Felicity, Miscellenia

Historical Sew Fortnightly – Favourites for Challenges 11-15

I can’t believe we are more than halfway done with the Historical Sew Fortnightly!  I’m half thrilled with what I have accomplished, and sad looking at the rest of the year and realising I’m never going to get all the things I want made.  My wish-list is just too long!

Once again, it’s time for me to share with you the projects that I have drooled over most, that I have most wished I had the time to make, and that best embodied the  spirit of the Historical Sew Fortnightly; the quest to explore history, raise our skill levels and standard, stretch ourselves (or sometimes just get something done, rather than just procrastinating);  and  the spirit of the individual challenge.

I shared my favourites for Challenges 1-5 here, and for Challenges 6-10 here.  You can see all  the creations for each challenge (because there are always dozens more creations that I wish I could feature!) either through the comments for each individual challenge page,  or through the  Facebook group albums).

I’ll share my favourites for 11-15, but I’d like to know if these posts are interesting, valuable, and appreciated.  Cause they don’t get much feedback, and they are rather time consuming and annoying to write (I have to think up 15 different ways to say fantastic!).  So if you don’t get something out of them, this may be my last one.  What do you think?  Shall I continue them?

Challenge #11 — Squares, Rectangles & Triangles

  1. Hilde’s Viking Apron Dress  — The perfect example of the prevalence of garments based on simple geometry in many ancient cultures, meticulously made, and excellent research.
  2. Lace’s corded petticoat  — I just love that she was inspired to make it by seeing other corded petticoats on the HSF.
  3. Black Tulip’s Tunisian ensemble — A really interesting garment, from both a historical, and cultural perspective.  I love her contribution!

Challenge #12— Pretty, Pretty Princesses

  1. Katie’s 1912 Girl Guide uniform inspired by Princess Mary, Countess Harwood.  Perfect proof that princess inspiration comes in all forms, and that princesses do more than wear ball gowns.
  2. Frolicking Frock’s 1870s gown based on Thyra, Dagmar & Alexandra of Denmark.  It’s very pretty, and it’s based on three of the most fascinating princesses of the 19th century.  What’s not to love!
  3. Jenni’s Georgian frock for her little princess –  early 19th century children’s clothing is so lovely, because it was finally children’s clothing, whether you were an ordinary girl, or a princess – as Jenni’s research and frock beautifully demonstrates.

Challenge #13 — Lace & Lacing

  1. Hvitr’s Minoan/Mycenaean heanos, c. 1600 to 1100 BCE – such a perfect example of how lacing can be used in many different applications, and has been used for millennia.
  2. Gina’s corded stays  – Lace and Lacing was corset-o-rama, but these ones really stand out for finish, and perseverance!
  3. Laurie’s Edwardian lace dress – it’s all lace, all over, and suits her perfectly.

Challenge #14 — Eastern Influence

  1. Gouvernante’s 1730s banyan and capSooooooo much envy here!  Not only is the outfit amazing, and a classic example of Eastern Influence, but she has a man willing to wear it!
  2. Heileen’s 1770s-80s Indienne chintz pet-en-l’aire & petticoat – beautifully made.  The fabrics not a perfect match to 18th century examples (but it’s pretty darn hard to find any that is!), but the overall effect is so spot-on!
  3. Isabella’s mid-16th century Turkish jacket – this is a really intriguing and interesting area of Eastern influence, and one no-one else on the HSF really explored.

Challenge #15 —  White

  1. Melissa’s 1812 military waistcoat — She tried a new skill (tailoring) and the result is a triumph!
  2. Amanda’s 1862 sheer cotton summer frock – She didn’t intend it as a HSF challenge, but it was done just in time, and there is nothing wrong with that!  Her frock is still the perfect embodiment of the white dress.
  3. Danielle’s 18th century/Lucile inspired 1916 wedding gown – Watching the process of this gown’s creation was really inspiring as Danielle tackled pattern drafting and detailed work.

What do you think?  The creations are certainly inspiring and interesting, but is my doing posts on them?

And, as usual, Felicity photos to illustrate a non-image based article!

Felicity thedreamstress.com

I’m so cute…

Felicity thedreamstress.com

I’m so distracting…

Felicity thedreamstress.com

You don’t need to sew, just rub my tummy!


