Mittwoch, 15. Januar 2014

HSF '14 Kickoff challenge!

In December 2012, New Zealand based Leimomi Oakes from The Dreamstress came up with an idea that had quite a massive impact on the internet-microcosmos of costume bloggers. She called it "The Historical Sew Fortnightly", and it consisted of 26 challenges that were due every two weeks throughout the whole year. For each challenge, Leimomi thought of a topic (e.g. "Under it all", "Stripes" or "Literature"), and the challengers made something related to that topic. What they made was completely up to them, as long as it was an item of historical clothing or accessoires and fitted the topic.
In 2013, over 80 (!) costume bloggers officially participated in the HSF, which is quite an impressive number.

I didn't participate myself because 2013 was a very demanding year related to my studies, but I loved to read the many interesting blogposts and to see what ideas people had and how they implemented them.
However, this year I'd like to join the fun and do at least a few challenges! I already have ideas for many of them, and hope that I will find the time to finish at least five.

 Apparently I'm off to a good start as I already managed to complete the first challenge, "Make Do & Mend", and I'm even on time!

#1: Make Do & Mend – due Wed 15 Jan. Let’s start of the year with a clean slate, and with a bit of a tidy up.  Use this challenge as an opportunity to get your historical wardrobe in order by fixing any little bits that have worn out and gone wrong.  Alternatively, you could focus on the historical precedent of making-do by re-making something into a historical garments, whether it be a bodice from a worn-out skirt, a chemise from old sheets, a bosom-friend from an old cardigan, or a new historical hat from an old modern one etc.  Finally, you could just those people who had to make-do by making something for a historical character who would have scrimped and saved and re-made and mended until the fabric entirely fell apart.

I had this chemisette I made about 1,5 years ago. I've never worn it before, and I also wasn't satisfied with it anymore because I used the machine on all seams. Now this is a thing I don't condemn in general (to each his own), but my own standards have risen recently. I will still use the machine for long invisible inside seams but I don't want to have any visible machine seams on historical clothing anymore. Moreover, the seams on this chemisette looked particularly messy, as I was in a hurry when I made it (and then didn't even wear it!)

Anyway, I unstitched the whole thing and restitched it by hand. There are pictures:

Ugly machine stitching. There are also yellow marks of the tracing paper still visible....

Ugly machine stitching partly undone, partly still there. Unfortunately it left rather visible holes, but I hope they will vanish with time.

front view

back view

Front detail. As you can see, I used a whipstitch to attach the collar and the ruffle, and an ordinary running stitch for the front edges.

Shoulder detail

Yes, this is a blood stain! That's the price you pay for handstitching. ;)

The Challenge: #1: Make Do & Mend
Fabric: white cotton lawn

Pattern: Janet Arnold "Patterns of Fashion 1"

Year: According to JA, c.1800-1825

Notions: thread, cotton string

How historically accurate is it? I think now it is rather accurate. It loses points because there's still machine stitching in the shoulder seams, the holes of the previous stitching are still visible in part, and I have no idea if I used the correct stitches. I'll give it 80 %.

Hours to complete: the unstitching and restitching took me around 4 hours (those machine seams are not easy to get rid of)

First worn: to visit the enchanting christmas market at Schloss Hof (yes, this was a few days before Christmas, but I'm still within the one-month-term)

Total cost: I salvaged the string from a parcel so it was free, and the fabric came from stash. It probably didn't cost me more then 3€ altogether.