW though as I have several events I want to go to and I have nothing to wear. Literally. I literally have nothing anymore due to a tragic mould incident when my stuff was all in storage and international transit. Everything from my MFA degree was hopelessly ruined, as was the vast majority of my personal costumes.

I now have left to my name:
a hoopskirt
two 18th century petticoats which are too small in the waist anyway because I'm now 30 years old and my body went 'haha screw you!' and went up two-three sizes in the past year
my old cotton print 1860s dress which I no longer fit into
my two steampunk outfits from 2012 which I no longer fit into either
my 1912 dress which (surprise surprise) is also definitely too small

That is it. That is all I have. Basically, I have an 1860s crinoline which I can use, so

As you can see, I'm gonna need to make a lot if I want to go anywhere to do anything.

The first projects in this new chapter of my life are already underway, and I will be blogging about them next... expect some early 16th century German fun, a small sparkly 'princess', and an even smaller and totally adorable Viking. That's right, I'm going to take my little niece and nephew to their very first ren faire early this fall! Fabrics are ordered and sewing has commenced... should be super fun :)


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, love! It feels pretty good to get back to the old blog again!

  2. You made a lot of gorgeous costumes (I've been following your blog since, like, forever), so it's awful that they were all ruined. But you can look at it as a fresh start!

    1. Thanks, I'm starting to look at it that way myself now that the initial shock is over. Gives me a chance to start from the ground up!

  3. Welcome back! Soooo sad to hear that a bunch of things got ruined. I also know the joy of the early 30s thickening, blah, but it's an excellent excuse to do more sewing I guess! Looking forward to seeing what you're up to!

    1. Thank you! I guess what with gaining some weight I'd have needed to make all new things anyway! So either way I'd basically be in this position

  4. Oh no!!! What a terrible thing to happen to all your hard work. :( I can totally relate to your body deciding to change sizes at age 30. What is with that??? It sucks! It sounds like you've found a job that is a good fit, though, which is fantastic! I look forward to seeing renewed action here on the blog!