Sunday, November 16, 2014

On My Work Table

First off, I'm excited to let you know that I'll be teaching something at this fall's Royal University of the Midrealm (RUM) that's pretty dear to my heart. The class is titled "Blogging for SCAdians", and just as the name suggests, I'll be talking about starting up, maintaining, and keeping up with a blog geared specifically to a historical re-creationist audience. As you can imagine, I've got a lot to say on the subject. If you've been looking for that last bit of inspiration to start your own blog, need some insight into why your existing blog may not be going as well as you hoped, or just want the inside scoop on the back end of blogging, then I'd love to have you join me.

I'll also be teaching a class with a friend of mine on 15th Century upper class fashion. He's a lover of all things 15th Century, but he never really looked at women's clothing. I haven't studied men's clothing. So we're pooling our knowledge for a decade-by-decade look at the evolution of high class fashion for both sexes in the 15th Century. It is our hope that this class will open up our own research to broader avenues, and provide us with a better understanding of the larger picture surrounding our specific interests. And those who attend get to benefit as well! It's gonna be epic.

As far as projects go, I've had a bit of a motivational slump these past two weeks. (I say that, but I've actually been quite productive with non-SCA projects, like scrap booking and knitting.) I think I'm back on the upswing now, though. I want to have my ginger linen dress ready for RUM, but I'm worried that I held off on it a bit too long. I'm determined to sew it completely by hand, which takes time and patience. So we'll see. So far, I've sewn on the backing for the eyelets (the linen is pretty weak, so I really needed extra reinforcement there), and completed the finishing on the front and back center seams. I hope to have the side seams finished by the time I go to bed today. I haven't started the sleeves yet, and those tend to be my make-it-or-break-it component.

I also decided that I wanted to make something green for Christmas Tourney in December to go with their Midrealm colors theme (green, red and white). I decided on a new caplet to wear with my rose red dress. I've got a 7oz green linen for that. I may line it with some white faux fur I've got, or see about getting some white wool instead. Green is not a color I wear too often (I have a piece of gorgeous blue-green linen waiting to be made into a dress), but it's a good color to have in the wardrobe.

What else? I haven't made any new progress on my new silk embroidery, but after talking over some of the issues I was having on my linen alms purse with my Laurel, I've given that a slight reboot.

The first problem I had was that I didn't care for how the zig-zag background was coming out. I ripped it out, but then didn't know what to do. I was having tension issues, so the first thing that needed to happen was to take it off the frame I had it on, put it on a larger frame, then tension the other two edges.

The next thing to do is to begin creating a couched background using the zig-zag pattern I already drew out. I haven't gotten back to that yet. My plan is to use the gray linen for the field and couch it with either white or black linen sewing thread. I'll need to do a test to see which I like better.

For the back side, I had opted for a brick stitch pattern. As I started to work on it, I realized that I didn't care for the way the colors interacted with each other. The white was too glaring and the green and pink were not complimentary to each other. Here's how it looked:

I ripped out the pink and white, and swapped them:

Much better.

The last thing that's in the current queue is a much different type of project. I'll be covering this one over on Growing Up Medieval once I get it started. While browsing around Michael's a few weeks ago, I spent some time looking around in their wood crafts section and found a neat fold and carry castle.

It's perfect to take along to events. While I like the plain wood, I would rather paint it. I loved doll houses as a kid, and always really liked the details that were included on the walls, separate from the furniture and dolls I could move around. So I'll be painting both the outside and the inside. The outside will have details like knotted bedsheets hanging out of a window, bushes and flowers to indicate a garden, and maybe a cat or two. The inside will have a great hall, throne room, kitchen, king's chambers, queen's chambers, and as many interesting details as I can comfortably paint in (since I can't take it apart). I'll then be keeping my eyes open for the right scale of blank peg dolls to paint up to go with it.

But first, I gotta get that ginger linen dress done.

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