About Catarina: I have been costuming since 1998, and joined the SCA in 2004. Since then I have dabbled in everything from Norse to 16th c. English, and a fair bit in between. In recent years I’ve settled into the latter half of the 16th c., experimenting with embroidery and surface decoration. This project doesn’t directly tie into my persona – but honestly, I jump around so much I couldn’t really say that I HAVE a dedicated persona. I’ll be using some tried-and-true techniques and some new ones, so I hope that this will be interesting, challenging, and help me grow as an artist.
Her Project: I will be creating a 1540’s farthingale, kirtle, French Gown, French Hood, and accessories. Nobility class – I usually stay firmly in the working or middle class, so I’m taking this challenge as an opportunity to make something sumptuous. Loosely based off of Holbein’s portrait of Jane Seymour, William Scrott’s portrait of Princess Elizabeth, and other similar portraits.
About Ceara: I’ve been in the SCA over 20 years and lived in several Kingdoms. I enjoy sewing and have done it since before I started in the SCA. I came to the SCA with a very modern, very basic sewing background. I’m planning on hand sewing my entire outfit. I’ve previously hand sewn a garment or two, but not an entire outfit. I specifically chose Advanced category because I want to challenge myself and am hoping for feedback on areas I can improve. I’m also a tablet weaver so am planning on making the belt and trim. I have a Rus persona, so I’ve really been looking forward to making one of the Upper Volga Dresses.
Her Project: My outfit is 11th Century Upper Volga Rus, based specifically on the excavations of the Pleshkovo-1 Cemetery. There were over 37 women buried there and, based on the ornamentation at lease some were wealthy/noble women. They were of Slavic with some native Baltic and Finno-Ugrian influences. My outfit will be primarily based on the clothing in barrow’s 57 and 58. I chose the Pleshkovo finds in general because there is a large number of textile fragments for the Upper Volga region, making it easier to select appropriate cloth to make the garments out of. I specifically chose these two Barrows based on the lovely hair ornaments and because I liked the really large temple rings in Barrow 58. I’d like to wear this outfit to virtual Atlantian 12th night, as it’s one of the few times of the year that wool dresses will be comfortable in the South Eastern US.
About Etain : I’ve been in the SCA since 2003. While I’m not new to sewing, most of my garb is t-tunic style because I’ve mainly done early-period recreation. So, I’ve only done gores once, and I’ve never fitted a bodice. (I’m feeling a bit nervous about those parts.) Otherwise, I’m a jack of all trades. I’ll try anything once. Arts that I excel at include wire weaving, making lucet cord, and drawing celtic knotwork. Currently, I’m trying to improve my skill at tablet weaving, and I’m incorporating that into my project. This project doesn’t tie into my persona, per se. I’ve been wanting to switch from early-period to late-period for awhile, so I don’t have the late-period persona built yet, but I plan to have fun doing it. This is part of my anti-boredom COVID plan.
Her Project: I plan to create an outfit for an upper-class woman from Ireland in the mid-1500s. I’m basing it off of the Shinrone gown and the illustrations by Lucas d’Heere. I’ve wanted to make this for awhile.
About Greer: I have been in the SCA for 28 years. My focus (for which I was inducted into the most noble order of the Laurel just last year) is the skills of german merchant class housewives in the early 16th century. To that end I make baskets, and cheese, and my own laundry starch! I am also a professionally trained seamstress, and I am looking to create a more authentic kit from the skin out. what better opportunity!
Her Project: I want to make an early 16th century Northern German middling class woman’s ensemble. I have done similar outfits, but I want to up my authenticity game 🙂
About Guendolen: Greetings fair folk, I am Guendolen. I’ve been playing off and on in the SCA for about 20 year with a longish break after an unfortunate relationship event. I prefer all sorts of creative endeavors from sewing to belly dancing. I’ve been looking forward to creating this clothing combo for my persona for quite a few years with many, many failed attempts. This time, however, I feel I am ready to take up the challenge – this very challenging challenge. Well met and good tidings to all.
