The Historical Sew Monthly 2020 Challenges

This year has a theme of sustainability.  Thus hitting two of my buttons! 😀 Below are this year’s challenges.  If you want to know more about it or want to join along in the fun, here is the link.

This year is a little different than in the past.  Although the challenges are “assigned” a month, they can be completed at any time during the year.  I think this is a great thing!  Especially since I am not sure what I might make for most of them.

January: Timetravelling Garments: Create an item that works for more than one historical era, or that can be used for both historical costuming, and modern wear. It could be an apron that could do 1770s or 1860s in a pinch, a shift that can work under many decades of fashion, or a historical cape you also wear everyday, etc.

February: Re-Use: Use thrifted materials or old garments or bedlinen to make a new garment. Mend, re-shape or re-trim an existing garment to prolong its life. I already have a deconstructed bed sheet with pretty embroidery on it.  Perhaps I will be able to incorporate it into under-lovies in some way.

March: Green: Make something in a shade or shades of green. If you can also make it ‘green’ in the figurative sense, even better!

April: Local: Support your local industry and your local history by making something that (as much as possible) uses materials made locally, or purchased from local suppliers, or that features a garment specific to your part of the world.

May: Basic: Make a garment that can be used for many occasions (like a shift, or the classic ‘Regency white dress’), or a simple accessory that will help you stretch the use of an already existing garment. Having purchased the Edwardian corset online class from Jennifer Rosburgh’s site Historical  I think that would fit nicely in this challenge.

June: It’s Only Natural: Make something inspired by nature, or use natural fibres and materials in a way that stretches your usual practice (e.g. natural dyeing, using cane instead of plastic whalebone for corsets/stays etc.). Or challenge yourself and do both!

July: No-Buy: Make something without buying anything. Whether it’s finishing off a UFO, using up scraps of fabric from earlier challenges in the year, sewing entirely from stash, or finding the perfect project for those small balls of yarn, this is your opportunity to get creative without acquiring more stuff.

August: Celebration: Make something for a specific historical celebration, make something generally celebration worthy, make something that celebrates a historical hero, or just make something that celebrates some new skills you’ve learned.

September: Sewing Secrets: Hide something in your sewing, whether it is an almost invisible mend, a make-do or unexpected material, a secret pocket, a false fastening or front, or a concealed message (such as a political or moral allegiance).

October: Get Crafty: Make use of your own skills or learn a new one to make something from scratch rather than buy material. The possibilities for learning and applying new skills and techniques are endless. Lace, pleated self-fabric trim, knotted fly trim, embroidery, dyeing, knitting your own corset laces, hand painting your own fabric…

November: Go Green Glow-Up: Be environmentally friendly and celebrate how your making skills have ‘glowed-up’ as you’ve used and practiced them by taking apart an early make of yours that no-longer represents your making skills, and re-making it so you’d be proud to use it. It can be as elaborate as a total re-make, or as simple as getting the ribbons or buttons you didn’t have time to source at first. You could even take something from a challenge made earlier in the year, and fix the tiny things you weren’t totally happy with.

December: Community: It is the season of giving. Create an item that honors or supports the communities around you, whether Real Life or online

For the rest of the challenges, I am going to have to think on it.  It is 2020, maybe like so many others I can look back to 1920 for inspiration.

One thought on “The Historical Sew Monthly 2020 Challenges

  1. It will be fun to see what all you achieve this year! I’m sure it will be exceptional! I’m not nearly as ambitious but would love to finish some important UFOs that need to go to special people!