Archive for the ‘Costuming’ Category

Time from when we found out that our local marshal had been warranted for youth rapier until I was drop-testing fabric for armor for Svankáta: under three hours. Conveniently, we had enough fabric in colors that met with her approval for me to do her body armor without having to go shopping. Much like all of the other rapier armor I’ve made, it’s going to consist of a set of two tunics, pants (in this case, Thorsberg trousers), and a (Skjoldenhamn) hood.

Priority one has been the body armor, because she can wear yoga pants and my hood until I get those bits done.

So. The “smock” is two layers of natural linen. In the interests of time (she wants to fence at Ice Dragon next weekend) I decided to see if a tight zig zag would hold well enough (thus seaming and finishing in one pass). Answer: except for the finicky bits like gore points, yes. That’s brilliant.

The fashion layer is blue wool lined in natural linen. The experiment with this one was in doing a hybrid of bag lining and flat-lining. I flat-lined the sleeves and bag-lined everything else. That was fine until I tried to set the sleeves and I had to do a lot of fiddling to get the raw edges contained – ended up turning them in on each other and topstitching the seam allowance REALLY close to the edge and then setting the sleeves in. Will not try that trick again. I do like the neck treatment, though: I turned the two layers in on each other and I’m blanket stitching them together. I MAY do some decorative topstitching on the seams but not before Saturday.

Pictures to come when it’s on her.


On our way to Pax

As I loaded the car Friday afternoon I was baffled by how full the car is for just a weekend event. Note that there’s barely room for Shoshanna in the car! But then I realized that most of the big stuff we take for a weekend event is the same stuff we take for Pennsic (the tent and the fencing bag being the, er, big offenders).

Shoshanna loves Pax. It’s the perfect camping event for us… close to home, low-key. And this year was no exception. We left after camp/work on Friday and stopped for dinner near site. As we were driving around the new-to-us, FABULOUS camping areas, at the second campsite I happened to see Cadlin and asked if we could crash their site. She said yes and I gotta say – I am very glad that she did. Shoshanna and Miss R played happily for the entire weekend. Seriously. All of Saturday morning while Cadlin and Sig were off doing the things that they needed to do, the girls stayed with me and there was literally ZERO conflict.

Other than the girls playing, M fenced, I sat in camp sewing and chatting with everybody who wandered by (which was a lot of people because we were on the road between gate and the field). Went to court where lots of cool people got recognized and I very nearly finished the central figures on my embroidery.

Oh, and Jenny got her finished tunic.
Jenny's Tunic

Meet JennyShoshanna has a doll named Jenny. She may look like an American Girl doll but she’s really the Target version thereof. Anyway. Jenny goes EVERYWHERE with us. I think the only night Shoshanna has slept without Jenny since she got her in April was when she had an overnight at camp last week and we wouldn’t let her take Jenny for fear she would be lost.

As you can see, though, Jenny’s clothes (somehow she still only has the set that she came with) are not really very medieval. And that is why I’m sitting here, the night before we leave to go to Pax for the weekend, hemming a tiny blue tunic made from raw silk.

I’ll post measurements for the doll and the garment later.

Back in November, when I cut out Shoshanna’s yellow tunic to go with her Viking I also cut out a new smock for her because she’d been wearing her old one for four years. And she’s a LOT bigger now than she was four years ago. No really, look how little she was when she first had it! And at one time it even had long sleeves!

So last week I put together the smock that I cut out six months ago. And just for fun, I decided to see how long it took, because I’m ALWAYS getting asked “How long does it take to DO that?” and I wanted to actually have an answer.

  • Cutting: probably half an hour
  • Machine sewing & finishing: 2 hours on the nose
  • Hand finishing: three Merlins (another 2 hours)

So… for a kid’s garment, 4 1/2 hours. I don’t know how much scaling for an adult would add. Maybe I’ll test that theory next time.

So often people get recognized with awards, especially higher-level ones, right when they’re on the cusp of burnout… they’ve been pushing hard on a big project or something, and folks noticed and recognized them for it, and then the recipient falls down and goes boom. That certainly was the case for me seven years ago when I apprenticed, was inducted into the Order of the Maunche, and became Kingdom A&S Champion all within the space of six weeks. I fell down and went boom… I had finished the Edith gown project and was just… done. And then I got pregnant and had a micropreemie and then we moved to Aethelmearc…

I’m really fortunate this time that the Crown chose to recognize me at a moment when I feel like I’m on an upswing in my SCA work. I just took the KMoAS office and I’m really excited about that, people are starting to be really interested in 13th century clothes and wearing 13th century underwear, and I have all these great projects that I want to do in my mind. So yes – I WILL be displaying (not entering) the St. Francis smock at Ice Dragon this weekend. I have a huge queue of clothing to make… now that I have a fillet hat I want to try making one (but probably not for myself… I don’t need two Ridiculous Hats). I feel like I’m FINALLY brave enough to try real opus anglicanum embroidery, and I just rediscovered and bought more thread for a blackwork sweetbag that I was working on when I was pregnant. And of course I’m going to keep working on my A&S 50 challenge (next up: new smock for the kiddo, since probably 90% of the time she decides that she’s hot and ends up running around events in her underwear anyway).

