HSF Bonus – Something (that could have been) simple

One of the things I’ve wanted to do for the Historical Sew Fortnightly challenges is a regency-style outfit. To start this off I thought that a fichu would be a good way to go. A good way to fit the bonus challenge of something simple. And looking at fashion plates here, the fichu would mean more 1790’s, as the chemisette is way more popular in the 19th century fashion plates. I’m not really a fan of ruffles, which makes the chemisette rather a long way down on the to-do list…

In my mind, this would be the work of an evening. Cutting out a triangular shape of thin cotton fabric, hemming it, bingo.

Thin cotton fabric

Thin cotton fabric

Excellent idea. I also didn’t cut it as a straight line-triangle as I thought it might be easier to drape in the neckline if it was a triangle mixed with a semi-circle. And then I tried to get the hems as narrow as possible.

What I didn’t think about was that thin cotton frays more than the linnen and wool fabrics I’m more used to. The straight line of the semi-triangle was alright. It took some extra time because I needed to control that the stitches weren’t too tight (or too loose) for the fabric, and it was more slippery to work with than I had expected. But that is nothing in comparison to the bias-cut (is that the right English word?) parts. Let’s just say I’m not overly proud of the sewing there, fighting with a more and more frayed fabric. Ironing would probably have been helpful there…

Before ironing

Before ironing

As you can see the bias-cut parts are bubbly and, well, not very nicely done…

After ironing

After ironing, still interesting shape

So, I’ve decided that this will only work when worn, since the hems won’t be seen then. I will never take it off in public. Nor will I post links to the blog until the next challenge is done, which promises to be better already… The other participants’ projects are beautiful however, lots of fun to see here!

Next time I will make it bigger, better and with more help from an iron. Or maybe go for a rolled-hem (if that’s the English expression).

1790's meet shirt from 2011

1790’s fichu meets shirt from 2011


Just the facts, Ma’am:

The Challenge: #0 bonus – Something simple

Fabric: Thin cotton, muslin perhaps?

Pattern: Made up, triangle with hint of semi-circle

Year: 1790’s

Notions: Thread, unfortunately polyester as no cotton thread could be found

How historically accurate is it? Apart from the poor level of execusion, and the thread… Well, it’s acceptable as an accessory.

Hours to complete: Way too many!

First worn: With a modern shirt Dec 31. For a short while.

Total cost: Can’t remember, fabric already in my stash, borrowed thread from my mom’s stash.


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Filed under Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge


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