Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Corset Contest - Winners Announced!

Our guest judges and I were wowed by all of the entries for the first Cloak & Corset Corset Sewing Contest! The hard work really showed through. We found it difficult to narrow down the winners as each corset entry had so many good things going for it.

I want to shout out a very warm Thank You to our guest judges, Liz Gerds, shop manager of Farthingales LA and Maegen Hensley, executive assistant at BCBG and Dean of Costume College 2009. Both of these women are accomplished corsetieres and know what to look for in the fine details of Victorian corset construction. Thanks again ladies!

Without further delay, here are the winners of the 2009 Corset Sewing Contest:

Grand Prize: Sahrye Cohen

First Place: Deborah Toy

Second Place: Lisha Vidler

Third Place: Chantal Filson

Congratulations to the winners!! Very well done.

Remember, the contest was judged primarily on the sewing construction of the corset. Fit, fabrics, pattern drafting, etc. were, however, taken into consideration when they affected seams, busk and grommet settings, and overall support and shape of the corset.

Additional photos of the winning corsets will be available for viewing on our website in the near future.

Again, congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone who entered!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Off-Season or Burnout?

I greatly admire those people who can be continuously working on some sewing/costume project or another. Their knack for always having "something to work on" astonishes me. If I go through too many projects back-to-back, I crash. Hard.

If I have more projects coming due, I allow myself a couple weeks to chill then get back to work. I value my breaks and wear out too quickly if I don't get them. (Do you need break time?)

So I'm currently on a LONG sewing break otherwise known as Costumer Burnout. After each Costume College I take August off, but completing the 1870s striped Lizzy dress for the September picnic was hard for me as I just didn't feel like sewing. Then HCA's Regency Soiree at my home demanded a thrown together outfit for the cook - with no energy (and time) left to complete my own new gown.

And I'm *still* not ready to tackle those two modern business outfits sitting on the cutting table - with pattern altered and fabric pre-treated to bat. True burnout has arrived.

As I read over many of your blogs, LiveJournals and other sites, I find the common thread of burnout at this point in the year. Perhaps it started in late summer/early fall. Or now that Halloween is over you are DONE for the year.

Even with costuming events continuing into the holiday season and beyond (i.e. Victorian skating events, parties, Jane Austen teas and balls, etc.) it seems like our creativity never has a chance to take a breath and rejuvenate.

So I call for a costumers' off-season. Let this time be one to plan your large dream projects for the coming year - complete with deadlines. Brush up on your research of a particular period, garment or technique. Sit by the fireside and embroider for an hour while catching up with good costume dramas or simply chat with family and friends.

If you are one of those who MUST have something on the table when the next event is months away, pull out those long-forgotten undergarments in need of repair or construction.
Make a new set of drawers and chemise.
Attempt that ruffled petticoat you've been putting off.
Take on an entirely new article, the Corded Petticoat. When that Dickens festival, Alamo reenactment, or Gold Rush Days event gets scheduled, you'll be prepared.

Don't let Sewing Off-Season get you down! If you are burned out, re-focus on those people and activities that are just as dear to you as your historical projects. When you're refreshed you'll be ready to take on even the most challenging articles on your list. Enjoy the time off.