Group · Historically Focused · Intermediate

Actreo

Group Members: Baroness Linnet del Grenewode,

Location: Barony of Carolingia, East

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Intermediate

About Actreo: The two of us are a couple who have been in and out of the SCA for years. We heard about the Challenge from people in our local group. We will be making garments that we have wanted to make for a while. The inspiration of this challenge is a gift right now.

Project Update Blog: Crafting Ourselves – An SCA Arts and Sciences Journey

Their Project: We will be making a set of clothes for a high status (Thegn level) man and woman from England in the mid 11th Century. These garments will be based on artwork and writings done in period, as well as fragments from grave finds. We have been researching on this period for a while, but have yet to make a set of historically accurate clothing for the late Anglo Saxon time period. We need a set of court garb, not just pennsic clothes. We will be making for the man a shirt, trousers, tunic and cloak, and for the woman a smock, gown, mantel, and veil, as well as a number of smaller pieces.

Layer 1

We are making clothing suitable for an Anglo Saxon man and his wife who are high status individuals (Thegn level). There is little evidence of how the underlayer of clothing looked in the form of illuminations or grave finds for this time period for anglo saxon culture in England. There are many written sources, particular the words in Old English used for garment types. We used 2 main sources of information for making our decisions on how to make this: Dress in Anglo Saxon England by Gale Owen-Crocker, and the Authenticity Guide for Regia Anglorum.

For the man, the first layer would be a linen shirt or tunic, and either trousers, or hose and braies. We chose to make a simple shirt similar to those made elsewhere because the word Scyrte implies a shorter garment, rather than a full undertunic. the shirt has square gussets under the sleeves, and a keyhole neckline bound with silk.Hose and Braies were coming in as a style, but the anglo saxon trousers were still worn. After looking at, and experimenting with several reconstructions of early trousers starting with the iron age Thorsberg trousers, we decided to make the trousers by starting with 2 tubes with a seam down the inner leg. We tried several types of gussets and gores, and found that for us, they fit the best by taking in the lower legs, and adding a square crotch gusset. We left the bottom of the inseam open for the last few inches to get the trousers on over the foot. The trousers were held up with a linen twill tape tie. There was evidence for either ties or belts for this. There are old english words for what is assumed to be a loin cloth, but we opted to stay with modern underwear underneath.

For the woman, the first layer is a linen Smoc made in a similar pattern as layer 2 will be. We used the Nockert Type 1 form of tunic, as this is the most common type of tunic found around the 11th century. This tunic has square underarm gussets and side gores. We did not use center gores. Images of women’s clothing at this time appear to be mainly vertical in line, without much flaring out from the waist. The sleeves were very long and tight. The look at this time was for smoc sleeves to go over the hand some, and to have wrinkles on the forearm. The cuffs and necklines were bound with silk. There was a thriving silk trade in England at this time, and silk ribbons and strips were commonly used if one could afford it. The cap is to cover the hair so it does not show under the veil or wimple that will be added later. There are words for this garment like Feax Clap (head cloth), but what it looked like is up to interpretation. We used the English Cap proposed by Regia Anglorum for this. It is similar to a viking cap, but rounded at the top, and larger, so that all of the hair is covered. Some people use something like a St Birgitta cap, but that would seem to be to late to be used at this time.

All sewing was done by hand using waxed thread (linen for linen, silk for silk). Construction seams were done in back stitch; flat fell with whip stitch; and attaching strips to the edges with running stitch.

Both Linnet and Kendrick worked on this layer. Both of us worked on pattern development. Linnet did most of the construction sewing. Kendrick did the embroidery embellishment on the cap. He will be making many yards of fingerloop braid for the next 2 layers, as well as tablet weaving, and has already started working on those.

