The right sleeve: 9 motifs from completion of the outlining

I know what you all are probably thinking…didn’t she start this project like two years ago?  Why is it still in progress?  Why isn’t it done or discarded?  Well the truth is I am still working on it.  And as of this evening the right sleeve is 9 motifs away from completion of the outlining.  More pictures are available in my galleryif you would like to see them.


Do you ever stand in front of your closet looking for something to wear on to realize that you absolutely hate 90% of it?  That’s the realization I came to over the past couple of weeks while I was getting ready for KASF and Ymir.  My garb closet is full of clothes but many of them are too big now and a lot of them (especially in the case of my rapier armor) are quickly nearing the end of their lives.

So I’ve decided it’s time to redo my wardrobe.  Everything that no longer fits or is in desperate need of repair/replacement must go.  Part of me is torn.  I hate to spend hours making new garb only to have it be too big in a matter of months.  But at this point I think I’d rather make the alterations than only have one or two things I can wear.

I’ve decided to start with replacing my rapier armor since that’s the most in need of replacing.  Plus pants are super easy to take in and if my fencing doublet is a little big it won’t really matter.

And I am going to continue to work on my jacket.  Thankfully I’ve started with the sleeves.  Once they are both done I’m going to double check the fit again before proceeding to the body.  There shouldn’t be much change in my arms so even if the body pieces need to be adjusted the sleeves should still be ok.  Or, worst case scenario, if the difference is too great for an adjustment and the whole garment needs to be repatterned I could use the sleeves somewhere else.

I’ve spent some time thinking about what I want from my wardrobe and I’ve done a basic write up of the project here. This project is still in the planning stages.  Also, the wardrobe project is part of a larger over all effort to revamp our kit so there are notes regarding other aspects of the overall project.

I will continue to discuss this project in more detail as it firms up in my head over the next two weeks.  For now I have pulled everything that I do not want to keep out of my closet and placed it in the guest room.  It will go into an empty hall closet for the time being just in case I need any of the garments.  I also need to pick up some organizers for the shelves for my hats, shirts, and accessories.

Sometimes it happens.  You had this fab idea for a project.  It was exciting and it really got your juices flowing.  But once you got further into it you realized that it wasn’t quite what you had had in mind when you first got started.  It’s just not making you happy any more and you find yourself wondering if it’s better to trudge through and finish it up or shelve it until it does start to make you happy again.

I’ve been feeling that way myself lately.  And I’ve come to the conclusion that sometimes it may just be better to shelve a project rather than to keep working on something that is no longer bringing you the joy it once was.  Sometimes its better to shelve it and free yourself up to take on other projects that will bring you joy.  After all, isn’t the fact that they bring us happiness and some measure of joy and fulfillment the whole reason we do these projects in the first place?  Besides there is nothing that says you can’t come back to that old project at a later date.

So I’ve decided to step back from the projects that haven’t been bringing me joy so that I can focus on the things that are.

What am I putting on hold?

  1. The eBooks. Working on them and selling them through the site just hasn’t been as fun as I thought it would be so I’m shelving the project.  What will I do with the two I already have?  I’m not sure yet but I’m pondering several options.
  2. The Flanders Gown. It was so much more fun when I started it but once the fur went down hill it just wasn’t as inspiring anymore.  Since all it needs are sleeves I will probably finish it but I’ll do something more simple that I had originally planned.
  3. Commissions. I’ve enjoyed working on the commissions I’ve taken but now that my most recent one is done I’ve decided to take some time for myself for a while.  I have about 20 buttons to make and that’s it.  I’m going to finish them in the next couple weeks and then I’m going to focus on some personal projects that have really been calling to me.  The calendar will probably open up again for commissions at some point in the future but for now I’m going to focus on personal projects.

What am I still deciding on?

  1. The Etsy Shop. I just don’t know what to do about it.  On the one hand I’ve enjoyed it and I have some big ideas for changes to it but on the other I’m not sure that the things I want to produce fit in best at Etsy.  Still pondering this one.

What am I going to do more of?

  1. Fight. Fighting has been bringing me a lot of joy lately and I want to free up more time for it.
  2. Sew and Embroider for myself. I have several personal sewing projects that are calling to me.  Plus less free time has meant less time for my embroidered jacket.  I worked on it recently and it reminded me how much I’ve enjoyed this project and really want to free up more time for it.
  3. Enjoy the fresh air and warm sun. This winter was rather stressful but the thing that always made me feel better was going outside and walking around the building.  Now that its starting to warm up being outside is even more pleasurable.  I want to spend more time outside, go to fighter practice in the daylight, move my workouts outdoors, and get in a little diving.  I can’t wait for Spring.
  4. Write. I’ve really enjoyed the FR and YWU articles that I’ve written and I have several ideas for new tutorials and HMA articles that I’ve been neglecting.  I have two more FR articles in the works and I want to get started on at least one of the HMA articles after Ymir.  I might even see about teaching at summer University.

