Historical Sew Monthly 2016 – it’s on!


The other day, owner of The Dreamstress, Leimomi Oakes posted that the Historical Sew Monthly is on for another year, and the topics have been chosen (from a bunch of amazing ideas from the participants on the FB group).

I haven’t even finished the 2015 challenges (going away for November and some other issues have postponed my progress a bit… though I do have a bunch of projects near-finished to complete and photograph and post about!)

 The 2016 Historical Sew Monthly challenges:

(copied directly from the Historical Sew Monthly 2016 page)

  • January – Procrastination – finish a garment you have been putting off finishing (a UFO or PHD) or make something you have been avoiding starting.
  • February – Tucks & Pleating – make a garment that features tucks and pleating for the shape or decoration
  • March – Protection – make something to protect yourself (from weather or injury) or your clothes (from soiling etc.)
  • April – Gender-Bender – make an item for the opposite gender, or make an item with elements inspired by the fashions of the opposite gender
  • 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.
  • June – Travel – make a garment for travelling, or inspired by travel.
  • July – Monochrome – make a garment in black, white, or any shade of grey in between.
  • August – Pattern – make something in pattern, the bolder and wilder the better.
  • September – Historicism – Make a historical garment that was itself inspired by the fashions of another historical period.
  • October – Heroes – Make a garment inspired by your historical hero, or your historical costuming hero.
  • November – Red – Make something in any shade of red.
  • December – Special Occasion – make something for a special event or a specific occasion, or that would have been worn to special event of specific occasion historically.

So.. what do ~I~ want to make?

I still have a BUNCH of things from my previous wish-list that I still want to make, but there is a lot of inspiration in the topics as well to draw from. Some match up nicely, but in some cases I expect some diversion!

Month Challenge Project ideas Completion
January  Procrastination Victorian Red velvet?
Edwardian walking suit?
Purple 1920s velvet?
Gold silk Houppelande
Byzantine full outfit – complete!
February Tucks & Pleats ? Not sure…
(ooh.. look at this, Mervi has already done a bunch of medieval pleating/tuck pinning!)
incomplete for now
March Protection Naalbinding mittens or shawl? Jorvik hoods
April Gender-Bender ? Not sure… Elizabethan or Tudor perhaps???
Gold silk Houppelande (Houppe inspired by men’s houppes)
Italian x-dressing?
Bliaut (unisex garment)
incomplete for now
May Holes German or Bliaut German hat
June Travel ??? Istanbul full outfit
July Monochrome Nice linen camicia (maybe with monochrome white embroidery?)
Black/black Spanish gown monochrome?
Spanish Farthingale with tone-on-tone casings
Dress in the style of Elizabeth Woodville portrait
August Pattern ? Not sure… Italian overdress in the red/gold brocade – not super patterned… but…?
Green block printed Byzantine?
incomplete for now
September Historicism Rus after Byzantine?
Red silk Bliaut? (after Byzantine?)
1550s Turkish-influenced Venetian (would this count?)
incomplete for now
October Heroes ? Not sure…
Maybe either inspired by the Tudor Tailor, The Alcega Project, Koshka-the-cat, or Angela Clayton.
Elizabeth Woodville portrait dress
November Red Tudor petticoat?
Victorian red velvet?
Red silk Bliaut?
Red Italian overdress?
Red & gold Giornea
December Special Occasion Twelfth Night Gown – but what?
Elevation celebration?

So that’s a lot of ‘not sure’…

Although I LOVE a lot of the challenge ideas this year, I have a lot of “not sure” – a lot of what I want to make this year (a lot of which is left-over from last year!) doesn’t really fit with a lot of the challenges without some significant stretching.

I do have an awful lot of UFOs though!

Here’s my current wish-list (with lots of points similar to my list for the 2015 challenges!)


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

  • Underdress

(Icelandic) Viking Age

  • Basket-bag
Finished Italian Reta

Finished Italian Reta

1480s Italian Renaissance

  • Nicer linen camicia
  • New Blue and silver or blue and gold dress
  • New overdress – blue and silver/gold or red/gold or..?


  • Simple ‘everyday’ kirtle
  • Petticoat (red?)
  • Gown (stretch goal) to coordinate with French Hood(s)
  • Finish 2 French Hoods

Other UFOs

  • Victorian red velvet suit
  • Gold silk Houppelande

Other dream-projects/thoughts

  • German with the amazing starfish hat – navy blue and brown?
  • Victorian polonaise
  • 1920s cocoon coat (purple devore velvet?)
  • 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
  • naalbinding mittens, bag, shawl
  • Roman Chiton & Palla (finish)
  • Print Blue sideless surcote with printing like illumination
  • Red silk Bliaut with fancy trim
  • Starched linen ruffled veil
  • Byzantine gown for 12th night in January 2016
  • Tudors do Bollywood for 12th night in January 2016 (massive stretch goal)
  • Linen garb that can double for mundane summer wear
  • Regency gown and over-dress/coat

Want to join?

Want to join in all the fun, share your progress, and get help and advice from other costumers? Join the HSM on Facebook too: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HistoricalSewFortnightly/

One comment on “Historical Sew Monthly 2016 – it’s on!

  1. […] meet for 2015 was Sewing Secrets – where I planned to do the sack-back Spanish gown OR for 2016 I missed Tucks and Pleats, Gender bender,  and Historicism. OR for 2017 I missed Great Outdoors […]

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