Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ken Doll

When I started the silly, silly hobby of living history 15 years ago, I was hugely intimidated. It is expensive. Sewing was not something I had ever even considered. Time to learn new things. In the beginning, patience is crucial. Way too easy to go to Jo-Ann's Fabrics and buy whatever. It's a good way to learn how to sew, but a waste of money. Thank the FSM for mentors and the internet. Even though I remember life before computers, I'm not sure how anyone shared knowledge.

I remember thinking "I'll just make the one outfit." Eventually, the clothes rod in the guestroom closet collapses under the load of historic garments and scares the hell out of the cats. The key is finding the most common clothing for your place, period and gender. Forget what you think looks cool or what others are doing. If you are recreating a 21st-century American male tourist you would need jeans and a t-shirt, not a fez and a bow tie (fezes ARE cool.)

Access to paintings, letters, journals, and periodicals from most time periods is stupidly easy to come by. Research enough and you start to see patterns. Ignore those who cannot prove their assertions without evidence. Take constructive criticism gladly. Share what you find. Eventually, you can mix and match your outfits and need only make a couple things a year. Good luck stopping once you get started.

Courtesy of Wilson Friedman Historically Speaking

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