Custom Style

Sewing that's Retro, Geek, and Chic

A Gift, a Group Project, & Goals for 2012

Well, it’s a new year and I can’t say I’m sad to see 2011 go. 2012 is looking brighter. =)

My in-laws surprised me with a wonderful Christmas present that will add to my arsenal of sewing tools: a set of 3 miniature dressforms that were on my wish list! I thought I would eventually buy them for myself when I had the extra money, but now I don’t have to! The set includes three to-scale forms: a half-scale, a third-scale, & a quarter-scale.

My newest dressforms

You may remember that I already have a half-size dressform, but Minnie is a different dress size than the set is – so now I can drape & make patterns in 2 different sizes. Of course this also means that my new dressforms need names…

Being 3 different scales, I didn’t want to name them as if they were triplets – they are more like sisters of various ages. So I tried to think of any movie or classic literature that was about 3 sisters. It seemed like everything I was remembering was about 2, 4 or 5 sisters.

But then after a couple of days of tossing some ideas around in the back of my mind, it just came to me: My new dressforms are Mary, Edith, and Sybil – the Crawley sisters from the British series “Downton Abbey”!

Sybil played by Jessica Brown-Findlay (L), Mary played by Michelle Dockery (seated), & Edith played by Laura Carmichael (R)

They are the perfect names for my little dressforms because I’ve been eagerly awaiting Season 2 of “Downton Abbey”, which starts airing here in the States this coming Sunday. It is a period drama that begins in 1912 with the news of the RMS Titanic’s sinking, and Season 2 picks up with Britain entering World War I. It is also very fitting because I have been planning to make some dresses from the 1910’s time period, and I’ll be able to use my new little dressforms for draping them.

Coincidentally, in some completely unrelated websurfing yesterday, I happened upon an interesting endeavor on The Vintage Pattern Lending Library’s blog called The 1912 Project – which is in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Titanic tragedy. (I hadn’t even thought about 2012 being the hundredth anniversary!)

The project is a group effort to recreate & test all the clothing patterns (men’s, women’s & children’s) from a French magazine published in 1912 in order to digitize & preserve a piece of sewing & fashion history. The only requirements to join the undertaking are the ability to sew a mock-up of whatever pattern you are sent each month (which have little to no assembly instructions), and the promise of at least one blog entry (including some photos) about your experiences with the patterns every month.

Seemed simple enough. So I’m going to join the effort and make few mock-ups and document my accomplishments here on my blog.

I don’t usually make New Year’s Resolutions, but I am at least setting a few business goals for Custom Style this year. One being to continue with a minimum of two blog entries every month. (That shouldn’t be too hard and now I will have at least one regularly featured topic with The 1912 Project.)

Another goal (and probably the biggest one I have) is to get my Etsy shop up and running. I know a few of you readers have been asking about it, and I’m still working on all the details and building some items for inventory. I plan to offer a variety of things from dresses to accessories to collectibles. I promise to write a blog post all about the “Grand Opening” of my shop – so bookmark or subscribe to my blog (button above in the right-hand column of this page) to make sure you don’t miss it.

Besides a couple of other small goals, I also plan to redo my banner & avatar, which requires me to find some time to sew something for myself. Ever heard it said that the cobbler’s kids have no shoes? Yeah, well, same goes for the seamstress – always sewing for everyone but herself. I have a retro dress design and the fabric all ready to go… I just need to start.

Here’s hoping for motivation and persistence in 2012!

Related posts:

Scale Miniature of Titanic Proportions

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4 responses to “A Gift, a Group Project, & Goals for 2012

  1. Athene January 4, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    WordPress keeps eating my comments!

  2. Athene January 4, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    ooh yay! We are functional again!

    I think the Titanic-period sewing project is a neat idea. I hadn’t realized the significance of this year being the 100th anniversary either! I wonder if “Titanic” will be re-released in select theaters this April? 🙂 I am sure that the Titanic Museum in Branson is gearing up for a big year as well. Interesting!

  3. Karen January 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Your new miniature dressforms are absolutely charming – what a wonderful gift! And your names for them are brilliant. I, too, am looking forward to the new “season” of Downton Abbey. I am also looking forward to seeing your creations for The 1912 Project – and your Etsy shop – both excellent focuses for 2012!

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