  1. Yes please keep doing the ‘top 3’ posts – I keep a very close eye on the fb page, but I’d only spotted a few of those lovely outfits!

    • Well, there seems to be a consensus, so I’ll keep doing them!

      All of these can be seen through either the FB challenge album (that’s why I’m so pedantic about photos going in the challenge album, not just on the event page or uncategorised – it means you can see them all at once), or from the comments on my event post.

  2. Lyndle says

    Well i love these posts… But I’m not participating in the HSF so I’m kind of a freeloader. I love following the links and looking at the cool stuff people have made. Thank you for taking the trouble!

    • I don’t think it’s freeloading at all! I’m sure we all appreciate an admiring audience/cheerleaders (I CERTAINLY do!). So thank YOU!

  3. Lynne says

    Well, I for one love these summaries. I look at things as they appear, but having them together really highlights the wonderful, wonderful variety of things that are made. Such a range of periods and styles!

    And they highlight, as well, the way that the challenge has brought together women (Are any men sewing? I might have missed one.) from so many parts of the world.

    I take my metaphorical hat off to all of you!

    • Thanks Lynne!

      You can see lots (not all) of them together in the challenge albums on Facebook. I particularly love the ones where the theme is quite aesthetic – like White, or Eastern influence, and the albums look like a curated exhibit!

      I believe their is a least one male sewer – he made some amazing shirts, though I don’t think he’s participated in the last few challenges.

  4. First off, let me thank you for yet again highlighting one of my projects. I’m humbled.

    Secondly, yes, please do continue these posts. I find outfits and blogs here, that I don’t see on the FB page.

    • You’re most welcome! Your creation was such a lovely dress, and so well researched, and such a lovely illustration of the theme! Just reading your post on it, and seeing Jane in it, made me smile!

  5. Thank you for highlighting my blog. This is the second time you have done so…and it proves that far more people read these posts that you write up on the top 3 submissions of each challenge than you can ever imagine.

    My blog gets so very little action that I have strongly considered shutting it down. Today I took a peak at my blog counts and couldn’t believe the hits I got in the last few hours. Where did everyone come from? Blogspot shows where people have come from and 53 visits came from this post of yours. One nice little comment you made about my Edwardian lace gown has thus far, in the last few hours, sent 53 people to my blog! Amazing!

    This is not the first time. A few months ago I had another bold number of hits when you featured top 3 submissions in the first 5 challenges. Your kind comments on the research of my yellow pioneer gown has thus far brought over 500 people to my post from your mere mention of it.

    Thank you for taking the time to feature these. I’m always on the fence about submitting anything I do to your HSF because of my skills not being stellar, so I am always quite humbled when you take the time to say anything about my work. Thank you for the time you have invested in that.


    • Oh wow! I’m so pleased that my mentioning this has had such an effect! I really didn’t know if anyone was reading them.

      I want you to know that I don’t always comment on it (problems with captcha, and I am so excited that you have taken it off!), but I find the way you bring history to life for your kids very inspiring.

      So I’ll keep posting these, and you keep blogging!

    • Laurie,

      I think you are being for too modest/worrying unnecessarily about your skills; everything I have seen of yours has been stunning. Plus, I love all the research you do to ensure that what you make is appropriate for the period and person you have in mind.

  6. I also enjoy these very much – I do not manage to see all of the creations the first time around, and besides, it’s nice and interesting to see what others like!

    Katie’s Girl Guide dress was among my favourites, too – aside from what you said, I also loved that she was able to work what she needed for an event into the challenges! That’s one of the things the HSF should be good for, right?

    • Thanks Hana!

      Yes, I do think the HSF should be good for combining what else is going on in your sewing life with the challenges. Sometimes we’ll have nothing else, and then the challenge can be a stand-alone excuse to motivate us to keep sewing, but it’s nice when they work in. There were a number of items that I highlighted that combined HSF and other goals – Katie’s Girl Guide dress, Amanda’s 1860s dress, Laurie’s Edwardian lace dress…

      ~ Leimomi (who has realised that she asked people how they liked to comment on blogs, and has realised that she doesn’t know what her OWN commenting experience is like, so is trying it out from a new computer, without being signed in!)

    • Katie says

      I dont check here very often, so Thank You! It is so nice to know you liked my outfit!