So… that’s what’s next.

Smock is done… pictures and a more detailed writeup forthcoming.  It looks great, fits great.  I’m going to display it at Ice Dragon, so there will be documentation available within the next month or so.

Hosen are done, too.  They fit VERY snugly in the foot but that’s OK.  I think I fitted the bottom seam in the toe area differently on the two socks, too… I’ll have to go back and see and maybe I can figure out what I did.

Veil is halfway hemmed.  I still don’t like doing rolled hems, but I am getting faster at them.

I’ve got the St. Francis smock completely assembled, and all the seams finished.  I was working on it at Textile Guild Tuesday night and there was some discussion of how it differs from a “conventional” tunic… so I decided to write up my answers to those question in a more formal way.

Like the conventional “accurate” SCA tunic (for which my usual source is Marc Carlson’s “Some Clothing of the Middle Ages”) the St. Francis tunic (article and carbon dating info are here), the St. Francis tunic is made up of geometric shapes – in this case, just rectangles and triangles.  I’m no good at turning three dimensional garments into two-dimensional representations, but here’s what you’re looking at in the picture:

  • Rectangular body panels
  • Triangular skirt gussets that come almost to the shoulder seam
  • Rectangular sleeves
  • Triangular sleeve gussets

I assembled it by first sewing and finishing the shoulder seams, then doing the neckline.  (I find it much easier to do necklines when the garment is still flat, even when I’m sewing by hand.)  I put the sleeves together and finished those seams (but not the cuffs).  Then I put the skirt gores on, leaving the seams unfinished, and attached the completed sleeves.  Figuring out how to finish those seams was as much a jigsaw puzzle as it ever is and I didn’t do the two sides in the same way but they got done.

Between the two sets of gussets, there’s plenty of give in the chest and armpit. In fact, the general shape is just right for 13th century gowns.

The St. Francis smock is coming together really quickly. While at Kingdom Twelfth
Night on Saturday I completely finished one sleeve (seams and seam finishes) and got the other seamed. Finished that off on Sunday; last night I sewed the shoulder seams and cut & finished the neckline. Tonight I got two gores attached to the body panels and started on a third. I’m really itching to see how the join of the gores/body/sleeve goes but I need to get alll 4 gores attached before I set the sleeves, because the gores are so much easier to do while the garment is still two-dimensional. After I get the smock all finished and the second sock made, my part of the sewing for my elevation clothes will be done (Eilis is making my outer layers.)

In other news, the reason I trekked down to PA for Twelfth Night was that I stepped up as Kingdom Minister of Arts and Sciences on Saturday. Should be a whole new adventure, this Kingdom Officer gig.

Why did I decide it was a good idea to sew something on a completely new layout for my elevation?  BECAUSE I’M CRAZY THAT’S WHY.

Actually, I don’t think the St. Francis style tunic is going to be any more fiddly than the Nockert Type 1 that I usually do; if anything it might be less so.

Needless to say I didn’t get the smock cut out to take with us as we went traveling over the holidays.  But I’m taking it with me to work on at 12th Night this weekend.

The circumference of the instep of my right foot is just a TITCH bigger than the circumference of my left foot.

Why does this matter, you ask?  Because I’m making hosen, OBVIOUSLY.  I’m using the pattern that I made up when I made the brown fustian ones but tailoring it a bit more because those brown ones are a little baggy.  I’m using the same pink wool that the mauve gown is being made out of* and I’m really loving it.  The fit is so much nicer with wool than it is with linen, because the fibers themselves stretch just a bit as well as stretching on the bias.  Anyway, because I fit the toes on my hosen, they are foot-specific.  But since you’re working with them inside out, obviously you are fitting to the OTHER foot.  If your feet are close to the same size, this doesn’t matter.  Apparently I just hit the threshold of “same size” with the one finished sock, though… I can’t really feel the instep seam when it’s inside out on my left foot, but I can definitely feel it when it’s right side out on my right.  I’ll have to try to remember that for next time I’m making myself socks.

The only other thing I’m making for myself for my elevation is a smock, which will be along the lines of the St. Francis tunic (I’ve been wanting to try that layout for quite a while).  I’ve got the fabric for that washed and pressed and my plan is to get it cut out before our holiday travels, so that I can work on it while we’re out and about.

In other news, I’ve given M permission to include the phrase “Maker of Hose” as he heralds for my elevation, but vetoed “expert in what goes on below the waist”.  “Her Fruits gird our loins” is still up for debate.

*No, it’s not done yet.  I patterned it when I weighed quite a bit less than I do right now and working on it when it doesn’t fit is just too depressing.  However, as an added bonus, there is going to be enough of the fabric left to make a dress for Shoshanna.

ETA: I realized I never posted here.  My vigil and elevation will be at Bears Event in Stormsport on February 26th.