Sunday, January 9, 2011

12th Night

I know that not all groups celebrate 12th Night in this manner, but we generally exchange gifts. We attempt to make the gifts appropriate for the SCA- things fitting our personas- as opposed to modern "Christmas" gifts. This year, mom gave me enough gray wool and linen for a new wool dress!

The wool is an absolutely beautiful shade of light-charcoal gray, and the linen is a perfectly complimentary dove gray. I stopped in to the local Joann's, which is moving so everything is on sale (75% off!), and picked up a spool of gray cotton thread for it. Though I plan to use linen thread for my garb quest, which will be hand sewn, I use 100% mercanized cotton for machine sewing- which I usually do for sewing the garment together, then I complete the finishing by hand. While at Joann's I picked up 5 yards of 90 in. wide muslin for pattern making, a spool of white silk thread- which you can never have enough of on hand if you make a lot of veils like me, and a yard of brown striped linen I found in the remnant bin. Not sure what I'm going to do with that, but you know how it goes. Someday it will "speak" to me.

As for the gray, however, I do have a few ideas. I've always liked the "Christine de Pisan" dress, which is a simple fitted gown with attached tippets (I call them "flaps"). I think the gray wool would be lovely in this format, which is just a little earlier than my year range of 1435-1445, and it would be perfect to wear with the furry black Tres Riches hat I've been looking for an excuse to make. The other option is actually a two-piece outfit. It's a tiny detail from the The Saint John Altarpiece, but with a closer look, you can see that the maid of the guest wears a black sleeveless overgown (with a fur lining) and a gray fitted dress underneath. I think this outfit is practical and pretty. I'd skip the fur and use the dove gray linen instead, then wear it with a long sleeve linen fitted dress, maybe the one I create for the garb quest, or the rust-colored one I still need a lining for.

I'm going to have to think on this. I like both dresses, so it's one of those tough calls- what would be better for the fabric? I think I really like the idea of the sleeveless because it would be a match across a century to my mom's early 14th century sideless surcoat, which she made out of a mottled gray. On the other hand, the flap-sleeve overgown would be just as functional, but give me a slightly higher-class option (my persona falls within the same economic class as Christine de Pisan). It's a matter of utility versus appearance.

I was only able to give one 12th Night gift this year. I did a small illumination for my mom that's a family portrait of sorts. It shows her and I with the children, then Dearg and my (mundane) brother are represented by a longbow (Dearg) and a shield with the colors of the US Border Patrol (my brother).

And, not that it really matters, but I'm holding Kara and Mom's holding Lee. I don't actually have a dress that color, but it seemed to work better with the composition than any of the colors of dress I actually have. You may recognize the two headdresses though [1, 2].

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