Her Project: The plan is to recreate a twelfth century bliaut, overdress, cloak, and belt and or pouch. I am basing the ensemble from several illuminated pieces that highlight the overdress and several extent pieces for the cloak. It appeared to be something a high born lady would have worn in France at the time my persona would have lived (1140s – 1170s). I have been working up my nerve and my knowledge base to create these pieces and this was just the excuse I needed to jump into it.
About Hild : I am new to the SCA, having just joined at the start of March and never having been able to attend an in person event. I started sewing around the same time and am hoping to improve my skills. I learned how to embroider when I was younger but have picked the skill back up and am really hoping to improve my skills and apply it to a historical matter. As well is sewing I am interested in wood working, dying, knitting, and getting into rapier when the SCA opens again. This project directly ties into my persona as it is increasing my garb for my persona and allowing me to be more historically accurate than the first set of garb than I first made. This will definitely be a challenge for me because I will be attempting to use historical fabrics (limited by budget) and patterns. Because I am interested in the 10th century a lot of patterns are self drafted, which is a process I am just starting to become familiar with.
Her Project: My plan is to sew a loose kirtle, a gunna (gown) and a coat. The accessory layer is still undetermined but will be a fully embroidered alms purse or slipper-style turnshoes. This will be garb fit for an Anglo-Saxon woman before the Norman Conquest. A Mercian woman in the court of Aethelflaed, the Lady of Mercia, could have been found wearing these pieces. This would have been a more formal outfit meant for court, although the court will be a bit more utilitarian than the rest of the garb since it would have been the woman’s main coat. I am not basing this off of one specific image, but a compilation of images and records that I have found in my research. I am very interested in embroidery and hope to implement this as much a possible in this project. Extant pieces of clothing from the period of Anglo-Saxon England are difficult to find. but illuminations and carvings do show outfits such that I am going to make. This challenge coincides with Atlantian Crown Tourney and is a great motivator for me to complete a new project for this event (if it happens with the plague).
About Johanna: I have been in the SCA off and on for about 20-some years. I have been sewing since I was a child, and enjoy making garb and working in other aspects of the fiber arts. This project is a bit of a stretch for me. In the past, my focus has been on early 14th century western European women’s garb. I have only gained an interest in Ottoman garb in the past year. Although I have been trying to use period techniques as I learn them, my access to completely period materials is limited by my budget. I would love to use the gorgeous brocades and silks that are seen in extant pieces, but this will be a simpler, working man’s outfit. For this project, I am imposing the additional challenge of purchasing as few materials as possible. The fabrics I use will be mostly from what I already own. I have not settled on an accessory layer yet, but I think that it will be in leather working, which I have never done before.
Their Project: I will be working on a 16th century Ottoman man’s outfit. My specific interest is in the Janissaries. The Janissaries were an elite infantry corps in service to the Sultan. I have several extant pieces of garb as well as several illustrations that I am using as inspiration. Several of the extant pieces are in the Topkapi Palace Museum, some were auctioned by Sotheby’s. The illustrations I am looking at are from the late 16th through mid 17th century. Several of them are not specifically of Janissaries, but serve to show the general style of the period. I have been wanting to make an Ottoman outfit for about a year now, since I joined the Osmanli Mehter Takimi (Janissary Band) at Pennsic last year. I had quickly cobbled together an outfit that was suitable to march in, but now that I have studied the period more, I see many flaws. I would like to create a more correct outfit that has the correct layers, is made of the correct fabrics, and completes a more authentic look.
My garment is intended to be suitable for a member of the Janissary, the elite guards of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, dating to the reign of Suleiman I (1520-1566).
For Layer 1 of my garment, I made a base layer of underpants and an undershirt (gömlek). Extant examples are made of fine linen or cotton. I made the underpants first and made them of linen, and hand sewed them with linen thread. They have a drawstring waist with a linen sash. The long seams were sewn with a back stitch for durability, and felled with a whip stitch. The waistband was folded over, and the bottom edge rolled so that there would be no raw edges. I used a small herringbone stitch to secure this seam. Due to the taper of the legs, the leg seam was left open a bit at the ankle, and the bottom hem is finished with a rolled edge.
