Historical Sew Fortnightly challenges 2015

The finished Skjoldehamn style hood in white wool

The finished Skjoldehamn style hood in white wool

You might remember from my 2014 index post that I mentioned this year the Historical Sew Fortnightly is changing slightly. Instead of having challenges twice a month, they’re going to be once-per-month instead, giving each costumer a bit more time to work on the project, and the administrators a bit more time to do their own things! If you’d like to join the new Historical Sew (Fortnightly) Monthly, visit the host’s site here: http://thedreamstress.com/2014/12/the-hsnotf-2015-its-on/  to learn more about what is being planned, and what is changing.

In order to keep all my related challenges together, I’m going to continue tagging my posts with “HSF” and “Historical Sew Fortnightly” because I anticipate I might go back and do some of the 2013 or 2014 challenges, and because even though the time frame has changed, I think the overall approach will remain the same.

The 2015 historical sewing challenges:

I’ve copied this directly from the Historical Sew Monthly blog post – please visit here for the complete post.

  • January – Foundations: make something that is the foundation of a period outfit.
  • February – Colour Challenge Blue: Make an item that features blue, in any shade from azure to zaffre.
  • March – Stashbusting: Make something using only fabric, patterns, trims & notions that you already have in stash.
  • 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.
  • May – Practicality:  Fancy party frocks are all very well, but everyone, even princesses, sometimes needs a practical garment that you can DO things in.  Create the jeans-and-T-Shirt-get-the-house-clean-and-garden-sorted outfit of your chosen period.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.

Some of my current works-in-progress, dreams, fascinations, wish-lists & other ideas

Sketch of the pattern I would subsequently develop

Sketch of the pattern I would subsequently develop


  • Edwardian walking suit – skirt
  • Edwardian walking suit – jacket
  • Edwardian walking suit – blouse
  • Edwardian walking suit – hat
  • Option: Edwardian walking suit – purse


Purple dress (UFO from the 2014 yellow challenge)

Finnish Viking Age

Brown wool peplos-style Finnish Iron/Viking Age

Brown wool peplos-style Finnish Iron/Viking Age

(Icelandic) Viking Age

  • Coat – update: Done!
  • Thin linen underdress – update: Done!
  • Basket-bag
Finished Italian Reta

Finished Italian Reta

1480s Italian Renaissance

  • Chemise – update: Done!
  • dress – update: Done!
  • overdress – update: Done!

Other UFOs

  • Victorian red velvet suit
  • Gold silk Houppelande

Other dream-projects/thoughts

  • German with the amazing starfish hat
  • Nice linen camicia
  • 1480s northern European with the amazing padded hat – update: Done!
  • Tudor
  • French hood to go with Tudor – update: Done!
  • Victorian
  • Taffeta circle-skirt (may be too late)  – update: Done!
  • 1920s cocoon coat
  • 1940s style rain poncho (may be too late)
  • Articles towards the Steampunk in Tokyo or Indian Steampunk costumes?
  • Late-period sack-back Spanish gown
  • 1780s chemise a la reine
  • new purse or bag for myself, similar for Emerald Rose  – update: Done!
  • naalbinding mittens, bag, shawl
  • Roman Chiton & Palla
  • Blue & Silver Italian – like the red, black and gold one
  • Blue sideless surcote with printing like illumination & silver underdress  – update: Done! (apart from the printing)
  • Blue Bliaut with fancy trim

So let’s match those up….

January – Foundations Italian chemise  Complete!
February – Colour Challenge Blue Thin linen Viking Age underdress  Complete!
March – Stashbusting Finnish over-dress 16th Century Phallic-shaped purse  Complete!
April – War & Peace Italian? Norse Menswear ?  Complete!
May – Practicality Edwardian walking suit elements? Norse wool coat  Complete!
June – Out of Your Comfort Zone Tudor maybe? or German?  French Hood  Complete!
July – Accessorize Edwardian purse or hat OR Norse basket-bag Heart-shaped hennin/ horned headdress  Complete!
August – Heirlooms & Heritage German! Sideless surcote Complete!
September – Colour Challenge Brown  Finnish peplos underdress (that brown herringbone linen) overdress Complete!
October – Sewing Secrets Viking age wool coat (I’ll go with the secret pocket) Sack-back Spanish gown  Incomplete 😦
November – Silver Screen Victorian red-velvet? Viking Age Norse outfit  Complete!
December – Re-Do ?? Chiton & Palla – for Practicality challenge Complete!

Looks like I have more ideas at the beginning of the year than for the end of the year – which doesn’t bother or worry me at all.

I guess now it’s just a matter of staying on top of it, and asking all my readers to come back and check out what I’m actually able to accomplish!

Have any ideas for my question marks? Can you think of anything from my wish list (or even not from my wish-list!) that would work for a theme? Let me know in the comments below!


One comment on “Historical Sew Fortnightly challenges 2015

  1. […] I could finish that off for this challenge too… OR The only challenge I didn’t meet for 2015 was Sewing Secrets – where I planned to do the sack-back Spanish gown OR for 2016 I missed […]

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