Tuesday, 6 January 2015

The Historical Sew Monthly 2015

For next year the HSF has changed to HSM and been turned to 12 monthly challenges. For me that feels like a bit more pressure, I need to do something bigger for each challenge, on the other hand it would be great if I could actually manage to make all the 12 challenges, it feels feasible, compared to 24. My biggest obstacle is of course the fact that I'm going to work like crazy on the gold handmaiden gown for the first four months, and a lot of the winter will be spent in the ski jumping hills. This might force me to do work on several projects at the same time, which would be something new since I prefer to do one at a time and finish before I start the next ones.

Anyway here are the challenges for 2015, and my comments and current plans for them in italics.

January – Foundations: make something that is the foundation of a period outfit.

V&A dated to 1770-1790

I really need a working pair of 18th century stays. I really love this set of stays from the V&A collection. Since I have to take a break with the Gold handmaiden, while I wait for the fabrics to arrive, I might have time to start working on a pair. The fabrics for the handmaiden emptied my bank account though, so I hope I have both fabric and boning in my stash.

February – Colour Challenge Blue: Make an item that features blue, in any shade from azure to zaffre. 
Gallerie des Modes 1778.

I have a remnant of the blue cotton velvet that I used for my giant revolutionary hat, I would love to make a matching muff for it.

March – Stashbusting: Make something using only fabric, patterns, trims & notions that you already have in stash.  

Most of my projects are based on my stash so this sounds like a fun challenge, but I have no idea of what I want to do.

April – War & Peace: the extremes of conflict and long periods of peacetime both influence what people wear.  Make something that shows the effects of war, or of extended peace. '

This is the challenge that I'm most likely to skip. I need to finish the handmaiden, and then I'm off to the US for two weeks, leaving me just a couple of days to come up with something, and at the moment I really have no idea about what I could do with this challenge.

May – Practicality:  Fancy party frocks are all very well, but everyone, even princesses, sometimes needs a practical garment that you can DO things in.  Create the jeans-and-T-Shirt-get-the-house-clean-and-garden-sorted outfit of your chosen period.

 I always need more petticoats, so that would be the easy way to finish the challenge. A bit more difficult would be to add a shortgown, a cap and an apron to the outfit.

June – Out of Your Comfort Zone: Create a garment from a time period you haven’t done before, or that uses a new skill or technique that you’ve never tried before.  
The last year I've thought more and more about that I need a robe à la francaise to complete my 18th century wardrobe, even if it's not my favorite style. I've felt a bit daunted by the pleating the back, but I would love to make a pet en l'air. 

July – Accessorize: The final touch of the right accessory creates the perfect period look.  Bring an outfit together by creating an accessory to go with your historical wardrobe.  

I want, and need, a good looking fichu.
August – Heirlooms & Heritage: Re-create a garment one of your ancestors wore or would have worn, or use an heirloom sewing supply to create a new heirloom to pass down to the next generations. 
This is me, and my niece. I'm wearing my folk costume. It's a traditional costume, eventhough my parish doesn't have an unbroken tradition of wearing folk costumes, but was reconstructed from remnants found in old attics and the like in 1921. It's still traditional, and something similar was worn by my ancestors, and a well made traditional costume can definitely be passed on to future generations. It's actually my sister that has handsewn my, and our other sister's, costumes. Since this photo was taken I have lost around 20 kg of weight, meaning that it's now way too big for me, I am also missing some of the accessories. So I could take in the whole gown, so that it actually fits, or I could cut and hem the winter shawl for it, or even more unlikely I could finally learn how to do fine embroidery and make the pocket for it.

September – Colour Challenge Brown: it’s not the most exciting colour by modern standards, but brown has been one of the most common, and popular, colours throughout history. Make something brown.  
I love pierrot jackets, and I would love to make one out of a piece of brown cotton that picked up last year.

 October – Sewing Secrets: Hide something in your sewing, whether it is an almost invisible mend, a secret pocket, a false fastening or front, or a concealed message (such as a political or moral allegiance).  

No idea at the moment.
November – Silver Screen: Be inspired by period fashions as shown onscreen (film or TV), and recreate your favourite historical costume as a historically accurate period piece. 

A perfect challenge to finich my queen Elsa gown.

December – Re-Do:  It’s the last challenge of the year, so let’s keep things simple by re-doing any of the previous 11 challenges. No idea at the moment

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