What I did during 2020…

“Learn a new skill they said, it’ll be fun they said…”

Let’s face it – 2020 has been a total clusterfuck. It’s canceled. Period. I haven’t seen my friends or family in months. I don’t leave the house unless going to work (which btw, requires strict PPE and even stricter physical distancing outside of work) or necessities, and it has straight up taken a toll on my mental health. I get cabin fever quite easily, and it’s become a struggle every day. I know I am fortunate, though. As my work has picked up significantly now that the labs are reopened.

But, with all of that — 2020 has done one thing for me. It has actually got me out of my sewing slump. I had lost my mojo last year and had absolutely 0 desire to work on any costumes. This was fine since all conventions were canceled. And now even some of my 2021 cons are already postponed until 2022 (I’m gutted about Gallifrey One, but it’s for the best).

But what can one do to combat the cabin fever and extra time on one’s hands? I know a lot of people were baking, taking up art, etc. I actually decided to learn a new skill. Hand embroidery! I touched on this in my Halloween post, but why not write a little more? Anyway…by learning this new skill I also got the crazy idea to tackle something I never would have dreamed I’d be able to do. I’ve started working on reproducing Princess Leia’s Cloud City outfit for DragonCon 2021 (Please happen, please! But safely of course). Oh yeah, that outfit. With that embroidered CloakOfDoom™. Let me tell you — this project has given me PLENTY of practice. So far I’ve finished the first panel, and I’m working on the second. I took a few weeks off between one and two due to just being swamped at work, but I try to work on this during my free time. I’ve gotten pretty damned good at both the stem stitch and the herringbone stitch (on the inside, so actually it’s shadow stitching) thanks to this outfit. I’m glad I gave myself a pretty far out deadline for this, but can I just say that I find hand embroidery (and hand sewing) to be extremely relaxing? I never would have though that just being able to sit, relax, and sew a pretty design would be so calming. I’ve always enjoyed hand sewing small projects, but being able to use thread to create a design in fabric? It’s like a whole other level. I love it. I’m *almost* tempted to sew the tunic and pants by hand, but then I remember how much of the copper cord I’m going to have to attach manually and I think better of it. I could use one of my antique sewing machines (another very dangerous new hobby) to sew everything together. I’ll talk about that in another post.

But, let me share a few progress photos of the cape/cloak/embroidery I have done so far. I’ll work on a write up page in the near future, and I am definitely taking a TON of progress photos.

Have you learned a new skill during this pandemic? Developed any new hobbies? Let me know!

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