Hurrah! It’s the challenge you’ve all been waiting for: the Re-Do challenge (due 2 Dec). This one is super easy. 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.
The challenges so far have been:
- #0 (the bonus challenge): Starting Simple – due 31 December NZT. Finish a project, make a very simple garment, or something you have made before.
- #1: Bi/Tri/Quadri/Quin/Sex/
Septi/Octo/Nona/Centennial – due 14 Jan. Sew something from __13, whether it be 1913, 1613, or 13BC
- #2: UFO – due Jan 28. Let’s get something off our UFO pile! Use this opportunity to finish off something that’s never quite gotten done, or stalled halfway through.
- #3: Under it all – due Feb 11. Every great historical outfit starts with the right undergarments, and, just in time for Valentines day, here’s you’re excuse to make them. Chemises, corsets, corded petticoats, drawers, garters, stockings…if it goes under your garments, it qualifies.
- #4: Embellish – due Feb 25. Decorations make the historical garment glorious. Whether you use embroidery, trim, pleating, lace, buttons, bows, applique, quilting, jewels, fringe, or any other form of embellishment, this challenge is all about decorative detail.
- #5: Peasants & Pioneers – due March 11. As wonderful as making pretty, pretty princess dresses is, the vast majority of people have always been poor commoners, whether they were peasants working the land, servants in big houses, or (later), pioneers carving their own space in new lands. This fortnight let’s make something that celebrates the common man.
- #6: Stripes – due March 25. The stripe is one of the oldest patterns, appearing in the earliest textile fragments and visual records of garments, and its never gone out of style since. Celebrate stripes with a striped garment. Will you go for grand baroque stripes, pastel rococo stripes, severe neoclassical stripes, elaborately pleated and bustled Victorian stripes, or something else entirely?
- #7: Accessorize – due April 8. Accessories add polish to your outfits, helping to create the perfect historical look. This week is all about bringing an outfit together. Trim a bonnet, paint a fan, crochet an evening bag, sew a shawl, or dye and decorate a pair of shoes to create the perfect period accessory for yourself.
- #8: By the Sea – due April 22. The sea has inspired and influenced fashion for millennia. This challenge is all about nautical fashions, whether you make something to wear on the sea, by the sea, or in the sea (or lake or river).
- #9: Flora and Fauna – due May 6. Textiles and the natural world are inextricably linked. Until very recently, all textiles were made from flora (linen, raime, hemp) or fauna (wool, silk, fur), and dyed with flora and fauna. Flora and fauna also influenced the decoration of textiles, from Elizabethan floral embroidery, to Regency beetle-wing dresses, to Edwardian bird-trimmed hats. Celebrate the natural world (hopefully without killing any birds) with a flora and/or fauna inspired garment.
- #10: Literature – due May 20. The written word has commemorated and immortalised fashions for centuries, from the ‘gleaming’ clothes that Trojans wore before the war, to Desdemona’s handkerchief, ‘spotted with strawberries’, to Meg in Belle Moffat’s borrowed ballgown, and Anne’s longed for puffed sleeves.In this challenge make something inspired by literature: whether you recreate a garment or accessory mentioned in a book, poem or play, or dress your favourite historical literary character as you imagine them.
- #11: Squares, Rectangles & Triangles – due June 3. Many historical garments, and the costumes of many people around the world, use basic geometric shapes as their basis. In this challenge make a garment made entirely of squares, rectangles and triangles (with one curve allowed), whether it is an 18th century kimono, a flounced 1850s skirt, or a medieval shift.
- #12: Pretty Pretty Princesses – due June 17. Channel your inner princess and her royal wardrobe. Pick a princess, queen, empress, arch-duchess, or a de-facto queen as inspiration for a fabulously royal frock (or other garment). The occasional prince is also most welcome.
- #13: Lace and Lacing – due July 1. Lacing is one of the simplest and oldest forms of fastening a garment, eminently practical, and occasionally decorative. Lace has been one of the most valuable and desirable textiles for centuries, legislated, coveted, at times worth more than its weight in gold, passed down from one garment to the next over centuries. Elaborate and delicate it is eminently decorative, and rarely practical. Celebrate the practicality of lacing, and the decorative frivolity of lace, with a garment that laces or has lace trim, or both.
- #14: Eastern Influence – due July 15. The East has had a profound influence on Western fashions for millenia, from the Chinese silks that were worn in Ancient Rome, through the trade in Indian chintzes from the 17th century onward, 18th century chinoiserie, Kashmiri shawls and paisley, 19th century Japonisme, and early 20th century Orientalism and Egyptian revival. In this challenge make an item that shows the Eastern influence on Western fashion.
- #15: Colour Challenge White – due July 29. White has carried many connotations as a colour, from defining culture and social boundaries, to denoting status, to implying purity, or simply cleanliness. For this challenge ‘white’ is defined as anything in the white family – from brightest white, through to ivory and cream and all the shades between. Whether you make a simple chemise or an elaborate ballgown, your item should be predominantly white, though it may have touches of other colours.
- #16: Separates – due August 12. Make a non-matching garment which can be paired with other items in your historical wardrobe to extend your outfit choices.
- #17: Robes & Robings – due August 26. Make a robe-shaped garment, from a biblical robe, through a medieval robe, an 18th century banyan, a Regency evening robe, a 19th century wrapper, or an early 20th century kimono. Or, make one of the frocks called robes by modern English speaking fashion historians, such as a robe volante, robe battante, robe à la coer, robe à la française, robe à l’anglaise (+ turques, polonaises, & circassienne), and the 1920s robe de style. Or, make something with robings (read the event page for a description).
- #18: Re-make, Re-use & Re-fashion – due September 9. Sew something that pays homage to the historical idea of re-using, re-making and re-fashioning. Turn one thing into another. Re-fit or re-fashion an old gown into something you would wear again. Re-trim a hat for a new outfit, or re-shape a modern hat to be a historical hat. Re-purpose the fabric from an old garment (your own or a commercial one) into a new garment.
- #19: Wood, Metal, Bone – due September 23. Cloth may be the most obvious material in historic costuming, but wood, metal, and bone are just as important to creating the right look and silhouette. For this challenge, make anything that incorporates wood, metal, or bone.
- #20: Outerwear – due October 7th. Make one of the layers that get added on to your basic outfit to protect you, and it, from inclement weather.
- #21: Colour Challenge Green – due October 21. Make a historical garment or accessory in any shade of green from palest spring green through to darkest pine green, and from barely-there eu de nil, to vibrant chartreuse.
- #22: Masquerade – due November 4th. Create something inspired by historical fancy dress and masquerade that takes you out of reality, in to another world (purely historical, fantasy, steampunk etc are all allowed).
What am I going to do…oh my! I’d really, really, really like to do the project I’d meant to do for Flora & Fauna, but practically speaking I should finish Chinoiserie, or make the 1900s blouse from White, or that set of 1860s undergarments. Not sure, but I’m certain I’ll have NO problem making someone, and I hope EVERYONE else is able to participate!