I did get pictures of my Flanders gown.  They are still currently on the camera with my KASF pictures because I’ve been totally lazy about downloading them but I should have them up before the end of the weekend.  In pseudo related news I discovered at KASF that I have to take in my last last pair of bodies and I expect I will have to alter my Flanders gown now as well.  That was pretty cool.

KASF was really inspiring.  I’ve been rather uninspired project wise lately and it really helped to get my juices flowing.  I’m currently brainstorming a couple of projects and I’m getting back to my long sidelined jacket project.  I am doing some reevaluating of the jacket project though.  My vision of where I’d like it to go has changed a bit and I don’t know whether it’s better to alter to project to suit my vision or to continue to push on to finish it as is.

I’m also considering a website reorg and maybe a new template.  It’s been about two years since the last one and since I usually get this itch every 2 years or so this one is hitting me pretty much right on schedule.

I’ve probably mentioned it here before but for the past year and a half at least I’ve had an unfinished green linen gothic fitted gown sitting on my shelf waiting to be picked back up.  It was all cut out, it just needed to be assembled.

More »

I’ve finally started rededicating time each week to work on my embroidered jacket last month and I finally completed the outlining on the first sleeve of my embroidered jacket last week.  I also finished the first gore are started the second sleeve last night.  Progress is being made once again!

I realized Sunday night while I was starting work on the second sleeve that I hadn’t updated my gallery for this project in several months.  Unfortunately when I pulled out my camera last night to snap some quick pictures I noticed that my batteries for the camera were dead. 🙁  So I pulled out the Flip, shot some quick video of the completed sleeve and gore, and then pulled out some stills from the video so I’d have something to show you guys this morning. 🙂  The stills I was able to pull out don’t give you a good overall view but I did charge the camera batteries last night so I can snap a few more pictures this evening.

So there are new pictures up in my jacket gallery if you all want to check them out and more are on the way soon.

Last night while doing some work on my embroidered jacket I had the mutinous thought that I could just stop with the sleeves. They really would look lovely with my Flanders Gown.  I would be done so much sooner!  Hmmmmm….

The truth is that sometimes you get part way through a project and you make the decision to change it.  It happens and it’s no big deal.  But sometimes those thoughts about changing the project are just our mind’s ways of tricking us into copping out.  In this particular case I think it’s the latter.  I’ve been working on the jacket off and on for a long time now.  I’m not as far along as I would like to be (there’s that “off and on” thing rearing its ugly head) and sometimes I think about other embroidery projects I’d like to be doing.

It’s true that I could finish the sleeves and enjoy wearing them while I finished the rest of the jacket but my fear is that if I did that I would have a much more difficult time time completing the project than if I went on the finish the rest of the embroidery.

And I really do want to finish this project.  Not just the sleeves but the whole thing.  In order to do that I need to dedicate regular time to it and banish those mutinous thoughts.  I’m back to regular embroidery sessions and I just need to keep at it.  Slow and steady may not get things done quickly but it will get them done in the end.  And I really think once I have the sleeves finished it will start to seem like it’s all down hill from there.

So I must banish my mutinous thoughts and complete project!  Even if the sleeves would look totally awesome with my Flanders Gown.  Maybe when the jacket is done I start some scarletwork sleeves for it.


My beloved husband and I will be heading to the beach for the holiday weekend to spend some time with my family.  We plan to do some diving and hopefully get a chance to see the 17th Century shipwreck that was discovered in Corolla this winter!

More importantly though I plan to take my jacket with me so that I may spend several evenings in a row working on it.  If all goes well I’ll be finishing off the first sleeve and the gores buy Monday evening.

Today I wanted to share a YouTube video with you all on the Plaited Braid Stitch.  I originally ran across it when a friend of mine posted it to her live journal.  I’ll be using this stitch on my seams once the jacket is ready to assemble.  I found this tutorial very useful and wanted to share it with you all as well.


I’m not quite sure what the issue is but lately I’ve found that I’ve been feeling very distracted with regards to my various projects and I haven’t been feeling like I’m really getting a lot done.  Oddly I’ve been feeling like I used to be able to get so much more done than I have these past few months.  Logically though I know I must be getting something done because my FR articles are finished and free time seems to be at an even higher premium than usual.  Years ago I used to keep yearly project lists of the things I was working on, things I had finished, and projects I wanted to start over the course of that year.  I sort of stopped tracking them though in early 2009.  Why?  I have no idea.

So in an effort to really compare what I’ve been doing this year with what I had accomplished in years past I decided that I need to revive my old project lists.  So far I’ve found one from 2008 and one from 2009.  I’m fairly certain I kept ones for 2007 and 2006 as well but I’m still looking for them.

