Liebster Award

Kindly, Nancy-Raven and Nessa both nominated me for a Liebster Award. I’m reposting this with some updates from last year 🙂


Thank you Nancy @ Nancy-Raven’s Attic &  Nessa @ Sewing Empire – for the nomination… and the timing!

Q & A

First, Nessa has some questions for me to answer, so let’s start on that…

  1. What is your favorite historical period?

    This changes constantly.  I love the liberty and joy associated with fashion and art from the 1920’s, Western Europe/North America. I love the grandness and sense of order (with all of the nuances dwelling under the surface) of the Victorian era (namely in the UK, but to a lesser extent here in Canada as well).  From that era I love everything from the fashion to the architecture, the literature and the cultural niceties. Right now I’m thinking a lot of the Viking age (in Scandinavia and the Baltics) but mostly as I think about costuming and accessories… I also love ancient costuming – Greek, Roman, Egyptian. I’m also in love with the Tudor era (Britian) and earlier in the Medieval age (Western Europe)  My knowledge of different periods is extremely western-biased though…

    The Vikings marketplace at the Royal BC museum

    The Vikings marketplace at the Royal BC museum

  2. How long have you been sewing, and how did you get into it?

    I’ve been sewing for as long as I can remember. I think I must have been so young that I don’t even remember anyone teaching me how to thread a needle. I had a Cabbage Patch sewing machine when I was 6 or 7  maybe? I hated that it only did a chain stitch and quickly graduated to using my mum’s sewing machine. When it came time to do home economics in junior high I hated the cooking part, and loved the sewing part. When other kids were making super-easy sweatshirts from kits, I got permission to go out and buy a real pattern and fabric and made a flowered peasant blouse with elastic shirring…

    After that, I did sewing in high school, and then took a diploma program in Fashion Design before getting my communications degree. I worked for a while in fashion – working for a local designer – though I did a LOT more communications/marketing/sales/studio management work than sewing!

  3. Which historical person would you like to meet and why?

    I don’t think that there is anyone from history I’d like to meet. History is able to paint such a shadow over real people. Real people have bad breath, snort when they laugh, have disgusting opinions about politics…  I think it’s nicer to imagine historical figures with the veil of their fame only.. instead of the bleak reality of their every-day lives.

    On the other hand if I could have an outsider’s view of a real living Viking port village, without having to get my feet dirty so to speak, that would be pretty cool.  Ditto for most parts of history…

  4. Do you have a favorite kind of fabric you enjoy working with?

    Not really – I guess I have more duppioni silk and pvc in my fabric stash than anything else (other than quilting cottons..) but that doesn’t really mean much in terms of working with – I am usually more concerned with the results than with how I get there.  Velvet is a pain in the butt though. Linen is creeping higher up the list though, and I absolutely adore the properties of wool, and just wish I could find more of it at a decent price locally.

    Jelly roll quilting fabrics

    Jelly roll quilting fabrics

  5. What will be your next project?

    Hmm my current works-in-progress are a few band-t-shirt re-makes, a Victorian-inspired red velvet suit/costume, a Iron Age Finnish costume, a wool cloak with hand felting decoration… who knows what will get finished first! Other projects I have in the back of my mind include a new dress for my Egyptian costume, some every-day wear including a Japanese-inspired apron dress, something to add to the Emerald Rose regalia, and a bag using the amazing python print PVC I picked up last year at a sale. I also have fabric with a few more things they’ve been mentally allocated for.

  6. Which place, in space and/or time, would you love to travel to?

    Although I love historical costuming – I’m fully aware that I would be a total fish out of water to travel to a different time.  I’m more interested in thinking of where I really WILL go – in the next few years!  I think if I had the ability to time travel or distance travel with ease, I’d pick distance… less damaging to my rose-coloured glasses I figure.

  7. Where do you wear your sewing creations? Are you a regular at historical events or do you sew it just for yourself?

    I’ve fairly recently joined the SCA and another costume-centric group that looks at a later period. I also make costumes for myself, for Halloween, for fancy dress parties, etc.

  8. Do you have a favorite clothing item, historical or modern?

    I adore corsets… I think I have about 50 of them right now in different forms. Most of them are modern interpretations of Victorian designs – though not the super-complicated designs! I also have a sundress pattern that I’ve made up many, many times, so I guess that might be a frontrunner too.

    Just a few of the corsets I made prior to 2007 when this photo was taken.

    Just a few of the corsets I made prior to 2007 when this photo was taken.

  9. What is your favorite book?

    On the topic of sewing and historical costuming, there’s a ratty old copy of Costuming for Historical Fashion that is pretty much my go-to reference book just to get me started with ideas… It’s super simple; not all complicated details and sketches, but I find it helpful for that first step before beginning further research. Beyond that, perhaps From the Neck Up, a book about Millinery, and then a pattern drafting book from the 60’s I picked up at a charity shop years and years ago…

  10. What are your other hobbies?

    I suffer from Raven-syndrome .. anything shiny (or soft, or fluffy, or …) will catch my attention, so I probably have TOO many hobbies.  Travel, heavy metal music, concerts, beadwork, jewelry-making, millinery, writing, photography, sushi, hiking, reading, loose leaf tea, corsetry, social media… the list of things I adore goes on and on…

Nancy asked (pick 11 of 22):

3) What is the costume you wish to have but did not possess?

