Beginner · Historic Beginner · Historically Focused

Flavia Valeriana

Location: Atenveldt

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.

Final Photos

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

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.

Layer 2

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!

Layer 3

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.

Layer 4

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.)

Bonus Points

Beginner · Historic Beginner · Historically Focused

Jacquette de Brackeleire

Location: Calontir

Category/Level: Historically focused/Beginner

About Jacquette: I have participated in the SCA for about 12 years, off and on. I was an avid sewer in my early years, but in the past few years have found it difficult to give my attention to. This project will encourage me to get back into a hobby I have long admired while challenging me to focus on historical research.

Her Project: My plan is to construct a Viking apron dress that would have been specifically used for breastfeeding. By interpreting burial artifacts, illuminations, and foreign cultural influences, I will portray what I theorize is the style mothers would have worn while feeding their young. This focused piece is inspired by my own lactation challenges, and my interest in how mothers prevailed in history.

Final Photos

Layer 1

The under tunic (or serk) for my Norse (Viking) garment is based on the Herjolfsnes archeology find in Greenland. I focused on the garment D10585.1 which shows a serk with a front slit in the middle of the chest. This garment got me thinking that with the slit in the middle, a Viking mother has accessibility when breastfeeding her child.

All the sewing was done by hand with wool or silk thread which was purchased at a SCA event. The stitch used for the basic structure was the running stitch while the decorative stitch is the hemming bone stitch. All together the under tunic was made with linen or linen-blend fabric. I am proud to say that I finished all raw seams with a whipstitch. I rarely ever complete a garment’s raw edges.

I had originally planned to make this layer an exact replication of the historical garment, however, due to issues in the patterning and construction of the garment I had to do some modifications. Firstly, the tunic was too short at the bottom (or hem), thus I added a blue linen kick-panel to add length. Secondly, I attempted to sew the gores and gussets in the technique suggested by “Medieval Garments reconstructed: Norse Clothing Patterns” but found complications when doing so. When adding the gores, I folded the raw edge of the serk and sewed it flat to the gore using the herringbone stitch. This work marvelously on the sides of the garment and added an extra decoration. However, when using this method to gores in the back or front, I had to use a different stitch and manipulation of fabric around the points of the gore to make it not pucker as much. After attempting this on the back and being frustrated, I chose not to add the gore to the front, which would be similar to garment D5674.

If I was to redo this garment I would finish the seams with a flat-felled seam or French seam. The greatest hurdle I would like to overcome is being consistent with all my stitches. I notice that when I get fatigued I tend to get sloppy with the size and length of each stitch.

Layer 2

The second layer of my Norse (Viking) garment is the apron dress (smokkr). This garment is roughly based on the Birka archeological dig. The construction is based on the theories of Hagg (1974). I mainly focused on the grave titled 464 and 465 for interpreting the types of fabric and parts of construction. The Birka dig found fragments of a blue wool with a linen fragment pressed against it. Encompassing both fragments at the top was a strip of silk. Thus I chose the wool as my main fabric component and linen as the lining for the smokkr. For the sides, I folded the wool over the raw edge of the linen and stitched it with a whipstitch. I did not double fold the fabric. I found this technique was the better way to sew the garment because of the thickness of the wool. I used a strip of white silk over the top of the linen and wool, and used a whipstitch to finish the seam.

The main construction of the smokkr was based on the theory that the apron was made of one solid piece of fabric that wrapped around the body. I tried to imitate this in my construction and found that for a voluptuous woman this caused extra space around the bust line. A better choice would be to gather or pleat the material. The smokkr loops I made from wool. The fabric was folded on both sides, causing 4 layers, and stitched along the raw sides with a blind (or sometimes called ladder) stitch. This was found in many of the Birka graves. The majority of the graves also had several loops at either the top or bottom of the turtle brooches, especially in the case of 465 grave. This leads me to believe that other components, such as a front smokkr panel, could have been attached.

This brings me to Bau’s (1981) theory of the front smokkr being open and a front panel being hooked onto it with loops. The theory of the detacheable front panel would be plausible for a breastfeeding Viking women who would have to adjust or get rid of the front of the smokkr to have access to the chest.

Layer 3

The third layer of the garment is based on Yorkshire Museum’s Viking Silk Cap (900AD-999AD). I chose this as a basis for what a Viking mother would have worn around her head to cover up her hair while breastfeeding. Personally, I found that breastfeeding while there is hair flying all over the place is very frustrating. Therefore, some form of cap would be plausible. The main body and fabric of the cap was made similar to the Yorkshire cap. It was constructed using two silk fabric pieces with a seam down the middle. I chose to put a linen lining to add comfort and interest to the cap. I used the same method of finishing the seams as with the smokkr. I folded the edge of the silk and linen, however, I did a double fold since it was not as bulky as the wool. I whipstitched the seam with silk thread pulled from left over pieces of fabric so to match the cap.