The gömlek is made of cotton, and is hand stitched with cotton thread. I used cotton rather than linen because I had it on hand, and I was intending for this to be a rough draft, and to make a final copy in linen. However, since it fit well, I went ahead and completed it for the competition. The pattern is based off extant gömleks that have the sleeves and gores all in one piece. Long seams are backstitched, felled with whip stitch. The keyhole neckline and hems are finished with a rolled edge.
About Marguerite: In the SCA I am known as Lady Marguerite Honoree d’Cheneau, and serve as Seneschal for the Barony of Storvik in the Kingdom of Atlantia. I have been active in the SCA since 2017. I have a real love for the Renaissance, and especially renaissance clothing – I came to the SCA for the Tudor sewing and stayed for the Italian Renaissance. Building a French gown has been on my bucket list for a long time, but as I got more involved in the SCA I ended up gravitating towards the Italian Renaissance – partly because in Atlantia most of our events happen in warmer weather and Tudor garments tend to lean into the mini-ice-age aesthetic! I’m taking this challenge as a chance to dive back into my roots and lean into that English/Tudor/French Gown look. I expect this to be a reasonable challenge, with a mix of new vs existing skills, with a new-construction-to-me garment. However, it will be building on previous experience especially in regards to fit, finishing, and era – I know the garments well and have been investigating them for some time, I just haven’t built a proper french gown yet. I’m hoping to incorporate some embroidery and hand embellishments as well, time allowing.
Her Project: I plan to build a French Gown along the lines of what would be worn by a noblewoman in England sometime between 1520’s – 1540’s. This will not be based off of a specific portrait, but instead a an amalgam of different portraits from the era, with a few liberties taken for color and fabric as most portraits appear to be either elaborately patterned brocades or dark velvets. I plan to work mainly in silk and may push the color envelope a bit rather than going for patterned fabric. My plans include a square necked smock, with an aspirational goal of doing embroidery & edge detail on that piece akin to what is seen in the extant Anne Boleyn portrait. On top of that will be a kirtle, likely side-lacing, with some beaded or sewn on embellishments and either a contrasting front piece or a pinned-on panel. I will either wear my (pre-existing) farthingale underneath or build a petticoat for some volume. Finally I will construct a French Gown in silk, with tie-on sleeves. I have not yet decided what the fourth/different item will be. My current plan is jewelry to accompany the garment, but that may shift as the challenge continues and my ambitions grow, or time shrinks.
About Sabrina: I’m 33 years old, and have been a member of the SCA for about a year and a half now. I learned to see when I was a teenager, but didn’t really do much with that knowledge until after I joined the SCA. I’m still trying to learn what other activities I may enjoy doing in the society. I believe this project will further help me develop depth to my persona.
HerProject: I plan on making a mid-16th century outfit for a woman in middle-class England, possibly a merchant’s wife. I’ve wanted to make such an outfit for quite some time now. I’m not planning on it to be for any specific activity or event; as a relativistic new player, I still need basic garb to get me out of borrowed clothing.
About Yuchi: I believe it was 2017 or 2018, so I’m fairly new to the SCA. This is my first persona and I’m loving it. I sew occasionally but almost always stick to easy skirts and nothing with sleeves. I recently started learning embroidery in the last 3 months. I love archery and will be shooting in this outfit that I make.
Her Project: China, 8th century, Tang Dynasty. I am basing my garb from a painting called Tang court ladies, 706 AD, housed at the Qianling Mausoleum and the painting called Zhang Xuan, Palace Ladies Pounding Silk. I would like to put my heraldry on the shawl and hezi. I have not done embroidery on silky material before so the shawl will be a challenge. I have tried to make the skirt before, but it went unfinished. This will be an adventure. I wish to do a painting for level 4. It will be a learning experience since I’ve not painted for over 10 years.
Undergarments for 8th Century Tang Dynasty China. All persons, including children, could wear a hezi, a silk or cloth material the covered the front of the chest reaching down to the stomach to keep the chest warm and covered for the ladies. The hezi had a back that was low, so it wouldn’t show above the skirt dress. Modesty was important. The hezi was usually red and could contain embroidery/painting that expressed the feelings or desires of the woman. Pictures included animals, flowers, etc. The hezi of the Tang was strapless and tied at the top with a cord/ribbon to hold it up. It was strapless due to the skirt dresses that was worn at the time. The making: undergarments were intimate and there were few pictures. I found some descriptions and obtained a Hanfu Pattern Making (Imperial) by TT Duong. I went by the pictures in the book and online to create an outline, took my measurements and cut the back and front on the folds. I embroidered my device on the front. I had sewed all edges until I tried it on and found it too large. I remeasured and cut the back middle and machine sewed it. I then made a red cord to tie around to hold up the hezi.
