We’re almost there!
The second-to-last Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge of the year, due 15 December, is an easy, fun one, and I hope that everyone participates, even if they have missed a few challenges across the rest of the year!
The theme is Modern History: make something historical that is wearable in a modern context.
I love this theme because it’s so practical and useful! And it’s also something I’m particularly good at. Since my life doesn’t provide as many opportunities as I would like for wearing over-the-top historical pieces, I have to find a way to fit period into my everyday wardrobe.
Here are some of the historical things I’ve made that I actually do wear as real clothes:
I’ve worn my 18th century ‘brown’ linen shift as a summer dress, with a belt and sandals, and no one has commented on it, or noticed that it is entirely hand-sewn!
I’ve also worn my 14th century nettle shift as ‘normal’ clothes:
And I’ve only worn it that way once, by my 1780s pet-en-l’aire actually makes a spectacular jacket over jeans or (as I did it) a pencil skirt.
Accessories are a great way to use historical items in a modern wardrobe. I particularly like my muffs with an ordinary winter coat, but there are also bags, and hats, and shoes, and gloves, and shawls…
I’m not usually the biggest fan of this look, but wearing corsets as bodices for evening wear is a classic way to add a fabulous historical twist to modern looks. Perhaps I should try it with my 1890s ‘midnight in the garden’ corset turned inside out!
My 1910s paisley skirt & plaid blouse have actually been worn as ‘normal’ clothes far more than they have as historical items. I get asked where I got the skirt, or the pattern for it, every time I wear it!
And, of course, the easiest way to incorporate period pieces into modern wear is to go for ’20s-’40s fashions. In fact, it’s so easy I’d almost feel I was cheating doing it, because so much of my wardrobe is based on pieces from those decades! I probably still will though, because I love them so much and I’ve got so many ’30s looks I want to make up for this summer!
Last summer I did 1929 Bambi:
And the unexpectedly fabulous 1930s button dress:
All of which were worn constantly through the warm season!
Plus late ’20s style cloches, which are the perfect sunhats in Wellington, as they shade the eyes but still STAY ON!
That’s how I make historical work for me in a modern way. Can’t wait to see how you do it!