All posts filed under: Learn

Historical Costuming - jump right in!

How to get started in historic costuming

First, choose what you want to make: That’s pretty obvious! But it can be a bit overwhelming. The three main strategies that people use to get started are: Pick an era, and make a complete outfit for that era, from the inside out. Pick a simple item that can be used for multiple eras, and start with that. Just make the pretty dress, and hope it fits once you make proper undergarments (or buy the undergarments, and make the dress). Here are some tips for doing each of those: 1. Pick an era, and make a complete outfit for that era, from the inside out This is the most commonly suggested method for getting started. Pick an era, identify the garments and layers for that era, find patterns for each garment, and get working. That’s how my friend Nina got started two years ago. She settled on Regency, bought patterns for all the pieces, and worked her way through each garment following the pattern. Now she has a full, beautiful, Regency ensemble: There are a …

The NZSEHR 2019 in Regency

Costumes and Kunekune pigs

I was very excited when the intro guide to our cottage for our Sew & Eat Historical Retreat said that we could put all the food scraps in a bin for the pigs. I’m always a fan of anything that keeps food out of the rubbish (food waste is a huge contributor to climate change – food rotting without air creates carbon). I was even more excited when we arrived, and it turned out that the pigs were pet kunekune pigs, not farm porkers destined for the slaughterhouse. And we could feed them and pet them! Happiness! Kunekune pigs are descended from domestic pigs that were brought to New Zealand from Asia by whalers or traders in the early 19th century. They are now a unique breed of their own, from isolation, or crossbreeding, or because the breeds they descended from have since gone extinct (as has happened with so many breeds of domestic farm animals in the last 200 years). Kune means plump in te reo Māori, and when you double up a word …

Tree planting at Island Bay,

Planting Trees (and shrubs and other natives)

I took a break from teaching and sewing and breaking my brain over the stays pattern to plant some trees today. Tree planting has been on my to-do list all winter. It’s a way to be literally hands-on helping the environment. Tree planting in NZ is a winter event: you want to get them in the ground while there is plenty of water, and take advantage of the spring growth spurt to get them rooted in before the dry summer. I missed the early winter events because of colds, but got in for the last of the planting today. There weren’t as many planting events as I’d hoped in Wellington (I feel like we should be desperately planting trees in every possible space…maybe next year), but I found Conservation Volunteers New Zealand, and signed up for a planting. Sixty willing volunteers showed up bright and early this morning at Tawatawa Reserve in Owhiro/Island Bay, bundled up in layers of wool and waterproof jackets, feet encased in proper shoes, and spades in hand. We came from …