Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
We skipped the event last weekend, so I've got no event news to share. I've got a couple of ideas for classes brewing, and I've got a plan to get my class notes and documentation online over the course of the next few months. I have some great step-by-step photos taken by my friend Lillian of all my veil styles that I'm eager to get together and show off.
Next on my plate, however, is the black linen dress. I'll be starting that immediately after Christmas (and my birthday- I turn the big 3-0 on the 26th!).
So, for the moment, I'm still laying low, but great things are ahead!
P.S. I just jumped over to this post on Racaire's blog- What a great idea! What an inspiration!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
So, I wanted to share with you some of the bits and pieces I used to come up with my finished 15th century working class outfit. Most of research started by looking at completed outfits by other folks, and getting an idea of what I thought I might like. These included:
Marie Chantel Cadieux's front laced kirtle and
Matilda La Zouche's short-sleeve kirtle
Then in October of last year, I attended a day of lectures by medieval fashion historian Robin Netherton. In her lecture on the Gothic Fitted Dress, she made mention of the fact that the open front variety is not seen on most women- only those in distress or on girls. Her information was both informative and inspirational. The best thing that I took away was the confirmation that the underdress made a huge difference. Under my lovely teal wool is a slightly less lovely underdress doing the job of keeping myself in place.
Robin had great information about the fitting method, but it was Tasha Kelly McGann's Le Cotte Simple site and Charlotte Johnson's Costly Thy Habit that I found really valuable.
I was also interested in Marie Chatel Cadieux's open hoods. Looking for further information, I discovered Lia de Thornegge's open hood, and decided to make one. Marie did such a great job pulling images together, so I won't worry about adding any here.
As far as period sources for the dress goes, the 1432 manuscript of Le Decameron is a great source, as well as the dresses listed under "Kirtles" on Hope Greenberg's 15th Century Dress page.
I used a million other sources along the way, including other recreations and random finds of period images, but these are the things that got me started.
I'll be making another fitted dress next, a black linen dress with a lavender lining. There are a few minor adjustments I need to make, but overall I now have a dress pattern that works much better than my previous dresses and make a huge difference in making me feel that I am doing more to be authentic.
So, enjoy the autumn, and I'll "see" you again in December!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I'm standing a little odd in the middle picture, so I look kind of uneven, but the side and back views definitely make up for it. I love the side view!
I started the day without a bra, which is how the fitted dress is supposed to be, but by the time we got to the event, the "support" aspect of the dress had ultimately failed. I have very large and heavy breasts- I'm a DDD cup size (which is just a nicer way of saying "a size F"), and the fact is that very little in this world can keep them properly defying gravity and in place. Luckily, I had the foresight to throw my bra into my hatbox. So the photos above are of me with the bra on. I felt much better after I put it on (yesterday was the first time in a very long time that I went out into public without a bra, so I was really self-conscious about it.) Unlike my other dresses, my fitted dress and bra worked together to create a comfortable and flattering shape. I don't think of it as a compromise- I just needed to find what worked for me. The fitted dress will need a small amount of additional tailoring to account for how much the linen/cotton stretched as it warmed up, but I look at the whole thing as a pretty great success.
The teal dress is wonderful. It was well worth the cost of the fabric. Yesterday was a chilly day, and the dress was the perfect weight. I was wearing 6 layers (with one of those layers being both the third layer in the chest of the fitted dress and my bloomers covering my lower body from my waist to my knees.) I was also wearing my knit knee-high socks. My only problem was that the fitted dress and the wool dress are both short sleeved, and the pin-on linen sleeves (which I borrowed from mom) were only barely heavy enough, and there was a little gap at the back of my arms.
In addition to my dress, I was able to also make a mini-houppelande for Owen out of some burgundy corduroy. I think it ended up a little too short, or maybe a little too wide, but he looked really handsome. I made some pseudo-hose out of the gold knit cotton I ended up using to make a scarf for myself, but they were a little too small, so he wore a pair of blue pajama pants. Dearg made him a new belt, recycling the belt tip and buckle from the belt Dearg made for him when he was a newborn.
I even made a fake chaperone out of the scraps from my teal wool. He hates hats, so he didn't really wear it, but it was very cute when it was on his head! For the majority of the day, he looked like the photo on the right above- a perfect little gentleman.
My open hood is also perfect. It fits perfectly, looks perfect, was the perfect accessory, etc. I loved wearing it all day- all the hard work was worth it!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Stay tuned after this weekend for photos of all my new garb!
