Last January, when HSF ’13 started, I began saving spools. Every time I finished a spool of thread I tucked it in a bag in one of my drawers. At the end of the year, my bag, and my drawer, were full.
I find looking at it a good way of assessing my year. Sure, I made all this stuff, but it’s a bit abstract even in my own mind. But those threads, I used em up!
I’m measuring my year in thread
So how much did I sew? Did I sew an inch of thread for every minute?
There are 525949 minutes (not, as Rent would have us believe, 525,600) in a year.
525949 inches = 14609.7 yards
14609.7 yards = 13359.1 metres.
The average spool of thread has 150 metres of thread on it.
13359.1 divided by 150 = 89.
There are 76 spools of thread in my bag ‘o finishes spools. Now, some of them would have been part finished before the year started, but at least 10 of them are 500 metre spools, so count extra. And I know of at least 4 spools of thread that got lost and didn’t make it into the drawer. And there are lots of spools of thread that I started this year, but didn’t finish. So I’m sure I did sew at least an inch of thread for every minute of 2013!
So what else did I do?
I used a total of 73.7 metres of fabric in finished HSF projects.
The most fabric-indulgent project was the Polly Oliver skirt, at 8.5m.
All together my projects cost in the vicinity of $900 (though, once again, most of the materials came from stash, so the cost was spread out over previous years), with an average cost of $23.00 per project.
Of course, most projects were significantly cheaper, or significantly more expensive. The closest was the Subtly Striped 1780s petticoat, at $20. The cheapest finished project I paid for, at $1.50, was my Little Bit of Red hat. The most expensive project, at $111, was my Midnight Garden corset (though most of the materials came from stash, so were paid for in previous years).
The projects I finished in 2013 took a total of 428 hours and 35 minutes, though (like the money) some of those projects were started years earlier, so the hours were spread across a number of years. And then there are projects I started in 2013, and have put 30+ hours into, but won’t finish until 2014, like the Frou Frou Francaise and Masquerade Stays.
In the course of the year I made 40 HSF items, comprising 10 dresses, 7 undergarments, 6 accessories, 5 petticoats or skirts, 4 jacket/bodice/sweater/cape type thingees, 4 hats, 2 blouses, and 2 pairs of shoes. Not bad!
I also finished 8 UFO/PHDs, 5 of which were at least a year old.
Of the 40 projects I made for the HSF, 26 of them were made with materials primarily from my stash (i.e. bought before 2013, and at least 6 months before the project was started), four of them were not applicable to stash considerations (i.e UFO’s where I just had to sew – didn’t have to find any new fabric to finish them), and 10 of them were made from materials purchased in the last 6 months of 2012, or in 2013. I’m really trying to stashbust in 2014, so I’m aiming for under 5 projects with new fabric.
My two most common periods were latter half of the 18th century (12 projects) and ca. 1930 (12 projects). Expect more of the same in 2014, with a smattering of early 18th century, early 19th century, early 20th century, and (oooooh!) Medieval or Renaissance (have to do a stash assess and decide on one or the other).
For historical accuracy, the average of my ratings was 65% accurate. I’d like to raise that to at least 75% in my 2014 sewing.
Looking back at the year, I think that my favourite fully-historical (totally not wearable in a modern sense) item is the Indienne Chintz pet-en-l’aire (there is nothing I would change about it or do better) and my favourite wearable historical item is a tie between the Sherbet Seersucker dress & the Gran’s Garden dress. My favourite accessory is the Fur & Scales Muff.
Really though, picking favourites was incredibly hard, because I love so many pieces. My goal for 2014 is for it to be even harder to pick my favourites next year!
In addition to the HSF, I made at least 9 T-shirts of varying descriptions (here are 3), 4 pairs of knickers, 2 not-historical-enough-to-count pairs of tap pants, 2 undershirts, 2 blouses for my Mum, 1 1840s dress, 1 skirt, 1 collared shirt, a cape and probably sundry other things that I can’t remember off the top of my head.
And finally, in 2013 I took 1,228 photos of Felicity. This was photo number one:
Yep. That’s my cat for sure!
So that was my year, measured in dresses, and dollars, and yards of fabric. In periods, and projects, and spools of thread!