Intermediate · Modern Recreationist · Modern Recreationist Intermediate

Amy of Gleann Abhann

Location: Barony of Axemoor, Gleann Abhann

Category/Level: Modern Recreationist/Intermediate

Project Update Blog: The Enchanted Tower

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.

Final Photos

Her final thoughts on her C3 experience:

Thank you for hosting this!

I’ve wanted to make a dress from this period for about 10 years now, and apparently this was the push that I needed to actually do it. It’s not perfect, but that’s okay! I think part of what’s been holding me back for so long was that I wanted my first gothic fitted dress to be perfectly fitted. This one isn’t, but it’s done. Pattern-drafting is hard, and it’s okay if you aren’t the best at something the first time you try it.

Layer 1

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.

Layer 2

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.

Layer 3

In keeping with the rest of my outfit this is a gown meant to be worn by a middle-class woman in France circa 1400-1425. I substituted cotton* for linen for budgetary reasons. The gown is simple and relatively efficient, I made the whole thing with only 5 yards of fabric plus the lining. *I say that the gown is made of cotton because that is what I intended when I went to the store. I had a lovely blue selected, and found a bolt that was nice and thick so I was confident that I could get my full yardage. However, when I went up to the counter to get it cut the clerk unwrapped one cut yard of fabric and then another, and it became apparent that if I wanted a single cut of yard I would need another bolt. I went back to the same section and pulled a nearly identical bolt of fabric, but didn’t look closely at the label. After pre-washing the fabric I went to iron it and noticed that it had a lot more stretch to it than normal, so I think that I may have purchased a cotton-poly blend. Oh well.

Drafting the dress was challenging since this was something I don’t really know how to do, but I followed the tutorial offered by another C3 member. I can’t remember his name now, but it’s posted on the Stars and Garters blog, and it was a 6-panel gown. I didn’t get the fit quite right, but I got it done, and that is worth celebrating for me.

The bodice of the gown is lined in white muslin, and I used the same fabric to line the hanging portion of the sleeves. the bodice is flat-lined, but the sleeves are bag-lined. The sleeves should be lined in fur, not cotton, but that’s not practical in my current climate, so I used something else.

I had time to make one lucet-braided cord out of cotton embroidery floss to lace up the side of the gown. I also attached my first aglet to that cord, which was exciting. Unfortunately, the gown requires 2 laces, so I had to make do with ribbon on the other side. Imperfect, but it holds the gown together.

Layer 4

I made a necklace out of coral beads. I’ve seen a few of these on portraits of women throughout Europe in the 1300s. I’m not sure if it was right to make an alternating pattern of large and small beads or if it should have been large beads and knots as is seen on modern-day pearl necklaces.

Bonus Points

Intermediate · Modern Recreationist · Modern Recreationist Intermediate

Lady Eyvor Halldorsdottir

Location: Barony of Tir Ysgithr, Atenveldt

Category/Level: Modern Recreationist/Intermediate

Project Update Blog: The Viking Apprentice

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)

Group

Iolair Artisans

Group Members: Rose Chapman, Matthew Chapman, Marguerite des Baux, Caitlin inghen Raighne, Giraude Benet

Location: Cum an Iolair, Calontir

Category/Level: Modern Recreationist/Advanced

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.

Completed Outfit

Layer 1

This 14th century women’s linen smock is designed to fit invisibly under the kirtle. Caitlin patterned the smock with the aid of Rose’s kirtle pattern and measurements, machine stitched the construction seams, and finished the seams by hand. Despite not being able to have in-person fittings, the smock fits Rose perfectly!

Layer 2

This is a 14th century English kirtle made out of a linen/cotton blend. Matthew helped Rose make the pattern for the dress via the draping method. After determining the main dress panel dimensions, Rose carefully planned the cutting layout to make the gores as large as possible to reduce fabric waste. Rose stitched the dress on a machine, then finished seams and stitched eyelets by hand. Rose made her very first tubular tablet woven cord to use for lacing.

The original dress plan called for close-fitted sleeves with 19 buttons on each arm between elbow and wrist. Giraude made the cloth buttons, and Rose made a start on buttonholes cut out with a chisel for uniform length. Unfortunately, Rose was not able to hand-stitch 38 buttonholes and sew on that many buttons within the challenge time frame due to wrist strain, so plain sleeves were used instead. Rose had just enough extra fabric to make the second pair of sleeves, with a whole inch of length to spare! The wider sleeve design is still period, it just places the kirtle earlier in the 14th century than originally planned.

