What I’ve Been Up To

Sorry I’ve been quiet on the blog lately. I found myself needing some breaks from sewing so I could take care of non-costume related things, and when I was finally sewing, I realized time spent updating my website would take away from time sewing!

Let me do a quick update entry…

Still need to update the blog.

I have a few garments and accessories that I should create a page for on the costume section. I’m just not sure when I’ll get around to them.

One of the items, I’m half tempted to wait until I make a second version. I also think with most of those updates, it’s extra work because I need to press the garments, get good light and photograph them (hauling out a dressform), and then deal with photos, hunt for links and… you get the idea.

I’m sure I’ll get around to updating with the garment information, but I guess the items needing to go up just aren’t as important to focus on at the moment since they’re not really big items. Especially since I have an event deadline coming up.

Didn’t I say I had an event coming up?

We all know how it is. You know you should be working on something specific, but something else catches your eye and suddenly you can’t focus on anything else!

A pierrot jacket did that to me, and while I didn’t have any patterns to work with, I thought I could piece one together. I was having fun with it, and then got to a point where I had to make a decision about mock-up fabric for a second version to really finish up the pattern.

That’s when I realized I was spending WAY too much time working on something I not only didn’t need any time soon, but would involve a lot more work (I am wanting to make a white petticoat with a hand embroidered hem to wear with the jacket).

Upcoming Georgian Picnic.

This is one of the big DFWCG events every year, and I am hopeful this year that I’ll have something for my husband to wear finally!

I really struggled with getting back to his projects. I had started working on my husband’s waistcoat a while back and then stopped. There are some things wrong with it that I wasn’t liking at all. It discouraged me, because I’d already done a lot of work on it. I finally decided to deal with a problem by doing it differently.

I started the waistcoat before I had some of the current costuming books on my shelf. The pattern I used was the only one I had, and the pockets are done differently than I’ve seen on others since. Between the fabric I’m using, and the weird pocket shape, and I’m sure I did something wrong… it just was not working out right. So, I talked to Christopher and asked him if his jacket had pockets, would he even bother with waistcoat pockets? He told me he wouldn’t, so I will just seal them up and add pocket flaps that are tacked down to make it look like they have working pockets.

I’m still in the process of sealing them up, and then I will move on to some of the other finishing steps. I’m hoping it works (he is in the process of losing weight again — he’d gained a little since I first started working on the waistcoat), and if not, hopefully I’ll make enough progress on the other garments quickly enough to whip out another waistcoat. Using a different pattern next time!

He needs a dressform.

I have a tape dressform a friend made for me while I was wearing my stays. Although it’s not an exact match for me, it really helps me get the fit I need.

One of the other issues I’ve had with Christopher’s garments that are more fitted than say, a shirt, is that he’s not always available to stand there while I mark and pin and try things on over and over.

He works from home most days, but he’s busy. He also moves around a lot and that can make fittings awkward. I’m not used to men’s wear, and he has a tricky shape. I want him to be happy with his garments, so I need to make him a dressform.

I’m not sure when I’ll decide to do it, or which type of tape to try, but I’m hoping to pick a time when we’re both able to work on it soon. I think it would be great to have a “double” of him to do fittings so I can move along on his projects quicker. To be honest, as much as I wanted SO badly to have his costume/s completed, I dreaded working on them.

Now, thinking about having a tape dressform to help me with most of the fittings (obviously some fittings will be on him), I’m actually kind of excited about working on his garments again.

How I got Christopher interested in costuming.

As I’ve mentioned, Christopher actually isn’t into costuming and would never do it if it weren’t for me. He only has a few pieces of his 18th century outfit so far, but nothing he can wear. Oh sure, when he’s standing at an event in regular clothes and sees us all having fun, he feels a little left out, but he still has other interests that require his focus first.

We do enjoy watching videos using our Roku, and recently I added a channel to that so I could watch it on the TV. I already had it on my laptop, but discovered we both prefer watching YouTube videos on our TV together. I told him about Jas. Townsend’s channel, and how they had some cooking episodes. Christopher loves cooking, and within a few videos he was hooked. We’ve watched almost all of their videos, and he’s gone from “I guess I’ll dress up if you make me something” to “oh man! If I lived in one of those areas, I would even join a reenacting group! That’s so cool!”

Yay!!!! Now he has been asking me if I want to watch some of the Jas. Townsend videos, and he’s hoping to order some accessories like glasses, and has been drooling over some of the cookware even for modern use. Too cute! I wish I’d thought of it sooner!

The half-way hat.

I have a hat to be worn with the CalR to the picnic, but it’s only half-made. I need to order my feathers — I have the hat, and even hand sewed a rolled hem (for the first time) of silk for wrapping around the crown and tying in a bow. I keep putting off ordering the feathers, but I really need to get to it.

I also think I should make a hat box to keep it from getting dusty. This place is awful with dust. I can dust and five minutes later look around and wonder why I bother. I definitely don’t want to just leave a finished hat out here — by the time the picnic came around, I’d be needing to clean it off.

Sometimes it’s lonely sewing on your own.

Like I mentioned, Christopher works from home, but we’re both easily distracted and need our space to focus. That said, I get a little stir crazy (and I’m a huge introvert and don’t really need a lot of socializing) and wish I had my sewing buddies to hang out with. I’ve always loved sewing meets and get a lot done at them, even with chatting.

Unfortunately, all my sewing buddies live too far away from me for frequent sewing meets. So I decided to look around and see if there were any groups I didn’t know about.

I remembered that my small town library actually has a group that meets every Wednesday. One of the reasons I never checked them out before was that my husband hasn’t always worked from home, and we only have one car. The meets happen at 1pm, so I couldn’t really go.

This group also sounds like most of them knit instead of sew, but all needle arts are welcome. I’m hoping to check them out this week and see if getting out once a week or every other week helps keep me energized. The city went all out and built a new library which is still in construction. I’ve gone once to check it out, and there are a lot of cozy sitting areas.

Even though I mainly focus on sewing and embroidery, I had learned how to do basic knitting several years ago. Unfortunately, it was with a friend and I realized I hate knitting by myself. So, once I’m caught up on sewing and embroidery (is there such a thing?), I will have a group to knit with as well! I’m really looking forward to it and hope it’s a good fit for me.


Well, that ended up being a longer update than I expected. I apologize for not including photos of projects in-progress. I’ve been bad and not taking photos anyway!

I really need to get a little better with updates again, but I guess once I don’t have quite a looming deadline maybe I’ll be a little better about it. I just really want to finish Christopher’s outfit in time so he can finally start joining us!

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.
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One Response to What I’ve Been Up To

  1. I’ve definitely become a fan of watching YouTube videos and other things through the Roku box in recent years. Being able to spend a day watching cool things you’d never see on TV is nice, and the Jas Townsend videos definitely caught my interest for so many reasons.

    Also, I’m a fan of entries like this. It’s a good time of the year for planning, and with all you have going on, hopefully you can come up with a plan to take care of it all! 🙂

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