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

Sunday, July 10, 2016

On My Worktable

I'm trucking along with projects this summer, gearing up for Pennsic. I've taken on several extra projects for others, but in between those, I'm working on the pieces for my new sleeping garb set. Here's a sneak peek:

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Old Garb Update - Gold Wool Dress

Every so often, I take a look at old garb that I don't wear as much as I thought I would to see if I can make it suitable again. Recently, I thought I would go through that effort with my Dark Colored wool cote, but when I tried it on, I discovered that my body had changed enough that it actually fit better than it did when I made it. The only issue was that I'd placed the gores way too low. The easy fix there is that I always girdle it if I'm wearing it as my outer layer.

Sunday, June 19, 2016


I'm deep into a pile of projects, most of them for others, and I'm being challenged to sew in a style that I have had very little recent practice with. And I keep getting things wrong.

I call these "pratfalls".

In comedy, a pratfall is when the comedian does something dumb or humiliating, usually physically, in such a way that it generates a laugh. More specifically, it's when a person falls on their butt. It's not intellectual humor About as far away from that as you can get. But it makes us laugh. There's something about certain types of physical humor that we just find funny.

Most of the time when we are sewing, the mistakes we make are dumb. We sew two left arms. We shift something an inch away from where it should be. We continue to stitch on our sewing machines long after the bobbin has run out. We forget, we misplace, we measure once and cut twice. And these things happen to everyone. Well, most of us, anyway. Certainly those of us who are distracted by all the other things in our lives.

The simple fact is that dumb mistakes happen. By framing them in the rubric of humor, however, it's easier to let them go, and not hold onto them as proof of our flaws, or badges of failure. If I didn't look at the mistakes I've made over the past two days as pratfalls- falling on my butt just to pick myself back up again- I'd be wallowing in self doubt and misery at this point. And nothing would get done.

I laugh instead of cry, even when the mistakes pile up. They aren't a reflection of my skill or abilities. They are instead mini lessons in humility, which I could certainly use more practice in. And that's exactly the point of the pratfall.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Project Complete: Deep Blue Wool Cotte


A long sleeve fashionable fitted cotte in blue wool suitable for 1410'-1430's.

Note: Sorry about the weird color inconsistencies and exposure in the photos. Each time my husband took a photo, the camera seemed to reset the settings. And that's Boomer. She's the best photo prop ever.