Donnerstag, 25. Dezember 2014

My favourites from the HSF '14 - part one

This year, I only finished 2 items of the Historical Sew Fortnightly '14 in time (#1 and #9), and a third one too late (#2). I guess the 2-weeks timeframe was too tight for me, and besides that I also had a rather stressful year and not nearly enough time for sewing.

However, I followed the progress of the other participants closely via the facebook group, and since acknowledging the work of others is essential to make a group stronger and more connected (which is one of the goals of the HSF challenges), I decided to make a list of my own favourites of the past year.

Challenge #1 - Make Do and Mend

I totally fell in love with Ela's wonderful redingote in dark grey poly silk (which seems to be of superb quality because it looks like real silk), matching hat and muff. They needed some mending and she also newly decorated the hat. I just adore the color combination of light pink for the skirt and dark grey for the redingote. I love everything about this outfit.

Doesn't she look regal?
I can never decide if redingotes look the best from the front or from the back.

Challenge #2 - Innovation

For the Innovation challenge, Carol did the most amazing thing: she crocheted a 1920s evening cape with a Tutanchamun-inspired design. Unfortunately, she didn't give a link to a blog post, so I'll just share what she writes about it on facebook:

HSF 2014 #2 Innovation
Luster Sheen Acrylic Yarn
November 1922 Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon discovered the riches of Tutankhamen's tomb. Images of the treasures inspired the worlds of fashion and design: TUTMANIA of the mid-1920's.
I decided to crochet an evening cape with a Tut-inspired design. No pattern, I started at the neckline and let the garment grow, paying close attention to the amount of yarn I had in my stash.
Notions: Took an Egyptian-inspired costume necklace and used the 28-turquoise beads on each of the 28-points at the bottom of the garment. Not planned, it just worked out that way.
Only accurate in theme, not materials. Have worked on it almost every night of January so far - just finished and photographed this evening.
No cost - all stash - and I used every last bit of this yarn that I had!

What a creative idea!
She even added a scarab beetle pendant as a brooch!

Challenge #3 - Pink

For this challenge, Gina made a lovely 1912 ensemble from dusty pink faux dupioni silk. She based it on a 1912 fashion plate and added an antique chemisette and a wonderful hat to complete the outfit.

The colour of the dress is to-die-for! 
The antique lace chemisette goes perfectly with the dress! 

Challenge #4 - Under It All

There were a lot of possible favourites in this challenge. I eventually chose Andrea's completely hand-sewn 14th century bathing shift as my personal winner, because it is a rather unusual garment and you don't see it every day in your costume blogs. She cleverly made the shift out of unbleached linen, as white becomes transparent when wet.

Simple, but very pretty. It could even pass as a modern summer dress! 
One of the illustriations that inspired Andrea's garment

Challenge #5 - Bodice

Brigid made a 1940s blouse out of crinkled rayon fabric that is printed with an original 1940s pattern. It seems the fabric has been made exactly for this kind of blouse. I think Brigid also made the perfect choice in pairing it with the red skirt and the red shoes. The whole outfit looks so alive and vibrant. I love it. :)

I like the oversized shoulders! 
Detail of the back

Challenge #6 - Fairytale

For the fairytale challenge, my personal favourite has to be Ségolène's Mucha-inspired corset based on postcards and pictures of fairies and nymphs in the edwardian era. The colours are gorgeous, and she put a lot of work in it adding all the precious little flowers.

These colours... <3
Combining Mucha and edwardian depictions of fairies, I think Ségolène nailed this challenge! 

Challenge #7 - Tops and Toes

There are so many awesomes costumers all around the world, and the main reason the HSF is such a great invention is that it brings them all together. How else would I ever had the chance to learn about Marna, who made her own late 19th/early 20th century style tango boots! Boots! Late 19th/early 20th century! Made her own! And she's not even a professional shoemaker, but the result sure looks like she was one.

Can you believe it? How gorgeous are these boots!
She documented the whole process in pictures. 

Challenge #8 - UFOs and PHDs

Quoting Leimomi, "In sewing parlance, a UFO is an Un-Finished Project, and a PHD is a Project Half Done.". So this challenge was all about finishing something that has been started and then neglected for too long.
For this challenge, Ophelia finished the skirts and hat for her beautiful 1880s gown that she started a few months before and then didn't continue due to lack of motivation. Luckily, this challenge came along just right in time and finally gave her the perfect excuse to finish the outfit.

I love the combination of the two fabrics that Ophelia used for this gown.
This picture! *swoon* Looks like it was right out of a period movie! 

Challenge #9 - Black and White

My favourite from this challenge is Jeanette's lovely black 1880s Victorian corset with white details, made of coutil and silk dupioni. She writes that initially she was a bit afraid of making her own corset, but then found and signed up for an online corsetmaking class which gave her the assistance she needed to finally try making a corset. And look how wonderful her corset turned out eventually!

I like the unobtrusive yet eye-catching trim.

Challenge #10 - Art

For the tenth challenge, participants were supposed to draw inspiration from a work of art. This time, the challengers produced an extraordinarily large number of awesome garments, but my favourite was Ette's adorable dancing costume based on a picture of a ballet dancer by Pierre Carrier-Belleuse.

Ette writes that she isn't even a dancer. I think she should start right away, don't you think? :) 
Bodice detail

Challenge #11 - The politics of fashion

When Leimomi first announced this challenge, I thought it was a rather tricky one! Still, as always the challengers came up with a lot of smart ideas. Annette did an especially clever interpretation of the politics-theme. She made a cute skirt for her 1920s swimsuit, as there actually used to be laws on some beaches about how much leg you were allowed to expose!

The colour looks lovely on Annette! 
An officer measuring the amount of exposed leg - let's hope for the young lady she was within limits! ;)

Challenge #12 - Shape and support

For the twelfth challenge, Britta made an impressively gorgeous pair of 1740s-1760s stays. She stitched all of the numerous boning channels by hand and used real leather for the binding. Great work!

This is a pair of impeccably made stays. 
Super accurate stitching! 


  1. Oh, Thank you so very much for this roundup, some projects seems to have passed my attention (these golden shoes, amazing!), so I am glad you linked to them.
    And I am so flattered you picked my ballerina fancy dress as your favourite of all the art-challenge-entries, a shame I haven't worn it since I made this photo.
    Hope you had lovely Christmas days,

  2. Thank you for the kind words! You've made some wonderful items!