Sunday, November 26, 2017

Links of Interest


We've entered the swing of the holiday season here in the US, and this is already turning out to be a very family-focused time for me this year. I've also had to fit in some sewing projects. The image above is a good ol' fashioned action shot of me sewing an overcast seam on a pilgrim bag I just finished. So since I didn't have enough time to put together a more typical blog post today, I wanted to share a few links to some things that may be of interest.

Katafalk, who focuses on several types of historical tailoring and crafts, has recently become more active on her blog again. (Hooray!) She posted a few weeks back about set-in sleeves, and I couldn't love this article enough. She goes into some of the common issues and troubleshoots them so that you can adjust your basic pattern (such as the one you might get from my sleeve patterning tutorial) to something more specific to your body and your garment. If sleeves are giving you trouble, I highly suggest this one.

Friend and fellow Midrealmer, Sarai at Clothing the Past has published a basic guide to patterning a fitted dress (cote, kirtle, cotehardie). She's developed this method to work with larger groups of women at local workshops, so it can be considered a bare bones beginner method that will get you started. If you want to make a fitted dress just to see if it's a period style you would enjoy, but other methods feel too intimidating or intense, I recommend looking over her method and giving it a shot.

Did you know I have an Instagram account? I share glimpses into what I'm doing over there that I don't post elsewhere (like that finished pilgrim bag I mentioned above.) It's a great, low-key alternative to following me on Facebook too. I'd be delighted if you followed me!

This gorgeous silk hood by Lady Malina has already been sold, but it's such a pretty hood (and inspiring to boot!), I couldn't resist sharing.

I'll be MIA for the next few weekends, but during that time, I'll have worn the last of my Doppelgänger Challenge outfits. When I return in mid-December, I'll have a full recap on that experience and what I learned from it. I'm looking forward to that.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

How I Dress for Cold Weather Events


In my neck of the woods, we can expect the possibility of a cool weather event between October and April. (Though that’s definitely not a guarantee- Midwest weather is fairly unpredictable.) It’s important to pay attention to weather forecasts heading into the weekend, because being unprepared for the weather is one sure-fire way to ruin an event. When I think back about events I was miserable at, in many cases it was because I was dressed too lightly.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

On My Worktable


After the rush of getting things done for my elevation, I decided to just chill out for a bit, and turn my attention to some other areas of my life. Which of course resulted in a bit of a longer break from productivity than I intended. So now I'm like a car with a battery that needs to be recharged. Despite this, I do have a few projects on my table that I'm at least giving the sidelong glance to as I work my way back to a productive pace. Here's what's on my radar.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Project Complete: Apprenticeship

Thank you to everyone for the outpouring of support and love on my last post. I'm so grateful to be a part of such an amazing community!

So I figured I'd start this post where I left off on the last one. By that point, I had finished my new chemise, and finished refitting the gray wool dress.

I had washed and line-dried the blue herringbone wool for a new cote to wear during my vigil and into court. I used the two larger pattern pieces of my chemise to cut the wool as a symmetrical dress. I had intended on doing a front lacing, but when I got everything sewn together to try it on, I really liked the plain front look, and decided not to mess with a good thing. (Good thing too, I would not have had enough time to sew all the eyelets!)

Easy to get a bit cross-eyed sewing this herringbone.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Some News and a Handful of Projects

Photo by the incomparable Dame Marissa von Atzinger.
Last weekend, I was honored to be placed on vigil for the Order of the Laurel (the SCA's highest award for excellence in the arts & sciences). I have long hoped that being worthy of the Laurel would be a part of my journey, and though it is a milestone, not a destination, to be able to rest here a while and enjoy this step is exciting and fulfilling. My elevation will be occurring next weekend (hardly enough time to plan, but there are family reasons involved), so I am of course waist deep in sewing! I thought today I'd catch you up on my plan and what I've done so far.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Houppelandes of the Early 15th Century

Like most things clothing-related in this period, the sumptuous overgown we call the houppelande (usually pronounced HOOP-lawn in the circles I run with), has a layered evolution that has to be understood through both time and class. The houppelande style of gown may have been brought north from Italy in the later 14th century. It can be seen in the imagery of the Tacuinum Sanitatis manuscripts produced at the end of the 14th century, such as this striped example below, possibly from Milan.

