Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Give Me My Yellow Hose Again: HSM 2017 challenge #5: Literature



"Remember who commended thy yellow stockings and wished to see thee ever cross-gartered..."

Literature is the theme for this month, and my mind immediately sprang to Shakespeare. I first saw Twelfth Night on the big screen when I was 10, but my production of choice is the all-male version at the Globe Theater with Stephen Fry as Malvolio. It's not my favorite Shakespeare play (that would be Much Ado About Nothing,) but it's up in my top five and so I chose Malvolio's yellow stockings as a quick and easy entry. Good thing too, as between the last few weekends of faire and a terrible cold, I was left with very little time to make them.

I'm no knitter, so I was very happy to find a pair of blue wool pieced hose that I could pattern. 

And here's the finished pair!

  • Historical Sew Monthly 2017 thedreamstress.com

The Challenge: Literature
Material: Yellow Linen
Pattern: From and existing piece of costuming
Year: 1500's
Notions: Thread
How historically accurate is it? Machine and hand sewn
Hours to complete: 72
First worn: Not yet
Total cost: $5.00

Monday, May 1, 2017

HSM 2017 Challenge # 4: Circles, Squares and Rectangles

April's challenge is Circles, Squares and Rectangles and so my entry is a straight paneled wool skirt! I meant to finish it before Faire started, but some last-minute commission work (and an unexpected maid's uniform) pushed it to the back of the queue.
I purchased the wool from a vendor at Old Fort MacArthur days in San Pedro and there was just enough material for one piece of clothing. The skirt is two rectangles sewn together at the selvages and pleated to a waistband with a finished hem.

The photos don't do the color justice. In real life, it's bright, nearly electric blue with flecks of purple.  It's extremely lightweight too, nearly handkerchief weight!


I faced the hem with Bias tape made from cotton duck canvas. It gives the fabric a little protection from the ground and helps to keep the hem from tangling around my ankles.

And finally, I decided to sew on lacing rings to give me a little flexibility on days when I'm not feeling 100%.


  • Historical Sew Monthly 2017 thedreamstress.com

The Challenge: Circles, Squares and Rectangles
Material: Bright blue wool
Pattern: Um, no.
Year: Multi-era, but currently being worn in 1572
Notions: Thread, brass lacing rings and cotton duck bias tape
How historically accurate is it?  Machine sewn
Hours to complete: 80
First worn: April 29th
Total cost: $0

Friday, March 31, 2017

A Red Hood, Granny and Wolf Sold Separately: HSM challenge #3

I'm always at a loss when this particular theme comes up. When one thinks of the "Great Outdoors", what usually springs to mind is some form of sturdy outerwear in a hardy wool: capes, cloaks, skating costumes, shooting costumes and so on. But alas, I live in the great state of California, where the sun tries it's best to roast everything it touches. 

Oh well, I can always hope for colder weather

The wool for this hood was going to be a skirt before the moths got at it. It's such a pity, as it's such a cheery cherry red. The pattern is my trusty Kay Fig winter hood pattern.




                                                  Historical Sew Monthly 2017 thedreamstress.com

The Challenge: The Great Outdoors
Material: Wool and Linen
Pattern: Kay Fig Winter Hood
Year: 1860
Notions: Thread
How historically accurate is it? Machine sewn
Hours to complete: 72
First worn: Not yet
Total cost: Free

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

HSM 2017 challenge #2: Re-make, Re-use, Re-fashion

Faire Season is nearly upon us, and as a result of my body feeling the need to change shape yet again, I found myself in need of a new kirtle. Being between jobs at the moment means I don't really have the money for new fabric but according to this formula:

Last year's Kirtle + A recently purchased pattern from The Tudor Tailor = A new challenge entry

This was my first experience with Tudor Tailor Patterns and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this was to fit. I have an extremely narrow back and that can make fitting quite difficult, but all it took was two armhole darts and a strap adjustment and I was ready to go!

My previous kirtle was boned with heavy duty cable ties sandwiched between two layers of cotton duck and lined with linen. The skirt was made of two straight panels in the back and a quarter circle in front. I removed the front panel and the new bodice out of it.  I wanted something a little softer this time around, so I gave the cable ties a pass and interlined it with three layers of cotton duck then lined it with cotton sateen. It turned out beautifully and I'm looking forward to wearing it this coming faire season.






And some bonus pics of the blood orange marmalade I made today





  • Historical Sew Monthly 2017 thedreamstress.com

The Challenge: Re-make Re-use Re-fashion
Material: Linen, cotton duck, cotton sateen
Pattern: Tudor Tailor kirtle pattern
Year: 1570's
Notions: Thread, embroidery floss and two cable ties
How historically accurate is it? Machine sewn
Hours to complete: a week
First worn: Not yet
Total cost: $0

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Back from hiatus with a new HSM challenge #1:Firsts and Lasts

Well, that was unexpected...
I didn't expect to be away for so long, but the last two years have been pretty uneven and this blog just kind of fell by the wayside. But now that I have some spare time, what better way to pick it up again than with a new challenge.


This was supposed to be the finishing touch on a previous dress, but life got in the way. As it stands, it'll be a great addition to most of the dresses I own.





The Challenge: Firsts and Lasts
Material: Lilac Picot Ribbon and artificial flowers
Pattern: Um, no.
Year: 1830's to 1860's
Notions: Thread
How historically accurate is it? Handsewn
Hours to complete: 1-2 hours
First worn: Not yet
Total cost: Free

Thursday, December 18, 2014

HSF '14 chllenge # 22 & 23: A Hatefish ladies uniform

Last weekend I attended the Great Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco. on . As per usual, I was having too much fun to take any pictures (though my mother managed to snap a few) On saturday I played a member of the notorious (and fictional) submarine Hatefish.


This was originally going to be my entry for the alternate universe challenge, but with the amount of work that went into it, I'm glad I spread it over two.

I suppose you could put the Garibaldi shirt and the zouave jacket in challenge 22's category (gentlemen's and gentlemen's inspired) and the skirt in challenge 23's (modern history)






  • Historical Sew Fortnightly 2014 thedreamstress.com

The Challenge: Gentlemen and Modern History
Fabric: Navy wool, blue linen and  red cotton
Pattern: Self drafted
Year: 1860's
Notions: Thread and red bias tape
How historically accurate is it? Equal parts machine and hand sewn
Hours to complete: Lots
First worn: To Dickens Fair on December 13th and 14th
Total cost: $20


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

HSF '14 Challenge 21: Re-do

I missed challenge #4 the first time around (I was visiting my sister in Washington) and so I took the opportunity to make a second chemise. 

  • Historical Sew Fortnightly 2014 thedreamstress.com

The Challenge: Re-do of underneath it all
Fabric: The same cotton batiste as the chemise I made for the UFO Challenge.
Pattern: Self drafted
Year: The Victorian era
Notions: Thread and ribbon
How historically accurate is it? Machine and hand sewn
Hours to complete: A day and a half
First worn: November 16th
Total cost: Free