Last year Leimomi Oakes, aka The Dreamstress, created the Historical Sew Fortnightly (HSF). I thought about joining in last year, but being honest with myself (following some frank discussion with a costuming mentor) I decided I had other priorities. This year I’m in – for most of the challenges.

Leimomi posted all the challenges for the year yesterday, which really, really helps with planning items and fitting them into events that I know are coming up this year and that I already had sewing goals for. In particular:

  • Rowany Festival, 17-22 April
  • Rowany Baronial changeover, 3 May
  • Midwinter Coronation, 5-6 July
  • Cold War, end August
  • November Crown/ Fields of Gold, November
  • Yule Feast, early December

Some rules I’m setting myself for participating the HSF.

  1. Preparing for events is more important than participating in a challenge, making them work together is excellent.
  2. Life trumps sewing
  3. If I can’t make it work for within the framework of this blog and my specific research interests then I’m not participating in that challenge.
  4. Using a challenge as impetus to make something that’s been knocking around in my head for a few years is a good thing. I’m looking at “Tops and Toes” and “The Great Outdoors” here.

With this in mind I made a template for planning the challenges, which I printed out single-sided and will blue tack to a wall at home. Feel free to use the template if it will help you too.

Looking through the challenges, and keeping in mind the rules above I immediately knocked out the following challenges either because of competing event deadlines, or rule 3: #5-Bodice (Rule 1, 1 month to Festival); #6-Fairytale (Rule 3, also Rule 1); #14-Paisley & Plaid (Rule 3); #20-Alternative Universe (Rule 3).

I have ideas drafted for challenges 1-4, 7-9 as they fit with plans I already had for my Festival kit, and plans to finish the transition gown I was making for Yule Feast last year. First challenge results will be posted later this week.

Here’s to a creative and productive year!