Saturday, January 2, 2021

2020 Creations and 2021 Dreams

 It's always so wonderful at this time of year to watch the costuming community's social media posts and videos of the previous year's creations and the next year's upcoming plans.  It is especially wonderful right now as 2020 has been so difficult for so many around the world as the virus has affected our lives so deeply.

The human spirit is strong and resilient!  And the costuming community has continued to bring beauty into the world even during these often dim days.  This link will take you to a YouTube group of costumers, CosTubers, who have put together videos of their 2020/2021 creations for your enjoyment.

For me, 2020 began with photographing my Foundations Revealed Competition entry for the full 18th century undergarments I had made through 2019.  Shift, stays, pocket, pocket hoops, and cap were used for the Bas Bleu theme of my entry.  Entering each year has stretched me in so many ways as a seamstress, an historical costumer, and for this entry even as a photographer as I did everything myself.  Here I have a photo backdrop and my smartphone camera takes a photo when I say "Smile".  A handy thing!!

2020 was to be an amazing year for me personally as I was planning a trip with dear friends.  We were meeting in New York City, crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Mary II to Southampton, touring London for 5 days, then spending time in Paris.  A month of adventure!  During the last days in Paris I was attending a costume event at Versailles and already had my ticket in hand.  Was I excited?  I can't even tell you how much the entire trip meant to me as I have never been to Europe.  In preparation for the Versailles costume event I had been researching 18th century fashion and had a full plan in mind for my gown.  In January I travelled to Atlanta, Georgia to attend two classes offered by Denise of Romantic Recollections.  I was very excited to learn and imagined how fantastic my new gown would be embellished with silk thread and ribbons!

In February I was going to a costume event in South Carolina and created an 1815 Redingote and Hat for the forecasted cool weather.  Sadly, my husband was called into work, the kennel was full, and I had to stay home that day with the pup.  This was my inspiration and here is a peek at the hat which I think is very over the top and great fun!

As further research I travelled to Colonial Williamsburg in February for Fashion Days and studied their collections, their exhibits, attended lectures, and met a very interesting gentleman who would be a resident at Colonial Williamsburg and would be in attendance at the Governor's Garden Party in May for which I had a ticket.

During these first weeks in February the news was circulating about the emerging novel coronavirus and the news was not good.  Already Europe was experiencing a wave of infections and friends were cancelling their plans to travel.  I had organized a March costume meetup at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina with friends attending from all over the country.  An instructor from Australia was coming to the United States and I was taking her silk flower class prior to the meetup for more embellishment on my Versailles gown.  I had big dreams!!

But, as you already know, the world came to abrupt pause by the end of February.  My last trip to the grocery store happened on March 12th and all my life plans, like those of so many others, were cancelled.

For the next 4 months I couldn't bear to look at my sewing table.  A hobby which has brought me such joy was almost unbearable to consider.  There were no events to attend.  No friends to visit in costume.  No reason to sew.  Right?  With home workers and home schooling requiring so much internet service, even virtual meetings or classes were not an option for me as my internet address was not considered critical.  I closed the sewing room door and went about my life.

Then one evening I received a text asking me if I would test a hat pattern my friend had created.  I said yes and created this 1880s Draped Cap.

I realized how much I had missed the joy of creating and although the world was still in pause my hobby needn't be.  So I made a batch of cookies.  Then I made some 1970s aprons.  Then I took pictures, put them into the computer software, added some music, and uploaded my little video to YouTube.  It was so much fun!

Then I took an online class to learn the basics of YouTube and Live Streaming and tried to live stream my next project, a full 1870s Carriage Gown with all accessories inspired by cupcakes I had made.  The live stream was a disaster because of my internet service, but I was able to use the recording to upload another YouTube video.

Realizing that this was one way I could stay connected to the costume community while being isolated I decided to invest in an editing software and microphone.  Using the YouTube name I had established in 2009 when I opened an Etsy shop during that economic recession, I made my first official video.  It was the 1870s Blouse Waist for the Carriage Gown Project.

