Category/Level: Historically Focused/Beginner
About Flavia: I have been in the SCA for about 11 years. This is my first endeavor in making a complete outfit based on a historic piece. I’ve made bits and pieces before, but it all went with my old persona. I’ve changed personas since joining the SCA and I am now a Roman courtesan. This outfit ties into my persona perfectly. In the SCA I have done quite a bit of embroidery. I’ve also focused on teaching, but in recent years I’ve been away working on my mundane career. (Which is teaching.). I also have dabbled in the bardic arts, calligraphy & illumination, and the making of largesse.
Her Project: I am looking to create a Roman women’s outfit roughly around the eruption of Vesuvius. My inspiration are these statues at the Getty Villa (which are recasts of the originals that are in Naples.) plus a statue at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. I plan on hopefully including a strophium, peplos, tunica, and if I’m lucky and the metal gods are smiling upon me, handmade buttons! Oh, and a palla for good measure. I also plan in making a leather circlet similar to the ones(which may or may not have been leather…since it’s a statue we won’t ever know) on the statues.
Her Final Thoughts on her C3 experience:
This was really fun. It is the first outfit I have sewn by hand in its entirety. It is simple in construction and it’s all about how well the fabric drapes. Modern fabric such as the lightweight linen I used, will drape correctly once it softens a bit with wear and washing. I am so proud of myself because I finished this after starting a month late and having COVID. I didn’t do all the things I wanted to. I’m sorry I couldn’t find a less modern spot to take pictures. We’re in the midst of a remodel so all I had was a corner of my front room. 🙂
Layer 1 is a linen tunica that would have been worn in Ancient Rome. I am a Roman Courtesan and this would have been perfect as a skin layer or even on its own.(though a little more than sheer.) I hand sewed the seams and hand hemmed the raw edges except for the selvage edges. I sewed the brass look buttons on to create the gap sleeve look. The only thing I would change would be the length. Evidently fabric store added some length to my order, which I didn’t catch.
Red linen peplos from Ancient Rome. I was inspired by a statue at the Museum in Boston that has a peplos over a tunica. I hand sewed and hand hemmed this. Again the length is a bit of an issue thanks to fabric store sending me more length. Oh well. It was also a PITA to pin. I would see where two buttons would be a better choice. I love the look though!
Wool gauze Palla. No respectable (I’m a courtesan…but I’m respectable) Roman woman set foot outside her home without her palla. This is hand hemmed and it was a pain because the gauze liked to pull! That gauze is yummy! Thanks Dharma! This can be used as a head covering, a wrap…I even imagine as something to cart a baby around, though that may not be HA.
This is a leather circlet. I took inspiration from one of the reproduction statues at the Getty. I would have gone to see the original in Naples last spring…but the Rona! I dyed this length of leather with black leather dye and then used bronze leather paint to paint the design by hand. I used sueded cord to close the circlet similar to the inspiration pics. Circlets can be made of lots of different materials. I’m not sure what the circlet on the model for the statue was wearing so I took a leap of faith. I cut the little notches in the end with leather scissors and an exact knife. This was a pain to do. I like the look of it, and the fact that it is adjustable(with some coaxing it will slide.)