Motivation and Cognitive Science

This post does relate to sewing, I promise. I am using my blog to post a homework assignment for an educational psychology class. For this assignment, I have to share some photos and explain how they relate to motivation. I chose to use photos of my sewing and other craft projects because of the relationship between something that I find enjoyable and how motivated I feel to pursue the activities.

In “Do Students Care About Learning?” by Marge Scherer, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi discussed how enjoyment plays a large role in motivation. For me, I am usually very motivated to work on things that I enjoy. My primary hobby is sewing historical clothing for reenactors and history museums, which has become a small business for me on the side. I really love sewing and am usually quite motivated to work on my commissioned projects. However, I noticed that if I feel that I won’t do a good job, I dread working on the projects--the frustration level of learning (Swanson, 1999). It also strikes me th…

Linen Coat and Waistcoat


My Latest Tape Weaving

Graduate school interferes with what's really important--sewing, knitting, weaving, tatting, etc. I have actually been crafting here and there, but rarely sharing pictures on my blog. I realized that I never shared these pictures of tape that I wove last year, so here they are! I have woven more tapes recently, but have not taken pictures yet. All of these tapes are made with 16/2 linen thread.

This green and white one is about half an inch wide. It's not copied from or inspired by an original.

Next, here's a brown, orange, and tan tape. It is inspired by one in the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center. The original red cotton with white and blue linen used as apron ties. It is item 1916.01.05, online at

This red, white, and blue tape is copied from a Schwenkfelder tape; catalog number  2006.14.09 at…

1750's Linen Shirt

The last shirt that I made was rather popular. Several people showed interest, and one unsuspecting victim lovely gentleman requested that I make two shirts for him. Alas, he has waited a few months, and I've finally finished the first one. If only I had completed these before I started graduate school in January! This shirt is 100% linen and completely hand sewn with linen thread. As requested, it has linen thread buttons sewn onto the cuffs and collar.

For this project, I bought Larkin and Smith's "A Manual for the 18th Century Shirtmaker" (, which I highly recommend. It is informative and the techniques are professionally researched by examining original garments, advertisements, and other primary sources. I have some minor criticisms which should NOT discourage anyone from using this manual, just be forewarned that some of the steps are not clearly expl…

Making Dad look Scandinavian

I wasn't even looking for knitting patterns when I recently stumbled across a picture of a knitted hat on the Internet ( It looked so interesting and beautiful that I just had to make one. My father is the perfect victim for projects like these--I knew he would look so dapper in this fair isle/stranded colorwork checkerboard and that he would wear it and love it even if he thought it looked dorky. He appreciates everything I make for him.

There was a pattern, but not a free one. With me being so cheap, I decided to try making the hat just by looking at the picture. I zoomed in on the image and counted the stitches, then I researched how to knit the false braid, and finally jotted some notes for a makeshift pattern. I loved the colors of the hat in the photo and I just happened to have the perfect yarn in my stash for it, only it was DK weight and not bulky. So, I created my own pattern for the thinner yarn…