Benny's Sewing Blog

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Furby, that creepy 1990's doll, has a tumblr page.

bennyssewingblog·2 days agoText


Feminism in historical fiction isn’t about Girl Powah, it’s about respecting historical women as full and rounded human beings and not limiting women to madonnas and whores, with the occasional amazon thrown in. It’s about hard work and actually giving a damn about the historical record. It’s about acknowledging the gaps in the record and giving some benefit of the doubt to unknown women, and not making obscure historical women into hysterics or nagging bitter harpies, when what little we have shows them as no worse than their male counterparts, or as women who were loved and valued by those who knew them far better than we do.

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bennyssewingblog·2 days agoText






TIL Students at Christ’s Hospital Boarding School In England Have Been Wearing The Same Uniform Since 1556


You can’t just say that and not include some pictures:

im in my gay british dress like a renaissance era contractor and fucking killing it

About ten years ago they had a vote amongst the pupils to decide if they were keeping the uniform or replacing it with a more modern uniform.

The students overwhelmingly voted in favour of keeping it. They’re really proud of their uniform. The school has a rule that students have to travel home in their uniforms at the end of term.

It’s not your typical boarding school either. The vast majority of pupils receive at least some financial support from the school and many are on full scholarships. Unlike other Public Schools in Britain such as Eton or Harrow, that began as schools for the poor and now are reserved for the elite, Christ’s Hospital has kept to its ethos of ensuring an excellent education for promising young people regardless of their background.

Honestly though that looks comfy as fuck and really goddamned stylish.

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bennyssewingblog·2 days agoText


what it boils down to, for me, is that two people who don’t appreciate her (and who publicly dismissed her as “just another pretty girl” and derided her as “that witch”) still chose to put Anne Boleyn in their show even though she wasn’t actually present for the events they depict and therefore wasn’t necessary to the story until its final act. left her in the background, she appeared to be a cute, kind young girl…but then, when she actually becomes necessary to the plot, these same two people don’t even allow her to speak and reduce her to a body after which the king lusts

the same people who claimed to want to elevate female stories, who sold their show with the tagline “fight like a woman,” instead play into the centuries-old narratives that slut-shame Anne and make her out to be a homewrecker. they literally strip a woman naked who is remembered historically for her quick wit, her sophistication, and her political acumen, and through it all, she is never once able to use her voice. THAT’S the real outrage, imo.

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bennyssewingblog·4 days agoText







i’m watching an art theft documentary and they’re interviewing this art history professor from new york who was asked to go with the fbi to authenticate a rubens that had been stolen but it was a sting operation so they had to pretend like they weren’t the fbi, that they were some private buyer about to pay $3.5 million for it, and the fbi was like “this is a VERY delicate operation because you never know how they will react to what you have to say so let the agent do all of the talking, don’t say a word to anyone just nod if it’s the rubens, the last operation we did the guy in your position got shot because things went wrong in a second” and then it cuts to the professor’s interview and he says “i wasn’t going to fly down to miami to be a part of an undercover fbi sting operation to handle what could be rubens’s aurora and just NOT say anything. i was gonna have to ad lib a little” and then he tells the interviewer that when he & the fbi agent got to the hotel while he was examining the painting he started lecturing the other people, first on how badly they had wrapped it, and then about like how it had been painted, the history of it, what the subject was and what she was doing, etc etc, and he was like “i hadn’t taught a class on rubens in 15 years, so for me it was like being back in the classroom except my students couldn’t leave” 

at one point during the deal the professor turned to the woman selling it and he said “isn’t this just the most beautiful rubens you’ve ever seen outside of a museum?” (because the fbi had told him earlier that this piece had been stolen from a museum) and THEN he said “where on earth did you get it from?” and the group of people the woman had with her was like taxidermy-fox.png but the woman was like “inheritance” can you IMAGINE the fbi agent about to have a fucking aneurysm when this random guy you’ve brought in just to nod if it’s the right painting not only starts giving an impromptu lecture but then he asks how they got it

omg BLESS YOU for the link and the time stamp that was as glorious as described by the OP

Y’all failed to mention that HE posted the video HIMSELF and liked every single comment oh my god

you: “chaotic lawful” isn’t a valid character alignment
this guy: …hold my beer

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bennyssewingblog·8 days agoAnswer

Reading your LW commentary: it really frustrates me when costumers do the "a true feminist woman (tm) never ever wears a corset!" thing without caring that it was standard underwear that made your clothes fit right. They may as well say that I should go into the office in a fitted, clingy dress blouse with no bra, or else I don't really care about feminism. It just boggles the mind how they think that has any bearing on being a Strong Woman

I think it really comes down to not understanding corsets. Most people don’t even know they served a utilitarian purpose. They were Bad Uncomfortable or Torturous Fashion Things- done and done! Time to make a movie! They know it was an incredibly misogynistic time period; they know the fashion industry loves to screw women over. They never think to question it because, on the surface, there’s no reason to. It’s extremely believable.