The pants, or Kun, come in different styles. Some were unisex and others were specifically for the man or woman. The making: Since woman’s undergarments were basically secretive, I went by the picture of men’s pants to start. Then I used the Hanfu Pattern Making book again to make woman’s pants. I have sew the pants specifically for woman and used string instead of a cord in order to tie to hold the pants up. There are two pants, both cut on a fold. The two are then sewn together and the top sewn to hold a cord/ribbon. I used a white cord. The pants turned out perfect and didn’t need adjustments.
All classes and professions would have a hezi and pants or pants for you for men. What I would have done differently was that after sewing the hezi, I then found more research that the hezi was sometimes made with slightly elastic material. I would have probably used this kind of material to have the hezi fit more favorably.
During the Tang Dynasty of China, between the under garments and the dress a shirt is worn. It is called the zhongyi, and is the second layer that I made. This shirt was meant to be worn on the inside of clothing or as a pajama top and was usually white. For daily wear, the sleeves are narrow. Upon formal occasions, the sleeves are wider. All social classes would have had a zhongyi to wear.
Using the book: Hanfu Pattern Making (Imperial) by TT Duong, I was about to draw a rough pattern. I used my measurements to put it to size and going by the painting “Palace Ladies Pounding Silk” I tried to create the shape/curvature needed.
During the Tang Dynasty China, there were two outfits for woman: a top with a skirt that went from the waist to the floor and then a top that was covered by a skirt that tied at the chest and went down to the floor. The later is the piece I’ve made and is called a Ruqun.
I started with the front and back panels so that I could accurately measure how much material I would need for the front and back with the one inch folds on each side. I attached the ribbons so that the dress can be tied on. The back panel ribbons only need to come around once and be tied. The front panel ribbons had to be longer because they wrap around the back, are pulled back to the front where they are tied once and the ribbon is looped back on itself before being pulled into a loop to hang. Next I ran a stitch across the top of the skirt to hold the folds in place before tucking the skirt up into each panel where I’d left an opening. I folded the panel over the skirt and sewed the bottom across. The sides were then sewn up, leaving enough of a gap to accommodate stepping into the skirt to pull it up. Lastly I hemmed the skirt.
Clothing was made from silk and linen unless you were poor, then your clothes were probably made from animal skins. The above clothing was made from silk.
During 8th Century Tang Dynasty, the people were using silk, bamboo and other lighter materials in order to write on. I was going to make bamboo paper since I have bamboo trees in the yard, but didn’t trust myself with taking the bark off. The Chinese people would cut the bamboo trees down, cut off any branches and use a blade, some times curved, to removed the bark. The bamboo was then soaked and pounded into a pulp. The pulp was added to water, then using a thin screen, it was scooped up. Water would drain off leaving the wet pulp on the screen. The contents was laid out layered between a type of cloth or on top of each other where it was then pressed to remove excess water. Then it was left to dry. After drying, the layers were peeled off and you had paper.
I used shredded paper that I blended with water in a blender. I added the pulp to a container of water, used two picture frames I had gutted and placed a piece of door screening on with a stapler. The initial paper was thick and a bland color so I added purple coloring. I also added lavender and rosemary for smell and texture.
The Chinese people valued poems and often had various works of art, poems, sayings and teachings around their homes and places of business. I decided on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star nursery rhyme because I could correctly pronounce it in Chinese and remember what I had written. Learning the stoke techniques was even more of a challenge. I did a few practice runs and watched some videos of actual Chinese painting and calligraphy classes taught by native Chinese. I did my best to remember the strokes. But it does test your patience and posture. Normally the author would stamp their name with a name block. I didn’t have one, therefore, I used a wax seal to add some character and fill in the empty space on the left.