Monday, January 7, 2013

Historical Sew Fortnightly: #1 Centennial

This year I'm participating in Historical Sew Fortnightly, a historical sewing challenge with a new theme every two weeks. The first challenge is to sew something Bi/Tri/Quadri/Quin/Sex/Septi/Octo/Nona/Centennial (i.e. something from a year __13). My project is from 1913.

The Challenge: Centennial

Fabric: cotton striped sheet (free)

Pattern: Past Patterns Pattern #4574: Ladies' Three-Piece Princess Combination Suit: Circa 1913 
I did change the top to have ribbon straps so it's evening gown friendly.

Year: 1913

Notions: 4 yds wide cotton lace ($12), 5 yds narrow cotton lace with ribbon ($15), buttons ($1), polyester ribbon (from stash)

How historically accurate is it? I'd say it's fairly historically accurate. I did use a reprint of a period pattern, but the directions were minimal so I had to guess at a lot of things. I've never seen striped Edwardian underthings and my fabric is heavier than I would have liked but I wanted to use what I had on hand. Overall, I'm happy with the historical accuracy of it. Now if I only knew what order to put on my Edwardian underthings, I'd be good to go. lol.

Hours to complete: Oh, I never really pay much attention to this part but probably 5-6 hours.

First worn: Not yet! I still have to finish my other underthings and then make an outer garment.

Total cost: $28

I had planned on making a 1910s brassier for the bonus challenge but I didn't get it done in time. It's almost finished except for a few more hooks and eyes but I'm out so I'll go ahead and share with you!

The Challenge: Something Simple

Fabric: cotton sheet (free)

Pattern: Historically Dressed free pattern with modifications

Year: 19-teens

Notions: 3yd narrow cotton lace ($10), 1.5 yds wide cotton lace ($4), hooks and eyes ($1.50)

How historically accurate is it? I used a pattern made from an extant garment. I modified for fit and also lowered the back neckline based on a different extant brassier. I'm not entirely sure how they are supposed to fit but I was pretty happy with the support I was getting from the toile.

Hours to complete: 2 hours

First worn: not yet

Total cost: ~$15

So far, I've learned that I love lacy, frilly underwear and that I hate sewing on hooks and eyes. Mine never look pretty! The next challenge is UFO which I'll probably skip because I really don't have any historical UFOs. Not been costuming long enough I guess! But challenge #3 is the undergarment challenge so I'll be working on my 19-teens corset until then!


  1. I'm still trying to decide what to make for the under it all challenge. Are your combinations the open or closed kind?

    1. They are open which is one reason I decided not to model them.

  2. Can't wait to see how your challenge garments turn out! They look really fun to sew.


  3. Lovely! Frilly is fun. I hate hooks and eyes too! I just can't seem to get them on well. I'd rather glue myself in haha.

  4. Marvelous work! I adore the lace that you used on the hem. It really has an period feel to me, and also makes me think - in the loveliest of ways - of wintry icicles.

    ♥ Jessica

  5. Your combinations are so cute! And I'm so glad the brassiere pattern worked out for you. I think yours is the first that I've seen someone make use of it. :)