It's a new year, and the Historical Sew Monthly marches on!
To be sure, I haven't done any costume projects for years, and still owe pictures for the last (small) one I completed. Moreover, in November I started a new, part-time job with weekly time expectations.
But I have not given up hope on actually doing costuming work again. And I'm finding the new HSM Challenges inspiring. The list is below: I have cut and pasted it from The Dreamstress's blog; my comments on each appear in bold after the text for each challenge.
January: Anniversary Choice: It’s the 10th year of the HSM! Go back 10 years and choose any challenge from the 2013 HSF Challenge list, and make something for it! In 2013 we tried to do this fortnightly, so there are 26 options! I still have many projects for which I have at least bought the materials, though I'm pretty sure I won't manage this by the end of January.
February: Neck & Shoulders: Make something to wear around your neck or on your shoulders. There is my volva cloak, though to trim that completely may take me a while. The lambskin hood is better; I started mocking up a pattern. Perhaps I can finally nerve myself to save up for and buy the necessary materials....
March: Non-Woven. Make something not based on woven materials. There’s a whole world of possibilities. Braiding, carving, crocheting, felting, knitting, knotting, naalbinding…and…felting! Felting has always interested me. Perhaps a fez-like hat, to accompany an Assyrian outfit (see December reference below). Or maybe start again to learn sprang by making a bag or a hood? A sprang bag could fit under the challenge for March or April!
April: Bags: Make a bag! Easy-peasy, if uninspiring. If I had not made a Viking-style bag with wooden handles, that might have been an option. I need to think about this one. EDIT: 2/19/2022 I will make a small, drawstring bag, to hold a small polished bronze mirror, 1 and 9/16ths of an inch (4 cm) across. The Fairy Tales Chest on Etsy sells such mirrors, a replica of a find from Great Bulgaria during the right time period (8th-10th c. CE), and I've almost decided to get myself one as a birthday gift. Sprang would be fun but I'll probably just sew a little bag instead; heaven knows I have enough scrap wool and linen lying about. It will probably be a wool bag with a linen lining.
May: Protection: Create a garment that protects you from something: weather, dirt, wear, weapons, etc. The volva's cloak, it haunts me....
June: At the Museum: Be inspired by the items and research available in museums and archives. Need to think about this one. Possibilities abound. Perhaps my long-planned Kostrup-style apron dress?
July: Geometry: Make something with pattern pieces based on basic geometry, or that somehow incorporates geometric design elements. I still have the white wool that was going to be the volva's tunic; maybe this is the year to get that done! Like most pre-medieval and medieval garments, it's assembled from geometric shapes based on the measurements of the intended wearer. EDIT: 2/19/2022 This should be simple enough to do, even if I sew it entirely by hand, as I plan to do.
August: As Seen On Screen: Make something inspired by something you’ve seen on screen, whether it’s film, TV, or YouTube. There are plenty of YouTubers demonstrating constructing of historical styles, many incorporating authentic techniques. Need to think about this one too.
September: Colour Challenge: Blue: Make something in any shade of blue. My planned Vendel apron dress leaps to mind. The fabric for it is a deep blue, and making it will be simple; a line of sewing down the side, and at least a hem around top and bottom would do it. EDIT: 2/19/2022 Also simple. In fact, simpler than the volva's underdress; it would simply be a hemmed tube sewn closed along one long side.
October: A Perfect 10: It’s the HSM’s 10th anniversary, so make something 10 themed. 10th century, the something-10s, something that incorporates 10 of something? Be creative with it! Perhaps revive a project that I've had pending since 2010?
November: Fitting: Make something that focuses on fit. Socks? Or the volva's hood?
December: New Era: Make something from a decade or century you’ve never made from before, or make something that represented a new era in fashion in its time. I've been admiring Angela Costello's forays into ancient Assyrian costume. Perhaps an Assyrian tunic? Wow. That would be quite a leap!