Layer 2

We are making a set of clothes for an 11th Century Anglo Saxon high status man and woman. Layer 2 consists of tunics. The term Tunece applies to male garments. The term Cyrtel used to apply to short male garments, but by this point in history was used for longer female tunics. Both garments were Nockert type 1 tunics with square gussets under the sleeves, and triangular side gores, and were made from the same medium weight tabby woven blue fabric. A reproduction red silk was used on the cuffs and necklines. Silk was readily available in England at this time. The most common use was to cut the fabric into strips and use it to trim the edges of garments. Both the Tunece and Cyrtel had 3 cm wide strips on the bottom of the sleeves, and the Tunece had an additional woven band of gold silk on it. The Tunece had a square keyhole neck. This was a style seen in illuminations from England during this time period. It had a silk facing which comes to a point in the center front. The Cyrtel had a round keyhole neck, with the edge bound in silk. Women’s necklines were rarely seen, so would probably not be as showy as men’s.

We had planned on adding blue fingerloop braid to many of the seams, and gold braid to the collars and cuffs. Experimental trials made with silk cord indicated that it would take far, far more time with silk than previous trials with cotton or wool. Weaving the silk into a narrow strip also gave problems with tension and smoothness of weave compared to other fibers. We ended up settling for two woven bands to put on the Tunece, with the thought we might come back to this later. Linnet did the sewing, and Kendrick did all the work with braiding and weaving.

Layer 3

We are making a set of clothing for a high status anglo saxon man and woman. Layer 3 consists of a cloak for the man. It is made of a heavy brown wool with the rectangular construction common in this period. The long edges of the cloak were bound with red silk taffeta ribbon, and trimmed with a two color hand woven silk band. Layer 3 for the woman has 2 parts. The cloak during this period for high status women is a semi-circle of wool sewn into a cone shape with a neck opening. This style is believed to be copied from chasubles seen in byzantine art. Our cloak was made from a soft tan wool, and was worn either with or without a sash. The head covering for Layer 3 is a long rectangular veil of wool gauze. These veils were worn draped around the head over the cap. Lower status women tended to wear a more hood-like garment. In art, these veils are generally shown in a color other than white. For our project, the veil was dyed with black walnut. Several trials were done to try to get the color even. It was decided not to mordant this veil to darken the color with iron, for fear of damaging the fine wool gauze. Walnut has enough tannin, that a mordant is not required on wool. Kendrick did most of the work on the cloak, and Linnet sewed the mantle, and dyed the wool for the veil.

Bonus Points

Advanced · Historic Advanced · Historically Focused

Æsa Helgulfsdottir

Location: Barony of Endless Hills, Æthelmearc

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Advanced

Project Update Blog : In Wolf’s Clothes

About Æsa: I’ve been in the SCA for about 13 years. While I love sewing, I also enjoy playing with other skills like archery, knife and axe throwing, fiber arts, basket weaving, herbalism, soap making, pottery and brewing/cooking. I love acquiring skills that a Viking wife would have used in her everyday life. While the sewing aspects of the garments will not be difficult, historical clothing can sometimes present challenges as I am paralyzed. I often have to strike a balance between something that looks as correct as possible while also being comfortable, allowing for medical restrictions and not hindering my wheelchair’s movement.

Her Project: I’m hoping to create an ensemble that would have been worn by the Norse wife of a fairly well-off land owner in 10th century Jorvik. The piece is not based on any single burial find, but takes inspiration from several. The plan is for wool stockings, a linen underdress, a woolen dress and apron with jewelry and a head covering. The goal is to spin and weave a component of the ensemble.

Layer 1

My Norse linen underdress went as planned, as I am very used to making this style of gown for myself. I hand sewed all the seams and tacked them down using a running stitch and matching threads. For my stockings, I struggled a little deciding what to make. Many of the current interpretations from archeological finds seem to have a seam running along the sole of the foot, which I was afraid would be very irritating as I have some nerve issues from the paralysis. I also knew that I wanted the stockings to end below the knee, as I didn’t want to have any fabric bunched behind the knee as my legs are always bent. In the end, I used a pattern that I had drafted about ten years ago from “The Medieval Tailor’s Assistant” as I knew that it was comfortable to wear. The stockings were made from brown wool flannel, hand sewn and the seams were tacked down using a running stitch in contrasting thread.