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Finally, I need to figure out what may have been worn under the hood. The hair needs to be pulled up at the crown of the head to achieve the desired shape (so that the liripipe doesn't just hang flat), so a coif or anything that leaves the hair low isn't going to do the trick. I'm thinking that in may be a bandana-like headwrap. I'll need to experiment once the hood is complete.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Step 1: You may want to make a pattern instead of cutting directly in to your linen. To create the pattern, cut one end with a width of roughly 5" when measured straight across, but with a slight arch. This will become the center, so the curve is to conform to the curve of your head.
Step 2: Measure your head thusly- starting at the top center of your head (back just in front of your crown) measure down around your chin, back up the other side, over the centerpoint to where the fillet will end up sitting. Add about 1" for seam allowance (.5" at top and .5" at bottom). Use this measurement to find your total length. The whole length of the front edge can be straight. For the back edge, cut a long, shallow curve in until the cut reaches a width of about 2" from the front edge.
Step 3: Take your linen and double it up. Lay your pattern out and cut our the barbette, adding a 1/4" seam allowance all the way around.
Step 4: Measure your head again thusly: starting at the top center (same as before), measure down around your chin (going the opposite direction you did before) and back up the other side to where the fillet will end up sitting. Use this measurement to shorten one end of the barbette. This will allow you to overlap the two ends without adding an having to cross them.
Step 5: Sew the top together, maintaining the curve and a 1/2" seam allowance.
Step 6: Fold over the seam allowance, and stitch down. I did this by hand to avoid puckering issues due to the curve of the seam.
Step 7: Hem both edges. I did this part with the machine to save time. If you hand sew it, you can do a better job of hiding the stitching. If you do it on machine, choose the smallest stitch length your machine will do.
Step 8: Fold in the ends and stitch down.
Step 9: Remove all pins and marvel at how incredibly easy that was.
As I mentioned before, this is actually for my mom, but I wanted to show you what the finished look is. This style works with any 13th or 14th century dress.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
The first two images show period examples of the frilled fillet. The one on the left is from the Maciejowski Bible. The other is from the Manesse Codex.
Step 1: Cut out two lengths of linen with a length equal to the size of your head (around your forehead) plus some for seam allowance, and a width of about 2.5". If your linen is lightweight (which mine is) cut a third piece of equal size. I used a piece of cotton as it will be completely hidden and I don't want to waste the linen.
Step 2: Pile the strips together, with the inner layer on top, and sew them together along one edge with about a 1/4" seam allowance. This is the bottom edge.
Step 3: Cut out one length of linen about 2.75" wide and equal to about 1.5 x the length of the first strips. The longer you make this strip, the more pleats will be in the frill. Fold in half lengthwise and sew together with about a 1/4" seam allowance. Do NOT turn inside out- you'll need that seam allowance to attach it to the band.
Step 4: Put the three-layer thick band and the frill down on a flat surface, and pin the ends of the frill to the ends of the band. You'll need to pin the frill between the layers and fold the top layer seam allowance in while you do. I put the front outer layer and the inner layer down at the back, so I was looking at what would be the back of the band. Only pin the frill to the back layer- leave the front two free.
Step 5: Find the center of the frill and pin down to the center of the band. Take the center of the frill to the left of the pin and pin to the center of the band between the end and pin. Apply that same thinking all the way across, creating even folds as much as possible until the entire frill is pinned to the band. Sew the frill to the back band layer (as close to the edge of the fold on the back layer as you can).
Step 6: Turn the band over and fold the front two layers of the band down along the top to (same as you did at the back) and pin down. You won't be able to machine sew the front to the frill because you don't want the stitching to show at the front, so get ready to hand sew.
Step 7: Hand stitch the top edge of the front hem fold to the frill in a tight stitch, making sure that the thread isn't overtly visible. This step will take the longest to complete, depending on how fast you hand stitch.
Step 8: Fold in half, putting the front in, and sew the ends together (double check your length to make sure you don't use too much overlap and make it too small). Turn right-side out.
Step 9: Determine how you would like to finish the ends. If you have enough seam allowance to turn under, do so by hand stitching (don't sew through to the front). I didn't end up having enough, so I added a panel to cover the open ends, and hand stitched it in place.
Step 10: Remove all pins and admire the fruits of your labor! This took me the better part of a day (about 5 hours all told), but by combining machine sewing and hand sewing, I saved time without sacrificing the finished look.
