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Aug 07

CoBloWriMo Day 5: Origin Story

Eek, I’m only on day five and already falling behind, so I’ll try to keep this short and sweet.

I first learned very basic hand sewing when I was a child.  It was my mother’s strategy to keep me busy while she sewed.  By the time I was nine, I was sewing basic projects on her Viking sewing machine that had two different speeds so that I could plod away on the slow setting.

A dress my mother made for me (circa 1980, I think).

I continued sewing throughout my adolescence and even brought my little Kenmore to college with me one year.  I was still just making the odd dress or skirt now and then.  Nothing too complicated, and I still didn’t even know there was such a thing as historical costuming.

It wasn’t until my first year teaching, the 1999-2000 school year, that I stumbled upon a whole new (to me) world through the pages of the Simplicity pattern catalog.  I spotted their costume version of an Irish Renaissance dress (you probably know the one I’m talking about), and had this sudden thought that I could make the costume to help me introduce Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to my students.

My mother is wearing my very first attempt (see, I said you’d recognize that pattern), and I am wearing my very slightly improved second attempt (bet you recognize that pattern, too).

And, oh what a rabbit hole that one decision has led me down.  Making the costume made me want to wear it somewhere else.  I don’t quite remember how I found out about it, but I ended up attending my first Ren Faire the following fall.  Shortly after, I joined the Greater Bay Area Costumers’ Guild and started dabbling in all sorts of different eras.  I discovered the world of Costume Blogging while it was still in its infancy and still cherish many of the people I met then, even the ones I still have not met in person.

While I do miss the small, tight-knit community that we used to be back in our LiveJournal days, I am constantly awed and inspired by those who continue to be added to our numbers.

One of the things that I hope this month of blogging achieves for me personally is to help me reconnect with those who are continuing to blog on different platforms and to discover voices that are new to me.

1 comment

  1. Green Martha

    “One of the things that I hope this month of blogging achieves for me personally is to help me reconnect with those who are continuing to blog on different platforms and to discover voices that are new to me.”
    I remember fondly stumbling upon your blog when I first fell down the rabbit hole of historical costuming, many moons ago. It’s nice to be able to read you again ! (and thank you for fueling that passion)

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