Catching up

I realise it has been an incredibly long time since I have posted anything on my blog. Like many others, I have been struggling to navigate the effects of the pandemic on mine and my family’s life.

I thought I’d run through what I’ve been up to in the last year. There have been times of intense creativity, then months of none at all. I have spoken to many creative friends and they have gone through a similar experience.

1. Ceilidhs

So, the thing I’m proudest of has been the online ceilidhs which I have organised. A year ago, I had no idea what Zoom was. Like everyone, I’ve quickly learned! The ceilidhs have been a gathering of interesting Highland folk sharing their heritage and culture with the world (& 1 American!). All ceilidhs blended music with talks and quite frankly gave me and my friends something to look forward to. I asked our guests for donations and this was then shared between folks performing (I didn’t take a penny). I’m taking a pause from organising them for a while as I have other projects and my health to work on. I will shortly be learning how to use iMovie and then will be sharing edited films of some of my friends’ talks. I’ll edit this page with links when it is done.

2. You really can make an entire outfit for your daughter in 21 days

Shift, stays, paniers (hoops), under petticoat, petticoat, robe à l’anglaise and stomacher made mainly by hand between 14th January and 3rd February 2020. This is my entry for this year’s Foundations Revealed competition.

My friend Liz kindly digitised & embroidered the embroidery for the stomacher & supplied the beautiful silver braid to finish it off.
A few cans of this stuff were needed for the final stretch!
Yes, I really did spend a night without any sleep sewing by hand!
My daughter wanted to use this tartan Harris Tweed for the fashion layer for her stays. I had less than a metre of single width fabric. The pattern didn’t quite match up all the way around, but that is definitely period-correct 🙂

Making a project along with some help with my daughter was a brilliant way to start the year. I had originally planned to make an outfit for a friend, then lockdown happened, and I’m really glad I carried on with this as best as I could.

3. Research

Anyone know who knows me knows how much I love research. I have already shared a bit of the research I am doing on a dress at the West Highland Museum; something that seems to have grown arms and legs of late! There are some things happening on this which I will let you know about at a later date. But here are a couple of relevant links for now 🙂

A close up of the back of the dress
How the dress used to be displayed. In room 5 at the West Highland Museum…
So I made one of these …
And one of these (smaller than it really needs but there’s currently not enough space at the museum for a crinoline with a 130” circumference!)
And she know looks like this!

I have researched the original owner and her family, and there is an amazing story to be told! If you are reading this in February 2021, please vote here

4. 2020: the year of the facemask

Like every other sewist who cares about their community, I made hundreds of these for my local community (for free, with the stipulation they were worn whenever folks were at our local Co-op!), for my extended family (as well as my own immediate family) and then with a couple of friends I made a thousand more for some key workers.

5. And finally..

My daughter and I learned to grow our own food, make soaps and hand creams, and how to bake delicious bread (which we no longer buy from the supermarket). And we gave our excess fruit and veggies out to fellow villagers as well. This is something we plan to do this year again.

Just looking back through my photos, I am actually quite surprised how much I have been able to do this past year.

What have you done this year which you’ve been proud of? Please comment below xx

%d bloggers like this: