All posts filed under: Historical Sew Fortnightly

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: …

The Historical Sew Monthly Challenge #10: Heroes

I can’t believe it’s already almost October, time for the 10th Historical Sew Monthly challenge of the year, and time for me to be deciding (with lots of input from you, of course!) if there is going to be a HSF/M 2017! The theme for October’s challenge is Heroes:  Make a garment inspired by your historical hero, or your historical costuming hero. While I may be becoming more cynical in other ways, the older I get, the more I am a fan of having lots, and lots of heroes.  I just feel that you can never have too many people to admire and attempt to emulate the good qualities of.  In everything I do, whether it’s cooking, historical costuming, writing, teaching, or simply being a (reasonably) nice person, I do it better than I might have because someone, in some way, helped teach me to get to where I am: and each of those people is a hero to me, and deserves acknowledgement. So the idea behind the Heroes challenge was to give us all a …

The Historical Sew Monthly Challenge #9: Historicism

The Historical Sew Monthly Challenge #9 is Historicism: Make a historical garment that was itself inspired by the fashions of another historical period. Up until the early 19th century, to the best of my knowledge (caveat: my pre 1660 fashion history is pretty weak, so I’m happy to be corrected here!) historicism in fashionable dress was predominantly focused on emulating and borrowing from ancient Greek and Rome.  I say fashionable dress, because regional styles in certain areas often used elements that went out of fashion in the main centres decades, if not centuries, before.  This isn’t historicism in its truest sense, because its a case of styles stagnating, rather than intentionally borrowing from the past. Depending on how you look at historicism, one exception to the reliance on ‘the ancients’ as an inspiration from the past is the robe de coer.  The robe de coer, based on Louis the Sun King’s favourite elements of female dress in his youth in the 1660s and 70s, was implemented as the required court dress in France in the late …