Historical Sew Monthly

HSM ’18 – Favourites for Challenge #2: Under

The year is going on so fast, and so is the Historical Sew Monthly. It’s March and you are probably already working on your items for challenge #3. But before we leave February behind us, let’s take a look back to the entries for challenge #2. The theme was Under: Make something that goes under the other layers.

1930s Ribbonwork Silk Bridal Garters
From the inspiration post: Silk Ribbonwork Bridal Garters, ca. 1930s, Underpinnings Museum.

For my part, it is one of my favourite challenges every year. Mostly because I have a soft spot for dainty white fabrics, but also because I love the contrast of the more colourful pieces among all the white ones.

Like last month, every moderator has picked a favourite item and written a few words about their choice. It was a really hard choice for all of us to choose just one item each, when there are so many wonderful pieces made by you. So if yours isn’t chosen here, it doesn’t mean we don’t like it. All your entries are wonderful! So be sure to take a look at the other items for this and every previous challenge in the HSF facebook albums, on the blogs (usually linked to in the inspiration post comments), or instagram!

(You have to be a member of the facebook group to access the albums. If you ask to join, you will have to answer three questions to be admitted, so be sure not to miss them. It may take us a few days to answer your request, but we will, if you have answered the questions. We’d love to welcome you as a participating or cheerleading member!)

So, you’ve been waiting for them, and here they are, February’s favourites!

We should all be that lucky! Patricia found hand-spun, woad-dyed wool she could get for free. She turned it into a lovely pair of knitted stockings for early 17th century lower-class impressions. And finished it off with woven garters. Impressive set of skills! 🙂


Kura / We all: Danelle’s 1780s Petticoat and False Rump
So this is really a bonus pick from us all, as Kura wasn’t well enough this week to pick a favourite herself. We are full of admiration for Danelle for finishing these items while being sick with the flu. And she even handsewed them – wow! Despite all the obstacles they still came out so nice, even though she had to make do with unappropriate sewing thread, which actually makes handsewing harder than usual. So Danelle, if you can handsew this while feverish, you can definitely accomplish a pair of stays when you are healthy! 😉


Recreating something what you can find in many museum collections is easy, but if you try to sew an item known only from written sources, it could be challenging. I think Sharon did excellent work adapting a regular linen shift pattern to other material.

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It’s easy to skip on garments like corset covers – they aren’t as obviously necessary as chemises or corsets and are often overlooked, even when they would improve the fit of the outer garment. Kiyomi took a popular pattern and adapted it to match an extant museum example, with beautiful results. (And I love her red petticoat too!).


Bránn: Michaela’s 1880s Corset
There were a lot good submissions to this month’s HSM challenge – more undergarments is something which everyone is in need of – and I had a hard time choosing. In the end, I went with what stood out to me from the sea of white (and sometimes frilly) underthings; Michaela’s 1880s corset in black satin. I am also a sucker for nice corset flossing – it’s something I feel adds a little “pop” and elegance to the often blank slate of solidly coloured fabric, and has an additional practical purpose. Based on an extant example in the Royal Ontario Museum, she did an excellent job of reproducing the look and flossing with the commercial pattern she had. Her writeup was also lovely to read, and included the things she learned and mistakes made during the making of her project–something I am a proponent of not glossing over in your documentation.

Ninka (me): Erin’s 1934 girdle
You don’t often get to see more modern historical undergarments recreated, so I was more than happy when I saw this girdle! Erin recreated a 1934 girdle from the McCord Museum. She even found matching pink fabric to the girdle elastic and really got the design of the original, but with a more lighter and simpler look about it, which I really like. Such a sweet garment! And pink is my one weakness 😉

Next up is challenge #3: Comfort at home. Go over to Bránn’s blog to read the inspiration post and later on the favourites


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