Historical Sew Fortnightly


It’s coming up to the end of the year, and I’m reviewing everything I’ve accomplished this year, and feeling rather pleased with myself…


…there is still, as always, SO much more I wanted to get done this year, and didn’t, because I am perpetually over-ambitious!

I can let go of most of it, but I’m definitely disappointed that I haven’t finished some of the costuming UFOs I started, and I’ve managed to create two new costuming UFOs (wailey wailey!).

So for the HSM 2016 Challenge #1: Procrastination (due by the end of January), I’m going to be trying to finish one of the UFOs I shoved into the pile of shame and have been putting off finishing because the next step is hard work.

My options are:

  • 1930s crepe satin evening trousers I started four years ago and never finished because they are made from the most annoying fabric ever…
  • A 1930s swimsuit, also started 4 years ago.
  • And, what do you know, a 1920s lace evening dress started 4 years ago!  Four years ago was not a good time for me UFO-wise.

    1920s dress, Callot Soers, The Goldstein Museum of Art

    1920s dress, Callot Soers, The Goldstein Museum of Art

  • The Wearing History 1910s jacket to go with my skirt.  Next up is pockets and buttonholes, and that requires thinking and I don’t want to think!
    Wearing History's 1916 skirt thedreamstress.com - 8
  • The 1760s Frou Frou francaise.  That needs side pleating, sleeves, trim…quite a bit actually.
    1760s petticoat thedreamstress.com
  • The Red Elizabethan gown.  It just needs sleeves.  And new shoulder rolls.  The ones I made were…ummm…unsatisfactory.
    Red Velvet Elizabethan thedreamstress.com
  • A proper medieval shift, partly started, being worked through whenever I have hand-sewing time.
  • An un-proper Regency shift (I started it and became increasingly convinced the fabric was part rayon).
  • The 1760s chiné a la branch petticoat.  This is going to be part of an 18th c robe a la francaise ensemble.  One day.  Right now, it’s being ignored because looking at it makes me want to vomit.  Literally.  (yes, actually literally, not figuratively!).
  • Emily’s 1903 evening dress.  Yeah.  That’s probably not going to happen.  Though all those pintucks might be relaxing.

    Detail of the train of Emily's dress

    Detail of the train of Emily’s dress

  • The 1720s robe de cour.  This is on hold because I think I don’t actually have enough fabric to do it properly.  I’ve got an idea of how to rescue it (pictured below), but it won’t be an 18th century robe de cour.

    Caspar Netscher (circa 1639–1684), Lady at the Window, 1666, Von der Heydt-Museum

    Caspar Netscher (circa 1639–1684), Lady at the Window, 1666, Von der Heydt-Museum

The Elizabethan is both incredibly tempting because I was working on it not that long ago, and incredibly UN-tempting, because I remember exactly why I set it aside!  Realistically, my January is chocca, so I need to pick a fairly simple project, which means one of the 1920s/30s things, or the chiné a la branch petticoat, or a shift.

Then there are all the things I’ve been procrastinating on even starting (which is a perfectly valid interpretation of the challenge), but with so many UFOs, I think I’d best not get into them.

So that’s my list of shame!  It will feel good to dig one of those out of the pile, and get it finished off!

What about you?  What’s your UFO pile looking like?  What have you been putting off getting in to?  What are your goals for the procrastination challenge?


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