Friday, January 31, 2014

HSF '14 challenge #2 Innovations

This challenge, like the last, coincides with my reenactment group's Hogmanay celebration, the theme of which is "mad for plaid" and my mother has an 1830's gown made of plaid taffeta that she plans to wear. Mom wears her hair in a very short bob and while she can wear a cap and bonnet for daytime events, styling her hair for evening events is a little problematic. With this in mind, I decided to sew her a turban to match her dress.

I was inspired by these examples after reading Lynn McMasters' article and used her wonderful tutorial.  Since the turban is sewn to a band, my mother will be able to slip it quickly and easily on to her head without having to wrap it.

  • Historical Sew Fortnightly 2014

The Challenge:  Innovations
Fabric:  Plaid taffeta
Pattern:   Um, not really...
Year:   1830's
Notions:  Thread, buckram, millinery wire and an ostrich feather
How historically accurate is it?  Sewn by hand
Hours to complete:   Half a week
First worn:   will be worn on February 1st.
Total cost:   $0

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

HSF '14 challenge #1: Make do and mend, or, closet archaeology.

My biggest stumbling block with last year's sewing challenge was that most of the themes didn't correspond with the events that I had to sew for. But now that I have a comfortable cushion of costuming to fall back on if an event should arise, I have high hopes for this round of HSF.
My reenactment group hosts an annual Hogmanay celebration and the theme this year is "mad for plaid". A friend and fellow reenactresses needed a dress to wear and so I dug deep into my closet and brought out the Easter egg ballgown.

Oh this dress! Made in the days of my sewing infancy, (when I was just discovering other time periods than the 16th century, before I realized that a hoop skirt needed petticoats over it, before I'd learned to read instructions all the way through...) I'm surprised that this turned out as well as this did, but after wearing it to two events and going up two cup sizes, it got consigned to the back of my closet.

I removed the back placket and added a smaller lace ruffle to the neck

And a velvet bow to the back

I'm glad this one will be getting some use at last. I haven't the faintest hope that I will ever wear it again, but I just can't bear to pick it apart and make something new.

  • Historical Sew Fortnightly 2014

The Challenge:  Make do and Mend
Fabric:  Silk dupioni
Pattern:   A much-altered Truly victorian 1860's pattern
Year:   1860's
Notions:  Thread, lace and velvet ribbon
How historically accurate is it?  Probably not very
Hours to complete:   About a day
First worn:   In it's current incarnation, February 1st
Total cost:   Free