Bonus Points

Intermediate · Modern Recreationist · Modern Recreationist Intermediate

Æva Dyer

Location: Barony of Caerthe, Outlands

Category/Level: Modern Recreationist/Intermediate

Project Update Blog: Of Green and Gold

About Æva: I have been playing in the SCA for just about 4 years now. Sewing wise my mother taught me as a child and I have continued on making Halloween Costumes, Cosplay, and now historical garments. My recent sewing has been keeping my child in garb, and finishing off leftover projects from college… I sew often but finishing things is a weak point. I usually play 10th Century Anglo Saxon this is a huge challenge for me as we go from clever triangles and rectangles to curves and yards upon yards of fabric. The first dress I was given help from the lovely The Honorable Lady Isabelle de Calais, as she created a first draft of the bodice based on her own. I also referenced much of her work as I rushed to complete the dress in under a week. When I am not sewing I am playing with illumination and other fiber arts.

Her Project: The plan is to remake a noble woman’s 1560’s Venetian dress. I had made one for our Baronial 12th night this past year. However, the dress needs to be reworked and I would like to see a more complete outfit. If you have seen the Venetian Province of Treviso, Republic of Venice Paolo Caliari (Veronese), 1561: Detail from fresco Treviso, Villa Barbaro That is basically the color and cut of the dress I plan to make. However, this piece will be more Modern Recreationist as I do not have the knowledge or skill to bring this to a Historically Focused masterpiece. Why? I honestly fell in love with this dress! It is comfy yet elegant and I would like to do it justice not just leave it as a one-off. The Layers I plan to make a set of Drawers, fix the Camicia neckline, cut a new bodice to correct the errors I made on the first dress, re-do the pleats on the skirt properly and attach to the bodice, make a Partlet, make a pair of sleeves, making a zimarra, make a zibellini. I plan to hand sew, a number of pieces but because of the time limit will be using machine stitching as needed. I will also attempt to document my progress via my blog ofgreenandgold.com

Layer 1

Drawers- 16th Century Italy lady. Drawers have been documented by Janet Arnold and extent pieces exist. I made these based off a tutorial by Maestrina Chiaretta di Fiore (www.kitsclothingcollection.com) using the Bara Method outlined by the Modern Maker. I started by making a custom pattern based on the tutorial. First I made a set of Bara tapes. From there I drew the pattern out on paper before cutting some duckybunny to make a mockup. However once sewn up I found that the gusset was not needed as the inseam was long enough. Once the gusset was removed and the mockup resewn I ran about a bit to make sure I would not split them. Satisfied that the drawers fit I cut the final pair in a heavy linen. I also cut a cuff to finish the bottom. I machine stitched the main seams but chose to finish the front and back by hand to prevent fraying. I pressed the cuff in 4ths and used tacking stitch to attach them to the leg. I used the machine to top stitch them on. I folded the top over an inch to make a casing for the drawstring.

The drawstring I made using wool yarn I had dyed prior to this challenge with marigold and a lucet. The lucet was a new skill for me as I hadn’t owned one prior to this year and my last attempt with a borrowed one ended in a mess. Once I figured it out I made a length to use.

Over all I am pleased with making a working pair of pants. Pants are my nemesis and I haven’t made a working pair until now. The drawers are very comfy and I look forward to wearing them to events over my usual leggings.

Bonus Points

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.

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.

Bonus Points

Advanced · Historic Advanced · Historically Focused

Charles de Bourbon

Location: Madrone, An Tir

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Advanced

Project Update Blog:  The Brazen Burgundian

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.

Historic Intermediate · Historically Focused · Intermediate

Chelsey of Gloucester

Location: Canton of the Towers, East

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Intermediate

Project Update Blog: The Seashelly Tales

About Chelsey: I’ve been a member for over 10 years. I do sew regularly and my persona could use some additional pieces of clothing. I have participated in a group challenge somewhere else a few years ago and am interested in this personal challenge. Love this challenge idea. Great to unite people from all over the Known World.

Her Project: Tudor/Elizabethan Outfit – still working out exact patterns/designs including a heavily embroidered cap, chemise, stays, farthingdale, kirtle & outer gown.

