This morning I was comparing how many I used to make while I was working (one a year) and now ten years later after I retired. I actually started making my costumes in 2003. Sometimes I wondered how many exactly do I have in my closet, Space Bags, and clothes rack. And this is not counting the corsets, underpinnings, petticoats and bustles/hoops I have stored too. While we’ve been on our new house hunt, needing a one story instead of a two-story, we included on our “wish list”, an extra room or storage area that I can keep all my costumes plus a couple bookcases that would hold my bolts of fabrics, plus the big plastic tubs that hold all my patterns (5 right now but they’re ready to explode all over the place). That doesn’t even include my 20 hat boxes, or the various wigs on wig heads that take up a lot of room. As I’m typing this, I’m starting to feel like I need to buy a house just for all that.
I don’t feel I need to justify needing an additional room in our new house for this either. The hubby wants a big enough room for his 12-man poker group, which involves a large table, so this is my requirement. When you retire, your hobbies take a priority.
10 years ago, after I retired, I ended up selling most of my previous costumes, due to weight losses and gains, wanting a new improved version, or just wanting MORE in different colors and styles. Therefore, the closet stash of fabric grew.
I keep photo folders in my computer of all my costumes, broken up by the decades, so that seems to be the easiest way to share them too.
My earliest one, which I wore to a Renaissance Fair, was a early Carmelite nun outfit that I copied from a Catholic website showing them. I even fooled a lot of people thinking I really was a nun (I had to point out my lipstick), and a past nun told me I got it spot on. I don’t remember the date it was from but it was documented.
One of my favorite time periods, the Romantic Period of the 1830s.
I started with Bloomer dresses of the 1850s and then went on to the later ones.
I’m not sure why but I only have one dress now from the 1860s. I sold my other one. I think I need to remedy that, especially since I have a gorgeous fabric for one.
I like the 1870s mainly because of the open square neckline options but don’t have the long waist that makes this time period look better.
MY FAVORITE TIME PERIOD- the mid-1880s. Big bustles or go home!
The last couple years I made a foray into the 1890s, mostly around 1895 for the big sleeves.
Early 1900s, very comfy to wear too.
Going into 1910 and the ‘teens to about 1918. I have plans in progress for more ‘teens dresses. Two of these I have for sale but as of now, they’re still in my “wardrobe”.
So, this answers my question of how many dresses I have: 44, plus or minus a couple that I don’t like, or didn’t quite finish. Over a 10-year period, I made an average of 4 a year. I guess I’ve been busier than I thought. And I have no plans to stop any time soon.