Sunday, October 9, 2016

What Makes an Outfit Early 15th Century: Part 1

The Book of the Queen (BL MS Harley 4431) fol. 290
You might recall at the beginning of the year, I laid out the basics of women's clothing as depicted in French manuscripts from the first portion of the 15th century. Through that quick outline, it was easy to see the styles of dress appropriate to different classes of women, and also to see how layering was used during the period to create more depth and style. The thing that exercise didn't identify, however, was where those styles might differ from the period of fashion directly ahead of them, as well as those directly behind. What makes those styles distinguished (and distinguishable) from other fashions in the Middle Ages?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hand-Finishing a Garment

I, like many modern medieval sewers, often use my sewing machine to sew the pieces of my dresses together. These are referred to as the "construction" seams, and are, for the most part, considered "non-visible" since the thread used for these seams is not seen. While it's possible to sew and entire dress by machine (construction and finishing), this doesn't provide the hand-made quality that gives the garment a medieval character. So once the garment is assembled into its raw form, whether by machine or by hand, I will do most of the rest of the work, the finishing, by hand.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

German Brick Stitch Embroidery

Particular to Germany in the 14th & 15th centuries, the pair of counted-stitch embroidery techniques we call brick stitch are found on many extant purses, and were used as a graphic technique within wall hangings. In nearly every extant case, brightly dyed silks were used on linen ground fabrics. When we recreate these techniques, evenweave cloth is used. Using set lengths, stitches are worked strictly in one direction (most often vertically), so that lines and shapes are created to form repeating patterns.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Post in Which I Talk A Lot

One of my selfie outtakes from Pennsic.
Since I haven't been able to work on any of my own projects in the past few weeks, I've been doing more thinking about the lessons I learned from this past Pennsic. Last week, I mentioned that my new chemise needed some revisions. As I continued to think about that, and about what projects I wanted to take on next, I came to the realization that I had learned so much more from Pennsic then I had previously realized.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Through the Paces

Two weeks ago, I packed up nearly all of my garb, went camping at Pennsic, and put my kit through its paces. It was hot, rainy and muggy. In order to get through the week, I had to mostly use my older garb- the linen dresses I'd packed along with two of my lighter-weight wool dresses. To make the most of it, and to convince myself that it was okay to use these older pieces, I used my new chemise when I could, and I made a plan for how to mix and match what I packed.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

See you at Pennsic!

I'm working hard to get my list of projects done before next week, when I'll be at Pennsic War. Several of the things on my list are taking me outside my comfort zone. Which is all good. It's good to feel challenged sometimes.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Project Complete: Early 14th Century Open Hood

Project: Open hood in the style of the Luttrell Psalter hoods, circa 1330