Layer 3

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.

Layer 4

While this Dantesca style chair was used from the 16th century onward, Rose couldn’t resist making a period folding chair for events even though her persona is technically 14th century. Matthew carved, sanded, and assembled the chair base out of 2×6 pine boards. The medallions covering the bolt holes on the front and back of the chair were purchased, but we made everything else. Rose stained the chair, wove fabric out of 8/2 tencel (imitation silk) for the seat and back using a period pattern, and patterned and stitched the seat and back based on extant chair examples. Rose serged the handwoven fabric to sturdy canvas before constructing the seat and back to ensure they would bear weight without stretching too much. Matthew affixed the seat and back to the chair with upholstery tacks.

Rose was originally planning to learn woodworking and Matthew was going to learn how to weave to complete this project. Rose, being a relatively new weaver, didn’t realize that tencel is a tricky material to work with and therefore not a good choice for beginning weavers, so she assumed weaving duties and left the woodworking to Matthew. Rose will learn how to work with wood to make a second chair in the future so the couple can have a matched set for events, and Matt still plans on learning how to weave.

Woodworking pattern and instructions followed: https://sawdustandshavings.home.blog/2019/08/02/building-the-dantesca-chair/

Pavy lisere 8-shaft weaving draft: https://www2.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/webdocs/mnm_mt31.pdf

Layer 4+

Tablet woven belt. Rose made the belt on her inkle loom out of 3/2 perle cotton. The buckle and chape were purchased online, and affixed to the belt with rivets. This was actually Rose’s second attempt at a belt. Her previous attempt with only burgundy and blue threads didn’t show the original pattern well and looked very bland, so she added gold thread and chose a completely different pattern draft.

St. Birgitte’s cap. Rose machine stitched the construction seams on this linen cap, and finished the seams with hand stitching. The pattern was copied from another cap Rose drafted and tested for mundane wear, since it’s such a practical piece of clothing.

Split mittens. Rose had a few scraps of cloak material left over. Since she wanted to take photos in the well-timed snow but didn’t want frostbite, she managed to eke out just enough cloth to make a pair of mittens as the storm rolled in the day before the final photo shoot. As you can see, there was barely enough! The thumb and thumb hole shapes were copied from a commercial pattern, while the main hand pattern was drafted based on hand measurements and tailored on the fly.

Bonus Points

Intermediate · Modern Recreationist · Modern Recreationist Intermediate

Laurence of Grimfells

Location: Grimfells, Calontir

Category/Level: Modern Recreationist/Intermediate

About Laurence: my persona is a 14th century men at arms and a squire to a noble lord knight, I regularly sew and want to use this challenge to further my skills and test my ability not only as a tailor but as pourpointer. I’ve been fighting for about 7 years and sewing for longer, but only after joining and making my first piece of garb a red wool cotte with 50+ hand made buttons and button holes I dedicated most of my free time to sewing.

His Project: the out fit will be drawing inspiration from late 14 early 15th transitional period, and is of the middle upper class of noble men at arms. I’ll be using several historical images depicting the outfit I will be entering, the middle layer of the outfit will also function as a foundation garment for supporting armor.

Final Photos

His final thoughts on his C3 experience:

iv learnd alot and probably wouldint have done as much and sewing if the challange didnt happen im varry glad i enterd and put my skills to the test

Layer 1

1360-70, English, low noble/man at arms, male, noble/legman/man at arms. The garments were made using historical hand sewing techniques, and materials or there closest modern equivalent. All went fairly quickly, and Id probably make the braes differently.

Layer 2

The second layer is a 14th century pourpoint made of fustian padded with cotton batting, a common garment among young noble men at arms of the second half of the 14th century. And a pair of split wool hosen, also popular among the gentry and a predesoser of the full joined hose of the 15th century. This out fit is popular thought out England France and the Itailian city states. the materals for the poupoint were relitivaly new, as cotton was a recently introduced inport though Italy by way of the meditreraina, and was used as padding as well as weaved with linen flax fibers to create fustian offten used in fighting and some civilian garments. The outfit its self was a reflection of martal prowess and the 14th century of masculin beauty, cinching the waist and pronouncing the chest creating the look of a armored solder withou haveing to incase ones self in a steel harness, even the hose are fited in such away to show the musels of the calves and thigh. I`m quiet pleased with the gament, though if i had to do I had to do it again I would machine quilt the pourpoin to save in time especillay where speed is benifical.

