2020 Costume Year in Review

Well 2020 will be a year not soon forgotten. Due to cancelled plans, working from home and quarantining, I found myself at home more this year than any year I can remember. With this time, I ended up creating 16 new historical costumes that ranged from the 1750’s to the 1830’s. For the first time, I made about as many 19th Century gowns as 18th Century gowns. I also learned that I really enjoy creating hats and other accessories. Below are all 16 looks. Some were wholly new and others were recreations of older costumes. Thank you so much for taking time to read!

This was my first project of the year. The challenge of this garment was that I really needed another yard to work with. Nonetheless, I made it work and I think it ended up being a sweet jacket. The cap was also new this year, but the apron and petticoat were from before 2020.
I originally made this gown as an open robe last year, but I felt it really needed to be turned into a full round gown! I added the front panel and long sleeves. If I ever want to convert it back to an open robe it’s just the matter of taking out a few seams. To finish this look off I made a cute matching hat.
This gown went through a few changes from my original idea and has changed even since this! I love the pleats along the bottom and the sleeves but the puffed upper sleeves are too large (and were set too far back) so currently they are off and this gown may turn into a sleeveless gown next!
This pelisse was one of my favorite pieces of the year. I was inspired by the yellow pelisse in the newly released Emma movie. I changed the color to blue to align with my Hogwarts House, Ravenclaw! I didn’t have a pelisse pattern so I used my Laughing Moon jacket pattern 129 and then added the length of the pelisse to fit.
To continue my Hogwarts House theme, my next project was a green sleeveless Spencer, bonnet and reticule. This was my first reticule and I really enjoyed creating it and using sequins for the first time! I still need to add trim to this Spencer, maybe that will be a project for this year!
This was probably the most labor intensive project of the year. I like how this gown turned out but there are a few trim issues that need to be fixed before I wear it again. Specifically, I want to make the trim on the sleeves and on the petticoat less bulky. The cap was also new and I love how it turned out!
Hufflepuff gown- This round gown is the first gown that sewed completely by hand! It is made of linen, which is my favorite fabric to sew. I added this velvet spec with it (which I had made earlier in the spring), hat and reticule.
This was the final piece to complete the Hogwarts House project. With Gryffindor as my inspiration, I decided Greek revival style would fit well. I added yards and yards of gold trim and sequins all over this thing, lol. I really hope I get to wear it somewhere someday because it is really fun to wear!
I’ve had a Redingote on my wish list for years and I am thrilled to finally have made one! I didn’t make this gown from scratch, but upgraded a gown from last year that I wasn’t really happy with. I changed out the sleeves, front bodice pieces and added the cape. I also upgraded the hat to a more fitting appearance for the 1780’s.
This was the prettiest synthetic fabric I think I have ever worked with. It flows like a dream and the gown is so comfortable. The mid 1790’s was a great time period for comfort in my opinion!
This ended up being my least favorite gown of the year. I messed up and cut the bodice too low and I didn’t have enough fabric to fix it. I can make it work but it’s so frustrating that it could have been better.
This was a fun experimental project! I knew I wanted to a make a Spencer and I also wanted to include the large sleeves of the 1820’s. I don’t know if I will ever wear it anywhere but I still think it was cute!
This was another remake, or rather a size alteration. The original chintz gown was now too small for me, so I changed out the sleeves so I could wear it again! The quilted petticoat is new and made from a bedspread.
My first 1830’s gown! This was quite the challenge as it was way out of my comfort zone but I am so glad I tried it. I love the giant sleeves and pleated bodice. I also had so much fun making the bonnet!
As I had just finished my first 1830’s gown I was anxious to try another one! The scalloped collar and gathered bodice brought many challenges but I’m happy with how it turned out and to finally have a holiday gown!
And we’ve made it to my last project of the year! I found this green velvet at a thrift store and couldn’t wait to make a Spencer out of it. I’ve also always wanted an over the top Regency bonnet so I drafted this hat design and had the best time decorating it!

Thank you again for taking time to read through my projects! I hope to become more active here this year and share in more detail how I created each of these projects! 🤗

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