About Amy : I dabbled in the SCA back in college, and I’ve been dipping my toes back in over the last year or so. I am very comfortable using a sewing machine on a commercial sewing pattern, but I sew modern and vintage styles more frequently than medieval styles. I have very little experience drafting patterns; hence my hesitation to attempt a cotehardie. I haven’t settled on an SCA persona, or even a name, but this project is going to be a good opportunity to test out 14th century Western Europe.
Her Project: I’m planning to make a middle-class 14th century European woman’s outfit for myself. I’ve wanted a Gothic Fitted Dress/Cotehardie for several years, and this project is going to be my motivation to finally try one! Due to budget constraints – and the fact that this is going to be a wearable muslin – I plan to substitute cotton for linen and wool. My first layer will be a chemise, my second layer will be a fitted kirtle, and my third layer will be a Cotehardie. My accessory will probably be leather shoes as leatherworking is a different discipline and not something I’ve tried before.
This is a woman’s plain cotton underdress. The neckline is very wide to remain unseen while accommodating the style of the first quarter of the 15th century in Western Europe. All visible stitching was completed by hand: felling the gores, skirt and sleeve hems, and neckline. I’ve made this pattern before, so I was able to copy most of the measurements and tweak the ones that I didn’t love from my last go-around this time. The pattern came from a blog post on Reconstructing History. Inserting gores into fabric slits remains challenging, but I found a tutorial on La cotte simple that did help it to lie more smoothly. I’m happy with this garment and might consider investing in a more expensive fabric if I have cause to make another underdress.
1400-1425 France woman’s fitted kirtle. I’m proud of this dress because I tried some new-to-me techniques like self-drafting and flat-lining. Although I didn’t quite get the fit that I wanted even after several muslins, I did manage to get the front of the gown to lace closed. This leads me to believe that I was on the right track with the fit, but that I needed some more help, and maybe in a post-pandemic world I can get that help. I also wonder how much of that fit would be improved by using better fabrics (there are limits to what cotton can do) and more a fitted undergarment. The sleeves especially felt like they suffered because it was hard to make them any tighter when there was so much loose fabric from the underdress fighting for space underneath. Now I want to research more options for undresses. Also, as I feared, by making my underdress first, the necklines don’t quite line up and the underdress peeks out at the shoulders from the kirtle. I definitely don’t have time to fix the underdress, but I have some other ideas for making the underdress less visible.
I did cheat a little bit while I was making this dress. The most obvious visible cheat is that I used my sewing machine to sew the eyelets (technically buttonholes because my machines only sews rectangles). My second big cheat was applying some medium-weight interfacing to the facing along the eyelet holes to help prevent gaping along that front edge. It was effective, and I did enter into the modern recreationist category.
I hand-stitched the visible seams – skirt hem, sleeve hems, and understitched the facing around the neckline. I have no idea if facings are period, but I’ve noticed that flat-lining is popular in SCA circles, and I know that bag-lining is a relatively modern innovation. Facings are certainly an efficient way to finish those edges.
This dress may not be perfect, but it is finished, and now I can start on my next layer.
About Arianne : I’ve been in the Society since the 90s and sew regularly – in fact, the greatest difficulty will be either fitting my personal sewing amid my commissions or figuring out how to do the required different layer. My persona is 14th century French and deserves a new outfit.
Her Project: I’ll be making a late-14th century noblewoman’s côtehardie and accompanying garments, possibly with a matching male outfit. This will be appropriate for my persona. There are several similar gowns featured in illuminations of the late 14th and early 15th centuries, but the most famous similar one is the blue côtehardie in the early-15th century Très Riches Heures de Jean, duc de Berry.
About Charles: My name is Maitre Charles de Bourbon, and I have been in he SCA for 22 years. I have been a member of the Order of the Laurel for more than 12 years, and my primary areas of focus is clothing of Burgundy in the early 15thc. This project ties directly to my persona and will be for me for 12th night (even though we aren’t having a 12th night, it is still a goal)
His Project: I am planning on making 14th/15th c. transitional outfit including: shirt, pourpoint, houppelande, and hat/hood. The outer layer and accessories will feature real, period fur, 100% HA fabrics, and will mainly be hand-sewn. (long seams will be done by machine). This is a piece that I have wanted to make for some time inspired by The Falcon’s Bath tapestries in The Cloisters. These are Flemish tapestries, which is also where I focus a great deal of my research.
About Elizabeth : I have been doing living history re-enactment in 17&18century groups for over 25 years and became interested in SCA about 5 years ago and became a member shortly after. I Have always sewed my own clothes because I could not afford to clothes for 2 growing girls and myself. I enjoy research and sewing, embroidery work. I am learning to weave and love to learn anything related to textiles. I have been a retainer for the past two Queens of the East. I believe it will be a challenge .
Her Project: I am planning on making 14century women clothes which I plan to wear for any holiday or gran event. I plan on making clothes based on paintings/ illuminations. Lady would have worn this Sideless Surcoat. Since I am still relatively new to the SCA , I do not have a heraldry
About Eyvor: Having been in the SCA for 15 years, most of my clothing and energy has been devoted to moving around the Viking-age world and with some dabbling into Rus. I’ve patterned clothing, handsewn full outfits, and generally dabbled in a decent amount in a number of things. I haven’t sewn much as of late, but I would consider myself to be competent enough with a machine that I can tackle anything with enough determination. The outfit isn’t one that fits what I normally do, but I wanted something different that would give me more variety in my SCA wardrobe. I expect that it should be a good challenge, but one that I can tackle and will result in a solid project that I’m pleased with.
