Historical Sew Fortnightly 2014?

A lot of people have been asking if there will be a Historical Sew Fortnightly 2014.

The answer is: Yes: if you want one, I’m happy to facilitate it again.

So, let’s talk about HSF ’14.

Who is in?

What did you like about HSF ’13?  What would you like to be different next year?

What were your favourite challenges from this year, that you’d like to see repeated?  What new challenges would you like to see next year?

My only big thought as far as a change so far was that instead of having challenges due every second Monday, we should have challenges due on the 1st and 15th of every month, so there would be a (slightly more manageable) 24 challenges in 2014, compared to the 26 challenges this year.  That would also make it easy for people to do a ‘half marathon’ and only do the challenges due on the 1st or the 15th, making it a monthly challenge for them.  What do you think?

Anything else?



  1. I’m in for another round as well! I have finished more projects this year than any other year outside of crafts school due to the challenges – though some of them have been very late! So fixed due dates 1st and 15th will be easy to remember!

    UFO, Re-make, Re-do, Stash only, HSF ’13, all of these challenges and challenge ideas are great to fit in during the year since it’s a good way of catching up with yourself. I also liked the Accessory challenge since it can be difficult to make accessories when you’re usually making dresses in the last minute… And with the same reasoning, the Embellishment challenge will be a welcome return.

    To think not-so-practically, I’m thinking about “Another time” (something from an era that’s not your main era), “Upper body” or “Lower body” (including head and feet), “Outside the box” (another historically possible take of a popular garment from a time period you’re familiar with). And more colour challenges, and I really like many of the ideas already mentioned, like “Pleats” and “Prints”.

    But if you should choose to reuse all of the challenges from this year as they are, there would be no difficulties in finding new projects for them! It’s an awesome group and it’s so inspiring to see what other people make, and getting too many ideas in too many time periods! Thanks for all the work you’ve put in during the year, it’s been really appreciated!

  2. Another Stephanie says

    I’m not a participant, but I have loved reading about the challenges this year!

    It would probably be nightmarish to facilitate, but as a reader I would love to be able to see all the participants’ entries for each challenge on one page on the blog (a la Sewweekly).

    I’m not on facebook, and I only seem to find out what people have done when you do your “favourites” wrap-ups, which are great.

    (No doubt I am missing a really simple, obvious way of seeing everything everyone’s done for a challenge – feel free to point it out!)

    • Unfortunately it would be nightmareish to facilitate, which is why (I’m pretty sure) the Sew Weekly ended up going defunct at the end of last year. You can see many of the challenges in the comments section of each challenge post. I’m also working on a big end-of-year wrap-up page with everyone and every challenge they participated in.

  3. This is an interesting conundrum. I did not participate in any of the challenges this year, though I kept up with the Facebook page to see what everyone else was working on and to meet bloggers I was not aware of (yes, the list of bloggers I follow has grown significantly thanks to the HSF).

    For the coming year, I think it would be cool to do the set up of the challenges differently. It would still be on a fortnightly (or bimonthly, which sounds like a great idea!) basis, but instead of a specific challenge being due that day, any challenge would be due. Instead of everyone working on the same challenge at the same time, sewers could chose from a list of challenges for the year and then decide which challenge to attack that fortnight.

    I know that part of the fun of the challenges is that everyone is doing them together (hence the conundrum), but going at it like this would help the people who want to participate, but for whom the challenges just do not work with whatever their commitments are at the time. At the end of the year, there would still be tons of entries for each challenge, but they would have been completed at different times.

    Thanks for hearing out my suggestion. Sorry for being a bit long-winded.

    I look forward to seeing what the HSF 2o14 brings!


    • Thanks Adi – that’s a really interesting idea. Unfortunately, for me it would take all the fun out of it, and all the motivation to produce on a regular schedule. There are people who do things a bit later, and post them, and that’s fine, but I think the group impetus is the real joy it is.

  4. Jenny Wren says

    I think the dates thing is a great idea. I’ve been lurking throughout most of HSF 13, but if the job situation doesn’t pick up I shall definitely be on board for HSF 14.

  5. I’m totally on board if you want to have another HSF! I’ve love participating this year and its really motivated me to get stuff done.
    Maybe you could make it monthly so it’s more manageable?

  6. I didn’t get in on it this time, but have so enjoyed seeing everyone’s beautiful work that I want so badly to be in on it. Please do one for next year!

  7. I hope you keep the HSF going next year! I only did a couple challenges at the beginning of the year, but I loved the community aspect – especially the ones that got people to work on the less-fun projects (because it’s more fun to make a chemise if other people are doing it too!)

    Another vote here for extending the timeline into at least the 40s, that’s the only way I’d be able to participate much next year (though I’ll still eagerly watch no matter what!).

    And I love twice monthly challenges and the half-marathon idea – what if one challenge every month lined up so that someone could start from scratch on a new era, and have a complete costume done at the end of the year? January starts with underpinnings, and December ends with accessories? That might help people new to historical costuming, or new to a particular era, feel like they can join up. “First worn” wouldn’t need to be on their write-ups, then.

  8. I love Beth’s idea for starting the year with underpinnings and ending it with accessories. What if one challenge a month was dedicated to that, and another was dedicated to more random ideas, that way some one could participate in either”half marathon” or they could do all the challenges 🙂

  9. Lylassandra says

    I’m in for 2014! I got most fo the first half done this year, and then we had some family stuff that has put me way off schedule for the rest. But even with all that, I’ve still made more than I ever have before. I’ve even made more of the modern stuff I’ve never sewn before, as my enthusiasm seemed to spill over in all directions!

    I like the 1st-and15th idea. The only challenge I didn’t like was the robe & robings one; I just couldn’t wrap my head about a way to do it that worked for me, so ‘terminology’ challenges might be a bit specific. UFO, Stash, Re-do and Re-make were all great ideas. I’d love to see another color challenge or two, a menswear challenge, maybe a mourning challenge.

    Overall, even though it’s been hard and I’ve fallen off the wagon a lot (and been terrible about posting…) I’ve absolutely loved HSF and it’s done so much for my sewing. Thank you so much for doing it!

  10. Yes, I am in! 2014 will not be a baby year so my desire to sew pretty garments will not waste away this time around!
    I was actually considering my own sewing challenge for 2014. My idea was consecutive; pick a year and then work backwards from that date. For example sew a garment from 1974, then 1964, 1954, etc…

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