#MyrtleMondays: My Year in Making

Hello, Fellow Makers! In our continuing series on reflecting on the new year, today’s post is all about taking a fond look back at what we made last year. Have you stopped to take stock of your projects? This is something I always mean to do, but never quite manage. This year, however, I am finally doing it!

Read More: Making it through Tough Times

So… what’s been happening in my craft room the last twelve months?

You probably know by now that I like to make things that help bring my books to life in tangible ways. Writing is intangible Making—everything exists in an imaginary space. And as a Maker, it’s fun for me to see parts of my characters’ lives in… well, real life!

In that spirit, I made some 1890s clothes. For myself…

A cycling ensemble of shirtwaist and bloomers for a Victorian Velma impression. The full story of this ensemble is here: From Page to Seam: Making an 1890s Cycling Costume


Pintucked chemise with lace trim

And for the dolls:

Shirtwaist and bloomers for a young cyclist’s trip into town to see the miniature Campanile. Yes, that is the same fabric as my shirtwaist! And her bloomers are leftovers from my deerstalker hat.

Practical clothing for Observing the neighborhood with your trusty telescope!


Gardening togs, inspired by an 1887 French fashion plate.

I even made the straw hat from scratch! Straw braid is hard to source, so I unravelled a straw placemat, and then put it back together anew. I made the pattern/hat block from cardstock, based on a human-sized pattern (for this hat, actually).

That’s not the only hat I made!

Hardworking fit model Georgie (vintage 1998 Battat Our Generation doll) got her own Victorian chapeau, along with a lovely new frock to go with it.

I even made an entire cloth doll! I have really become smitten with making miniature costumes, and wanted an adult model to dress, as well. Mrs. Godey (named for 19th century American fashion and lifestyle magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book, the source of her wardrobe and inspiration) joined the family this spring.

She is a soft-bodied cloth doll with jointed knees and elbows, a needle-sculpted and embroidered face, with a wig made from yarn styled into a period chignon. So far her wardrobe consists only of underthings and slippers:

Eyelet chemise with shaped yoke, spectacularly full 1860s ruffled petticoat, and a wee satin corset with antique lace trim and teeny tiny eyelets.

And wool felt slippers based on a period shoe pattern:

I have promised Mrs. Godey that she will get some actual clothing this year! Stay tuned…

I could hardly leave Myrtle, Georgie, and Mrs. Godey without some feline companionship. Enter a felt Peony the Cat:

This pattern was originally designed as a pincushion. Could YOU stick pins in that sweet kitty?

As fall rolled around, I started sewing for my virtual book tour for Cold-Blooded Myrtle, and created a new wardrobe for all my events.

The age-old question: How will this look on Zoom? (Patterns include: Pattydoo Carmen sweater, Itch to Stitch Seychelles blouse, Sinclair Lulu wrap top, Sinclair Daisy blouse and McCalls peplum cardigan, ITS Uvita top and Jalie pants! You know, in case you want to cosplay your favorite mystery author.)

The most fun piece came from some Very Special Fabric that my husband gave me when Premeditated Myrtle won the Edgar Award—raven fabric!!

Worn, of course, for my virtual event with The Raven Book Store! Nevermore…

Some (more or less) non-book-related handwork rounded out the year.

I added a few blocks to the pile building for a crazy quilt (read more about this project here: A Victorian Quilting Adventure):

I tried my hand at a crazy quilt classic, the fan block:

And I made another two blocks, which are currently getting their embroidered embellishment. This brings my current total up to 7 (out of a planned 12).

Husband C.J. requested this small holiday quilt (hand quilted):

And fall weather called for some ghostly progress on this cross stitch piece:

Those ghosts/sails are stitched in glow in the dark thread.

I have two more 2021 embroidery projects I’m dying to share–but they’re gifts, and the recipients haven’t opened them yet. So I shall post those on Instagram when I can.

How did your Making go last year? Don’t forget to stop and reflect about everything that passed through your sewing machine, oven, workbench, pottery wheel, keyboard, or needles. There’s nothing quite like looking about your space and saying, “I made that. And that. And I made that.”

Of course, my big Make of the year is Myrtle Hardcastle Mysteries Book 4: In Myrtle Peril, coming in October! I have seen rough drafts of the cover, and my brain is abuzz with all the new fabric I shall need for this coming fall’s projects! *maniacal laugh*

Happy making,

One Response to “#MyrtleMondays: My Year in Making”

  1. J. Hyde

    You are a writing, stitching, sewing, crafting dynamo! High five to you for all your creative work! Love it!