Over the years, as my garb collection has grown, my solution for storing all of it has changed. There was a time, many many moons ago, when everything I had could fit in a smallish plastic tub. As I gained more garb, I went through phases where my stuff had no "home", which made things super frustrating when I wanted to pack for an event. Now, my garb and other personal kit items are stored in specific places, and finding things (assuming they were put away) has gotten a lot easier.
(Note: I apologize for the quality of the photos in today's post. The lighting isn't the greatest in my bedroom where many of these pictures were taken.)
My wool dresses, as well as my red rose linen dress, hang on the short rod we installed in our craft room when we remodeled that a few years back.
That mostly happened organically. I would finish a dress and hang it there until I was ready to wear it. Then I'd hang it there to dry after washing it. Then it... you know.... kind of stayed there.
It works, though. The dresses get to hang, avoiding creases, and they're very easy to access.
I use either sturdy wood hangers for the heavier dresses, or non-slip hangers. The non-slip is great for the wide necklines of my fitted dresses, and making that change a few years ago was SCA-life-altering. No more dresses slipping off to the floor.
I scored this 1940's dresser at a rummage sale four or five years ago. It wasn't in the best condition when I got it (there's damage on the bottom edges), and my kids have been very kind to decorate it for me with stickers, but it's a great little workhorse. This dresser is in my bedroom.
In the top drawer, I keep my knit socks and the one pair of wool hose I have. Since I only have two pairs of turn shoes, those are also stashed in here. Occasionally, though, my shoes stay outside the drawer if they are damp or particularly dirty. In those cases, they just hang out on the floor underneath the dresser until I think to put them away (or wear them at the next event.)
My chemises and garb underthings live in here too. Basically, this drawer is exactly like my mundane underwear drawer. Only it's the medieval versions instead.
Though not garb, I also keep my hand towels and dishes here. The cups are exactly the right height to fit. I keep these items in this drawer so that they don't get lost in the kitchen shuffle, and they don't become daily-use items that somehow never find their way back to an event.
In the second drawer, I keep my vast open hood collection. My wool gollar and new square hood also live here. I have a pretty specific way of folding the hoods to keep them mostly compact and neat in here.
Since there's still some room, I keep my green linen dress in here too. It's fully lined, so it's thicker than my other linen dresses, which means it takes up a bit more room.
I also have a specific dress folding method.
I keep my periwinkle, orange, and ginger linen dresses in the third drawer. These are all unlined, so they aren't particularly thick when folded.
The rest of the drawer is taken up with my 15th Century apron and my double apron, then a few oddball older items I keep around, but don't tend to use.
Under the dresser, I keep my heavy gray wool skirt. It's only come in handy once so far, but if ever I need that extra warm layer on my legs, it's down here, ready for action.
Expanding Storage Box
On top of the dresser, I keep another vintage piece. This was a sewing box that originally had legs, that my husband gave to me two years ago. I cleaned it out, eventually removed the legs, and now it lives here, since it's too fragile and awkward to go to events.
It opens up to reveal four shallow, square compartments, and one long, deeper compartment at the bottom. (It also mostly conceals that spot on the wall that needs to be repainted.)
In the top sections, I keep my belts, veil pin case, jewelry pieces, and the assortment of small bits and pieces one acquires in the SCA, like coins and largess tokens people have left for me.
I recently painted the top of this little box with a silly illumination I'd come across. I'm using that to hold the jewelry items I wear at events. That's living in here too when not needed.
The other two square compartments hold my veils on one side and my St. Birgitta Caps on the other. I'm always pleasantly surprised by how much I can tuck into these sections. I neatly fold the veils into a small enough shape to lay in the section. Visible creases in veils that are being worn is documentable in the 15th Century, by the way.
I use the bottom compartment for my fancy bycocket, a few other headdress items, and then any other items that I feel have a home here. Like this pair of knitted wool two-finger mitts made for me by my friend Odette.
When I go to day events, I pack my outfit and accessories into this large hand basket. I bought this one from a natural store in Cincinnati, but you can find baskets like this in many places these days (one of the Pennsic shops sells them.)
When not in use, I've been tossing my red wool and linen canvas shoulder bags into it. It generally sits on the floor in my bedroom until I need it.
As I've moved into the particular direction I have with my garb and personal recreation focus, many of the items I made or acquired over the years have become obsolete, but can still be useful. This is mostly headdress items. I keep these in a medium sized storage box from IKEA, which lives on the shelf in the craft room.
Since I try to be sure to wash my linen fabric the same every time, I can be pretty certain that all my linen garb can be handled the same. Especially for my chemises and caps, which get the brunt of my sweat (as they are intended to), but for all my linen garments as well, I wash in my machine on the delicate cycle in cold water with detergent. Then they take a spin in the dyer on low heat. My dryer has a delicate cycle, which I use.
They are almost always dry at the end of the cycle, but if they happen to not be, I hang them over the shower curtain rod in the bathroom, or out on the line if it's a nice day.
My wool garments are a bit different. Though I do wash my wool cloth in the machine before making things with it, I'm still trepidatious about washing the garments on the off chance they decide to shirk, or I mess up the settings.
For the most part, I will let them air out as much as possible, however, they do occasionally need to be washed to return them to their best shape, or to get rid of dirt or the environmental funk they pick up by just being worn out in the world.
In those cases, I wash them in my washer on the delicate cycle, with cold water, and with either 1/4 the amount of detergent I would use with a normal load of laundry, or no detergent. After that, they go through a no heat tumble in the dyer to help remove excess water, then they are hung up to finish drying, again, either inside or out on the line.
My socks and any leggings I might wear under my chemise to prevent chaffing go in with my regular wash.
Wasn't that a fun tour? I must confess, this post was really a great excuse to get a bunch of this stuff put away. ;)