This fillet is for my mom, so it's a little larger than mine would be. To complete the style, you'll need a barbette. Stay tuned for that how to (which is a lot easier)! You'll also need a caul (or hairnet) to polish the look.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
I think I might go ahead and create the list of 50 projects, starting with what I have in my project pile. Then make a decision by the end of September.
I'll keep you posted.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Do take a look at period images to get inspiration for your next garb project. There are many sources online, but I find that a Google image search usually gets me started in the right direction.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I have the henin and heart-shaped headdress that I created for my first class on 15th century headdress, and they're passable, but I've been wanting to do a better job on the heart-shaped hat. This new class is the perfect opportunity, and since I don't have any other major projects pressing, a new hat looks to be in order. I've also been promising myself that I'll create a bourelette (horn) headdress. So maybe 2 hats are in order. Because you know I'm always looking for an excuse to make another headdress....
I picked up a remnant of a pale greenish blue faux linen (polyester/rayon blend) that's the perfect width an length for a padded roll. I think I'll use some of that brown linen I've got to create the bourelette (maybe embroider it and add pearly beads). Then the roll can be added to it to fancy it up. There is evidence that these were two separate pieces- Marie-Chantal Cadieux found an example (#15 under "The Forked Hennin"). I'm hoping it will look something like the 3 boureletts in this:
There is a pattern in The Medieval Tailor's Assistant that I'm going to try out, but I find it difficult to translate the patterns (with no measurements) into 3-dimensional reality. I have a feeling there will be some trial and error involved, but how is that not true of everything I make?
Sunday, August 2, 2009
1. purple linen for Dearg's tunic,
2. patterned cotton I've had kicking around for a few years- it hasn't "spoken" to me yet,
3. off-white striped linen for veil(s) of some type,
4. cheap green fabric I'm using for the fitted dress pattern,
5. cotton for Owen's new under-shirt and sleeveless outer tunic,
6. scraps and odds & ends of white/off-white,
7. leftover maroon flannel from 14th century open hood,
8. white something (it has an embossed pattern all over it) with no purpose,
9. dark blue linen for new heraldic burgundian dress,
10. odds and ends of various fabrics (there is an orange Hawaiian print in there),
11. pale green fabric for large carrysack (same as Owen's carrysack),
12. slightly fulled brown wool for buttoned hood,
13. gold linen for sleeves of heraldic burgundian,
14. black wool for 15th century open hood,
15. brown linen with no current purpose (may use for Owen's new pants),
16. heavy white cotton that I may use for wulsthaube,
17. pieces for Dearg's small half-circle banner,
18. brown linen for Dearg's pants, and
19. linen-cotton pieces for fitted underdress.
It's a good feeling to get stuff done.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
So, I haven't really worked on anything all month. If I can get my butt in gear, that will hopefully change today.
I've only got one project scheduled to complete for the next event (Harvest Day on Sept. 4th), and that is my fitted kirtle. Since I don't really have a fitted dress to wear over it, I'm not sure why I want to complete it by then. Probably because I just need it to be completed, and with all the other projects, Harvest Day seems to be the best due date.
With only one project on the table, I'll have some time to organize my "craft room", make some garb for Owen, and get the stuff together for my newest class.
In addition to my regular "What to do with a Veil" class, I'll also be teaching "The 'Height' of Fashion: 15th Century Women's Hats". It will be a discussion of the various hats worn through the 1400's by upper class women, ideas on how to recreate them and advice on how to incorporate them into your garb. I haven't quite formulated what the class will actually be, but there may be some hat-making in my future.
On an unrelated note, check out Cristina's finished smocked apron. Like me, she chose a not-white material (hers is real linen, mine's faux linen), which I think is a wise choice- stains are a little easier to hides. She did a great job, and it looks great on her.
Monday, July 6, 2009
First, the apron. After thinking that I may do a later-style apron, I started looking around online for any sources. I ended up finding better instructions on doing the honeycomb smocking, and realized that I really ought to try it again. I used dark blue pearl cotton instead of thread to add interest. (I'm not sure that doing so would have been period, though.) I started to complete the rest of the apron by hand, but ran out of time and finished it on the machine. I love how it turned out, and I got many compliments on it at the event this weekend. It was very enjoyable to wear, and I'm glad I decided to try again.
