Location: Barony of al-Barran, Outlands
Category/Level: Modern Recreationist, Advanced
About Akilina : I’ve been in the SCA for 13 years. I sew, lampwork, throw pottery, cook, metalwork, and am picking up new hobbies all the time. I focus exclusively on kievan Rus’ for myself but do many other areas for folks I sew for. I’ve done stamping before but I still consider myself a novice at it.
Her Project: My goal is to do an early 13th century Kievan rus’ aristocrat ‘Slytherin’ ensemble.
Her final thoughts on her C3 experience:
I really enjoyed this challenge. It really motivated me to get back into crafting after a fairly long slump and it was amazing so see all of the creative things everyone else made.
The ciasnoche (translated literally as ‘tight’) is a garment worn in early medieval Poland (Kievan Rus’ ruled slavic tribes) and surrounding areas. It was worn all the way up to modern day. One from the 1950’s, virtually unchanged from Viking age construction, is on display at the Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Krakow. Despite that fact, there is very limited information on them. Especially in English. It is said to be an undergarments’, sometimes worn solo by female field workers during the hot summer, but, especially after making it and wearing it, I am convince it was a bathing garment that was also worn in the field. It is not supportive, nor does it give structure to outer garments. I was working off of a very bad translation, a reproduction of a miniature and one bespoke garment. If I did it again, which I will, I’ll follow the pictures that I recently found and have the gathers only in the back and sides.
My second layer is a fairly simple underdress using a rectangular construction pattern with a keyhole neckline based off of different illuminations found in churches and in texts. While there is no verified proof that this construction was used (extant fabric finds are often incomplete) we do have extant contemporary Middle Eastern patterns that follow rectangular construction. Knowing what we know now about medieval travel and the range of the Byzantine empire, the use of the pattern is plausible. This dress is made out of silver silk and a synthetic brocade, based off of a Scandinavian find, adorns the cuffs. All layers are hand finished hems, cuffs and neck lines though the seams are machine sewn. It was supposed to have a border at the base of the same brocade but I opted out for several reasons. Mostly I’m not particularly thrilled with the cut. Due to fabric widths I had to get a little creative. So I’ll be saving the brocade for a better fitting project.
Layer 3 is my super Slytherin Letnik. Characterized by its wide sleeves, it is an incredibly common garment to see in period rus’ illustrations from the 9th to 13th century. This one is made out of shot green silk dupioni which has been elaborately stamped with modified motifs from the period hand carved by a friend in silver and black. I’m still getting the handle of stamping, especially with larger stamps so its a little spotty in some areas but overall, the look is pretty impressive. The hem, neck and sleeves are edged with the same silk as the underdress, stamped in green. Everything is hand done except for the internal seams. This garment would definitely be for nobles but because it is stamped instead of brocade, it could be argued its for lower class nobles. Side note, it sounds like wrapping paper when you move in it. There is also the temple band that the temple rings are attached to for this layer. It is constructed using elements from all other layer and is entirely hand sewn.
I wanted to really go out on a limb with my accessory, but I just love temple rings too much. This temple ring design is based off of a redrawing from an extant find in the Novgorod-Slovene area, known for their large hoops and simple dangles. This pair is made out of sterling silver and silver plate. All elements are made by me with the exception of actually drawing the plate and wire from an ingot and the ‘bell’. Modern tools were used for construction but some of the tools, such as the stamps, were hand made. Medieval bells are surprisingly difficult to source so in lieu of one I actually used a silver slavic button. It looks astonishingly correct and these temple rings jingle enough without having a bell added. The tinkling noise they make from the silver pieces is actually rather nice.