(Although, to LW19′s credit, the one character the directors thought would always wear a corset- Amy -does get a nuanced, sympathetic portrayal. So it’s not precisely “a true feminist woman never wears corsets.” Fair is fair.)

(But it is “women wore corsets because The Patriarchy made them and the ones who Dared To Dream of a Better World cast off their confining steels!” which is a different flavor of nonsense.)

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bennyssewingblog·8 days agoPhoto


Tudor Fashion: Gable Hoods

Many popular shows depicting the Tudor era in English history, neglect to include the headdresses that were commonly worn during this time, but hair was usually covered and the gable hood was a fashionable headdress worn during Tudor times. 

Shaped like a gable roof, this hood was made of fabric and was a very conservative fashion as it covered most if not all of the hair. A piece of fabric flowed down the back of the head covering the hair in the back. Sometimes this type of hood would have two strips of cloth that came down from the headpiece (see bottom right picture). One could pin one or both pieces of cloth up onto the headdress (see Jane Seymour’s portrait middle left). 

This style was worn most commonly during the reigns of Catherine of Aragon and Jane Seymour. Anne Boleyn did wear a gable hood, however, she made the French Hood very popular throughout the English court during her time as consort. The gable hood was worn even during Elizabethan times, albeit by older ladies of the court, because fashions changed as they are wont to do! 

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bennyssewingblog·8 days agoText


Annie Stegg, Caliadne the Naiad, 2019, oil on board, 16 × 20 inches.

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bennyssewingblog·8 days agoAnswer

How do you feel about Belle's dress? In like the various adaptions.

I mean, re: the Disney movie there are really only two.

It’s not my favorite Disney princess dress even in the animated movie, despite the fact that I wore it for Halloween when I was 8. That would be Aurora’s iconic gown (team blue!). But it was poofy and shiny and elegant. Very 1980s. Not remotely 18th century and fantastical enough that I don’t mind at all. A good, serviceable Pretty Pretty Princess Dress.

(Yes this is appropriate levels of Floof and Fancy. Perfect. Also, I always interpreted it as gold, not yellow.)

The 2017 adaptation was the sartorial embodiment of Sad Trombone Noise:

(womp womp.)

I want to be clear- this is a pretty dress! The skirt looks amazing in motion, and even if the details are glitter glue (you’re DISNEY you can AFFORD BETTER) they’re still pleasantly sparkly and ornate.

It’s just. Not a Magical Fairytale Ball In A Rococo Palace dress.

I could have excused the lack of historicity if it had been more fantastical. I could have excused the lack of fantasy if it had been more historical. But it’s neither and I hate it.

As for what I would have done with Belle’s dress…

Let’s find out if you can do a romantic minuet to the title song, shall we?

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bennyssewingblog·8 days agoText



apparently this is a thing in Japan too, and it gets translated as “Mundane Halloween.” There are so photos online and they’re all so good?????

“Person going to work on a windy day"

“Woman who’s having her bang cut but the hairdresser is nowhere to be found"

“Zookeeper in charge of the pandas”

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bennyssewingblog·10 days agoPhoto




Giambologna (Flemish, 1529 – 1608)

The Rape of the Sabine Women (1579 - 1583), displayed in the Loggia dei Lanzi

Please let me rave about this sculpture for two seconds? Because it looks like this -

- and the amazing thing about it is that it doesn’t have a point of view. Like, I don’t even remember the technical term, but normal works of art? They’re made to be seen from a certain angle. The sculptor thinks, ‘The viewer will be right there’ and he makes the sculpture so it will look pretty when looked at from that specific direction. But this one right here? It doesn’t have that. There is no ‘right’ or ‘optimal’ direction from which to look at it. And the awesome thing about it is that Giambologna didn’t give you one because he wanted you to be dragged into the action. This is a scene of extreme violence -

(According to the legend, the some Trojan noblemen had emigrated to Italy after the war, where they kidnapped local women - the Sabines - and had children with them. That’s how Rome started.)

- and you, the viewer, are not on the outside. You are part of the scene, because wherever you are, you are dragged inside the struggling group.

The fact this statue had a precise purpose - the Loggia in Florence was to be turned into a museum to discourage people from holding political meetings there - some say there’s a sort of Fuck you in there. The Medici, who had forbidden Giambologna from ever leaving Florence because they wanted a monopoly on his talent,  commissioned him a statue to further oligarchical power. Instead they got a work of art with demands participation from the viewer. 

An artist trapped in a golden cage inventing a new form of art - that’s really quite something.