Dearg's tunic was a difficult project only in that I didn't plan ahead and had to almost applique on the contrasting details around the neck and arms, which was not fun. I'm happy with the way it turned out, however, and he likes it as well.
Once the green pattern is finalized, I'll transfer the pattern to paper and also draft the pattern for the next layer up. These two patterns will then be the basis for a fitted underdress, the teal wool dress, the blue V-neck gown, etc. until my body decides to change. I found the instructions on converting the fitted pattern to an over-layer pattern in The Medieval Tailor's Assistant. Basically, add 1 cm to each side, .5 cm to the front and back center and lower the underarm 1 cm. Leave everything else in place.
There were also several well-dressed children at the event that I was able to get a few photos of. Owen's still a little guy, but there's nothing wrong with planning ahead!
Friday, June 19, 2009
Today, I picked up some fabric for a new banner, a steuchlein veil and a new dress.
That's my ferret, Ellie, by the way.
Blue fabric wasn't on the list for projects, but I really liked it. So, I've switched things up a bit. Instead of doing the Durer dress in a wine color, I'll do that in the green. Then, I'll do the V-neck gown with the blue and the gold. I'll post more on that soon- I'm still trying to formulate the whole plan.
My heraldic colors are azure, argent and or- hence the repeated color-scheme in the fabric. I've always wanted to do a heraldic dress, but I like the idea of doing it subtly in a 15th century style, instead of the more obvious 14th century style.
Finally, I'm rethinking doing a smocked apron. I'm going to investigate some other apron options- whatever is more appropriate for 15th century. Something like this one (via Myra).
I'm hoping to make it over to my mom's to get the fitted pattern complete. I'll need it to make any new dresses, so the sooner I have it, the better!
Monday, June 15, 2009
So, I've done some purging, some re-thinking, and some re-arranging, Instead of allowing my pile to grow in an amoeba-like manner, I've split it up into three categories. Items that will a) use materials I already have (primary), b) require materials that are inexpensive/easily obtainable (secondary), and c) require materials that more expensive/harder to obtain (tertiary). This doesn't convey an order to their completion, necessarily, though they are in order within their classification. Anything new is added to the bottom of the appropriate category. Precedence will be given to the primary and secondary categories, but the pile is flexible.
Teal Wool Fitted Dress: I have the material, and if I continue to wait until I've lost weight, the dress will never be made. I will wait, however, until the end of summer- July and August are too hot in Southern Ohio to wear wool.
Bloomers: I have a linen/cotton blend that I can make into a pair of bloomers to wear under my dresses. I hit a stumbling block with how to construct them, but I think I've sorted that out. I just need some help to figure out how to make pants.
Embroidered Pin Case: I took this with me this past weekend to work on, but never touched it. It's not a difficult pattern, I just need to devote some time to it.
Bourelette (Horn) Headdress: I've been putting this off, mainly because I'm just not sure how to go about doing it, but I've got plenty of fabric laying around to at least experiment.
Carrysack: I'd like to modify this carrysack a little bit by making it smaller and giving it more of a shape (something that feels a bit more 15th century). I have a heavy light-mossy green fabric that should hold up well. I plan to use it for Owen's things. I may go ahead and make two- one for Owen and one for baby #2 when (s)he comes along. I could then embroider their initials or some other design onto them.
Smocked Apron: I'm daft for wanting to do a project that I know will suck out all my energy, but I really want to have a smocked apron. Plus, now that I've done the trial apron, I know how to do it better. I have an oatmeal-colored linen-look material that will look nice as an apron.
Pleated German Veil: A small veil with decorative pleating along the front edge (like this one via Jazwiec) would be a nice addition to my headdress collection. I need to buy a medium weight linen for it.
Buttoned Hood: I'm in love with Cristina Stoltes' hood. I've got a piece of brown wool that should be enough to make one. I need the white linen to line it.
New Open Hood: I also have some black wool that I'd like to make a new 15th Century open hood with. I need to do a better job with the fit, though, than I did with my blue one (which I never wear 'cause it just isn't right).
Silk Over Gown: See this post. I'm re-thinking the colors a little. Whatever colors, though, I need the silk and the linen lining.
Silk Cardwoven Belt: A wide belt for V-neck gowns. I want to do it with a tone-on-tone checkerboard pattern in black (or maybe a dark brown). Would like to get this buckle. Need the silk too.
Wulsthaube: There are several ways to make the wulsthaube, but I'm thinking this one makes the most sense. I'm thinking of using wool felt and muslin, then getting a gauze linen with a subtle thick stripe in it for the steuchlein.
