Historical Sew Fortnightly

The HSF/M Challenge #3: Stashbusting Favourites

Update: as many of you may know, this post had a little hiccup, where I published it, and then a few hours later WP freaked out, and reverted to an earlier version, with my favourites from the blue challenge.  I’ve finally got it working again, so here (finally!) are my favourites for Stashbusting.

As I expected, the HSF/M Challenge #3: Stashbusting was really popular.  After all we’ve all got stashes that are in desperate need of being used up!  So there were lots of amazing items: some with items  that had been in the stash for years, some with items that have only been in the stash for a few months.

Because the challenge fell just after Art Deco Weekend, my sewing was focused on 1930s: I used up some almost-pique I’ve had for 8 years on a ’30s summer suit, and a length of red & white fabric I’d had for two years on a halter,  so I’m feeling pretty happy about my stash, even if my sewing wasn’t as exciting as some of the other items.

So, now, on to exciting items!

My favourites are items  I thought best represent the spirit of the Historical Sew Fortnightly; the goals  of expanding our historical knowledge, raising our skill levels and standard, stretching ourselves, and in this case, clearing out our stashes!

As always, there was a ton of amazing stuff I couldn’t feature, so check out the finished project posts linked through  the comments on the challenge page, or the FB challenge album  (yep, you do have to be a group member to see it, yep, if you ask to be a member we’re going to ask you some questions, and yep, it might take us a few days to answer, but if you are really interested in the HSF, as a participant or active cheerleader, we’d LOVE to have you)

And now, to the wonderfulness:

  1. A Dressmaker’s Workshop’s 14th c half-circle coat.  This fascinating piece, based on a rare extent medieval garment, is practical, versatile, and used stash fabric over a decade old.  Pretty awesome all ’round!
  2. Christina’s 1861 bonnet.  Isn’t it beautiful? And while not all the materials in this bonnet are perfectly historical, the way in which they have been accumulated over the years, scavenged and re-purposed really reminds me of descriptions of re-making bonnets in period writing.  Stashbusting at its finest!HSF Stashbusting Christina's 1861 bonnet
  3. Isabella’s mid-18th century fitted-back gown.  OK, this one is making the list predominantly for the blog post (not that the dress isn’t gorgeous!).  Beautiful detailed shots of draping, details, and puppies and kittens.  Happiness!
  4. Sewing and Sightseeing’s medieval dress.  A fairytale worthy medieval gown, and the symmetry of the fabric having been stash, and the project itself having been stashed as a UFO, charms me.  Plus, fun architecture history!
  5. Mireille’s 1870s day dress:  One of the great things about this challenge was seeing wonderful ensembles made from fabrics and materials collected over years and decades, all coming together to make something marvelous.  This striking 1870s two-piece day dress is the perfect example of that:HSF Stashbusting Mireilli's 1872 gownAnd finally, since we started with a Bocksten find based item, here is a bonus favourite also based on the Bocksten find:
  6. Anna’s 1360s-ish working woman’s gown.  Fantastic documentation.  A great resource post for working class medieval garments, with exquisite sewing details (and a bonus-bonus truly fabulous hat).

If you need more inspiration, here are my favourites from Challenge #2: Blue, and Challenge #1: Foundations


  1. Ruby says

    I think you forgot a copy and paste some where. That’s the list of goodies from the Blue challenge you posted on March 27th 😮

    • No, I didn’t forget a copy and paste! I spent over 5 hours writing this post, and somehow WP has messed up and subbed out half of what I did. I think I’m going to cry….

  2. Yes, I was about to say: these are from the February Blue Challenge, aren’t they?

  3. I think the WP bug/defect/whatever that caused the reposting of February was a happy accident for me! I missed this post previously and there’s some absolutely lovely stuff here.

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