Layer 3

The silk over cotte the fasion layer of this out fit, this garment would be a common dress garment of the late/early 14th and 15th century’s. The garment presented is based off sevrial art pecies showing similar garments, and as to period reconstruted as acuratly as posible using a silk shell and a fuistan lining. Being completly and sewn from start to finish i couldent be more happy with it than i currently am, in a future model i will probably use a stifer under lining and a pattern silk, as well machine sew and hand finish to save time.

Layer 4

A belt is the common acssesory of the medieval person, normally highly decorated with brass bronze or gold to show the persons wealth. Iv used hand cut and emblished brass sheets and a simple buckle i had on hand. In period a nobles belt would be decorated with casted metal fixtures, I used the sheet brass to save time, and in the future i will most likly order casted fixtures for a more authintic look. as well the leather is painted red for my own ease as ordering red leather dye would take too long .

Bonus Points

Advanced · Historic Advanced · Historically Focused

Sara of Stonley

Location: Shire of Hadchester, East

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Advanced

About Sara: I’ve been in the SCA for 15 years, though there have been periods of less participation. I have sewn most of my family’s garb from the beginning, but definitely have a love/hate relationship with sewing. I draft most of my own patterns. I love trying/learning new things. I have a tendency to learn new skills for a very specific project then move on to the next thing; be it skill, project, or what have you. This project is encouraging me to complete an outfit that I’ve been meaning to make for a 14th century themed event in Aethelmearc. My persona is 14th century already, but for this I will be “upping my game” with the details. I have done very little embroidery until the last few months. I will be incorporating that into this project. I have done zero woodworking or painting so the painted chest “accessory” is a big undertaking for me.

Her Project: For this project I will be making a mid-14th century outfit that will include (but is not limited to) an undergarment, a fitted kirtle/gown, and a shorter dagged over garment inspired by a fresco by Andrea di Bonaiuto da Firenze. My persona is typically English, but many of my inspirational images and pieces are Italian. I have a lot of possibilities in mind for my accessory layer, in particular an embroidered alms purse and a painted chest. Both the purse and chest are likely to include some heraldic display. The chest is intended to serve as a cooler but is inspired by several of the time.

Final Photos

Layer 1

I made a supportive, sleeveless, linen shift for a 14th century woman and some linen braies. Both are completely hand sewn with linen thread using a felling stitch I got off to a slow start with this layer because I knew I needed to draft a new pattern and I couldn’t decide which method I was going to use to do so.

While I was fussing over pattern drafting I made myself these braies because I want to try wearing some (for a variety of reasons.)These braies are a different style than I’ve made in the past. (I haven’t worn braies myself before but if I decide I don’t like wearing them, these will fit my husband. ) I patterned these from my hip and thigh measurements, adding a crotch gusset. And, voila! Braies! For now, the “braies girdle” is 1/2″ linen tape because that is what I have on hand.

For the shift, I ended up drafting a “close enough” pattern using measurements and then fitted the garment on myself. I usually make my shifts with sleeves but decided to try a sleeveless option this time. I chose to have this undergarment lace up the back because the next layer will button up the front and I don’t like the bulkiness of a button placket over lacing. It is currently laced with 1/4″ linen tape because, again, that is what I have on hand.

I used a 4.7oz linen that is rather sheer for both undergarments so the photos will not be of a live model.

Layer 2

Layer 2 is a mid 14th century fitted gown that buttons down the front with 20 self fabric buttons. I chose a lightweight red woolen stuff for my fabric which, to be frank, has been a pain to work with. It frays like mad and has a springiness to it that has caused some frustration. Unless this fabric performs fantastically, I will be hard pressed to use it again. But I wanted to try a lightweight wool over linen for summer. I started with a linen thread and later switched to silk thread when it finally arrived in the mail. I used a 12mm silk twill as a facing along the neckline and behind the buttons and buttonholes. The buttons are bigger than i usually make them, partly because of the nature of this particular fabric. They took longer than they usually do. I worked the buttonholes with a 2/30 silk thread/yarn. It is sewn entirely by hand.