Black Gown: I'm still in debate about what kind of gown I want, but I've been wanting a black dress for some time. The main contender right now is a long-sleeve, fitted gown, like this one (via Medioevale Cibo Lotta). I'd like to get either a 100% linen or 100% light-weight wool for this one.
Durer Dress: I'm still wanting to do something like Myra's Durer Dress, but I'm not going to do it with the pink linen like I planned. I'd like to do a dark wine colored tropical weight wool, lined a blueish-purple linen.
V-Neck Gown: I've always liked Matilda la Zouche's simple Burgundian gown. I'd like to do one in green - Hex #636D39, for those who know what that means (medium sage green for those who don't!).
As you can see, all but one of the dresses are in the Tertiary pile. That's mainly because they require a lot of fabric, and I'd like to get natural, authentic materials (like linen and wool). It's part of my effort to be more authentic.
I've also established a percentage scale for the purposes of this blog (see the Project Pile sidebar). Once I know what I'm going to do, it hits 5%. Once I have the materials on hand, it's 25%. When I've got half the sewing of the project completed, it hits 50%. When the major construction is done, it will be 75%. After the finishing details and when it's ready to wear/use, it's 100% complete.
Finally, I updated the labels throughout this blog to steamline them, and to be able to find the most common items a bit better.
Alright? Time to get to it!
Sunday, June 7, 2009
First, I'll be teaching a new class next weekend at Push for Pennsic, called "What to do with a Veil". It will be a hands-on style class where I'll demonstrate and discuss some of the things you can do with a veil. It will include not just traditional veil styles, but headwraps as well.
Push is the first camping event of the season, and will be the first time we'll camp with Owen. I've got some work to do to get his garb ready. What I have for him doesn't quite fit anymore. I've also got to make a new shirt for Dearg. I think I'll use what I have left over from that to make a pair of pants for Owen. I've got to look at the fabric I've got and figure out what more I can do.
For myself, I'll be making a linen veil - partly for my class, but mainly because I don't already have one. That should be a pretty easy project. (Of course I probably just jinxed myself.) I'm working on a modern item at the moment- a hand bag- and if I can finish that and have it look the way I intended it to, that will give me a big boost of confidence in the sewing department.
I also need to fix the botched seam on my rust-colored dress. You may recall that I tried to take it in in a hurry before the last event and ended up getting a fold in the seam? Well, I haven't touched it since then. I'll need two outfits, one for Friday and one for Saturday, so, in addition to the rust dress, I'm thinking of doing some minor tailoring to my brown dress (old faithful). Despite having worn that one all last summer, it's still in good shape, it just needs a little help. And since the South Beach Diet didn't work for me :( I know it won't need to be taken in dramatically.
So, at the moment, here's what my project pile looks like:
Tunic for Dearg
Two new (or modified) outfits for Owen
Fix rust dress
Take in brown dress
All before next weekend.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
For now, however, I do have several things on my mind that I'd like to share with you.
My brother has been in town visiting this week. He's never been to an event, so we took him to Baron Wars yesterday. It's a shame the weather was so crummy- wind gusts of up to 20mph all day, overcast and chilly. We ended up sitting at our little setup just about all day trying to stay warm and trying to keep Owen bundled up and happy (which was extremely hard). It wasn't a very good first impression. Which got me thinking....
Most events are arranged with the idea that the vast majority of attendees are familiar with the SCA and would be happy enough to just sit around in garb. The great events mix that familiarity with a "demo" atmosphere. I love the events that have "artisan" rows. I wish they were a little more hands-on, but the fact that you can go and see someone doing something period and find out about it is a great idea. I remember going to the 18th century settler's village as a kid and LOVVING it. It's that "living history" concept that the SCA is usually lacking. Even if the weather was crummy, at least there would be more to experience, and new folks wouldn't wonder why they just shelled out $10 to sit around shivering. I've been in the SCA for 13 years, and I still feel that way sometimes!
I would say that half the events I go to, I feel that there's no place for me. I don't participate in light or heavy fighting, archery or thrown weapons, or even equestrian or coursing (which aren't offered often enough). I teach a class once and a while, but I haven't participated in an A&S faire in a few years. That leaves what? Shopping (when there are merchants that actually have something I want) and working on my own projects. Wow. Money well spent, huh?