Detail from Tacuinium Sanitatis, (Nouvelle acquisition latine 1673), fol. 81v, c. 1390.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

On Break

Source
Just a quick note that I'll be taking a break from the blog for the next several weeks. I wasn't able to swing going to Pennsic War this year, but I hope all of you headed there have a fun and safe time. I'll be back to my regular posting schedule in late August.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

In Progress: Oatmeal Wool Hose

This project started when I pulled my in-progress wool sleeping tunic out, and decided that I didn't care for it. As the unfinished tunic sat around over the next month or so, I considered other uses for it. One evening, while talking to a friend about wish list items, I realized that I hadn't made wool hose in a very long time. I normally wear knitted wool or cotton socks. I like them, they are comfortable, and since I always had a problem with garters staying in place (until recently), the fact that they mostly stay where I need them to is a big bonus. They aren't, obviously, correct for an early 15th century townswoman. It didn't take much to convince me that the wool tunic should be recycled as hose.

When I finally got around to starting this project yesterday, I was looking for the easiest option to get finished hose quickly. I also wanted to focus more on the sewing than the patterning. I remembered that I'd pinned a quick hose tutorial from Maria at In deme jare Cristi some time ago, so I pulled that up and figured I'd give it a try. I won't belabor her method here- you should check out her post for that- but it took a little trial and error to pin myself in and make adjustments for the fact that my legs are not at all symmetrical.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Planning Your Garb Projects



I've been feeling lately that when it comes to making garments, I tend to go a bit on autopilot. I have a method that works that I'm fairly adept at, and while there's nothing wrong with that (practice makes perfect, as they say), it can get stale. It can also make it harder to discover better methods. Even a rut that's working well is still a rut. This has me thinking about the overall processes we use to go from not having a garment to having one. In recent years, I've seen the value in planning the high-level vision of my wardrobe, so it makes sense that there should be a second layer of planning below that- the planning involved within any given clothing project.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Women's Dress Colors in the 1415 "Comedies of Terence"

You may or may not recall my exploration back in December of 2015 into the prominent colors used on women's clothing in the 1432 "Le Decameron". Since that time, I've been meaning to do a follow-up, looking at a different manuscript. That time has finally come.

When we begin to really look at color across the period is to see that some manuscripts stuck to a fairly basic palette, while others explored the possibilities of color a bit more. What's interesting, though, is that the colors larger stick to the same palette, and "off" or mixed colors show up as only a small percentage of all the basic colors represented. Here's what I mean:


Sunday, June 18, 2017

On My Worktable

It feels lately like my project list has the hiccups. I've got the regular list of projects that builds up like normal, but then little projects pop in randomly out of nowhere, usually inspired by some experience at an event. This most often takes the form of repairs or easy updates. Occasionally, it is a project that may have been really low on the priority list that I realize I badly needed. At the moment, between events and not having any gowns in the works, I'm working on a real hodge-podge of things. Let's start with the little things I've already done.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Taking a Walk Into the Weeds

"Into the weeds" might be one of my favorite phrases in addition to being one of my favorite things to do on topics I'm passionate about. The idea of getting really deep into a subject, far beyond what's necessary for understanding the subject, is thrilling to a specialist like me. It's the whole reason I settled on a specific time and place for my persona, and why I love the research I do in that period. I know plenty of folks that do a bit of this and that, and many of them are quite good at all the things they put their varied efforts into. For me, though, being in the weeds is where the fun is.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Where and How I Store My Garb

I'm a garb horse, as you have probably figured out. While not every garment I've made for myself is still around or currently being used, I've still got a lot of clothing in fairly regularly event rotation. Add in headdress, shoes, and accessories, and there's a fairly sizable amount of stuff that needs a home.

Over the years, as my garb collection has grown, my solution for storing all of it has changed. There was a time, many many moons ago, when everything I had could fit in a smallish plastic tub. As I gained more garb, I went through phases where my stuff had no "home", which made things super frustrating when I wanted to pack for an event. Now, my garb and other personal kit items are stored in specific places, and finding things (assuming they were put away) has gotten a lot easier.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Project Complete: Pink Wool Open Hood

Two new hoods in two weeks? Wha??!


Project:
An open hood of the early 15th  century.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Project Complete: A 14th Century Square Hood


Project
A fitted "square" hood with underarm straps from the late 14th Century.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

In Progress: White Leather Drawstring Pouch

In my effort to dive as deep into my collection of 563 images of women from French manuscripts of the early 15th century, I have started the process of looking beyond dress and headdress formats to the details and accessories that appear as well. Shoes, belts, aprons, and pouches are everyday personal items that show up through the image collection, and, unsurprisingly, appear to follow somewhat similar patterns of style differences among the classes as the gown and headdress types do. The more exciting thing about these types of details is that they show up in smaller, digestible quantities that offer us the chance to see all of the examples together for comparisons and categorization. The first accessory I did this with were the pouches.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Project Complete: Red Wool Cote


Project

A supportive cote of wool suitable as the bottom or middle fashion layer for early 15th century outfits.