Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Historical Sew Monthly Challenge #1 - Foundations - Ribbon Flowers

Historical Sew Fortnightly 2014 was an incredible experience!  While there was some discussion about the Challenges continuing into 2015, the great news is that it will continue on a more limited schedule and is now the Historical Sew Monthly 2015. 

With over 2,000 members on the facebook page and even more through the Dreamstress' website, it is the hopes that a monthly rather than the previous twice-per-month Challenge will allow for more participation.  If you are interested in joining this group of wonderful and creative people, here are the links:

With January being a busy travel month I wasn't sure I would be able to participate until I read the first challenge:
January – Foundationsmake something that is the foundation of a period outfit.

While this could mean a literal "foundation" such as an undergarment, I came to feel that it could also mean the knowledge and skill required to create a period outfit.  I've had to learn many new skills as the foundation for my costume creations and decided I would address that learning in this Challenge.

One of the historic events in the western United States is the Durango Heritage Festival in Colorado.  It began in 2008 and with the historic buildings, narrow-gauge railway, and western history, the Festival has become a popular attraction.  In 2015 the Festival will host an English Garden Victorian Ball and the ladies are discussing creating gowns based on a variety of flowers.  Sounds beautiful and fun!

I've spent quite a bit of time teaching myself the art of ribbon flowers - an art very popular in the Victorian period.
The flowers have adorned bonnets and hats....

and gowns based on historical fashionplates....

and even shoes.
So while traveling with a wonderful group on the Victorian Dance Cruise and many of them talking about their flower gown for the Durango Heritage Festival, I shared what I had learned with them and we all made ribbon roses and leaves.  We had a wonderful time!

Yes, even the gentlemen made roses and leaves!  It was so enjoyable to see the flowers show up on shoes for the Fantasy Masquerade Ball, on hats, on hairpieces, on skirts and even my own shoes got a makeover for the Diamond Ball where I wore my All That Glitters ballgown from HSF 2014 Challenge #24.
If you would like to learn to make the roses and leaves as well as some other ribbon flowers, you can find the photos in my facebook albums:
Please enjoy creating your own beautiful ribbon flowers and I hope these photos give you a beautiful foundation for your costume!
Historical Sew Fortnightly
What It Is:  Ribbon Flowers
The Challenge:  Foundations
Fabric:  Ribbon
Pattern:  None
Year:  Any
Notions:  Thread, net or buckram, stamens
How historically accurate is it?  Very
Hours to complete?  A single rose and leaf can be completed in 15 minutes, a pansy or dogwood blossom in 20 minutes.
First Worn:  We all wore our creations the same week.
Total Cost:  A single rose can be done with just a yard of ribbon costing less than $1.
With love,

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