Here’s my list from 2008:

2008 Projects

Black silk suit Finished! Jan 2008
Red Wool Hood Finished! Feb 2008
Silver’s Gryps and Clozes Finished! Mar 2008
Linen GFG/Kirtle Finished! Mar 2008
Linen Surcoat Finished! Apr 2008
Second Linen Surcoat Finished! Apr 2008
Gamboised Cuisses, 2 pair Finished! May 2008
Arming Vest Finished! May 2008
Padded leather fencing doublet Linen Proof of Concept Finished! May 2008
Linen Suit Finished! June 2008
White Linen 63 Finished! July 2008
Scarletwork Coif Finished! Dec 2008
Swetnam Article One Finished! Dec 2008
Complete In Progress Silver Article Finished! Dec 2008

Not too shabby.  I finished at least one project a month except for August-November when I was focusing on my coif.  I don’t embroider very quickly.

I had to go back and use my blog to recreate most of it but in 2009 my list looked like this:

2009 Projects

Get my fencing in top notch shape In progress
Wool Jacket Finished! March 2009
Embroidered Jacket Started August 2009
Black Bias Cut linen Hosen Finished! March 2009
Green Bias Cut linen Hosen Finished! March 2009
Blue Linen Fencing Doublet Finished! May 2009
Scarletwork Forehead Cloth Finished! September 2009

I got some things done but I spent most of my free SCA time fencing and embroidering.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  It was really quite enjoyable. 🙂  But it does mean that I have finished fewer projects.  Especially since my jacket was one of the things I was spending most of my time on.

So now that I’ve had a chance to go back and look at what I accomplished of over 2008 and 2009 I needed to create a list for 2010.

2010 Projects

Get my fencing in top notch shape In progress
Embroidered Jacket In progress: Started August 2009
Flander’s Gown In progress
Saviolo Dueling Blog Series Finished! June 2010 (Combined with class)
Silver Training Blog Series In progress
Swetnam Training Blog Series In progress
Early Modern English Dueling Class Finished! June 2010
Steampunk Gown Finished! January 2010
Wrapped and Stuffed Buttons @ Etsy Opened! January 2010
Grey Wool Bias Cut Hosen Finished! February 2010
Linen Kirtle Finished! April 2010
White Linen Bias Cut Stockings Finished! April 2010
16th-17th Century Stocking Tutorial Finished! April 2010
Blue Linen Bias Cut Hosen Finished! May 2010
14th Century Hosen Tutorial Finished! May 2010

Hmmm…no wonder I feel distracted.  I’ve accomplished much more than I thought I had but I have let several “In progress” projects accumulate at once.  Normally I try to keep it to one or two.  Plus three of those projects are blog series.  I should certainly be trying to limit those to one at a time.  So for now, no more new blog series!  I need to finish these first! 🙂  I don’t have too many sewing projects going at once, just my Flander’s Gown and my jacket but they did get pushed to the back burner while I worked on some others.  I definitely want to get back to back to work on them once my second article is turned in.  I will also probably place my Saviolo dueling series on the back burner since it’s so similar to the class that I’m working on for June Univeristy.  And I’m going to add a few more items to the planning list to start on once I’ve finished my gown and jacket.

2010 Project Plans

Get my fencing in top notch shape In progress
Embroidered Jacket In progress: Started August 2009
Flander’s Gown In progress
Saviolo Dueling Blog Series Finished! June 2010
Silver Training Blog Series In progress
Swetnam Training Blog Series In progress
Early Modern English Dueling Class Finished! June 2010
Steampunk Gown Finished! January 2010
Wrapped and Stuffed Buttons @ Etsy Opened! January 2010
Grey Wool Bias Cut Hosen Finished! February 2010
Linen Kirtle Finished! April 2010
White Linen Bias Cut Stockings Finished! April 2010
16th-17th Century Stocking Tutorial Finished! April 2010
Blue Linen Bias Cut Hosen Finished! May 2010
14th Century Hosen Tutorial Finished! May 2010
Green Linen GFG (pieces cut out)
French-Cut gown
Red Silk Bodies (have fabric and boning)
A new linen suit
Natural Form Gown

Postponed Projects

Di Grassi Series
Di Grassi Class
Swetnam Class
Arming Garments Class

(Sewing and Embroidery)
Blackwork shirt
Red Wool Suit
1530’s Tudor gown
1530’s petticoat
1530’s Kirtle
English Hood
1605 Gown
Embroidered Night Cap
Blackwork sleeves
Blackwork partlet
Doublet and Pluderhosen
Edwardian Lingerie Gown

While I have enjoyed the much needed break I took from my jacket I am now happily back to stitching again.   I spent about 4 hours on it two weekends ago while I visited and geeked with Kate and last night I spent another two hours relaxingly stitching away on it.  I really needed the break because I found I was getting to the point that I dreaded working on it and it was stressing me out.  Whenever you find yourself at that point with a project just stop!  Take a week, or two, or six.  Do something else and come back to it later.  You will be happy that you did. 

I’m really enjoying working on this project again.  I’m still taking it slow.  I’m not driving myself to meet any weekly goals of hours worked.  I’m just enjoying the process of making back flowers. 🙂