Historical Gallery

This blog is now more than ten(!) years old, and has over 500 posts. That's a fair amount of information and pictures, so in an attempt to bring some order to the chaos I have created these gallery pages. They contain pictures of pretty much everything I have made in that time, with hyperlinks to the blogposts.

This page contains all of my historical costume makes. I have taken part in the 'Historical Sew' challenges hosted by The Dreamstress in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2020, and the items I have made are grouped by year. A few also appear on the 'Vintage Gallery' page. For the first two years the challenges were fortnightly, and then changed to being monthly in 2015.


This year it is possible to complete all the challenges in any order. I am linking some of them to my project to make a complete 1874 ensemble, and am starting with underclothes and working outwards. This means that there are going to be a lot of 'unmentionables' on here before it gets to the pretty outer layers!

Clockwise from top left:
July, No-Buy - Victorian drawers
May, Basic - Victorian chemise
February, Re-use - fixing some fit issues with my 1911 corset
November, Go Green Glow-Up - Victorian corset made from parts of a non-historically-accurate corset


Sadly, other demands on my time meant that I only completed the first two challenges of this year; one new garment and one alteration.

Left to right:
January, Procrastination - 1909 petticoat slip
February, Tucks & Pleating - alter the front of my Edwardian chemise


With only 11 challenges to complete this year (December's was re-do or complete a challenge from earlier in the year), I actually managed a full set!

Left to right:
January, Foundations - Edwardian chemise
February, Blue - the entari of my C15th/16th Ottoman ensemble
June, Out of Your Comfort Zone - Medieval-inspired stage costume (a commission for a friend)
November, Silver Screen - Fortuny 'Delphos' dress
May, Practicality - 1930s wraparound pinny

Left to right, top to bottom:
July, Accessorize - Fortuny-inspired shoe decorations
April, War & Peace - 1940s fabric hat
October, Sewing Secrets - Suffragette ribbon cockade
September, Brown - Wiener Werkstätte drawstring bag
August, Heirlooms & Heritage - Wiener Werkstätte hat (you can see the complete ensemble here)
March, Stashbusting - Edwardian drawers


The challenges changed to two per month, and I completed eight of the 24.

Left to right, top to bottom:
#11, The Politics of Fashion - Wiener Werkstätte dress
#3, Pink - 1935 wrap top
#5, Bodice - 1930s camisole
#13, Under $10 - C15th/16th Ottoman trousers
#23, Modern History - earrings based on buttons from a 'CC41' Utility suit
#24, All That Glitters - 1920s shoes
#17, Yellow - early C20th evening bag
#9, Black & White - dress based on the CC41 regulations


In the first year of the Historical Sew Fortnightly, I managed to complete eight of the 26 challenges - not bad for a complete historical sewing novice. I wince when I look at some of these now, but the whole point of the Historical Sew challenges has always been about learning and improving skills, so it's useful to look back to where I started from.

Left to right, top to bottom:
#11, Squares, Rectangles & Triangles - traditional Tunisian costume
#19, Wood, Metal, Bone - straw bag with felt flowers
#7, Accessorize - bag decorated with traditional Palestinian embroidery
#5, Peasants & Pioneers - Victorian farmworker's sunbonnet
#16, Separates - 'Armistice' blouse
#13, Lace and Lacing - not-very-Vicorian corset
#14, Eastern Influence - 1930s dress in cotton with a Japanese-inspired print
#21, Green (and #26- Celebrate) - 1933 dress