My Annual Sewing Rut

Once again, I have absolutely no motivation to make a single stitch of anything lately. I’ve learned that this is quite normal, and that if I force the issue I’ll regret it. I do have inspirations, though, so here are some things I would *like* to sew, at some point when I’m into it again…

Something From The Borgias…

Regardless of what the Internet thought about The Borgias
costumes, I absolutely *adored* them. Holliday Granger as Lucrezia Borgia was utterly enchanting, and I wanted pretty much all her gowns. And her hair. And her face. My goodness.

Lucrezia Borgia

I have nowhere to where such a thing, but that’s never stopped me before! Here’s my Pinterest board for The Borgias costumes.

Something From the Turn of the 17th Century…

After visiting Jamestown and then receiving Seventeenth-Century Women’s Dress Patterns: Book 1, I’ve had the itch to make a complex ensemble from this transitional period in English dress. This one below is really interesting and different, and I love it to pieces, though there are plenty of more “expected” examples I lust for too.

Portrait of a lady thought to be Vere Egerton, Mrs William Booth, attributed to Robert Peake (1541-1619)

I haven’t had a really good Renfaire outfit in years, so it’s time for something new – won’t happen in time for this year’s Valhalla Renaissance Faire, but maybe next year’s…

This Late 18th Century Pierrot Jacket…

I didn’t get this one done for Williamsburg a month ago, but it’s still on my hit list. I have the fabric I want to use (one of the Williamsburg prints), I just need to get to it…


Part of my “problem” recently, though, is that all my pattern are now too small (yay, amazing expanding body!). I need to let the waists out in everything, and that’s a lot of work…

Two…or Three…1830s Dresses

Yep, I’m still going on about these. I cut out some piece for a test-dress, and I have fabric for the brown, but that’s about it so far.

Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum, 1835
LACMA, 1830

Luckily Chrissy is already on-the-ball with how the beret sleeves work on the pink gown – apparently they’re harder than they appear, so I’m glad she’s figuring it out, because I’d make a mockery of it.

Something Edwardian…

I forget how much I love the Edwardian period. The blouse I found on eBay arrived and is splendid (I’ll show you photos later), and now I want a little mini-wardrobe to accompany my original pieces (all two of them…for now).

I adore the costumes from both seasons of Mr. Selfridge, particularly a suit that Ellen Love wears in Season 1. I can’t find many photos of it online, so I’ll have to track down which episode it appeared in, and take some screenshots.  Anywho…something like THAT.

I guess that’s all for now…I mean, there are 100 things I’d like to make/have, at any given moment, but they won’t just magically appear! I hope my sewing inspiration returns soon!


  • MrsC (Maryanne)

    April 19, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    Oh wow, what a juicy bowl of delicious costumes! That last suit from Selgridges, I am SURE I've seen it before, is it a recycled one? Ah yes, a quick hunt through RMC and it's been EVERYWHERE, man!
    And those sleeves! I went for a second look after what you said and nearly dropped the netbook. They really are devious, and impossible to make by just doing what they want you to think. Lauren how can you have all this dangling under your nose and not want to sew!? Actually, of course I know, because I am jsut as bad. a desire to make and own beautiful things doesn't necessarily equate to a desire to go into the sewing room and get started, does it! 🙂

    • Lauren Stowell

      April 20, 2014 at 12:58 AM

      Ah HA! I thought it looked familiar too, and now I know! Thanks for the link!

      I miiight be becoming inspired again. I dunno, maybe I need a 'quick fix' project – something simple, that fits, and is fast.

    • MrsC (Maryanne)

      April 20, 2014 at 2:32 AM

      Oh, and I am also thinking that the wardrobe of Borgias owes a great deal to saris? Have you seen Miss Fisher Investigates over there? I nearly hit the roof when she wore this suit: it is so glorious, and only realised it was cut up sari later. Such potential!
      But getting back to the malaise, I think having had a couple of projects go agley, plus knowing nothing is fitting is creating a bit of a hillock between you and your creativity. Walk around the bottom of it say I! I agree a quick fix is the way to go. A fun hat, or maybe what about taking on a bit of one of them, like the ruff from number one, or the snood from the Borgias? I get through costume projects by dividing them into sub projects that come together at the end, so I get lots of finishing satisfaction. That way you've started something but also finished it and can park it until the next bit. And it's more about 3D than body fit and all that mind numbing stuff!

    • Lauren Stowell

      April 20, 2014 at 3:33 AM

      That's a great idea, although the most expected place to start – with the underwear – is my least favorite thing to sew!

      I have seen season 1 of Miss Fisher. LOOOOOVE! I cut my hair like Phryne's last year (now, I don't know who my hair is like anymore), just because I loved the show so much.

  • M'lady

    April 20, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    When I'm in a sewing ennoui I tend to go for things that involve just embelishing existing garments/accessories. Lately I've been on a upcycling binge. Its a great way to give a new challenge and save on fabric. *repeats to self 'I will not buy any more fabric till I have used what's in my stash.*

  • Crystal

    April 21, 2014 at 4:57 AM

    My sewing slump hits mid-February and most of March, unsurprisingly coinciding with my yearly winter depression. I hope it passes soon! I can't wait to see what the future projects turn out like, especially those 1830s dresses 🙂

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for a link to that fabric! I've been wanting some for most of the last year but had no idea how to get aside from a visit in person, which seemed impossible from somewhat-northern-Canada! That's going on the ASAP list :3

  • Mistress of Disguise

    April 21, 2014 at 6:00 AM

    Yeeeees! All the 1830s! I love the 1830s, and was just saying the other day that it's sadly underdone. I'm planning an 1830s dress for a Mourning Tea Party in October, I just love the period! There's also a plaid taffeta dress from the '30s that I'm itching to make. XD You should doooo iiiiit. /enabler

  • The Laced Angel

    April 21, 2014 at 7:06 AM

    Ugh, I get in that slump ALL THE TIME. Though to be honest, a lot of times it's because my sewing room is trashed and I can't sew until I clean, so I just… don't.

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