Monday, January 16, 2017

Not moving, but not standing still

I've been in a reading/writing/sewing slump for a good handful of months now, due to a number of factors:

- The last dress I tried to make for myself ended up looking terrible, due to the fabric being too polyestery and stiff for the design, and to the fact that the cut of the bodice is really bad for someone this short-waisted.

- I've been gaining weight, slowly enough that I didn't really notice until suddenly it hit me that I was dissatisfied with all my clothes because they were just too tight to be comfortable or look good. I'm working on the weight issue, but I just can't gather the will to sew any new clothes for work.

- Cameo is deceptively difficult, at least in the Made to Fit custom sizing module. My pattern files keep becoming uneditable, which is obviously a problem if you're still in the working-draft stages!

- For a while, I was being really active in a few historical fashion Facebook groups, and the neverending fight to get good contributions taken seriously or to have a real discussion burned me out on historical fashion things online in general.

- I proposed a few projects to my editors, but due to the poor sales of Regency Women's Dress, they declined and gave me permission to take them to other publishers. The trouble is that I'm not really sure where to take 18th Century Women's Dress (pending better title) since I never found a publisher in the first round of queries. I also realize that I need more patterns - I would want to include more items of clothing outside gowns, petticoats, and jackets - and now live much, much farther away from all the museums with 18th century clothing. And it's clear that I need to figure out what to do about illustrations, because those in RWD were unsatisfactory to the public, and yet, as an independent researcher rather than an employee, I don't have the ability to set up a photo studio and dress mannequins as in Costume Close-up and 17th Century Women's Dress Patterns.

- Something I can't talk about yet, but just believe me, it's stressful and I'm breaking out over it.

So all together, I don't feel like sewing anything modern (by which I mean mid-20th century) to wear to work, I don't feel like sewing anything historical, and I can't think of any interesting topics to explore on my blog.

However, lately I have forced myself to start working on a new old project. A lavish reprinting of the Galerie des Modes, translated by moi, was one of the things that I proposed as a follow-up to Regency Women's Dress - but it's very expensive to license images from museums, and there are several hundred of them in the whole magazine. so it was turned down. Now I've decided to go directly to the museums. There are only two that own the plates from GdM, and I've inquired to see if either is interested in publishing it in-house. If not, I'm planning to edit the translation, improve my annotations, and run a Kickstarter to enable me to license the plates (they literally cost more than is in my bank account, even to publish only those first two volumes that have the original text extant). Hopefully I'll have more information on this soon!