That video went live on September 23, 2020.  It is a 30 minute video which took me F.O.R.E.V.E.R to edit!  It is more tutorial and for a beginner in historical costuming and I still feel like it is my firstborn.  Ha!

The blouse actually took less time to sew than it took to make the video!

The Blouse Waist inspired the Duchess Skirt creation and video and a video Historybounding the blouse through fashions from the 1890s into the 1970s.  

And more cookie baking and sharing!

I was accepted into the CosTube community and they had organized a collaboration for #historicalhalloween2020 and I couldn't resist.  I made a crepe paper rainbow costume inspired by a 1925 booklet and two more videos showing the creation and then a party which meant creating rainbow fudge, a rainbow fruit plate, and an apron and cap in 1920s style. 

This link will take you to the Playlist for videos from costumers who participated in the collaboration:  Get popcorn!  It's a fun ride!

The Regency Society of Virginia was hosting a meetup in November with Charles Burns, the silhouette artist from the UK.  My birthday is in November and I decided to treat myself with a new Gathered Day Cap and Overdress for my only Regency gown.  That video with a full hat tutorial is in edit right now for release in January and, yes, there were cookies.

I had become distracted from the 1870s Carriage Gown project but finished a few small projects including repairing multiple tears in the hem of a petticoat that had been left for scrap but salvaged by me.

And I learned to create my own silk tassels for my Victorian Roses fan for the 1870s Carriage Gown.

Then it happened again!  The CosTubers were discussing a collaboration for the holiday season and #homefortheholidays2020 was born.

I brought a Holiday Memories Barbie to life with historically-inspired patterns, had a fabulous holiday season doing something I truly enjoy, and then created a YouTube video.

The Playlist is on my YouTube channel, aperfecttouch, and here is the link:

I was able to attend several virtual events during 2020 including the first Costume On event and the Jane Austen Virtual Festival.  Videos and blog posts coming in 2021!

I also made a mad dash to the computer on December 31st and entered the creations I completed in 2020 to complete all 12 of the Historical Sew Monthly 2020 Challenges.  I love that group and each Challenge inspires me to learn.

Being isolated for 9 months in 2020 found me gardening and drinking tea, gardening and drinking Highclere Castle gin, and running a personal family spa in my back yard.  And lots of  baking.  And cooking.  And eating!  But we stayed safe and have been healthy.  Thank goodness!

We have made it to 2021!!!

This year brings so much hope with vaccines being developed and administered.  I am in a group that in the priorities set in my state will have me vaccinated, hopefully, by summer.  Meanwhile I have some sewing plans!

I received permission from a DeviantArt artist to recreate her illustration for the Foundations Revealed Competition 2021.  It is on my sewing table now.  It is a huge project and I'm starting with the hat which has a 36" diameter brim.  Wish me luck!

I'll be continuing my 1870s Carriage Gown series which still has the skirt, carriage bodice, silk roses, beetlewing embroidered belt and reticule, hat, parasol, and fan to complete.

In 2019 I completed a 1909 velveteen suit which is still unworn.  I have materials to add the American Duchess cape and Folkwear hat for a fun walk around the yard in the snow.

Going back in time 100 years, I've been inspired by this 1809 illustration and have now gathered the materials, patterns, feathers, and trims to recreate the illustration.

There has to be at least one 1920s inspired creation and I have a silk embroidered salvaged panel and a coral twill to sew the Folkwear Spectator Coat.

Finally, I'm now ready to pick up the 18th century wardrobe that was meant for my time in Colonial Williamsburg in May and Versailles in June of 2020.  I pulled the materials from storage today and didn't feel the sadness of a lost adventure that I had felt in 2020.  Time heals everything.  There is a Redingote with embroidered buttons, a Brunswick, and the Versailles gown.  That will more than carry me into 2022.  Oh!  And, as always, there will be blog posts, videos, and lots and lots of cookies!

Wishing you a 2021 full of love and laughter!  Keep dreaming!


My YouTube Video for this post with Holiday Spice Meringue Cookies!  


  1. Exciting plans! Looking forward to seeing what you create in 2021. :)


    1. Thank you, Quinn!! I'm looking forward to creating and sharing!!