The Historical Sew Fortnightly 2014

After much, much, much thought and agony, I have decided to put my graduate studies on hold. I won’t go into detail but suffice to say that now I find myself with free time.  Yay!  What do I plan to do with all that time?  Read for pleasure, for once, but also do all the other things I love to do but never had time to actually do.  I’ve been interested in historical costuming for a long time and lately I have been making some things but nothing fancy or complicated.  Since we are getting pretty involved with a reenactment group we are going to need at least a few outfits, which I’ll make since it’s cheaper (though not easier by far!) than buying.  Those will be pre-1600 pieces, as that is the time period for the SCA but I also want to try my hand at other time periods.  I have even decided to go to Costume College in August.  So, because I’m crazy, I decided to join the The Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge hosted by The Dreamstress.

There are 24 challenges in total, due on the 1st and 15th of the month, and each challenge has a theme.  I will not complete all the challenges, I do still have a full time job and a family for which ot care, but I hope to complete quite a few. They won’t all be Medieval, as I said, I hope to try my hand at other periods as well.  It is also likely that the garments will not be only for me.

I have some ideas but I will most likely make it up as I go.  Here are the challenges:

  • #1: Make Do & Mend – due Wed 15 Jan. Let’s start of the year with a clean slate, and with a bit of a tidy up.  Use this challenge as an opportunity to get your historical wardrobe in order by fixing any little bits that have worn out and gone wrong.  Alternatively, you could focus on the historical precedent of making-do by re-making something into a historical garments, whether it be a bodice from a worn-out skirt, a chemise from old sheets, a bosom-friend from an old cardigan, or a new historical hat from an old modern one etc.  Finally, you could just those people who had to make-do by making something for a historical character who would have scrimped and saved and re-made and mended until the fabric entirely fell apart.
  • #2: Innovation – due Sat 1 Feb.  To celebrate the way inventions, introductions and discoveries have impacted fashion, make an item that reflects the newest innovations in your era.  Be sure to share the research you did on your innovation, as well as your finished item.
  • #3: Pink – due Sat 15 Feb.  Make something pink!
  • #4: Under it All – due Sat 1 March.  Make the foundations of your outfit: the things that go under it to provide the right shape and support, and to protect your fancy outer garments from sweat and grime
  • #5: Bodice – Make a bodice – a garment that covers the upper body.  You can either abide by the strictest historical sense (see the blog post for history of bodice terminology) or can explore the idea of bodices in a more general sense.
  • #6: Fairytale – due Tue 1 April: imagine your favourite fairytale set in a specific timeperiod, and make a historical garment inspired by the fairytale.
  • #7: Tops & Toes – due Tue 15 April.  Create an accessory that goes on your head, or on your feet.
  • #8: UFOs & PHDs – due Thur 1 May.  Use this opportunity to finish off something that’s never quite gotten done, or stalled halfway through.  Check out the post from last year for more information on how to interpret this challenge.
  • #9: Black and White – due Thur 15 May.  Draw on the opposite ends of the shade spectrum to create something in black and white, or black or white.
  • #10: Art – due Sun 1 June.  Make your own masterpiece based on a work of art.
  • #11: The Politics of Fashion – due Sun 15 June.  World affairs have both affected, and been affected by, fashions.  Craft something that demonstrates the interactions between dress and political history.
  • #12: Shape & Support – due Tue 1 July.  Make a garment that changes the silhouette of the human form through shaping and support.
  • #13: Under $10 – due Tue 14 July.  Whip up a fabulous item for under $10 (we’ll use US$ as the de-facto standard)
  • #14: Paisley & Plaid – due Fri 1 August.  Plaid is the most universal pattern, found in the textiles of almost all cultures and periods.  Paisley is more unique and recent, but has had a lasting impact on design.  Make something that utilises one or both of these patterns.
  • #15: The Great Outdoors – due Fri 15 August.  Get out into the weather and dirt with an item for outdoor pursuits.
  • #16: Terminology – due Mon 1 September.  Explore the etymology of fashion by make something defined in the Great Historical Fashion & Textile Glossary (new terminology posts and items will be added throughout the year).
  • #17: Yellow – due Mon 15 September.  Embrace the sunny side with something in any shade of yellow.
  • #18: Poetry in Motion – due Wed 1 October  Find inspiration for a garment in poetry and song.
  • #19: HSF Inspiration – due Wed 15 October.  One of the best things about the HSF is seeing what everyone else creates, and using it to spark your own creativity.  Be inspired by one of the challengers item from HSF ’13 or HSF challenges 1-18 to make your own fabulous item.
  • #20: Alternative Universe – due Sat 1 November.  Create a garment from an alternative universe: fantasy, steampunk, dieselpunk, etc.  Your item can be perfectly historically accurate within our own universe as well.
  • #21: Re-do – due Sat 15 November.  Pick any previous challenge and re-do it (or do it for the first time).  It could be one that you didn’t finish, one that you wish you’d had more time for, or any time for, or one where you loved the theme so much you want to do it again.
  • #22: Fort-nighliers Choice – due Mon 1 December.  This one is up to you!  In June I’ll ask for suggestions for a theme, and we’ll vote to pick the one you most want to do as our 22nd Challenge of the year.
  • #23: Modern History – due Mon 15 December.  Make something historical or historically inspired that is wearable in an everyday context.
  • #24: All that Glitters – due Thur 1 January.  Celebrate your completion of HSF ’14, and the New Year, with a glittery, glitzy, sparkly, shiny, something.

2 Responses

  1. Jamie

    A difficult decision I’m sure to delay your studies, but enjoy that free time! There never seems to be enough of it. I look forward to seeing your creations.

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