All posts filed under: Historical Sew Fortnightly

Theresa with a Fichu at Old Government House Parramatta,

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 …

Book Review: Priscilla

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 …