Not moving, but not standing still

I've been in a reading/writing/sewing slump for a good handful of months now, due to a number of factors:

- The last dress I tried to make for myself ended up looking terrible, due to the fabric being too polyestery and stiff for the design, and to the fact that the cut of the bodice is really bad for someone this short-waisted.

- I've been gaining weight, slowly enough that I didn't really notice until suddenly it hit me that I was dissatisfied with all my clothes because they were just too tight to be comfortable or look good. I'm working on the weight issue, but I just can't gather the will to sew any new clothes for work.

- Cameo is deceptively difficult, at least in the Made to Fit custom sizing module. My pattern files keep becoming uneditable, which is obviously a problem if you're still in the working-draft stages!

- For a while, I was being really active in a few historical fashion Facebook groups, and the neverending fight to get good contributions taken seriously or to have a real discussion burned me out on historical fashion things online in general.

- I proposed a few projects to my editors, but due to the poor sales of Regency Women's Dress, they declined and gave me permission to take them to other publishers. The trouble is that I'm not really sure where to take 18th Century Women's Dress (pending better title) since I never found a publisher in the first round of queries. I also realize that I need more patterns - I would want to include more items of clothing outside gowns, petticoats, and jackets - and now live much, much farther away from all the museums with 18th century clothing. And it's clear that I need to figure out what to do about illustrations, because those in RWD were unsatisfactory to the public, and yet, as an independent researcher rather than an employee, I don't have the ability to set up a photo studio and dress mannequins as in Costume Close-up and 17th Century Women's Dress Patterns.

- Something I can't talk about yet, but just believe me, it's stressful and I'm breaking out over it.

So all together, I don't feel like sewing anything modern (by which I mean mid-20th century) to wear to work, I don't feel like sewing anything historical, and I can't think of any interesting topics to explore on my blog.

However, lately I have forced myself to start working on a new old project. A lavish reprinting of the Galerie des Modes, translated by moi, was one of the things that I proposed as a follow-up to Regency Women's Dress - but it's very expensive to license images from museums, and there are several hundred of them in the whole magazine. so it was turned down. Now I've decided to go directly to the museums. There are only two that own the plates from GdM, and I've inquired to see if either is interested in publishing it in-house. If not, I'm planning to edit the translation, improve my annotations, and run a Kickstarter to enable me to license the plates (they literally cost more than is in my bank account, even to publish only those first two volumes that have the original text extant). Hopefully I'll have more information on this soon!


  1. So sorry to hear that you're having a bad time. Hope that the thing you can't talk about is resolved soon, and don't worry about the blog - people will still be here when you feel ready to write again.

  2. Pity that you're currently feeling a bit overwhelmed and burned out, but totally understandable. Probably many of us are familiar with frustration and being "eaten up" by fb groups and the blogsphere.
    I truly loved your fashion plate text translations and they've been a major inspration for our journal journey project back in 2014.
    Hopefully you'll get your plans working, but first it's time to take a few long deep breaths...good luck!
    Thank you! Your work and contribution to the historical sewing community is highly appreciated :)

  3. Don't give up! I love your regency fashion book and was reading it last night. Pretty pictures are always welcome but I would buy the next book with or without them :) an eighteenth century pattern book would go rather nicely with the book American duchess is writing too!
    I hope this year is a bit kinder to you!

  4. Best wishes, I know how that is to have multiple discouraging things happening all at once and you just want to lie on the floor and think about nothing. Hope things become less stressful soon!

  5. I know what it's like to be in a blogging/sewing slump. I've been there myself but hang it there! This time of year can be really tough for some people so don't feel that you are alone. I've always enjoyed your blog and writing/sewing projects even if I don't always comment.

  6. Hmm, I wonder if I could help you with illustrations for your 18th century book? Of course it's a problem that I live so far away (here in Finland), but I'd be absolutely devastated not to see your 18th century pattern book published since I've been looking forward to it! I would probably need as many photos as possible to make the illustrations but if you think it could be somehow arranged, I'd love to help you. I can draw very detailed illustrations (actually, I really love to do detailed work!) and wouldn't need to see photos of the garments on mannequin to be able to draw them. I can send you some examples of my work through email or Facebook if you'd like to see. Anyhow, this is just an idea - let me know what you think!


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