All posts filed under: Historical Sew Fortnightly

Book Review: Priscilla thedreamstress.com

Historical Sew Monthly ’17: Challenge #5: Literature

The Historical Sew Monthly Challenge #5 for 2017 is Literature. 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. To inspire you, here are some literary clothing quotes, and the historical examples they might have been referring to.  My examples are mainly of women’s dress: fellow mod Bránn of Matsukaze Workshops will be writing about men’s clothes in literature shortly (but I couldn’t resist slipping in a few male examples anyway.) I could never better stead thee than now. Put money in thy purse. Follow thou the wars, defeat thy favor with an usurped beard. I say, put money in thy purse. It cannot be long that Desdemona should continue her love …

The HSM 2017: Challenge #2 Re-make, Re-use, Re-fashion

2017 is the fifth year of the Historical Sew Monthly, and to commemorate, many of this years challenges are repeats of some of the most popular challenges from the first four years. February’s challenge, Re-make, Re-use & Re-fashion, definitely deserves its place as the first repeat of the year, both for its popularity the first time it ran, and for how important it is as a historical concept.  Until very recently, and in every period covered by the Historical Sew Monthly, fabric and materials were very expensive, and people got as much use out of them as possible. The challenge asks us to ‘make 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.’ Fabric re-use is a very common type of re-making, re-using and …

A Historical Hero: “You can kill me as soon as you like…”

I was going to write about a five of my historical heroes for the Historical Sew Monthly ‘Heroes’ challenge, but when I started writing, I found I had enough to say about just one hero to fill a post. My parents encouraged my love of history and reading from a very young age, and my bookshelves were full of books about great heroes for a young girl: biographies of Mary McLeod Bethune, Queen Victoria, Julia Ward Howe, Marie Curie, Sacagawea, Ada Lovelace, Angela Burdett-Coutts, Sojourner Truth, Mary Wollstonecraft, Zenobia, Louisa May Alcott, Florence Nightingale, Mother Jones, Elizabeth Blackwell, Ida Tarbell, Susan B. Anthony, Isabella Bird… I had lots of heroines to choose from, and I admired them all (though as an adult, I’ve come to realise that many of them were much more complicated figures than was described in the juvenile biographies I read), but there was one that I always came back to, and that, while my life has very little in common with hers, has had the biggest impact on who I have become as a person: …