All posts filed under: Historical Sew Fortnightly

Bridesmaid dress, House of Worth (French, 1858–1956), silk with pearl trim, 1896, American, Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Historical Sew Monthly 2018: Inspiration for Challenge #7: Sleeves

The July Challenge in the Historical Sew Monthly 2018 is Sleeves, and I’m extremely excited to see what people do with it.  It’s such an easy challenge to interpret and fulfil, and there are so many possibilities. Because it’s such an easy challenge to find a project for (just make anything with sleeves that are in some way interesting and significant!)  I’m just going to show you some of my favourite (or, in the case of late 16th century examples, least favourite) sleeves from throughout history. And I mean it when I say throughout history, because the oldest known extant garment, this 5,000 year old tunic/shirt, has fascinating sleeves which have been purposefully pleated or ruched to give them shape and interest: Only 3,400 years later, this Coptic tunic from the same area of the world features quite simple sleeves, but beautifully decorated: I love Medieval fitted sleeves, especially ones with lots of buttons.  If you’re trying to fit your own pair of 14th century sleeves, you may find my post showing how I fitted …

Theresa with a Fichu at Old Government House Parramatta, thedreamstress.com

A new 18th century fichu – HSM 2018 #5

I always try to have a bit of handsewing on the go, so I have something to work on while sitting in a waiting room, or whenever else I have a tiny bit of down-time (an all too rare occurrence in my life at the moment, sadly). My last handsewing project was another 18th c fichu – a twin to the one I made back in December, because it’s easier to cut a square and divide it into two triangles than to cut an individual triangle, so you might as well make fichu in pairs! I finished my fichu on the flight to Sydney, just in time for Theresa to wear it for my talk and our photoshoot at Old Government House in Parramatta, Sydney. There isn’t a great deal to say about the fichu’s construction.*  I cut it at 80cm/31.5″ along the straight edges, which creates a 132cm/52″ angled edge.  The little slit in it is 12cm/4.5″ long. The slit allows it to sit nicely and snugly against the back of the neck. The …

May detail, Cycle of frescos of the twelve labors of the months, Trento (Italy), Castello del Buonconsiglio (Bishops Castle), Torre del'Aquila (Tower of the eagle), otherwise unknown Master Wenceslas of Bohemia, after 1397

The Historical Sew Monthly 2018: Inspiration for Challenge #5: Specific to a Time of Day or Year

The Historical Sew Monthly 2018 is well underway now, and it’s my duty and honour to write the inspiration post for our fifth challenge of the year: Specific to a Time (of Day or Year). I was slightly panicked when I realised this theme would fall to me.  I’m not at all an expert at pre-1700s fashions, and this is a challenge that’s particularly tricky before the 19th century (ish), when specific garments for different times of day became common.  But with help from my awesome co-moderators, I’ve found examples from a range of eras – enjoy! In chronological order: This ca. 1400 cycle of frescos of the months from the Castello del Buonconsiglio in Trento, Italy, provides a wonderful look at late Medieval fashions by season, with warm layers for winter snowfights: Flowing garments for spring romance (note the love-knots on the gentleman’s tunic): And sunhats and light shirts (and sandals!) for harvest labours.  The sunhats do double duty for this challenge, being both daytime, and summer, specific: Elizabethan costume plates also show wonderful …