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The last year full of isolation, trauma, and breadmaking. I think it is safe to say that many of us are looking forward to the After Times when we emerge from our caves and start hugging people again. Like hugging a LOT. Well, we have a new year. Wow, it seems like 2020 isn’t done with us yet, but like many of you, I am trying to stay positive and keep my mind and hands active. So, in my very first blog post of this brand new blog, [whoop whoop! hands in the air] let’s talk about the upcoming sewing and creative year. I have plans. Many plans. Over the next months, I will share my progress with you, dear Readers. What do you want this new tribe to be called? Sewists, Cottagers, Stregas? Stregas who read and sew in a cottage? Let me know in the comments. 

Planning my year and new goals.

I don’t know about you, but the end of old year and the start of the new one is always a time of reflection for me. By the end of October, I have usually purchased a new planner/calendar. Part of my process is spending weeks in angst about this, watching YouTube planner videos obsessively, and constantly changing my mind. (I may be a bit ADHD). This year, I’m using a Leuchtturm 1917 in dark blue. I get my new planner out and spend a few weeks thinking about the last year and make plans for the next. This year’s goal is to start this new blog and YouTube channel. 

Planning my wardrobe

First up will be planning my spanking new wardrobe, tearing down my old one and rebuilding it. I’ll be sharing this journey with you in a series of videos and blog posts. I am going to look at what kind of styles of clothes I wear and how to make an amazing wardrobe that fits all of my personalities. 

I’ve been wanting to do a complete overhaul of my wardrobe for a long while. Being plus size means that it is really hard to find well-fitted quality clothing.  I am going to make at least the basics of a capsule-esque wardrobe. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about clothes that make me feel good and clothes that flatter my Nanny Ogg shaped self. I will save my rant on finding plus size clothing that isn’t butt ugly, poorly made, or way too expensive. It’s time to take control. [pic of French painting of revolution] 

I love historical costuming and will be finding ways to pull in some historybounding and cosbounding into my daily wardrobe. I may be teleworking for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have both comfort and style. 

Let’s face it, I’m weird and have always been the weird one out. I wear that title, literally, as a badge of pride. Who wants to be normal? 

My me made wardrobe

Building blocks of a wardrobe 

I want more coordination in my clothes, while having less stuff. This means spending some time analyzing what I have and want I need. There may be a spreadsheet involved. 


I like wearing layers. I don’t deal with cold very well. Give me a 100-degree day, not that we get many of those in the Willamette Valley. We do get lots of cool misty or downright raining days. I do love those misty mountain days, but I don’t like cold. So, layers it is. 


I am going to be exploring ways to add bling to my wardrobe to add variety as I want to limit the number of pieces in my wardrobe. This will be detachable collars, cuffs, scarves, and who know what all else. 

Make some outfits 

Then I am going to get to sewing. I will be mostly shopping from my fabric stash which is chockablock full of wools and linens. I may need to sally forth to get knits or more modern fabrics as most of my stash is for making early medieval clothing. 

Sewing projects for gardening

If I am not sewing, and it’s not pouring down rain, and sometimes even then, I am likely to be found in my garden, unless it is really cold. I have needed well fitted gardening pants and overalls forever. I am hoping to also make a pair of warm pants for cool weather gardening. Something flannel lined. 

Gardening pants. I have some seriously garishly bright cotton canvas from earlier projects. It will warm the cockles of my heart to make gardening clothes out of them. 

Gardening aprons. I have several types in mind. The first one will be a tool hauler. Probably also in vivid shades because that is what I have. Another one will probably be a slip on with a crossover back. It will have large pockets for keeping the harvested veg in. Or maybe small hedgehogs. We’ll see. 

Overalls. This is going to involve learning some new techniques to get the rugged hayseed farm girl look I am going for. It will be a total thing. Straw hat, pitchfork. The whole ensemble. 

Totally cottage core gardening dress with pockets and tool loops. Likely to be more a fun fantasy piece, but I will wear it gardening because I want to. I will float about smelling flowers, talking to wee bumble bees, chase butterflies. You know. Everyday stuff. 

Courage and sewing

Sewing things that scare me. Even someone who has been sewing as long as I have gets anxiety about sewing. We all have some type of clothes we just don’t like to sew for all kinds of reasons. 

  • Setting up my Juki
  • Pants
  • Jacket
  • Knits
  • Coats

Rectangular construction

Basics of method. I learned about his technique from sewing early medieval period clothing in the SCA. You basically use rectangles and triangles to make clothing. There are very few curves. Great economical use of fabric with very little waste. Creating textiles is a massively time consuming and labor-intensive job. You couldn’t pop up to your local fabric store and buy some cheap fabric on a whim. 

Modern clothes 

  • Linen shirt
  • Linen vest
  • Dress

SCA clothes [show image of my Arnegunde outfit] 

I haven’t really made myself much in the way of new SCA clothes in probably five years. We just haven’t been playing much since we bought the house. I have wanted to dive back into making some 6th and 7th century Merovingian and Kentish clothes. There will likely be projects here. 


I really wanted to join in Foundation Revealed costume competition this year, but don’t have the time to complete my vision. So I will make these costumes for Halloween. I am so hoping that the pandemic will be under control by then and we can go out and play. 

I am huge Terry Pratchett fan and find myself identifying with two main characters, Lady Sybil and Granny Weatherwax. Both are amazing women with huge hearts and a steel rimmed resolve. 

The BBC America channel recently defiled Pratchett’s memory and characters with the abomination of the show called the Watch. I won’t go into all the ways that show is wrong, so wrong, as I am afraid my hair will catch on fire. Let’s just say that I am displeased in their treatment of Lady Sybil. Yeah, I may need to a video just on that. 

Since I have a husband handy to make a Sam costume for, I’ll be doing a duo. 

Lady Sybil – 30 yards of pink tulle and leather apron. I haven’t decided on any particular period of history to draw from. It will be mostly something like a late Victorian remake of a gown from a Rococo fancy dress ball of someone who was doing a dress from Elizabeth’s court. Should be fun. 

Sam Vimes – walking the beat outfit the hubby can be comfy, brown linen shirt and breeches, badge, breastplate, and helmet. Although he loves to play dress up and would totally wear the tights if I asked him. 


This Christmas was so sad without being able to be with family, that I plan to pull out all the stops this next holiday season. My family has already been warned that we will have ALL the Merry and we will have the house so decorated and tarted up we will be farting candy canes until Epiphany. 

I will be making a Mr. and Mrs. Klaus set so cheery you will be hearing jingle bells for days. There will be red velvet, soutache braid, fur and all the woozles and bling. I am in total love of the Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn Christmas shows that I hope they do one per year. Hell, I hope they get 20 years of shows in the can so we can be delighted far into the future. Netflix, call me. 

So that’s it. It is a very ambitious project schedule and I don’t know if I will actually get everything finished. But stay tuned and check back to see how I am doing.  Do you have fun or challenging projects planned this year? Share with us in the comments below. 

May you always find joy in planning and creating such wonderful things as your brilliant mind can conjure. Until next time, I hope you find joy. 

I’m not perfect and that’s my superpower … 

Helping creatives find their courage to get rid of their punishment pile … unless that is what you are into. I don’t judge. 

Thank you for watching this video about my 2021 sewing projects. Stay tuned for the exciting game of “Will Althea complete even one of these projects?” Talk about thrilling adventures awaiting us! 

(Here’s where I ask for your support) 

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