  7. Tav Tögni says

    Well I can say I read and enjoy the favourites posts and look through all the links. I don’t quite have the patience to look for links to all the HSF entries but it’s interesting to see some of the entries, especially the particularly nice ones.

    I just don’t comment much on your blog because I don’t know so much about sewing, so I have nothing meaningful to say. 🙂

    • Thanks Tav!

      I try to keep the blog quite diverse, so sometimes there are things to discuss/comment on that aren’t just sewing.

  8. Oh, please continue posting about them! Since I’m not following the HSF on Facebook, it’s my only way of seeing everyone’s creations!

    • Will do!

      I think you can still browse the HSF albums on facebook, even if you aren’t a member, but you’d still have to remember to do it :-p

  9. Ah! This made my day! Thank you for listing one of my projects!

    I like these posts, I don’t always have time to look at all the projects on Facebook so I like to see which ones you highlight!

    • You’re welcome! I really enjoy reading your blog and following your sewing, because it reminds me of what I was doing in university.

  10. Natalie says

    I love these posts! I wish I could participate but I just can’t find the time. So I enjoy living vicariously through everyone else!

  11. Chiming in with everybody else – I really like these review posts! I tend to miss a few things here and there on FB, so having your favorites collected for us to look at is great!

    (And, squee! I’m thrilled to bits my white fluffy sheer dress was one of your favorites! Especially since it only hit me after it was finished that, *duh*, this is white, post it to the HSF! My needed projects aren’t lining up as well as I’d hoped with the challenges, but I’m so enjoying seeing what everyone makes!)

  12. Thank you so much for highlight my Turkish coat. I’m so glad that you liked it.

    Since everyone else has already given the “Please keep posting these!” speech, I’m just going to say “Ditto” to the above. 🙂

  13. Gouvernante Astrid says

    Thank you for this little time in fame 😀 ! I better go and sew a little more for my lace-silk-loving-yet-most-of-all-a-soldier-man…. Funny part is that I told him only a few would see him in that banyan outfit…

    And please do keep posting these – just like above ditto! 🙂

    • You’re welcome, and oops! Are you going to tell the lslymoaasm how far the outfit has spread? Surely he’s happy for something that fabulous to get the recognition it deserves! 😉

  14. Mel the Redcap says

    Another ‘freeloader’ here, I sew but don’t usually have time to make stuff for myself as my 9-6 job is as a machinist (making curtains, usually). I do love reading about your projects and challenge favourites – please continue! 🙂

    • Oh, we love the freeloaders the best! We need an audience 😉

      I can’t imagine having a 9-5 job as a machinist. No wonder you don’t make stuff for yourself!

      • Mel the Redcap says

        I do tend to get home, look at my own sewing machine, and go “…….Naaaah.” 😉 Part of the problem is that it’s so much slower than the industrial machine I work on, it gets frustrating!

        ‘Tis a good job though. I enjoy it, I get concrete results to look at (very important for job satisfaction according to all sorts of studies!), the people I work with are generally lovely, and after more than three years unemployed it’s GLORIOUS getting paid again. 😀

  15. I love the summaries! I don’t often remember to go back and check in on the projects everyone is making, so it is nice to get this little reminder and a quick way to get back to some to check out.

  16. I can’t add much to what has already been said, but please keep posting. I try to keep abreast of all the new photos which appear in the Challenge albums, but a number clearly slip through unnoticed. This post alerted me to more lovely things which I would have missed otherwise.

    Also thank you so much for mentioning my Tunisian costume. I wasn’t entirely happy with it at the time, so it was a real boost to get such feedback.

  17. Thank you for sharing your favorites – it is very inspiring to see these marvelous pieces! I’ve been waffling on whether or not to join the HSF but, after seeing these, I’m in!

  18. Just another lurker checking in to say that I really do enjoy these posts; thank you for the effort you put into them!

    (Also a heartfelt added dose of gratitude to those who originally post their inspiring work!!!)

  19. Katie says

    I am floored that my Girl Scout dress is among your favorites! Thank You so much! I recently packed up all my costumes and was folding this one to put away and I was thinking “Ya know I never would have made it if I hadn’t been pushed by The HSF”

    I am working on a MAJOR project that has taken all of my time since my last challenge. Its going to be a doozy!

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