Layer 3

This layer is a mid-14th century dagged overgarment based on the image of a dancer in a fresco painted by Andrea di Bonaiuto da Firenze. Since I could not find the exact fabric I wanted for this garment, I decided to use a piece of wool of indeterminate fiber content from my stash. (I suspect it’s a wool/nylon blend.) I used the basic pattern that I drafted for layers one and two, making adjustments as needed. Some of the seams are flat felled and some are just a running stitch. Those I ended up tacking down using a herringbone stitch (both to remind myself that I could do it, and because I think it’s fun to work.) The neck edge is folded over and finished with 2/30 silk in a blanket stitch. This wool frayed more than is desirable for dags so I had to stay-stitch all the dags, which I also did by hand. As I hoped, this layer worked up quickly. I knew that I would get distracted making gifts, etc., for the holidays and I did. I cut this out on Sunday (Dec.27) and finished it today (Dec. 31.) However, the fraying tendency of this fabric slowed me down. Since I had to stay-stitch all the dags, it took longer than I wanted. If I had more time, I would have added more embellishment.

Layer 4

I am submitting a 14th century aumônière. This one is done in needlepoint using 100% wool yarn on a linen canvas. It is measures about 6″ × 4.5″. There are two panels. One pictures a lion and the other pictures a griffin. It has a linen lining and is trimmed with braided yarn. This is the first (and so far only) needlepoint I have done so I used a published pattern instead of creating one myself. I worked on the two needlepoint panels in November and December while waiting for other materials to ship, thinking that I could use them as a backup if I didn’t finish my other projects. I found it fun and easy to work. At the beginning of January, I had set aside my cassone when I realized I wouldn’t have time to finish it. I then spent much of the month embroidering a different aumônière but I initially underestimated how much gold thread I would need to couch the background and had to order more because I couldn’t find anything locally. I kept hoping that order would arrive in time, but I’m still waiting for it. Fortunately I had the needlepoint in reserve. On Saturday, January 30th, I just had to figure out a way to stitch them together into a purse.

Bonus Points

Display Only · Historic Intermediate · Historically Focused · Intermediate

Vincent de Vere

From: Axed Root, Calontir

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Intermediate (Display Only)

Project Update Blog: Stars and Garters

About Vincent: I have been participating in the SCA for about 15 years. I do quite a bit of of basic costuming, especially helping newer members. Beyond sewing I work on a lot of general SCA projects and work on recruitment and retention efforts.

His Project: Mid fourteenth century middle class merchant from Western Europe. This is a commonly represented garment seen in illustrations. I am also working off of the men’s fourteenth century gown from the second edition Medieval Tailors Assistant.

Final Photos

Layer 1

This is the base layer of my attempt for a 1350’s merchant.  It would be a middle class merchant from western Europe.   

Linen Braies: long white linen braies, machine sewn, hand seam finished

Wool Hosen: Machine sewn, hand seam finished

Linen shirt: White linen, machine sewn, hand seam finished

Linen coif: White linen, machine sewn, hand seam finished

Layer 2

The layer consists of the linen doublet. This is an early version of a doublet based on the pattern described in the Medieval Tailor’s Assistant book. I machine sewed the garment with hand finishing and hand done eyelets.

Layer 3

A gown for a merchant from mid 1300’s. The gown is wool lined in linen. It is machine sewn and hand finished. I feel the gown needs to be more full and needs a wider cut.

Layer 4

The Layer 4 accessory is the set of scales. Scales would be a common accessory used by many merchants and trades people through many different time periods. This scale is made out of brass. The chain was purchased. The other raw materials were brass sheet, brass wire and a brass rod. The pans were dished and the balance arms were cut from a rod of brass and shaped using files.

Layer 4+

  • Leather shoes: Machine basting stitch, hand sewn after
  • Leather Coin Pouch: Hand finished
  • Scented body powder: ground orris root and clove body powder
  • Leather garters (x2): Purchased buckles, dyed vegetable tanned leather and hand finished
  • Leather girdle belt for Braies: Purchased bronze buckle, dyed vegetable tanned leather and hand finished
  • Garnet Ring (x2)
  • Garnet Brooch
  • 2 leather belts made from purchased buckles and oak tanned leather
  • A pouch made with a purchased buckle and oak tanned leather
  • Leather gloves
  • Leather shoes
  • wool cloak
  • hat of wool and linen

Bonus Points