A tea gathering and fabric gifts

Some of the fabrics I received -- these will help me make a few costumes, so I can have fun with the group!

This past Saturday, some of the members of my private 18th century costumers group decided to get together.

Not everyone was able to attend, sadly.  In fact, we were a little nervous we wouldn’t have very many at all, but we decided to go ahead and meet up to discuss some plans.

Four ladies, two gents, and two cute kids attended the tea meeting.

It was a lovely time

We had a nice cozy gathering, and the hostess set the tea table up outside to take advantage of the lovely weather.  She wore one of her Regency gowns, even though this wasn’t a costumed event, and my husband and another member wore their kilts.  The tea and food was yummy, and the conversation was great.


A lot of us are busy, and some of us don’t even have a finished costume yet, so it’s difficult to start planning actual events to attend.

We decided we should try getting together more regularly for chatting and tea, or even “classes” to learn how to make accessories, learn period games and dances, and to help each other with fitting and sewing.

Just because we’re not doing actual costumed events yet doesn’t mean we can’t have fun gearing up for it!

Ignoring accuracy for now

I really need to stop fretting about accuracy or even focusing too much on planned gowns.  Yes, there are gowns I would love to do. Yes, there are gowns that could be better researched and more carefully put together.  Is it really all that helpful if I’m not even finished (much less barely started) because I can’t find that perfect fabric, or worrying if something was done then or not?  I know I want to avoid disappointment later — it’s helpful to try to make sure what I do sew is at least wearable for a while, and doesn’t have such a huge mistake that it’s almost uncomfortable to wear, but I can’t let worrying about too many things keep me from even getting started.

This is a private group, we’re not reenacting for the public, and darnit… I want to have fun!  So I’ve decided to just push on as best I can, adding to my wardrobe, and then later I can go back and get more detailed or accurate, as well as make those gowns I’ve been dreaming of for so long.

Plus, I have to admit:  sometimes I am inspired to do something fun because a fabric speaks to me or an idea comes to me that sounds fun!  It may not be historically accurate, but it could be a decent way to learn for later.

Very helpful gifts

Our hostess had some fabric she needed to clear out of her sewing room, and we went through to see if there was anything we could use.

Some of the fabrics spoke to me, and I overcame my shyness and took them home.  Fabric for petticoats, a bodice or three… I had no idea when I might have the chance to go shopping for fabric any time soon, so this definitely helps put me back on a decent sewing schedule!  One of the fabrics even helped me make some final decisions about one of my planned gowns that I wanted to make first.

It’s so nice having extra help deciding, isn’t it? 😉


I must say, I really needed this.  Not only is everyone so nice and helpful (and I look forward to more members being able to attend regularly as well), it just helped my own attitude.  So much has been going on, that even if I don’t think I’m feeling down, I’m not exactly feeling as optimistic or positive as I should be.

I left the gathering feeling energized, excited, and refreshed.  I’m looking forward to having fun and celebrating every little goal, even if I’m not quite finished with some costumes for an actual event.  I’m also looking forward to more laughs and conversations with some really great people!

I definitely need to do that more often.

About Cynthia Griffith

I have way too many interests and hobbies, and continually cycle through them -- paying attention to some, while others wait for when I can get around to them again. My main interests are sewing and costuming (I enjoy historical clothing, such as 18th and 19th century, as well as fantasy costumes like elves and hopefully someday even dwarves), as well as getting back to art by drawing fan art of Thorin Oakenshield and Company. My husband Christopher and I spend a lot of time together, enjoying the outdoors and shared hobbies such as juggling. This blog and website is my way to share what I'm up to with friends and family.
This entry was posted in Costumes, Gifts, Hobbies, Sewing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A tea gathering and fabric gifts

  1. Jaci says:

    Much wisdom in your post. How often we put off doing the things that call because we’re afraid it will not be perfect! I’m looking forward to seeing more pics.

    “and darnit… I want to have fun!” I’m with you!!

  2. Jaci, it’s so true! I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to criticizing my work. I know of more mistakes than most people see, and those mistakes bug me badly. I don’t mind it though, it’s what I do to improve myself, and learn to do things better the next time. 🙂

    I still want to be happy with what I sew, and of course I’m not going to make something if it doesn’t call to me in some way (my time and energy are precious as well!), but I don’t have to do “Fabulous, Perfect Gown of My Dreams” right now, when I can do “that cute little picnic gown idea that’s not 100% accurate, but would be fun and pretty — and now I know how to proceed after all that worrying about finding colors/prints/fabrics!” 😀

    Even with Christopher… if I don’t manage to get every piece of his first outfit finished — say, for example, we get most of it done, but I don’t manage to get his jacket finished (gasp! How inappropriate to be seen half-dressed!), but maybe I can whip up a simple waistcoat quickly… well, there we go. It’s not like anyone in this group is going to care — they’ll probably just be happy to have another member there to have fun. Plus we love it when our guys get involved in the costuming fun. Now, I might not want too many photos of it to go online unless there’s an explanation — there is a lot of misunderstanding with historical clothing, and I’d hate to add to it or make it look like we don’t understand even a spot of it. There’s a reason I have a lot of explanation and disclaimers when I post things. I’ve even thought of adding it more prominently on my sidebar. I don’t want someone coming here and thinking “oh, this is exactly how it was done in ___” when it was just my attempt to create something so I could attend a private event. I know I worry too much, but I’ve also seen people criticized heavily, and my explanations are my attempt to say “I know, I know… but I’m not going for 100% accuracy yet. I’m still learning how to sew… while I have fun now!” 🙂

    Thanks for replying, and best wishes!

  3. It’s great coming home and seeing you ready to start sewing…so fired up that you’re starting right now.

    It was a very nice way to start the weekend. And now, knowing that you’ll be sewing, it makes coming home after work even MORE fun! 🙂

  4. Mary says:

    Nice post, Cynth. “inspired to do something fun because a fabric speaks to me or an idea comes to me that sounds fun!” Yes! And what a generous hostess she was; I’ll bet it does her heart good knowing the materials are loved and will be put to such good, creative use. Win, win. Hope to see some of it if you visit this weekend. 🙂

  5. @Christopher: I had a late start Monday, since I had a lot of things to take care of first. I also was up too late working on my first petticoat. I was wide awake, and kept thinking “just a little more… then I can move to the next step!” Heheh!

    @Mary: I hope she’ll be excited to see the fabrics get use quickly and allow me to finish a costume or two sooner. I don’t know what she originally planned to make with these fabrics, but I hope she has fun seeing what I do with them as well.

  6. Pingback: CFGriffith.com » Blog Archive » Week-long 18th century petticoat sewing spree

Comments are closed.