The HSF: Challenge #0: Starting Simple

The first challenge in the Historical Sew Fortnightly is ‘Starting Simple’:  due midnight, 31 December NZT.

For this challenge eases yourself into it by finishing a project, making a very simple garment, or makeing something you have made before and are familiar with.

When you are done, post a link to your photos or blog post in the comments, or in the event photo album on Facebook (do go check out all the amazing things people made).

Some inspiration to get you started.

What did I make?  A sweet, simple, easy dress from 1930 inspired by Gran.


It was a very hard start for me in terms of the circumstances, but a very inspiring start in terms of participation, and the amazing and clever things that were created.  It can only get better from here!


    • I love this cape – the back of the hood is just so beautiful. I’d love to see pictures of it on you. Welcome, and can’t wait to see what else you do!

  1. Zach says

    I hope this link works…–0

    So, then. I can’t really afford (nor do I have the experience) to make things for myself, so I’ve settled on making “miniature” pieces, instead. Here are the details:

    The Challenge: #0 Starting Simple

    Fabric: Pink floral from JCPenny (when they used to sell fabric) from a friend and some off white fabric I can’t find anything of except scraps (I looked all over the place for it, but none of my whites/off whites matched. It must be hiding), all in my magical stash of fabrics.

    Pattern: Drafted myself (not so well, if you could see inside the lining and everything!).

    Year: 2012 does 1850s/60s

    Notions: Plastic boning (two in the back next to the lacing and one hiding in the front to give it the right shape), ribbon to lace up the back and a hook and eye.

    How historically accurate is it? Well, the style is pretty simplistic and country; the crazy sewing going on in there is a different story.

    Hours to complete: I can’t really say. I started it sometime this year and never got around to finishing it, so that’s what I did for this challenge.

    First worn: Maybe I should take this out for future posts. 😉

    Total cost: $0

    I forget when I started sewing this dress, but I had a 1850s obsessive moment, and that’s how it came to be. The skirt seam is a French Seam (I love those!), but the ones in the bodice are kind of a mess. I originally had it close on the side with snaps, but changed it out (it looked funny; snaps are bulky on tiny doll-sized dress forms) to lace up the back with a small hook and eye right at the top of the skirt. The whole thing is actually connected; I didn’t do the proper “separate bodice and skirt” thing. I actually made a matching petticoat in a blue version of that fabric which isn’t extremely pretty. I had to use the “wrong”side of the fabric, because the crazy blue just wasn’t working out. It’s all over a crafted wire hoop that is going to be replaced in the undergarment challenge with a prettier, nicer and better quality one. Sorry for the long post! I’m just not interesting enough to start a blog and keep with it–life is so busy right now!

    • Oooh, so gorgeous! I don’t generally much care for dolls or dolls clothes, but this I like!

      I do know of examples of 1850s dresses sewn as one piece, so that’s not inaccurate.

      I’m so glad you are participating, even in a small way (no pun intended!), and can’t wait to see what else you do!

    • Thanks for posting the pictures! I was thinking about joining in on the Sew Fortnightly challenge but am also a little strapped for fabric funds at the moment (or places to wear historical creations anyway)…so maybe I’ll venture into the small-scale world as well. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. […] a terribly inaccurate but very personally satisfying take on this 19th century apron completed as Challenge #0 of the Historical Sew Fortnightly at The […]

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The comment’s server IP ( doesn’t match the comment’s URL host IP ( and so is spam.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.