The Historical Sew Fortnightly So Far

When I mused about the midpoint of the Historical Sew Fortnightly earlier this week, I realised that I couldn’t truly take stock of what I had done, and where I was so far, unless I actually took stock of what I had done, and where I was so far.  So, here is what I have made so far, and some thoughts on it:

#0 (the bonus challenge): Starting Simple  : The  ca. 1930 ‘Gran’s Garden’ Garden Party Frock.

I love this!  I wore it constantly all summer, and got lots of compliments on it (my MIL, Gran’s daughter, said it was her favourite of everything I’ve ever sewn).  It’s a perfect ‘period piece in a modern wardrobe’ look.

Gran's Garden ca. 1930 Garden Party frock

#1:  Bi/Tri/Quadri/Quin/Sex/Septi/Octo/Nona/Centennial: The 1813 ‘Kashmiri’ Gown

This was the least successful of everything I’ve sewn so far.  I had to work, and work, and work on the fit, and the sleeves are still too tight, so it needs a tiny adjustment, and yet, it’s still one of my favourite pieces, and it can be made perfect.  So still a win.

1813 Kashmiri Dress, thedreamstress.com

#2: UFO: The 1910 ‘Luna Moth’ Frock

I am so glad this is done.  It was such a long process!  I still don’t love it though.  C’est la vie.

1910 Luna Moth Gown

#3: Under it all: The 1770s hand-sewn linen paniers  

Not glamorous, but I had fun with the sew-along, and I’m pleased with the paniers.

1770's paniers

#4: Embellish: The ‘Little bit of Red’ cloche,  and  the trim on my 1780s pet-en-l’aire

The cloche was a super simple, easy, soft entry, but really made my outfit, which just goes to show how important accessories are!

Little bit of red dress & cloche

The trim on the pet was a long time coming, and I’m so in love with it, and so in love with the finished pet.  Yay for the HSF for motivating me to get this done!

1780s pet-en-l'aire and pleated petticoat

#5: Peasants & Pioneers: The late 18th century ‘Brown’ linen shift

Another deceptively simple (or is that deceptively hard?  Because it looks simple, but took a lot of time) project, which will be very useful, and had the bonus benefit of encouraging me to do a lot of research into brown linen and onsaburg.

Late 18th century 'brown' linen shift

Late 18th century ‘brown’ linen shift

#6: Stripes: The 1780’s subtly-striped petticoat, and the 1933 Sherbet Seersucker frock

The petticoat was a fairly simple project, but really made the pet-en-l’aire outfit, and will be a very useful and versatile piece for other late 18th century separates, so I’m thrilled with it.

1780s pet-en-l'aire and pleated petticoat

And I’m madly, madly in love with the Sherbet Seersucker frock.  I feel so ridiculously chic every time I wear it, with my self-made cloche and turquoise shoes.

Anne Adams 2653 now with belt

Anne Adams 2653 now with belt

#7: Accessorize: The 1780s bum rump, the Sea at Sunset belt, and the Fedora to Cloche cloche, oh, and the bergere I guess!  

It took me a long time to really get going with this challenge, and none of my accessories was really spectacular, but they are all super useful.  And hey, not all period accessories were hand-embroidered diamond encrusted shoes 😉

ca. 1780 bum rump

'Sea at Sunset' 1930s lace dress thedreamstress.com

Modern straw fedora reshaped as '20s style cloche

#8: By the Sea: The ca. 1930 Spotty-Not-Quite-Nautical frock and the 1930s Sea at Sunset frock

Two ‘softer’ entries, in which it became clear that I could whip up a 1930s outfit every week all year long, but earlier periods are a bit more challenging!

Early 1930s Spotty Not-Quite Nautical frock

And I still need to tweak the Sea at Sunset frock:

'Sea at Sunset' 1930s lace dress thedreamstress.com

#9: Flora and Fauna: The 2nd half of the 18th century ‘Fur & Scales’ muff and the 1790s Flora’s Secret shoes

The two items I did for this challenge delight me because they are both perfectly done – there isn’t a thing about them I wish I’d done better, or more meticulously.  And also, they are shoes and a muff.  Be still my frilly girlish little heart!

ca. 1790 shoe remake thedreamstress.com

#10: Literature: My 1885 fancy dress/historicism ‘Polly/Oliver’ jacket  

Oh goodness!  I almost gave up on this one!  I can honestly say if it weren’t for the HSF, I would have finished it!  I’m reasonably pleased with it, but the final verdict will be delivered when I finish the skirt and have the full ensemble.  Bring on the White challenge!

The 1880s does 18th century Polly / Oliver jacket thedreamstress.com

#11: Squares, Rectangles & Triangles  – the ca. 1800 muff.  

It’s just a muff, but it makes me so happy.  What is it about muffs to warm the cockles of a girls heart?  And her cold little chillblained hands!

Late 18th century inspired muff thedreamstress.com

#12: Pretty Pretty Princesses: The 18th century ‘Pretty, pretty princess’ pearl bracelets and ca. 1760 ‘Queen Charlotte’ petticoat

The bracelets were quick & simple but still took me longer than I expected.  I love them though.  They were my birthday present for me.

18th century pearl bracelets with diamante clasps

And my petticoat!  Oh swoon!  Oh happiness!  It’s handsewn, it’s meticulously researched, and I made punched trim!  It was such an indulgence, and I adore it, and I can’t wait to make the robe to go over it.  And then wear it with my bracelets, and my Fur & Scales muff!

1760s petticoat thedreamstress.com

#13: Lace and Lacing: The 1890’s ‘Midnight Garden’ corset

I really needed an 1890s corset, and I really wanted to try this style, and I enjoyed the experimentation.  A good excuse to try new things and perfect old skills!

1890s 'Midnight in the Garden' corset thedreamstress.com

Wow.  That’s actually a lot!  Three full full-on historical outfits, four historical-wearable dresses, four undergarments, three hats, two muffs, a pair of shoes, some jewellery, and half of two other full outfits.  For half a years work, that’s pretty amazing.  And I can guarantee that more than half of these (1813 Kashmiri, Luna Moth, paniers, shift, bergere, pet, striped petticoat, both muffs, Flora’s Secret shoes, Polly/Oliver jacket, bracelets & Queen Charlotte petticoat) wouldn’t be done if not for the HSF.  Suddenly I’m really pleased with myself!

For everyone else who is doing the Historical-Sew-Fortnightly, I hope you are also pleased when you tally up what you have done!


  1. Well, that’s a lot of work – a lot of beautiful work!

    I have not finished much myself, but I think I still did much more than I might have otherwise (having a lazy lazy period, I guess), and that pleases me.

  2. Brandi says

    Awesome! Love so many of your projects. <3

    I have had way to much going on, this year to attempt the HSF project, this time around, without completely losing my mind and then getting depressed when I would have realized I couldn't do it all. I really hope it is done again, next year! I will be ready then!

  3. I am pleased with what I’ve done, and I wouldn’t have done any of it without the HSF. I’ve tried a lot of things I would never have had a go at otherwise, and to me that’s the most important thing.

    • You’ve done some really awesome stuff! I look forward to your contribution every challenge: I know whatever you make will be unique and interesting and really well researched.

Comments are closed.