Historical Fashion - Arbor Apollonis

Historical Fashion

While I've been crocheting since I was 12, I've only in the last few years picked up sewing. Of course I've done some small stuff, like sewing a few little toys here and there, and even making long skirt. However, it is only in 2021 that I discovered the world of historical costuming. I stumbled upon the youtube channel of Bernadette Banner, and from there got pulled into the rabbithole. Around the same time, I discovered the existence of the Frysk Kostum, the regional dress of Friesland. I myself am born and raised Frisian, and am currently studying in another country, so I decided to make a Frysk Kostum for myself as a way of to connect with my "heitelan" while I was away. From there, of course, it spiralled out of control. Since then I have also joined a historical dance group that specializes in renaissance and medieval dances. I can borrow some costumes for performances from them, but making my own costumes is on my ever-growing to-do list. As I have yet to buy a sewing machine, every garment is made by hand, which takes a lot of time, especially since school has priority.

So what is historical costuming?

Historical costuming is the practice of making and wearing clothes belonging to historical periods. This can be from any time! The eras people choose are completely based on their own preferences and interests, and there are a myriad of ways to approach historical costuming. Some people try to be as accurate to the time period as possible, others go for a more modern approach, and others still mix these up. I, myself, have a preference for mid-19th century Victorian fashion (about 1840-1860) and mid-16th century renaissance fashion, but I also have an interest in Viking garments, medieval dress, and 1940s fashion. I just haven't made much from these last few eras yet. My approach is generally as historically accurate as possible, but I try not to get too caught up in this. While I do try to use fabrics that people from that era would have used, I'm generally not too preoccupied with period-accurate sewing thread and such.
A related term is "historybounding". This is a movement in which people take certain elements of historical dress (again, any era is possible!) and incorporate that in their modern wardrobe. This is an ideal way of marrying these two concepts for people who can't just wear all-out historical fashion in their day-to-day lives, while still keeping a connection to a hobby and aesthetic they enjoy.

Currently making

  • 1940s playsuit (summer project)

Planned projects

  • 1850s-1860s corset
  • Corset cover
  • Medieval shift
  • Medieval supportive kirtle
  • Late 15th century burgundian dress

On Hold

  • Sophie Hatter dress, with a late Victorian/early edwardian flair (mock-up stage)
  • Sophie Hatter underthings (drawers and petticoat)

Finished projects

  • Viking serk
  • 16th century shift (x3)
  • 16th century kirtle
  • 1590s Pfalzgrafin Dorothea von Neuberg bodies/stays
  • 19th century chemise & drawers (Frysk Kostum)
  • 1830-1860 underpetticoat (Frysk Kostum)
  • 1840-1860 petticoat (Frysk Kostum)
  • 1840-1860 colored petticoat (Frysk Kostum)
  • 1844 corset (Frysk Kostum)