Historical Sew Fortnightly

HSF/M ’15 Challenge #7: Accessorise

The theme for the 7th  Historical Sew Monthly challenge of 2015, due by the end of July, is Accessorise (or Accessorize, depending on what part of the world you’re in – either’s fine!).

The final touch of the right accessory creates the perfect period  look.  For this challenge  you’ll bring an outfit together by creating an accessory to go with your historical wardrobe.  An accessory is any small non-garment piece carried or worn with an outfit: hats, shoes, gloves, bags, glasses, watches, chatelaines, spats, mitts, jewellery etc.

To get you started, here are some tutorials for making period accessories from my blog and across the internet:

From the bottom up you could:

Make your own seamed stockings (with a free pattern)  

1870s Manet's Nana inspired stockings thedreamstress.com


For the far-more ambitious, Isis’ Wardrobe gives instructions on knitting your own 16th c Stockings  

or, if you prefer sewing and an earlier period you can make your own sewn cloth medieval stockings following these directions at the Medieval Tailor

If you are really feeling clever, Crimson Griffin has given a good description, with photographs, of making gothic poulaines.

This post is (I’m afraid) a bit heavy in feet-and-head things, but there are plenty of pretty things that can go in the middle, like this cute Regency reticule from the Regency Society of America boards.

Making History Now has a pattern and instructions for your own 18th c mitts – you might have to do a bit more research to get them made, and historically accurate, but it’s a great start.

Not a full tutorial, but you should be able to figure out how to make my 18th c pearl bracelets by looking at what I did:

18th century pearl bracelets with diamante clasps


And (of course!) there is always the infamous Regency Pineapple Reticule.  There are a couple of patterns available, including the  instructions on JaneAusten.co.uk.

There are clear and effective (if not necessarily HA) instructions for making an impressively huge and fabulous 16thc German hat at Katafalk

And here on my blog I teach you how to make your own 18th c bergere from a straw sunhat:

18th century inspired bergere


You can also make effective 18th c hats from placemats, as demonstrated by The Pragmatic Costumer

If straw isn’t your thing, Lynne McMasters has  an excellent tutorial on making a fabric Regency style turban.

Or Jen at FestiveAttyre shows you how to re-shape and cover a straw hat, 1910s style

And Loran at Loran’sWorld has gone through the process of making a ’20s hat from the original ’20s instructions.

For more inspiration, check out my Tops & Toes inspiration post from the HSF ’14

Know of other tutorials?  Share them in the comments!


  1. Cathrin at Katafalk also has a great tutorial for a cheaty 13th-15th C women’s purse: https://katafalk.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/medieval-textile-belt-purse/

    She also has a pattern for a 16th C German (“Kampfrau”) style leather purse (https://katafalk.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/kampfrau-bag/), a late medieval leather costrel (https://katafalk.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/leather-costrel/) and a Norwegian medieval moneypurse (https://katafalk.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/norwegian-money-pouch-tutorial/).

    Not technically a tutorial, but Chris Laning’s Paternoster Row website (http://paternoster-row.medievalscotland.org/) and blog (http://paternosters.blogspot.co.uk/) together make great source material for paternosters (aka rosaries), a great accessory for a medieval outfit.

  2. Someone in the Facebook group shared how they made cca 1820s-1830s shoes, a while back – I suppose during the Tops & Toes challenge. Sadly, I can’t remember who and where. 😛

    I think this challenge is where I finally use my super-simple fichu en marmotte (it needs some finishing stitches, and I was thinking of over-dyeing it, because the colours are rather garish). There hasn’t been half as much sewing since September as I wished there would be. 😛

  3. renaissancetailor.comrenaissancetailor.comrenaissancetailor.comHere’s some more accessories tutorials (from my old post on “one-afternoon tutorials”):

    From the Renaissance Tailor:

    How to make a partlet: http://www.renaissancetailor.com/demos_partlets.htm

    How to make a Tudor-style flat cap:

    How to make a Mongol-style hat:

    From American Duchess:

    How to tie a Regency-style turban:

    • Thank you! Awesome additions!

      Just in case, I think I’d best say that wrapping a scarf around your head does not quite count as making something for a HSM challenge. 😉

        • If you are significantly involved in the making of the scarf, of course it counts! But wrapping a scarf is easier than putting on a corset 😉

  4. […] month’s HSF/M challenge is “Accessorize.” In preparation for the first wearing of a new 1885 outfit next month, I made up a hat to […]

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  5. Alyssa W. says

    This was a very productive month for me! After not being able to complete the challenge in June I actually managed to make 3 different items for this one, a headdress http://thesewinggoatherd.blogspot.com/2015/07/accessorising-ball-gown-headdress.html ,
    a pair of mitts http://thesewinggoatherd.blogspot.com/2015/07/accessorizing-ball-gown-gloves.html , and a pair of stockings useing your pattern and tutorial (thank you so much for that!) http://thesewinggoatherd.blogspot.com/2015/07/accessorizing-ball-gown-stockings.html

    • HoiLei says

      Thank you for posting such useful pictures of how you made the headdress! I would have had no idea where to start, but you made it very clear.

    • Oh, and I missed April, May & June challenges due to a family medical emergency but I hope to still catch them up, albeit late!

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