All posts filed under: Learn

Pictoral Review, April 1916

Fashions for Staying at Home, 1916 Style

Today was the first day of New Zealand’s lockdown. It will go on for at least 28 days. I work from home a lot, so other than Mr D being there, it wasn’t much different from many days: except I knew it was. It’s night now, and I’m feeling a little melancholy. Mr D is out taking groceries to someone who can’t go out at all, and the stress of the last few weeks has gotten to me. I’ll get past it. I know how incredibly privileged I am: we’re financially stable, we have a lovely warm house, a yard big enough to hang out it, and the lockdown rules allow us to go for walks in our neighbourhood. And it’s a pretty neighbourhood (pretty much all neighbourhoods in Wellington are pretty. It’s a very pretty city). But, like so many other people, I’m worried about family and friends, and grieving for those already lost. For now, I’m going to keep doing what I do: working on ways to help practically, just working (because I’m …

Making your own fitted sheets

Re-make & re-use: how to turn old flat sheets into fitted sheets

Has anyone else noticed that you just can’t buy good quality cotton sheets anymore? Sheets I bought when I first moved to NZ 15 years ago are still going strong, but anything I’ve bought in the last five years (when we upgraded our bed size) lasts less than three years, even when it’s the same brand. And that’s an issue. Cotton (even organic) is not great for the environment, and the best way to lower its impact is to get as much use as possible out of anything cotton that you buy. Three years for sheets = not good. To get a little more use out of the extremely disappointing sheets I’ve purchased in the last 5 years, I’ve been recycling the sheets that have worn out. I turn the fabric around the edges of worn out fitted sheets into pillowcases, and do the same with flat sheets that are very thin, or where there are tears in the middle. If there is enough robust fabric left in a flat sheet, I turn it into …

My historical costuming people

So you’ve made a historical costume: where do you wear it?

In my last post, I discussed some ways to get started in historical costuming: different strategies for tackling your first makes, and where to get help with making. But once you make a thing, you need a place to wear it! And that can be hard – especially if you don’t live somewhere with a lot of historical costume themed events. (I know all about this – NZ is fancy dress party central, but historical costume events are thin on the ground…) A lot of people get started making historical costumes because they have a specific event to go to, and want to be dressed up. If that’s you: you’re sorted! Just talk to other people at the event, and you’ll probably learn about more events to wear your historic costume to. A costume event is how I really got started in historical costuming: I made outfits for myself and a friend to wear to the SF Bay Area Renaissance Faire. However, I went for 5 years between my 16th c Flemish outfit for a …