What I’ve Been Watching: Costube Edition

what i've been watching

Like many people, I’ve been largely stuck inside for the past month or so, and while I normally spend my limited free time writing or reading, I’ve hit a bit of a creative dry spell recently, and have been spending much more time watching TV than I would usually. I haven’t had cable television in almost 20 years, and most of my “TV” watching is actually none on Youtube. I think I’ve mentioned my toddler-like attention span before, and I appreciate that most Youtube videos are short and end before I get bored and have to change the channel.

Recently I’ve been drawn into the world of “costubers”, or costume-making Youtubers. The one and only time I’ve tried sewing was in my high school home economics class, where I made a terribly ill-fitting pair of shorts out of a table cloth. So, I don’t watch these creators because I want to learn their skills or recreate their projects. Rather, it’s my fascinating for history that draws me to these colourful individuals – I appreciate being able to learn about different periods in history through fashion and clothing design and construction.

If you’d like to join me in the costubing world, here are a few people that I enjoy watching.

Bernadette Banner

Tisch Drama Alumna Bernadette Banner Creates Online Business ...

The absolute queen of the historical costuming world, Ms. Banner insists on absolute historical accuracy whenever possible, and conducts extensive research to ensure that she is working with the most accurate materials, tools and techniques she can. She is a master at hand sewing, creating breathtaking costumes without the use of a modern sewing machine. She also wears mostly historical dress in her everyday life, with is an aesthetic that I utterly adore. Banner specializes in Victorian and Edwardian fashion, though she does dabble in other time periods as well.

Morgan Donner

Morgan Donner's Sewing Party – Adventures in Historical Sewing and ...

I don’t think it’s possible to be cuter than Morgan Donner. I love her style, her incredible hair, and her clear manner of presenting. Donner specializes in medieval fashion, and has made the most incredible gowns you can imagine, as well as stays, caps and other items. She’s also active in the historical reenactment community, and posts videos about her experiences at different events. And oh my goodness, her luscious locks almost make me want to grow my hair out.

Rachel Maksy 

Rachel Maksy | Vintage inspired fashion, Fashion, Vintage dresses

Rachel Masky isn’t strictly a sewer, as she blends sewing with thrifting and focuses more on a vintage aesthetic than a historical one. Of all the costubers, hers is the style I can most relate to, as I am a fellow thrifting addict who likes to go to work dressing like a 1940s librarian whenever possible. I drool over her hair tutorials and lookbooks, and she has a very helpful series in which she shows how you can work modern items into a vintage look. She also has a goofy, quirky sensibility and an adorable doggo named Frodo, which makes her even cooler.

Hopefully these three creators will help keep you entertained during these long, lonely isolation days!




#IMWAYR – July 4, 2016

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date, and adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus. The Sunday Post is hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. These weekly roundups are a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers, share titles, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.

Happy Independence to all my Yankee friends! Here’s wishing you a happy, healthy holiday.

On the blog front, I’ve got a few exciting bits and pieces of news to share!

First off – I’m now a regular host for the incredible kids lit meme Diverse Kids Lit, which is an opportunity for kid lit bloggers to share diverse children’s lit! As a children’s librarian and co-chair of my local library association’s LGBTQ interest group, diversity is a subject that is very dear to my heart. I shared a powerful Canadian picture book as part of the linkup on Saturday,you can check it out here, and don’t forget to check out all the other great posts on the list.

Next up, I’m now an official Book Warrior! I’ve been a guest contributor to this amazing children’s literature blog for a few months now, and the fantastic ladies behind the site have invited me to become a fully-fledged member. I couldn’t be more excited – it’s like being invited to sit with the cool kids in the school cafeteria, except these cool kids are also incredibly smart and nice to boot. I’ll hopefully be posting fairly regularly over there, focusing mainly on picture books (of course), so check it out!!

Now, on to some of this week’s reads.

The Hangman’s Daughter

I read this historical mystery for my book club, and while I didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it either. To be honest, I found the whole thing pretty meh, and had to force myself to actually finish it (I’m a serial DNF-er).  I love historical fiction, and I’ve always been fascinated by Medieval Europe, so the story of a hangman and a young progressive physician who work together to solve a mystery and prevent the eruption of witch hunting mania sounded really promising. But the text is just kind of clunky. There’s a lot of “but what do X, Y and Z have to do with A?” dialogue, as if the author knows that the plot is getting overly complicated and is worried that the audience won’t be able to follow along. There characters aren’t particularly fleshed out, the inevitable romantic pairing isn’t all that romantic, and it’s just a lot of meh.

I did wonder if some of the clunkiness of the text might have to do with the fact that this is a novel in translation. Even the best translations risk losing some of the spark of the original language, and some expressions and cultural assumptions simply don’t translate easily.

Either way, it’s not a terrible book, but if you enjoy historical fiction set in Medieval Europe, I would recommend Ken Follet, Bernard Cornwell, Philippa Gregory,  and many of the novels on this list instead.

Maybe Something Beautiful

Super Happy Magic Forest

Reviews coming this week!

Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections a Year

What an inspiring article! Whether you’re a writer, artist, creator, athlete or job hunter, this article is a must-read. Putting yourself out there again and again can be terrifying (my job interview batting average is an unspeakable horror at the moment), but as the author explains, it’s only by actively courting rejection that you can ever hope to secure success.

Have a great week everybody!!