Now, I don't want you to think that I'm not interested in going to events. I have been in the SCA long enough that I am one of those people content with sitting around in garb. But with money so tight these days, I think events need to be more organized and offer more that just the chance to show off some new garb for everyone that pays to be there.
Alright. I've gotten that off my chest. Moving on....
Remember a week or so back I mentioned that my new rust-colored dress still wasn't fitting right? I tried to adjust it before the event yesterday morning, but one of the new seams went a little catty-wonkus, which I didn't have enough time to fix. I needed to take about and inch off of the two front side and two back side seams around the torso. That may be the diet at work, but I think the dress was too big to begin with.
So, not able to wear the rust dress, I just grabbed my old brown dress. I wore the brown dress most of last summer while I was pregnant, so it's actually the least-well fitting dress that I have, but it is sooo comfortable. All three of my regular dresses are made of 45% linen/55% rayon "linen-look" material which only gets better with age. My brown dress is soft, has a slight sheen (probably because of the wear on the rayon), and hangs very well, which are all the great qualities of 100% linen. It just takes a few years of wearing it to get that way.
I did make a new shirt for Owen. It's not quite right around the neck and sleeves, but it's really cute:
Dearg made a tiny antler toggle which totally made the shirt cool. You'll notice that I used some of the rust linen, so he'd kind of match me, but it's an early period style shirt. This wasn't my best work, but that's really just because I cut it a little wrong. I'll know better next time.
I've got to sit down and re-think my project list. There are a bunch of things I could be doing that aren't currently on the list, so I keep forgetting about them. I've also got a couple ideas for more classes that I can teach, including "What to do with the that White Piece of Fabric"- a class about veils and headwraps; and "Headdress in Under a Yard"- a class about how to use very little fabric to make some really nice (and period) headdresses. I'll be rolling those out this summer at the fiber arts event (when it gets coordinated), or at one of the few events I'll be attending in the next couple of months.
So, there's lots to do. Even if it's not fancy stuff.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
It was a pretty laid back day, there were only a few people there, which made it pretty fun. I volunteered to judge, but they didn't need me, so I got to just hang out in garb all day. Owen was the center of attention various times in the day, and it's so nice to be among friends that can run off with my baby and I don't have to worry about it. Here's a photo of my little man and I:
Also (and I'm still wigging out about it) I got a personal invitation (!) to share my knowledge about headdress at an event later this summer that will focus on textile and fiber arts. I've already got four ideas for classes that would work.
I wore my rust dress (as you can see in the photo) with my regular bra, and something is a little off. I need to fit it A LOT more. I can take the whole thing off without undoing the lacing, and that... well... that shouldn't happen. I don't know if it's because the linen is loosening up, so after I wash it, I'll see how much more it needs to come in.
In other news, I'll be starting the South Beach Diet tomorrow with my mom and husband. If all goes well, I'll be loosing weight, so this has put the teal fitted dress on hold once again. That's alright though, as long as I've got it before Pennsic. No rush.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I was going to wear my 14th century open hood, but it seems to have walked off and gotten itself lost. So I just did the standard hair wrap that I've been doing. It's a modification of the Flemish kerchief (uses the same piece).
As nice as these photos are, however, I think it will be better to have Dearg take photos of me wearing the dress naturally at an event. I'm more animated and usually have better self-esteem when I'm in garb for a real reason.
I fixed the weird thing that was going on at the bust (though there is still a little bump just over my right breast that needs to be fixed), so I'm wearing my regular bra. Unfortuately, I'm not getting the correct lift. I don't think I'll worry about it on this dress, though. That's an issue to tackle with the teal fitted dress. Now that my mom is mostly caught up with her projects, we'll probably start working on that again soon.
This winter has been rough physically. Though I was lucky to loose all my baby-related weight pretty quickly after having Owen, I gained most of it back just by being inactive these past few months. Now that it's warming up, Dearg and I are more likely to go out and hike, especially if it allows us to expose Owen to the wonders of nature. I want to be ready for a full week of walking around in August.
On a completely different note, I was trolling around the internet last night and came across Reconstitutions, a Fench blog written by a lady named Hémiole. She looks to be focused on 13th century, and has some great takes on a couple headdress styles, including my old favorite, the working class headdress.
