Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Border Raids Recap

Took me forever to get the photos off my camera- sorry about that!

Border Raids was incredibly hot, but it was nice to get to at least one camping event before being stuck at home to finish out my pregnancy. It was especially nice because I was called up in court and received a Silver Oak for my research into period headwear! Companionship into the Order of the Silver Oak is the Middle Kingdom first level award for sciences, which research is considered. I felt a little awkward in front of Their Majesties because I didn't want to embarrass myself by kneeling with my big baby belly, but they didn't seem to mind. Unfortunately, all I remember hearing is Her Majesty saying "your classes are great".

I ran out of time before that Friday and didn't get all my class notes typed up for my 3-part class, but everything still worked out alright. I'm going to finish them and have them available for the women that attended the class. My mom had suggested that I look into publishing the entire class in Tournaments Illuminated or The Compleat Anachronist. Then someone asked me at the event if I'd published anything- to which I relied that I wanted to submit it to CA. So after I get the initial class notes completed, I'm going to send the abstract to the CA editor.

Despite the heat, I wore my new v-neck gown all day on Saturday (including court). It's only one layer of linen/rayon, and with my single layer linen sleeveless smock, it wasn't too heavy to wear. I would have been just as hot, if not hotter, in anything else I could have worn. The main problem I was having was that my hood kept slipping backwards. I think it was because I ended up using my St. Birgitta's coif on Friday to setup, and it got stretched out just enough that the weight of the hood's liripipe pulled it back. Note for next time- wear a fresh coif on the second day.

There are some obvious adjustments I need to make on my next try. The angle of the "V" in the front is completely wrong- it's more of a "U". I also need to plan my length a bit better- it ended up shorter than I'd like. Also, when I wear a placket, I need to a) iron it and b) pin it better to avoid the puckering I got at the base of the opening (you can clearly see it in the photo above). Overall, however, for not really having any idea whether I was doing it right while I was making it, it turned out to be a very nice dress that I'm sure will get a lot of wear.

I also wanted to share a few photos of Dearg. We're slowly working on making his new early Irish Norse garb, which started with a new pair of pants. They are narrow (though not as narrow as they should be- he prefers them loose) and fairly long with a drawstring waist. They are a medium weight linen cotton blend in a greenish-brown.

He opted to wear just his undertunic for the day (because of the heat), but with the addition of his accessories (note that he's stolen my belt since I can't wear it right now), he looked quite nice. There's nothing like a handsome man in garb!

So, I'll be offline for a while. I've got 5 weeks to go in the pregnancy (less if the twins decide to arrive earlier than 38 weeks), and I'm pretty focused on nesting and trying not to over exert myself. I do not want to end up on bed rest, but I'm also an "I'll do it myself" type of person, so wearing myself out is pretty easy to do. Once I'm on maternity leave, though, I can chill out and get some of my back-log class notes completed and online, as well as make some changes to my website as suggested by some of the wonderful people out there who have come across it. Thanks to all of you for the feedback.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Still no pictures, but I wanted to share with you that my new v-neck gown (which I'm calling a middle class v-neck gown), which was inspired by Matilda la Zouche's "Early Burgundian Gown", is almost complete and looks fantastic so far! I was hesitant to make any new garb for myself while still pregnant, but I really needed a lightweight gown for this weekend, and I already had everything for this one. I'm using a linen/rayon "linen look" in a very deep blue (almost a violet in the right light) and 100% white linen for the collar and sleeve trim. I'll wear it with a yellow placket and sleeves (the same sleeves I wore to Unicorn) and a black belt. My new red open hood will finish it off.

I'm very excited to wear it, and I can't wait to show it off to you!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Working Too Fast for Pictures

Occasionally, not often mind you, I get working on something at such a break-neck pace that I don't stop to take photos of my progress. Which is good for me- it means I have one more thing to cross of my project pile. But bad for you- I don't have the visual reference to how I accomplished it. Such is the case for my new red hood. I promise that I will have pictures of it after Border Raids. In the mean time, I will tell you that I created it from a single piece of a lightweight linen/cotton which was folded at the front to create a self lining. I also machine sewed the entire thing (which is probably why it took me no time at all to complete), including the gussets. Now that was a trick. I don't recommend sewing gussets with the machine if the piece needs to be perfect. This, lucky me, didn't need to be. I just really wanted a linen hood for the summer, but I still intend to make a hand-sewn 100% linen red hood in the future. This hood isn't really red- it's more of a russet or light brick-red. And I made the liripipe incredibly long. So long, in fact, that it touches the ground. I'll need to shorten it, but for now I'm just getting a kick out of having a liripipe that long.

I've only got one more "must" sewing project before Border Raids- my new linen smock- but then I have to compile the notes for my 3-part class series, paint an award scroll, draft the design for Dearg's Irish coat collar (so I have it to work on at the event), and if I still have time, try to quickly sew together a new unlined linen v-neck gown. I accidentally shrunk one of the dresses I intended to wear, and the other is my black dress- which is fine for court and evening, but may not be comfortable for the day.

And I'm 7 months pregnant with twins to boot. I love this hobby.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm still here- sort of

Wow. Nothing like falling off the face of the earth for a while, huh?

I decided to take May off from events to save some money and try to get the house in order for the twins. Not that either of those really happened, but I really needed to step away from the SCA for a moment anyway.

June, on the other hand, is off to a swinging start. We will be going to Border Raids at the end of the month, since it will probably be the last event I can get to before the babies arrive. I've signed up to teach a three-part class series that I'm really excited about. I'm calling it "Beyond the Burgundian" and through the three sessions I'll cover garb and accessories specifically for lower and middle class women in the 15th century. In my own research, I've found that these classes are overshadowed by the upper class style worn at the very end of the century, and as my persona is middle class, I've got a vested interest in this information. That will pretty much wear me out, as I'll be a full 7 months by then, but it's worth it to teach a subject that I love.

In addition to putting this class series together, I've also got a few other projects to do. I accepted a scroll assignment, which for me is just the illumination part as I don't do calligraphy. I think I'd also like to get a new tunic for Owen sewn, as well as a new red linen hood for me. (At some point I'll update my project pile list....)

I'm also going to take an embroidery project that I need to do a fair amount of prep work for. Dearg and I have hashed out a new set of garb for him that captures his Norse-Irish persona. Part of the outfit will be a shortcoat with an embroidered collar. The embroidery will be pretty intense and large, definitely the largest and most complex item I've ever attempted, but the results will be worth the time and effort. Before I can get started on it, though, I need to draft it and figure out the design I'm going to do. It needs to be Norse in overall feel, but Irish in nature, so typical celtic knots are not quite the ticket. This will be a long term project- my deadline is South Oaken A&S next year.

I'll try to keep you posted on what's going on as much as I can. I don't currently have an internet connection at home, which puts a damper on updates.