3 Historical Hand Sewing Projects That Are Beginner Friendly

3 Historical Hand Sewing Projects That Are Beginner Friendly

My dear reader, it can be daunting to stand at the precipice of beginning a new hobby, looking over the edge at all of the possibilities that lay before you, and freezing up because you don’t know what path to take and are afraid of messing things up from the start. Hello analysis paralysis, our untimely friend. (I’m currently suffering from this ailment in terms of getting my first garden off the ground, BUT that is a story for another time.)

When I first began historical sewing, I was just a baby sewist in 2016 trying to cobble together an 18th century dress inspired by Claire’s wedding dress from the TV series Outlander. The patterns I Frankensteined together was more 17th century pirate wench with lots of sparkly metallic machine embroidery. The petticoat wasn’t even properly hemmed and the raw edges were fraying like crazy. I had weird gapping in the bodice around the neckline. And let’s not mention how much I was lacking in the appropriate foundational garments department (i.e. my corset was a fashion corset I purchased online, my chemise was a nightgown, and I was definitely wearing yoga pants underneath it all).

As you can imaging, it was overwhelming and a bit of a hot mess, but at the time I was absolutely thrilled with result and wore it proudly to the Renaissance fair. Through this endeavor, I learned a handful of new techniques and skills that I still use in my projects today even though I don’t have the dress anymore.

As a sewing novice, you may read the above anecdote and think to yourself, ‘There’s NO WAY I’m going to tackle a project like that! There’s too much going on and quite a bit of investment in time and money.’ And that is perfectly fine.

In the place of a giant project like the one above, I would like to guide you towards a handful of relatively small sewing projects that are historical, involve a low investment of money and time, teaches you new hand sewing skills without overwhelming you, and are absolutely useful for a modern homemaker.

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