Regional A&S is next weekend. Dearg is working on a recreation of the Birka Wallet (here's a recreation from Mikkel at Haandkraft). I've been trying to decide if I want to teach a class. I would teach my "Cover Your Head" headdress class, but, since this is an A&S event, I want to teach something a little more specific and scholarly. I've also been thinking about entering something, but I've slacked off so much in deciding what to enter, that it might be too late. I'm not sure I could finish anything well enough to enter it- I've only got a week.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
July 2001 A not so wonderful picture of me returning to my seat after receiving my Award of Arms. I'd changed from a dress I wore earlier in the day (a blue velveteen dress), probably because I wasn't comfortable in it. I wore this striped skirt (a hand-me-down from mom) a lot, and obviously didn't care that my underwear (chemise) was showing. Every time I look at this photo I wonder if I'm flashing the royalty.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
But, alas, they were. I didn't check them before we left for Unicorn yesterday, and it wasn't until I went to take a picture in the morning and the camera shut off that I realized that the batteries were, in fact, dead. So I don't have a single photo from yesterday.
Which is a real shame. I wore my new rust-colored "fitted" dress, and it looked great. I, unfortunately wore the wrong bra, and had to deal with "quadra-boob" all day. I ended up wearing my grey hood (#11 here) to hide my chest, and it mostly worked. But the dress was wonderful. I do need to make a minor adjustment to the chest area (so that I don't have to wear that bra again), but other than that, everything fit- no pulling at the arms, the perfect drape and length on the skirt, etc. I did have my mother sew the sleeves and do the fitting adjustments for me, but that's just because I know my limits.
I also completed Owen's green shirt. Since I didn't have the time to put the buttons (and button holes on) for the last event, I'd just added a tie at the top. But this week, I (with Dearg's help) completed the shirt by adding 8 small buttons. I had originally done fabric buttons, but I made the holes too small, and I couldn't make fabric buttons small enough to fit. We also picked up black tights- they made a huge difference. If only I had a picture....
I taught my headdress class again. I was irritated that I had to find my own place to teach the class, as there wasn't a class pavilion set up. So I only had three people attend the class, and there were lots of distractions because the one table I could find was right next to the path everyone was taking to get to the merchants and cars. I also kind of rushed through it. It didn't go as smoothly as it had the first time, and I lost my place a handful of times. Also, the at the end of the class the ladies asked me about Italian, Middle Eastern and German headdress. None of which I've done all that much research on. So now, for the sake of being better prepared next time, I'm going to devote some time to researching those.
I brought my new embroidery frame as well. I'd found a zig-zag patterned needle case that I really like on Medieval Arts & Crafts, but I think I'm going to use mine to hold pins for my headdresses. I started using the unbleached muslin I had strung on the frame, but the weave is too tight for me to see what I'm doing. So I took that off this morning. I had also planned to do white and green zig-zags, because I wanted to match my small green scissor case, but now that I've decided to use the case for pins instead of sewing needles, I don't need to be matchy-matchy. I like the blue and white of the original. I might even try to modify the pattern a bit to be wavy instead, since my arms include a wavy fess on a blue field. Right now, the frame is apart, sitting out on the porch- I decided I wanted it stained.
Maybe I'll put new batteries in the camera and go have another photo shoot this week.
Monday, March 30, 2009
I need to give myself a deadline, though. Maybe Pennsic? I'm already planning to teach at Pennsic, so what's one more class? Plus, the Pennsic audience will probably be a better venue for the information than a local event, simply because of the larger number of people, and the larger percent of those people being serious medieval scholars.
I better get cracking then.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
I also picked up the pieces to make a 14"x10" embroidery frame. It needs a little help, but I'll post more on that tomorrow on the other blog.
I've almost got the rust dress completed. I went to put the sleeves on, though, and realized I'd reached the limits of my dress making skills. I'm going to ask my mom to put the sleeves on and take it in for me (I used an old pattern that isn't very fitted), then I'll hem it all up and have it to wear next weekend.
I was noticing today that I'm getting a pretty good amount of fabric piled up. I need to do something about that....
Friday, March 27, 2009
Have I talked myself out of it? Probably not.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
There is not much more than our introduction there presently, but please keep it in your links to join us in our journey!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
The only thing that I know is widely inaccurate is the pearls, but I needed more substantial jewelry than just the gold and red necklace, and the pearls were all I had. Also, I probably should have put a few rings on. Dearg had me look in a couple of different directions to figure out which was the best, and though some pictures were composed a bit better, we settled on looking straight forward, over the book (which really is a small Bible). Just for fun, here are some of the other photos to show how much changing where I looked alters the picture:
We liked the overall look of the middle one, but in comparison with the one we chose, my gaze seemed odd. We staged it in our hallway. The end of the hallway opens up to accommodate a washer and dryer and access to our furnace. There's also a back door there. So Dearg put the curtains from our bedroom up over a painting we have back there, and brought back one of the stools from our kitchen table set. He tried one or two with just the flash, but then he turned off the flash and opened the door (which faces North). The lighting was much better, and it brought out the natural sheen of the dress, curtains and veil.
