Hot! Sewing Plans for 2012

Like all good reenactors, I have a prospective project list that I’m hoping to get done this year.  Some of these are necessary for a particular impression, others are merely things that I want to make for the fun of it.  This is where I’ll be keeping track of my progress on each.  As I add or subtract things, this list will evolve.

So, here’s what I’m hoping to sew this year, at least when talking about historical clothing:

Leather Stays

Arguably, these aren’t really a sewn garment, per se, but they’re a historical garment, so I’m going to include them anyway.  These are for my campfollower impression.

Status: Mockup done.


Another piece for my campfollower impression.  I’m probably going to sew two of them at once – one out of bleached linen, one out of unbleached.

Status: Fabric ordered.


Another campfollower piece.  Probably going to do two of them, one out of a darker wool flannel, one of a lighter wool flannel.

Status: Not started.


My final major piece for my campfollower impression.  Brown wool striped with white, lined with blue linen.

Status: Not started.

Ukrainian Peasant Outfit

This is for my WWI Russian group, the 11th Siberian Rifles.  I don’t like the nurse’s uniform, but I am tired of being unable to participate, so I’m making myself some refugee clothes so that I can hang out and not be out of place.

Status: Researching.

1920s Coveralls

I found this pattern recently and was quite taken with it.  The pattern reminds me a lot of Soviet tanker coveralls in a way, but slightly more feminine in shape.  I think it would be a great item for my Spanish Civil War impression, and could be amusing to wear when Marc and I drive our sidecar motorcycle Nadezda around.  It’s going to be made out of dark blue thick denim.

Status: Not started, but pattern acquired.

1914 Knickerbockers

Not for any particular impression, just like the look.

Status: Not started.

1930s Bungalow House Dress

I am not typically a fan of 1930s dresses, but I found a pattern recently that really fits more with the late 20s and it looks delightfully casual.

Status: Not started.

1960s Party Dress

I haven’t decided on a pattern for this yet.  Thanks to the success of Mad Men, there are tons of 60s patterns hitting the market right now.  Since my French Foreign Legion unit does a formal dinner and night on the town every May and I’m always the only one out of uniform, it would be awesome if I could actually be able to dress the part for once.

Status: Not started.

What are your own sewing plans for the year, if you have any?


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  1. 9th century shoes. Halfway completed.

    Early 18th Century French-fly breeches. Almost completed.

    Early 18th Century Sailor jacket. Patterning.

    Mongol del. Halfway completed.

    Qin Dynasty tunic/robe. Patterning.

    1812 Civilian. Researching.

    Complete late 12th Century Knight Hospitaller kit.

    Early 18th Century waistcoat.

  2. I’m gearing up to cut into my linen to try and make a 18th century dress. Totally intimidated by a “real” (not joanne’s) pattern.

    I’m also sewing the binding onto my stays done by Hallie Larkin and then I have to sew in the lining. Hopefully they will still fit me when I’m done!

    • Good luck with both the gown and stays! What pattern are you using for the gown?

      • I have a the Robe a l’Anglaise from JP Ryan. Going to try it in a solid linen first that I got on sale and then if that goes alright, going to purchase a patterned linen since I would prefer to portray a Loyalist woman. I like to be contrary 🙂

        • If you want to do Loyalist and don’t already have a unit, you should look into joining the unit that Marc and I belong to, the Queen’s Loyal Virginia Regiment. We’re a progressive loyalist unit based in the mid-Atlantic region.

          • I’m up in MA and haven’t been doing any in depth research as to whether I want to join a group or not yet. The outfit is for my work as an interpreter, mostly, but also so the next time I participate in the Boston Tea Party reenactment or the Boston Massacre, I can look appropriate and not have to hide under my cloak 🙂

            • Are you doing Battle Road? If so, I’ll be there, albeit out of uniform and with the press corps.

              • I might be. I work at a NPS site in Boston and it all depends on if MIMA needs some extra hands, and if we aren’t opening a new visitor center that weekend as well. Should be pretty cool. I do have Sundays and Mondays off, so I might wander over on my own and see all the festivities since I’ve never been a part of them 🙂

  3. I was going to make a ca. 1780 pair of stays, but then I realized that obviously a woman in the middle of the Revolutionary War would be wearing older stays, probably ones without straps, and most likely front-lacing. I got to go to a local historic house’s collections a few months ago for an unrelated project, and while I was looking at was I was there to see, I also took the pattern from an interesting set of stays – I’ve decided to get some more linen (got just far enough on the first ones that I don’t really want to take them apart for fabric) and make a copy of those. I have a shift, underpetticoat, and petticoat, so I would just need to make a gown. I’m planning for it to be a little old-fashioned, with a stomacher and robings and wider sleeves, and in blue linen.

    At this point, my only other definite plan is for a ca. 1914 outfit. I’ve scaled up the pattern for the corset and I have a chemise that’ll do, so once I finally make the corset I’ve got to take the pattern of one of the lingerie dresses I have and make a copy (probably with some variations) and then make a bodiced petticoat/slip to go with it.

    I just wish I already had stays/corsets of every era so I could get on with it and do the fun bits! Oh well, as long as I do them right this time so I don’t have to redo them again … This will be my third attempt at stays, if you don’t count the ones I only just started.

    • Actually, straps were more common on earlier stays than later. Front lacing stays, though, were as you said, also an earlier thing. I say go for it! However, remember that garments often didn’t last long in their first configuration, so I would advise against styles that are more than 10-15 years out of date.

      I look forward to seeing your Edwardian stuff!

      • Oh, I’m definitely not thinking that old-fashioned – more like late 1760s, early 1770s, as I feel like I see a lot of 1780-ish closed-front gowns. I do want to make a proper early 18th c. mantua at some point but a) nooooo do not want to make yet another pair of stays, can’t I have multiple outfits with one set of undergarments? and b) I’m trying to confine myself to things I’m very likely to wear. Maybe at some point in the future when I have a circle of acquaintances and we can decide to go to some fort or other all together in mantuas.

        I may have pictures of early 20th c. stuff if I ever get my act together and work on it!

        • Sounds awesome! And yes, I know what you mean about the undergarments. There’s a lot of different periods I’d like to give a shot at, but I hate making the undergarments, so it never happens.