Author: AnAmericanSeamstress

History, costume, research, music, and art enthusiast.

HSM 2015 #4: 1779 Virginia Regimental Coat

I struggled with an appropriate project for HSM #4 (War & Peace) until the perfect opportunity fell into my lap. My boyfriend has been in need of a properly fitted regimental since he started reenacting and decided to pony up the money for a Henry Cooke workshop that was being held in Winchester. Which of course really meant that I was taking the Henry Cooke workshop. I have to give him credit here though; he did quite a bit of the grunt work on the internal seams.

With “A Call to Arms” at Mt. Vernon scheduled for the first weekend of May it was the perfect deadline. I finished putting on the buttons the Wednesday before. Confession: the buttonholes have not been finished. They’re not even whipped. But the coat is 100% functional!

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HSM 2015

HSF15icon250

I’m taking the plunge this year and I’m going to attempt to do the Historical Sew Fortnightly 2015. Which is really the Historical Sew Monthly. Thank goodness too; I’ve been putting off participating because Fortnightly was a little too much for me. Wish me luck!

Here are the challenges and my potential plans.Of note: I’m doing this challenge in part to complete things that I keep putting off. If it seems like I’m stretching the category a little bit it’s because I’m trying to get a specific garment made.

January – Foundations: make something that is the foundation of a period outfit.

  • Regency Stays, though I need a shirt too…

February – Colour Challenge Blue: Make an item that features blue, in any shade from azure to zaffre.

  • Sleeved Waistcoat
  • Edit: Or I’ll finish the evening bodice for my natural form gown.
  • Or maybe make wool gaiters. I’ve been threatening to do that for a while too. Apparently I have a lot of blue things to make.

March – Stashbusting: Make something using only fabric, patterns, trims & notions that you already have in stash.

  • Breeches

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.

  • Jazzberry Linen Anglais for Reenacting. Not that I don’t have enough already.

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.

  • Waistcoat. It’s not fancy and I just need to get the darn thing done.

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.

  • Spencer Jacket. I know I’m making Regency stays for the first challenge, but this will be my first real foray into 1800s clothes.

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.

  • Pin Ball

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.

  • I’m going to finish my Edwardian shirt that I started at Costume College a couple years ago.

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.

  • Silk Gown. It’s not really brown per se, but it’s an orange-y rusty color and it’s close enough. Plus I need the gown.

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).

  • Hidden Message of some sort.

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.

  • Blue Pet en l’air based on a jacket I saw in “Perfume”

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.

  • I think I’ll redo challenge 1 and make either an 18th century man’s shirt or a regency shift.

Bad Weather Reenacting Clothes

I realized a week or so ago that many new reenactors do not know how to handle bad weather. To me, having the right clothes is of utmost importance for two reasons:

  1. An event is more fun when you’re comfortable
  2. Authenticity and public education

Surprisingly, the two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, often the authentic clothing is just as, if not more, comfortable than modern clothing in bad weather. Below is a list of items that can be acquired or made to make your experience more enjoyable in all sorts of weather.

Rain

Cold/Snow