Thursday, December 24, 2015

Plans for the Historical Sew Monthly 2016

Earlier this month the Dreamstress put up the proposed challenges for the Historical Sew Monthly ("HSM") for 2016.  Her page, which can be found by clicking on the "Historical Sew Monthly 2016" image on the upper left hand side of this blog page, explains what the HSM is about better than I could.

This year, none of the challenges are repeats of previous years.  I like them all, and can easily think of projects I might do for most of them.  I've reproduced the Dreamstress's list below; my tentative plans for each appear in italics.
  • January –  Procrastination finish a garment you have been putting off finishing (a UFO or PHD) or make something you have been avoiding starting.  Most of my projects fall into this category!  Probably the smartest to designate for this challenge should be my Lithuanian Iron Age Shawl.
  • February – Tucks & Pleating – make a garment that features tucks and pleating for the shape or decoration  My planned Køstrup apron dress would be appropriate for this one; it will probably incorporate both tucks and pleats.   It seems unlikely I'll be able to get back to it in February though.  
  • March – Protection – make something to protect yourself (from weather or injury) or your clothes (from soiling etc.).  I have no immediate ideas, but a true apron would be good. Something functional; maybe in a medieval style.
  • April – Gender-Bender – make an item for the opposite gender, or make an item with elements inspired by the fashions of the opposite gender.   If I'm right about the style of cloak worn by the völva in Eric the Red's Saga, it is a garment that was worn by high-ranking people of both sexes.  Maybe that should be my April project.
  • May – Holes – sometimes the spaces between stuff are what makes a garment special.  Make a garment that is about holes, whether it is lace, slashing, eyelets, etc.  This screams of early non-weaving textile techniques to me; either nalbinding, two-hole tablet weaving, or sprang.  If my sprang cap isn't done by this point, I'll do it for this challenge.  If it is done, maybe I'll try again to nalbind socks or mittens for myself.
  • June – Travel – make a garment for travelling, or inspired by travel.  Hoods are excellent for traveling; perhaps the hood for my völva costume will finally get made.
  • July – Monochrome – make a garment in black, white, or any shade of grey in between.  I still need to complete the wool shift for my 8th century Danish ensemble; there may never be a better time.
  • August – Pattern – make something in pattern, the bolder and wilder the better.  Wow, this one may be hard.  I detest most patterns, and for my period of historical interest the only patterns used are stripes and plaids.  Perhaps I should try to reproduce the Hammerum dress? A subtle pattern is still a pattern, after all.
  • September – Historicism – Make a historical garment that was itself inspired by the fashions of another historical period.  This one is hard to pull off if your costuming period is before the Middle Ages.  My instinct would be to make a 1800-1810s gown, except I have no place to wear it.  This one will take some thinking.
  • October – Heroes – Make a garment inspired by your historical hero, or your historical costuming hero.  I still need to make my Ler outfit, and the planned blouse for that outfit was to be made based upon a tutorial written by the Dreamstress, who is one of my heroes when it comes to historical costuming. 
  • November – Red – Make something in any shade of red.  The fabric for my Køstrup dress is a rose red and my sprang cap is to be pink, so I can work one of those two projects in here if I don't complete them earlier.  If not...maybe I could make a red nalbinded hat?
  • December – Special Occasionmake something for a special event or a specific occasion, or that would have been worn to special event of specific occasion historically.  If I can finish my völva costume, complete with all components, by the end of the year, that will do nicely.
I would love to hear about my readers' plans for the 2016 HSM in the comments.


  1. I'd like to see your Lithuanian shawl. Will it be one of those ones with the metal embroidery?

    1. Sort of. I plan to couch a line of spirals along each edge. Mostly that's what I have left to do; that, and finish putting fringe on it.

    2. I know what you mean, the embroidery takes a lot of time.

      The volva's cloak seems like a really interesting challenge for April, considering the connotations of gender fluidity that go with magic in the Viking age.