Events · Sewing · Victorian

2021 Wrap Up

Well, it feels like 2021 has been unproductive and uneventful (thanks Covid) so this is probably going to be a rather short wrap up. But, nevertheless, here it is…


I attended a grand total of two costumed events in 2021 – my trip to Christchurch to visit Kate Sheppard House, and to Oamaru for the Unofficial Heritage Celebrations.

And, one un-costumed event of note was the author’s talk for one of my favourite acquisitions of the year – Dressed: Fashionable Dress in Aotearoa New Zealand 1840-1910. I’ll admit, I was pretty close to fan-girling over meeting Claire Regnault – as you can probably tell:


Speaking of favourite acquisitions, both of those were of the book variety.

The first was Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800-1960 from FIDM Museum, which I found absolutely fascinating and so well done.

The other was the above mentioned Dressed: Fashionable Dress in Aotearoa New Zealand 1840-1910. An absolutely brilliant book that can be enjoyed by anyone interested in New Zealand’s history – not just fashion history.


2021 was the Year of Stripes and Tartan.

I started out sewing in the 1890s, creating the striped 1893 dress I wore to visit Kate Sheppard House.

Alongside this I made an 1890s outfit from the Tartan cotton shirting that I had purchased at the end of 2020.

Once I worked the 1890s out of my system I threw myself back in time to the 1870s. I started working on my Tissot Striped Dress, making miles of pleated trim for it. I completed the Underskirt and Overskirt, and did make a start on the bodice, but that got put to one side as I lost a lot of my motivation and energy thanks to Covid invading the country again in August.

The theme for the Oamaru Victorian Heritage Celebrations was announced as celebrating all things Scottish. Already having my 1870s patterns out, and being able to acquire some more of the Tartan cotton shirting, I decided to create an 1870s Tartan Bustle Project.

That I did see through to the end and that is what I took with me to Oamaru, mixing and matching with the three bodices.

Wrap Up

2021 has been a muddle really, and I have made peace with not finishing everything that I set out to accomplish. But it does feel strange to reach the end of the year and to have uncompleted projects.

This year may be a bit of a muddle too, trying to finish these while my brain will no doubt have ideas of new projects.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see? 🤔

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