Layer 4

The fourth layer of my garment is an attempt to replicate a tri-lobed brooch. Based on skeletal remains in Birka and other locations, the tri-lobed brooch was usually located around the “adams-apple” or chest of a serk, or attach to a cloak or coat. The use of this accessory for the serk was similar to a button, holding the top two edges together. This would be plausible for Viking women who would need some form of closure around the neckline of the serk.

I tried to replicate the tri-lobed brooch by making clay molds and melting metal into the molds, aka casting. This layer was extremely difficult for me because I never had dealt with metal and casting before, and I did not have proper materials like a kiln. I used terra cotta clay and sculpted a mold. I then baked it using a typical kitchen oven at 275 degrees for about an hour to harden the mold. I had to make sure that the mold was less than 1/2”, so it would dry out properly. If not properly dry, it could explode when hot metal hit it and there is moisture (known as a steam explosion). Unable to get bronze, gold, or other fine metals, I attempted this accessory using molten lead through a melting pot. Having difficulty designing a clip to attach to the brooch, I settled on melting a safety pin to the backside. If I could do it again, I would solder pieces of metal together to create a clip.

Bonus Points

Beginner · Historic Beginner · Historically Focused

Sugawara no Naeme

Location: Barony of Carolingia, East Kingdom

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Beginner

Project Update Blog: Heian Haven

About Sugawara: I have played in the SCA, off and on, for 18 years, beginning in Meridies which then became Gleann Abhann. I came for the costumes and stayed for everything else. When not sewing or researching the Heian era, I dabble in calligraphy and illumination, music and food. This project is a levelling up for me. I’ve made the garments before, but this time, for the first time, I’ll be using period patterns and attempting to translate and follow the instructions which are in Japanese. This is my first A&S competition.

Her Project: I plan to make a travelling outfit suitable for my persona, a Heian Japanese noblewoman circa 1020. It will be modelled after the travelling outfit found at the Kyoto Costume Museum using color choices appropriate for my rank. The uppermost garment in the ensemble will be made from fabric bought for this purpose many years ago, and all fabrics used will come from my stash.

Final Photos

Her Final Thoughts on her C3 Experience:

When I set out on this project, I intended to recreate a travelling outfit that would allow me to walk around events in a highly period fashion. I wanted to make the ensemble as historically accurate as I could so I could be a better version of a walking “class” when someone asks about what I’m wearing. But, I didn’t start with a complete picture. Halfway through the Challenge I attended a class and discovered that the outfit I was making actually had more pieces, and that I was wrong about the chemise. I completed the project in line with its original design as I did not have time to rework the errors or add a whole extra garment. I have firm next steps to improve the hitoe and chemise and plans to make not only the missing kosode, but a pair of shin-protectors as well to round out the ensemble incorporating the newer information. And I’m incredibly proud of what I made.

Layer 1

Layer one was actually the second layer I worked on, as I started with the accessory or fourth layer. Work on the chemise for layer one began October 27 and finished November 20. This skin-layer garment is made of a light silk taffeta, hand sewn with silk thread. The pattern was developed using patterns from similar extant Heian (794-1185) Japanese garments and later period kosode patterns. It is made in the style of a kosode and is appropriate for a Heian Japanese noblewoman.

Layer 2

Work on layer three began November 21 and was completed on December 25. This hitoe is made of a fine silk dupioni that was overdyed to the proper shade of blue-green and is hand stitched in matching silk thread. The pattern used is one created by experts in Japanese Historic Costume from an extant garment. It is appropriate for a Heian Japanese noblewoman.

Layer 3

Work on the uwagi began December 26 and concluded January 9. It is made of a synthetic brocade lined in silk taffeta, hand sewn with matching silk thread. The two pieces were joined together with topstitching along all edges, done so that the darker gold of the lining sets off the lighter gold of the brocade. The pattern used is one created by experts in Japanese Historic Costume from an extant garment. It is appropriate for a Heian Japanese noblewoman of modest rank.

Layer 4

The hat was purchased. The veil panels are silk gazar hemmed by hand in silk thread. Work on the weaving of the kazari-himo or decorative cords for the hat began on October 1 and was finished on October 27. The hat was assembled on January 10. The kazari-himo were woven from thousands of yards of silk thread that was divided into 8 hanks of 40 threads each and then woven by hand on a marudai (a late 16th century Japanese weaving stand). Each of the finished 4 cords was 13’-9” or longer. The cords were all trimmed to the same length and woven through a channel in the veil panels, emerging at small slits at the outside center and interior edges. I modelled the veil construction and cord application on the example found at the Kyoto Costume Museum. The hat is appropriate for a Japanese noblewoman of the late Heian and Kamakura periods.

Layer 4+

Bonus Points