Have you ever been hammered by an “expert” or costume know-it-all? I certainly hope not, but I do know that there are some out there who would choose to tear apart someone’s best efforts. Aside from horrific behavior, it’s a shame to see someone who thinks they are above all and chooses to express it negatively.
If this happens, you should stand up for your work and have a ready response on why you did or used something such as a tight budget, lack of knowledge or skill, etc. Then you can apply new knowledge and methods to your next project. Remember, everyone started from scratch.
You will definitely not hear “Costume N@zi” remarks from me. I don’t believe that’s right. Oh, goodness, you should see my first costumes! Granted I had been sewing my own clothes for nearly 15 years, but Victorian fashion was new for me. I stumbled and picked it up fairly easily, which is, as my friend Val remarked, those of us with this gift are responsible for passing it on.
I dream of living in a quaint Victorian town in the 1870s. To get close to that dream I make historical garments from that time. It is my gift and desire to encourage others who yearn for that same idea – even if that means I see them using a slippery teal charmeuse for a tailored 1890s day dress. If that gives them happiness to experience history in their own way, I will lift them up in the process – even knowing from my own research that was a poor fabric choice to represent the era.
It is my job to share my research and knowledge of what our ancestors used for clothing. All I can do is share and encourage. It is ultimately up to the individual to challenge themselves to learn from the charmeuse “mistake” and use more period appropriate textiles. I can’t make them and they may not want to. But that is not something for me to judge.
We’re made to serve one another and lift each other up. That includes even if you don’t snark to their face but do so behind their back. Negativity and destructive thoughts, even when alone, is detrimental to the spirit.
I have to work on this every day and especially when at events. Just because I know more about costuming than they do, it is not right to look down on them.
So let’s work toward having a JOYFUL supportive community – no matter where individuals are in their costuming level. Those who know more are looked upon for guidance. But even the beginners will know something you don’t. Just because that teal fabric is screaming at you, that costumer may have figured out a better method of putting that bodice together that you may have overlooked.
Nobody should be dismissed for their lack of talent or a meager budget. We’re here to have fun, study history and create a glimpse of the past into our busy lives. This is why Historical Sewing .com exists.
Costuming keeps us dreaming.
Let the dream live – for everyone.