Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Visions of Sugarplums

I'm hoping to make blogging a more regular activity. This is made easier by the fact that my graduate studies are coming to a close for the semester, and winter break will be almost a month long. I enjoy my classes, but they take so much time and energy! Also captivating my attention are all the Christmas presents I am working on for my family. I decided that this year would be the year I knit everyones' presents. I got a good start while I was laid up from my surgery, but now it is crunch time, and I have three presents left to go.

Of course, now that I am busy, I get ideas. Lovely ideas, dancing through my head like the proverbial sugar plums. I suppose the end of the year is as good a time as any to make plans and lists. They will be staying plans and lists for the time being, however, as I have no time to work on them, between the aforementioned gifts and a smoking cap for which I have been commissioned.

First up after the new year is new undergarments. This fall I took advantaged of a coupon and bought a giant bolt of muslin. I could really use a second over-the-hoop petticoat, as well as a couple new pairs of drawers and a couple chemises likewise. I'm going to a three-day event in April and I will for sure need clean underwear for all three days, and right now I have one nice pair of drawers, one nice chemise, and one decent chemise. Don't judge. The petticoat I'm planning on making up with tucks - I've always loved tucked petticoats, and now that I have tons of fabric, I think it's time.

I also have my new bonnet - my first foray into millinery. I have plans and schemes which are too complicated to get into here, and which largely depend on what fabric and supplies I can find at a good price. I've needed a second bonnet for a long time.

After that, I have three dress lengths. One is a lovely sheer of the "barred muslin" variety in a nice orchid/lavender shade. The second is a sturdy striped calico in blue and brown that I plan to make up into a wrapper. The third is a Blackwatch plaid cotton broadcloth that is going to have to sit out this round - I got the length for free, and I'm just not certain about the weight and drape of it enough to commit to cutting it out.

What I'm really longing for, however, is a paletot. I have a cape that is on the inaccurate side of things, but works alright for the few outdoor events that I do. I've never had a real vision for sewing up a paletot, and it takes a vision to get me sewing - an inspiration for what the fabric can be and what I can do with it. However, an image of a light gray paletot with purple velvet trim jumped out of nowhere tonight and wrapped itself around my brain and it won't let go.

Of course, I have neither the time, the energy, the fabric nor the money for such an item. But now I have inspiration, so I'll just cling to that until the vision can become a reality. I am also trying to keep my acquisitions for living history reasonable. I have heard of women who own dozens of dresses. I don't need a dozen dresses. When I get all of the above items done, I will have a very well-rounded living history wardrobe that I can be satisfied with. The key word is satisfaction - being content enough with what I have.