Her Project: I’ve wanted a kirtle and cotehardie for a very long time, and actually bought fabric for it as everything was starting to shut down. I’m looking at doing an outfit roughly suited to middle class in the late 14th century. I want something comfortable, that I can wear in a number of situations, and accuracy is not as important to me for this. It’s a project to stretch my skills and to make me happy. This is being entered in the recreationst category primarily because I don’t have documentation for some of the colors and the exact stamping. The horse and raven symbolize both my household and my own heraldry – a white raven on a red background for Hrafnheim, and a white horse on blue for me. (My heraldry a blue horse on white, but I *will* get white quite dirty, so decided something else would look better.) As of now, the plan is as follows: *Short-sleeved white shift *Sleeveless linen kirtle *Long-sleeved parti-colored cotehardie (one side stamped with white ravens. the other with white horses) *accessories: paternoster, necklace, and earrings (all glass. all beads made by me for a non-sewing skill, glasswork)
About Frithuswith: I started in the SCA in 1998. My original name chosen was, Anastasia Elgiva Orpett. in the Kingdom of Atenveldt. I moved to Calontir in 2000. I sew most of my garb as it is less expensive. My main skill is embroidery and beadwork. I do some archery, illumination and have just started doing knife throwing. I enjoy watching fighting and other combat activities. It is enjoyable to see the activities that each person is involved in. It sometimes gets me interested in doing more things.
Her Project: I am doing the research now on the dress. I have done one with the help of a friend, who is in the SCA. We did not do much research, but I do believe it is of my time period. My time period is 14th century Ireland. I do not know at the present about the culture of who would have worn it. We found it online on a site that does medieval clothing. I had one, but gave to my friend as it is now to small for me. Therefore, I am going to make another one that will fit. I will embroider the edges of the lining of the sleeves and the collar with the bear that is part of the device of our Shire.
Group Members: Rose Chapman, Matthew Chapman, Marguerite des Baux, Caitlin inghen Raighne, Giraude Benet
Location: Cum an Iolair, Calontir
About the Iolar Artisans : Caitlin, Giraude, and Marguerite have known each other for well over a decade. Rose and Matthew met Caitlin approximately 10 years ago, and the others in late 2009. They are banding together to make a better set of garb for Rose. Rose and Matthew in particular are stretching themselves on this project by making the chair – Rose is teaching Matthew to weave, and Matthew is teaching Rose woodworking!
Their Project: Rose recently rejoined the SCA after several years on hiatus, and is developing a new persona with all new garb. The clothing we plan to create – a smock, kirtle, and handwoven cloak – would befit the wife of a merchant in 14th century England. The outfit is loosely based on the effigy of Katherine Mortimer, Countess of Warwick, 1369. The chosen accessory will be a Dantesca style chair based on extant examples with handwoven fabric for the back and seat. Stretch goals include a cap of St. Birgitte, a tablet woven belt, and hand embroidery.
14th century English wool cloak. Marguerite des Baux wove fabric by hand on 4 shafts. Rose Chapman constructed the cloak with machine-sewn seams and finished the seams by hand. Rose also embroidered an ivy leaf motif along the front edge of the cloak using a chain stitch. Almost everything went as planned – even matching diagonal stripes on the center back seam! However, the gold thread was a wool/silk blend, while the green and blue threads were 100% wool, and the differential shrinkage that showed up after wet finishing the fabric created uneven selvedges. Rose was able to hide most of the unevenness in the cloak’s seams, but the front edge remains a tad uneven.
About Jocelyn: Hi, I’m Jocelyn, I’ve recently become the captain of archers in my barony after only a year in the SCA. I need proper garb for myself and have been lacking in the motivation and confidence to start on actually making something as im really worried I’ll make a mistake that ruins the whole thing. I have done sewing in the past, but usually it’s just repairs or something small. I’m really excited and nervous for this challenge as it will be difficult for me I think, but I’m ready to have some cloths for events that are actually mine and that fit me properly!
Her Project: 14th century fitted dress and under dress with embroidery or black work on it. I’ve wanted one of awhile and love the flowy skirts! As it’s my first one, it will be more practical and so more for a working class person in length, but as fancy as I can make it in everything else!
About Kathleen : I have been in the SCA for 30 years and lived in 6 different kingdoms. As a wanderer I have been involved in diverse activities involving just about everything except fighting. Lately I have been concentrating on sewing. I am most interested in becoming more authentic and learning as much as I can.
Her Project: I plan to recreate an outfit based on a 14th Century illumination from the Tres Riches Heures de Duc de Berry. It will consist of a supportive undergarment, a short sleeved dress, hose, hood, apron and several accessories that I haven’t quite decided on yet. This outfit fits with my 14th Century persona which is loosely located in the borderlands of England/Scotland. This is a typical outfit for most of Western Europe during the 14th Century. I have been waiting long time for an opportunity to make this outfit, I just needed the motivation. This outfit will be made from the ground up with as many historic features that I can manage. The basic construction of most of my garments will be sewn on the sewing machine and then I will hand finish all the seams. This is something I’ve been working up to for quite awhile.