Since my pregnancy and because we just got out of winter, I've had some weight gain, so I'm very critical about pictures of myself. I'm not too thrilled with the way my hips appear, but it was because of the way I was sitting on the stool, and the dress wasn't hanging properly. I'm willing to over look that, though, as the top half of the photo is very flattering to my face.
I admit that I did doctor the final photo. In addition to enhancing the color a bit, I removed the hair at my temples to give it a more period look, and I also removed a few blemishes. After all, if I was paying for a portrait, I would expect the painter to flatter my looks by overlooking such imperfections. When I put the photo in the frame, I added some texture to make it look a little more like a painting than a photograph. I like the result.
In other news, you may have noticed in my Project Pile list that my new leather belt is complete. Since there isn't really anything more to see than the buckle, here's a closeup of the belt on me:
Since the buckle is rounded, it roughed up the edged of the leather as I pulled it through, but it's an oily enough leather that it isn't really a problem. And honestly, there isn't anybody other than my husband that should be this close to my belt. :)
I also worked on my new rust colored dress a bit yesterday. I've got to put in the reinforcements in the front for the lacing and sew the front bottom together, then put on the sleeves and hem it all up. I'm planing on having it completed to wear to Unicorn Grand Tournament in a couple of weeks. Then I'll be able to add two new things to my project pile!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
First off, I have to admit that I have always been interested in the reign of the Tudors. My maternal grandmother's family is a branch of the Howard family line that connects to Katherine Howard, Henry VIII's fifth wife (though remotely, I must add). Ever since learning this as a young teenager, I've always liked learning about the Tudors, and I have a fairly good understanding of the story of the six wives of Henry 8. The Other Boleyn Girl (book and movie)is not historically accurate- it is a fiction after all- but the story is real. Anne Boleyn's ambition to be Queen went a long way to change the religious face of England forever.
In the movie, Anne is portrayed by Natalie Portman, while her sister, Mary, is played by Scarlett Johansson. The interplay between the sisters is very dramatic, but Mary is definitely the protagonist of the story. Anne, meanwhile, is characterized as devious and self-serving, and more a director of her family's ambitions than the historical Anne probably was. Overall, the movie is good for loaning from the library on the story front. It's soft- no bloodshed, no graphic sex- and, in my opinion, it's a little too soft.
It's the costumes, however, that make this movie worth it. The gowns worn by the women in the movie (even the extras) are all excellently tailored and beautifully shot. The male costumes are slightly anachronistic- especially those of the King. The inspiration for his wardrobe was probably a portrait of Henry in a later part of his life, and the effect on Eric Bana is a bit unflattering. But the girl's gowns make up for it.
Now, if you've spent any amount of time reading this blog, you know I'm not doing any 16th century costuming at this point, but I did pick out a few of the outfits that I definitely would not mind having. The first is the dress Anne wears when she confronts her father and uncle about her marriage to Henry Percy (below).
The gold and beige brocade and the high collar of the grey velvet partlet are very lovely, and the color combination is feminine but subdued. She wears a gold hairnet which is a perfect compliment. If she had worn the gabled hoods worn throughout the rest of the movie, this outfit would not have worked.
The second is Mary's second to last dress from the movie (above). It is a black and dark red dress combined with a red and black embroidered collar and a similarly colored jacket with black fur collar. She wears a red and black hairnet, that, once again adds to the subdued look. This is a wonderful outfit for Mary at this point in the movie- graceful, strong-willed, mature- all the qualities she lacked at the start of the film.
The final gown that caught my eye was Anne's execution outfit (above). I LOVE the ermine goller in combination with the black, beaded dress. Even better was when she removed her hood to reveal the accurate use of a white coif underneath (something the movie fails to show at any other point in the movie). As she exited the Tower, standing tall, this somber moment was made by the mourning color of her gown combined with the clearest symbol of royalty ever known- ermine.
Costume's like this make movies like this worth it.
(Movie stills were acquired from The Costumer's Guide to Movie Costumes)