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bennyssewingblog·10 days agoText



I don’t know if I can contain my “The Muppet Christmas Carol has better costume design than most Oscar-nominated period dramas” rant until after Thanksgiving you guys, I have…so many Thoughts

Ok, buckle up kids.

Basically they did not have to go as hard as they did here. A Christmas Carol covers 60 years of fashion through flashbacks and they still manage to do nearly everything right. 

I’m mainly going to be talking about the human actors here because it’s harder to judge Muppet costumes proportionally, but those costumes are still on point 90% of the time.

First off, A Christmas Carol was published in 1843, and anyone who knows me knows I love the absolute train wreck that was mid-19th century men’s fashion. Do you like plaid? GOOD, BECAUSE IT’S ALL PLAID. Mixed with whatever else your little Victorian heart desires, color schemes be damned. Go wild.


This of course means I absolutely love Fred.


This outfit is hideous and it is also 1000% on point.

We also get to see him in a different outfit the next day, along with his wife and some friends.


First off, MORE PLAID, good for you. Second, I can literally find near-identical images of both these ladies’ dresses just by googling “1843 fashion plate”, I shit you not. To the damned year.


A good part of the story involves travelling through Scrooge’s life, so we get to see the costumes varying wildly over the course of several scenes. This was a time when styles were changing rapidly, and you had to keep up if you wanted to be fashionable and keep up appearances. Fashion changed so fast that you can often pinpoint an outfit to within a year or two like the ones above. 

First, we go to Scrooge’s childhood school. Given the timeline that’s normally put forward Michael Caine is definitely not old enough to play Scrooge, but ignore that for now. Let’s say if Scrooge is 75ish in 1843, it’s about 1783 when we see him leaving school and going off to be an apprentice. We actually see a few years of Little Scrooge fashion, but it’s fairly standard stuff. Scrooge doesn’t have a super childhood and his clothing is pretty plain, but it’s totally on par for the time. Why this haircut though? It makes me sad.


Then we jump ahead a few years and it’s about 1789. The whole group is attending the Fozziwig Christmas party and have gotten tarted up like they’re about the storm the Bastille, including Gonzo and Rizzo.


Again, they look absolutely ridiculous and it is absolutely accurate


Now, this is super ostentatious and a lot of people would have considered it way too French for their taste in this time period. But it definitely did happen (I’ve seen stripey bubblegum pink menswear in person) and like. It’s the Muppets. So, Rule of Funny.

Scrooge and Belle are dressed way closer to average Londoners of the time, and it’s worth noting that both are supposed to be somewhat poor. Fozzy pays everyone well but Lil’ Scrooge is still a skinflint and Belle is just getting by. They’re both looking darn good but their clothes are much more understated than everyone else’s and maybe even on the verge of out of style. 


Even their hair is pretty good. Including his. Also, holy shit does this guy look like he could be a young Michael Caine. Like, he doesn’t actually look how Michael Caine looked when he was that age, but if I didn’t know that I would totally buy it. Wow.

Then we jump ahead another ten to twelve years or so. This is the period I know the least about, especially when it comes to outerwear, so Jane Austen stans please comment. I don’t think it looks too bad though.


Here’s a couple of fashion plates from 1801 and 1803 for comparison.


I’d also like to point out that there is a wide variety of costumes based on social class that we get to see in the 1843 “present” that you wouldn’t really notice. So while the Scrooge family that’s doing alright for itself is wearing the latest looks, the rest of the town is not. A few of the women in the crowd dancing around Scrooge during “It Feels Like Christmas” are wearing dresses a couple of years out of date. Not too far, but you can see some looks from the tail end of the 1830s before women started shrink-wrapping their sleeves onto their arms.


You can see something similar to these outfits from 1839 in the crowd.


Contrast this with Mrs. Cratchit, who is living in poverty and has put on her absolute best dress for Christmas; it’s silk but it’s ten years out of style. 


This would have been the height of fashion in the early-mid 1830s.


And that’s important for making a world look real. Fashion was super important back then, but even so average people weren’t necessarily chucking their clothing out every year to keep up with the latest fashions unless they could really afford to. You would get there eventually, but you don’t want everyone in your universe, rich and poor, to look like they just stepped out of the latest fashion magazine. 

It’s absolutely astonishing to me that they put so much effort into this. I don’t tend to go down the rabbit hole of nitpicking historical costumes in movies as much as some, but when a movie that you never expected does it very right it just throws me for a loop. 

Was everything perfect? No, I don’t think any movie is. But this is the damn Muppets. They were under no obligation to do this. Add to that the fact that it’s one of the more accurate renditions of the story, to the point of including a ton of the original dialogue, both through the characters and through the narration, and they just created a masterpiece. 

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