Friday, February 16, 2018

Plainsewing in Depth

Being the Class Notes/Synopsis of my class taught at St. Boniface Collegium (UAF) last November.

This class was intended to go over each of the sixteen or so different stitches I could think of, what uses they are most suited for, and how to choose your thread and wax...I didn't quite manage to get that all into the actual class since we kept running off on tangents. I had also anticipated more beginners in the class, rather than leading a class mostly containing experienced seamstresses. The goal of the class—and even more with this article--is to pass on some of the tips and tricks I've gleaned over the last few years of doing a fair amount of handsewing; both in SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism…pre-1603) and more modern sewing and tailoring, and to help make things easier for other historical costumers who want to do more in the way of handsewing. By no means is this article exhaustive and as I think of or learn more stitches, I will update.  Originally, I also intended to provide documentation for each stitch for each period (if it was used); I eventually decided to not do so because it turned out to be a lot more difficult and a more of a massive undertaking than I anticipated and I wanted to actually get the article published someday soon.


Supplies:

To start with, I will cover the required three tools and materials for handsewing and one optional one--this list does not include the fabric. Needle, thread, wax, and I highly recommend a thimble (semi-optional).

As you can see, I store my needles in an old Belgian Ale cork.
The jewelry pliers are helpful for sewing through many layers
and when your fingers start slipping.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Comfort At Home, a Historical Sew Monthly Inspiration Post

I am fairly confident in saying that throughout history, people have wanted to be comfortable in their home, especially when the weather outside is...less than pleasant.  So, the challenge for March is Comfort at Home.

The official definition is to "Make something to wear around the (historical) house".  We were having some issues with wording there...  What this means is clothing which would primarily be worn in the informal comfort of your own home, rather than out in public, and certainly not to a formal event!  Don't just think physically comfortable, but mentally as well--is there some historical thing which you find soothing (which involves sewing)? 
We do encourage you to think outside the box--do some  research, argue your point, and odds are that you will get by with it!

I jump around a good bit in this post rather than organizing by theme and gender (which is my preference), but the ideas which help more for earlier periods are towards the end.

Kimono Dressing Gown, 1885
FIDM Museum, 80.40.1

Thursday, January 4, 2018

What...happened? 2017 Review, and 2018 Goals

2017 was not a good sewing year for me, and I need to figure out why.

Let's go through the projects I started (or continued from a previous year), shall we?  Maybe I will feel better, since it feels like I barely finished anything...to the point of someone on the HSM FB group asking to share the project you are the most proud of from last year, and my mind was coming up blank.  

It was suggested I should be proud of this outfit
....I'm not so sure.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

HSM 2018...plots and thoughts

It almost didn't happen--but the denizens of the Facebook group prodded us (the Moderators) until the ball got rolling...then it kinda happened by itself, and we just had to organize.  And finalize descriptions, which was actually kinda tricky.  But we did it, and so there will be another year...and hopefully many more, so long as participants remain excited.

http://thedreamstress.com/the-historical-sew-monthly-2018/


Enough of that...  For my few readers who are not familiar with it, the Historical Sew Monthly is a series of sewing challenges or prompts for Historical Costuming, which you have to finish (NOT start) within two months of the deadline.  You can participate in many, or only manage a couple!  For more information, go to the Dreamstress' overview/sign up page

Friday, October 20, 2017

Pinterest for the Researcher



First Published in the Oerthan Chronical, 10-17.

Disclaimer: My focus is historical costuming, and I research most periods, not just pre-1600….and there are a lot more post 1680s extant pieces in museums.  But I will try to keep this as general as I can.  Hopefully these hints help!

Figure 1

Many people say to stay away from using Pinterest as a resource for your research.  Obviously, since I’m writing an article on it, I feel somewhat differently; it /can/ be used as a useful source of information…if utilized correctly.  So I composed this batch of advice, which should help keep you from the dreaded Pinterest – Tumblr loop.  However, it basically boils down to…:

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Another project Roundup? About time!

It's been a couple months since the last time posted a Project roundup of what I've been working on....I have been working on projects, just not a whole lot which is particularly interesting, since there was a lot of repeating.

Mainly, I've had two primary projects, and one secondary; the Patchwork Paletot, which is a fur lined overcoat matching my Franken-frockcoat; the trunkhose for the Hasting's Suit; and a not particularly historical waistcoat (secondary).  I haven't done any writing, and little researching, except for tidbits as needed on current or dreamed up projects.  Bad me, I know....I've been busy with other things.

But wait!!  There's apparently more...those are just the projects most recently to mind.  I had one or two other research lines in there somewhere, and I forgot that I made a good portion of my openwork shirt during the month post Coronet.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Post Coronet Project Roundup

I've been working on a few things in the last month...a couple of new projects, and one which I'm plugging away slowly at.

The highlight was I decided to make a pair of test trunkhose, in a bias cut, striped velvet--the same one my Brunswick doublet is made from, as I intended to wear it with that doublet.  The result?  Stripes...in multiple directions.

But first...
 With the buying of sole bend, and the gift of some hobnails, I decided I wanted to try making a pair of Caliga...Roman military sandals/boots.  I found that drafting was not remotely difficult...essentially trace a sole slightly smaller than the outline of your foot, measure up on the back to the desired height, then add straps; four small ones on the outside, and three on the inside.