The Dreamstress decided that, to relieve stress on both herself and the other participants, this year's Historical Sew Fortnightly would become a Historical Sew Monthly, with projects due at the end of every month, instead of every two weeks. I thought it might be useful to me, and amusing to some of my regular readers, for me to list my reactions to the various challenges, and the projects I'm planning to make for each.
January – Foundations: make something that is the foundation of a period outfit. YES!
I still want to complete the white wool shift that was to be the foundation for both my early Norwegian outfit and my völva outfit. The only trick may be finishing it on time.
February – Colour Challenge Blue: Make an item that features blue, in any shade from azure to zaffre. YES!
I could make either the overdress for my early Norwegian outfit (for which I already have fabric) or the völva's cloak (for which I'd need to buy fabric) for this one.
March – Stashbusting: Make something using only fabric, patterns, trims & notions that you already have in stash. MAYBE.
I have some wool that I'd overdyed rather poorly in a sky blue shade (so that it has a blotchy/streaky look). Maybe that wool (which has been washed) would make a good pair of cut-and-sewn stockings? There's more than enough fabric--maybe even enough for several pairs. If I can find the pattern I made for myself the last time I made stockings, this could be a good project.
April – War & Peace: the extremes of conflict and long periods of peacetime both influence what people wear. Make something that shows the effects of war, or of extended peace. PROBABLY NOT.
I can imagine a lot of projects that might fit into this category: World War II dresses, Garibaldi blouses, Landsknecht outfits, French Revolutionary cockades. But none of these possible projects inspire me. I'll probably sit this one out.
May – Practicality: ... Create the jeans-and-T-Shirt-get-the-house-clean-and-garden-sorted outfit of your chosen period. MAYBE.
The difficulty here is that, for anything before 1500, the "jeans and t-shirt" equivalent is, for sewing purposes, the same as the high-fashion one, except it's made from cheaper fabrics and/or is nearly worn out. If I get a bright idea for this challenge, though, I'll join in.
June – Out of Your Comfort Zone: Create a garment from a time period you haven’t done before, or that uses a new skill or technique that you’ve never tried before. YES!
The sprang frame I made last March is still sitting in my closet (to guard it from my new cat); I'd like to warp it and finish a sprang project this year if I can.
July – Accessorize: The final touch of the right accessory creates the perfect period look. Bring an outfit together by creating an accessory to go with your historical wardrobe. MAYBE.
I am planning to make bead strings for the rectangular brooch I'm going to wear with my early Norwegian outfit, but that won't take much effort (except in finding suitable beads at a suitable price). Perhaps I can make the hood for my völva outfit for this challenge.
August – Heirlooms & Heritage: Re-create a garment one of your ancestors wore or would have worn, or use an heirloom sewing supply to create a new heirloom to pass down to the next generations. PROBABLY NOT.
I don't have much in the way of heirloom sewing equipment, and I know little enough about my ancestors and about early period clothing in their parts of Europe to be unsure what sort of garment to make. Also, August is likely to be very busy for me this year. I'm not sure what I'll do yet.
September – Colour Challenge Brown: it’s not the most exciting colour by modern standards, but brown has been one of the most common, and popular, colours throughout history. Make something brown. YES!
I like this idea--before the Bronze Age most clothing in northern Europe would have been the color of undyed wool, much of which is brown. But I'm not sure what sort of garment to make this time around. This one needs more thought.
October – Sewing Secrets: Hide something in your sewing, whether it is an almost invisible mend, a secret pocket, a false fastening or front, or a concealed message (such as a political or moral allegiance). MAYBE.
I like this idea but I'm not sure how to implement it. I'm reluctant to damage a garment just to be able to show off my mending skills. I could try to add some fabric to my Hedeby dress to make it fit me better, but picking apart its solidly-sewn seams in order to do that feels more like a chore than like fun. I need to think about this one too.
November – Silver Screen: Be inspired by period fashions as shown onscreen (film or TV), and recreate your favourite historical costume as a historically accurate period piece. PROBABLY NOT.
I don't have a great deal of knowledge of movie fashions, and the movies that have bothered to depict early period events are usually so far off the mark that one would have to scrap the entire design to make a "historically accurate period piece". I'll sit this one out.
December – Re-Do: It’s the last challenge of the year, so let’s keep things simple by re-doing any of the previous 11 challenges. YES!
I will almost certainly miss one of the challenge deadlines, so it's likely I'll be doing this one, one way or another.