Tuesday, January 01, 2013

The Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge...A Partial Take-Up

Good gravy...it's finally back!
As many of you all in Costuming Land know well, The Dreamstress has dreamed up a set of 26 fortnightly challenges, each with a theme. Everyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows that I don't do particularly well with deadlines, the latest example being going to a Steampunk party in an unfinished ensemble with hastily thrown-together hair and accessories. I had started that project months earlier.

So I "trepidate" a bit stepping into any challenge, and do so here with a couple of caveats. I'll watch joyfully as the rest of you venture into 26 different projects, will encourage and applaud. I'll take up a very few challenges, and not worry about their end dates overmuch. Daily life here is more than busy enough without extra stress, and besides, I have major surgery coming up near the end of this month. No need to complicate things.

Here are the two winter- and springtime challenges that seemed a good fit:

#4: Embellish – due Feb 25
For this challenge, I'll be finally finishing the sleeveless spencer, adorning it with contrasting stitching at the seams, and a scalloped-pinked ruche at the collar. The exciting part, for me, anyhow, will be testing out using gum arabic as a fray check on the ruche. Gum arabic was used in the day and it's still available. How does it smell? How will it act on silk? We'll find out.

#7: Accessorize – due April 9
Several things are spinning around in my head. Do I chain-stitch embroider this little pocketbook from Colonial Williamsburg, which will help refine the small bit of skill I have in using silk chenille, or do I spring for another reticule, one decorated with small garnet-colored beads?

Really, this one is sweet...look at the garden implements and the little sprigs. It's calling to me: "Come embroider me, come and dream of springtime..."


The Bohemian Belle said...

i'm looking forward to your experiments with gum arabic!

The Choll said...

Your projects turn out beautifully. As a chronic procrastinator, I find your rate of finishing to be enviable! I'm joining the sew-along to hopefully improve my productivity. (At least that's the theory from this early, blissful stage of ignorance.)

You will be in my prayers for your surgery.


Kleidung um 1800 said...

Happy New Year, Natalie!

Gum arabic? Now that sounds very interesting...I'm looking forward to learning more about it.
And I can't wait to seeing the spencer finsihed, but I'm totally with you on the deadlines = stress issue...well, to finish a garment takes as long as it takes ;)

Thinking of you by the end of the months with your surgery.
Take care :)


MrsC (Maryanne) said...

Natalie dear, everything you make is so beautiful, you are all about quality not quantity! :) Perhaps you could use the themes to enrich your projects rather than to be individual projects. For fun. It's all about fun :) Me, I've not time to make things for dressing up when I so despreately need things to wear every day, so I am using historical influences on my new clothes instead. Whatever works, no? :) xo

ZipZip said...

Thank you, everyone! Glad there are other folks out there who enjoy slow, deadlineless work.

Mrs. C., I like the idea of historically inspired new clothes. One of these days...

Prayers are definitely welcome.



Crystal aka Jaquelinne said...

I completely understand the deadline issue. I'm not joining the challenge at all due to my deadline-phobia, but will enjoy watching people as they sew along.

I use gum arabic in my painting and calligraphy, and it has no strong smell to note. How it will react on silk will be an interesting experiment.

ZipZip said...

Dear Crystal,

Thanks for the tip that gum arabic has little smell. That's a relief: thought it might be resiny or something. Not that all resin smells are bad, but on a dress I prefer lavender.

Yes, I am curious as to its effectiveness, too...

Very best,


Time Traveling in Costume said...

I took some photos of some beautifully embroidered silk workbags while I was in W'burg, and wanted to make one so badly. I just like the idea of doing some pretty handwork on it. Some nice relaxing handwork might be nice for you while you recuperate.
I don't know about you, but I sometimes do amazing things, like finishing them, when I have a deadline and its fast approaching.
Good luck! Val

Maggie Smith said...

Oh yay! It's nice to hear that there are others who are taking up the challenge with the the knowledge and acceptance that they most likely won't do All of it! I'm terrible with deadlines too. And I'm also still learning a lot. So my challenge 1 won't make the deadline because I fubarred it. And not all the challenges are going to fit with my costume event schedule. I'm crossing my fingers I can keep up with about half.

ZipZip said...

Dear Val and Maggie,

Good morning! Think I know what workbags you're talking about, Val. They are entrancing, and yes, I covet the chance to make one. So...you did it, my dear, I bought a slate frame so the "nice relaxing handwork" you spoke of I hope will happen as I lie in bed or on the chaise, recuperating. Yes, we have a chaise longue from a Great Aunt, and it makes one feel like a duchess to relax there.

Maggie, I hear you! Ack pon the fubarring. That happens to me all the time. Hooray for taking the challenge with doses of practicality! This makes the challenge even more fun because the stress is mitigated.

Very best,