Right now my mind is on Tudor costuming, though I’m a bit hesitant because I don’t have someone to help me dress – and Tudor costumes can be so complicated. I also don’t really have many occasions to wear one… so… someday!

4) How many costumes do you have ?

Many! I don’t really have a count. I tend to make one-of costumes (One Italian, one Under the Sea, etc) but a few periods/styles I have multiples for (Viking Age, Sideless surcotes, Victorian).

5) How many costumes have you made ?

Likewise, I have no idea. I used to make costumes for theatre and worked for a designer who did work with performers, so between personal and professional, I couldn’t really say.

6) Which skill do you wish to have or do not control very well?

Knitting – I keep thinking I was more proficient at knitting, but I find it very slow and don’t really know how to read patterns to be able to make more than simple items.

7) Did you ever participate in a movie , tv show  ?

No, though I’ve been in a few theatrical productions for the stage.

9) Silk or art silk?

Silk – any day.

10) Commercial pattern or did you make your own?

I make my own patterns, though I’ve used commercial patterns once in a while for things that are very new/different for me, or where I think that a pattern I have would be faster/easier to use than drafting my own pattern. Most recently my French Hood was from a commercial pattern.
More often if I use a commercial pattern, I do alter it considerably.

11) What is the costume you had less success with and why?

Most recently, I had challenges with the Eura dress and the speculative men’s “Viking” pants. I haven’t been successful with either as-is.

15) What is the fabric , item or accessories you wish to buy but never did because of the budget?

There are a few pieces for my Viking kit that I still want to get – like a needle case, steel striker, whetstone, plus some tablewear. I imagine I’ll get them eventually, just not now. I also really, really want a headform in my size – but they are SO expensive!

17) Where and what is the event of your dream?

I would really, really, really love to attend a themed multi-day event at one of the fortress castles in Finland, particularly the one in Savonlinna. That would be amazing. Plus… Finland!

21) When did you start to blog and why?

I started it for some reasons, continue it for others. I wanted to share what I was doing, wanted to show off, brag, teach, connect with other people who did costumes. I wanted to document what I was doing for myself and for others to reference. Now that I’ve joined the SCA I also appreciate that I’ve already started to develop a method of research and documentation that I can use for competitions.

My nominees:

I’m nominating the following bloggers for the award as well!

  1. Kathlin Argiro from Diary of a Dress Designer
  2. Siglindesarts’s Blog
  3. Pelagia’s a&s 50 things
  4. Alysten’s Blog
  5. Gwenlliana Clutterbooke’s blog
  6. Original Cin’s Costumed Nonesense
  7. Everything Jules
  8. Clothing the Low Countries
  9. Dawn Abbey Designs
  10. Thimberlina’s Creative Journey
  11. Cuckoo’s Emporium

Those who nominated me – feel free to answer too!

 Questions for other bloggers

So, my own questions for my nominees… (answer as many as apply)

1. What is your greatest inspiration – or most frequent source for inspiration – for new projects?

2. What is your process for starting a new project? Are you inspired by media? Do you start with an event? Do you partake in challenges? Let us know about your process…

3. What are your favorite online shopping sources when it comes to creation supplies? (Craft stores, online fabric stores, Etsy sellers, etc.) Links please!

4. What local-to-you suppliers are your favourites (links if applicable)?

5. When looking at suppliers – do you tend to start local, and fill in with online/mail order suppliers, or the reverse? Why?

6. What new skill/new craft would you love to learn – but just haven’t found the time/energy/teacher  yet?

7. Storage (answer as many that apply)

7a. If you make jewelry, how do you store completed pieces?

7b. If you make hats, how do you store your finished products?

7.c If you make costumes, how do you store your completed costumes and their related accessories?

8. Where do you ‘cheat’? If you’re making a costume – what do you skip making and buy instead? When you’re sewing, which steps are you more likely to skip to make construction faster/easier?

9. Do you sew more for yourself, more for friends & family, or more to sell? Which would you like to do in an ideal world?

Nominate yourself!

If you think this sounds like fun, and you’re a blogger with fewer than 200 subscribers, you can nominate yourself too! Just answer my questions, nominate your own bloggers, and ask some questions too! Don’t forget to post a comment below so we can find your responses as well!




One comment on “Liebster Award

  1. Nessa says:

    You are welcome, Dawn and thank you very much for your awesome answers. I’m much looking forward to seeing the red velvet suit. 🙂 And ad the Viking port village: Haithabu / Hedeby was near where I grew up (about a 1-hour drive away) and as a kid I skipped a school excursion there because I was not fussed at the time. And then, much later, I started reading Uhtred and watching the right documentaries. Now I really want to go and find out what life there really looked like.

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