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)

Intermediate · Modern Recreationist · Modern Recreationist Intermediate

Fionnabhair inghean ui Mheadhra

Location: Innilgard, Lochac

Category/Level: Modern Recreationist/Intermediate

Project Update Blog: Broider Me ‘Bethan

About Fionnabhair: I have been in the SCA since the early 2000’s and love my 16th C Italian clothing. I am self taught and don’t enjoy sewing (and am not confident about it). I would much rather be doing embroidery! I think clothing is a big part of one’s persona so I force myself to keep sewing. I also enjoy cooking and illumination, and love women’s dress accessories.

Her Project: I am planning a 16th Century Italian Noblewoman’s ensemble. At this stage I would like to do a dress, coat, undergarment and (hopefully) a suite of accessories. I would like to try and use mainly materials from stash. It would be nice to be able to incorporate elements from my heraldry, but I am still very much in the vague, planning stage. I have a series of similar gowns in portraits that I would like to base my dress on.

Beginner · Modern Beginner · Modern Recreationist

Kaitlyn McCloud

Location: Barony of Axemoor, Gleann Abhann

Category/Level: Modern Recreationist/Beginner

Her Project Update Blog: The Casual Costumer

About : Hi there, so I am very new to the SCA, roughly a year or so- but with the pandemic I’ve only made it to 3-4 events. I am fairly new to historical sewing but have been making costumes and cosplay for myself as well as a variety groups and Mardi Gras krewes in New Orleans for several years. I also help run the Sewing Squad facebook page, which is a small group of people in my region that want to learn more about sewing skills and history focused garb.

Project: I’m going to be doing a (roughly) 1480-1500c Italian Renaissance set of garments. This will be inspired by a set of paintings from that period, though the fabrics will be different, since I’m picking this period/style to utilize a yellow silk taffeta and a red silk brocade that I already have. I also wanted an opportunity to work on my embroidery and with the heavy ornamentation on the sleeves of this period, hopefully I can get some nice detail work done ( though I’m pinning that as a “stretch” goal, time allowing).

Layer 1

I am checking in my Spanish camisa layer. This is the Spanish renaissance version of the Italian camicia (shift). They are very similar garments with the main distinction from the 1490’s period I am working in being, that the sleeves do a large bell at the end and dangle out of the bottom of the gamurra sleeves instead of tying or buttoning at the cuff. I have added my art reference to the Facbook album- “Mencia de Mendoza with Saint Dominic”, artist contested. I am hoping to do a complete recreation of this painting. She was high nobility in this period and my fabric and notion choices are reflective of that. These shifts were typically either heavily embroidered with blackwork or lace and were often made of fine linen or silk.

I opted for two types of silk-synthetic mix lace after examining the source painting closely. I sourced and purchased 15c reproduction lace for the collar and used lace I already owned for the sleeves and bottom hem. These were hand sewn on with a cream colored silk thread and a whip stitch. The camisa pattern is drafted by me, using art examples, online research of others recreating this period- “15th C Clothing For Men and Women” by THL Peryn Rose Whytehorse, and several books I own- “Patterns of Fashion” by Janet Arnold, Herald, Jacqueline- (1981) “Dress in Renaissance Italy 1400-1500” by John Murray, “Dress in Italian Painting 1460-1500” by Elizabeth Birbari.

I also consulted with the SCA Iberia Facebook group to get more Spanish specific info for this period, and help understanding the fashion differences between them and Milan. The camisa is made of a semi-sheer silk in cream, with gathers at the neck, back and around both sleeves. The inside sleeve raw edges are covered and whipped down with a cream colored twill tape for additional strength, since the cloth is quite thin and prone to unraveling. The neck was bound with a bias tape I made of the same material, with the lace being attached to the edge.

The sleeve and bottom hems are rolled and whip stitched with the lace added at the bottom.

If I could do anything differently- I probably would have picked a different painting. I didn’t realize at the start of this that there is VERY little information know about this artwork, and most of it is contested. They aren’t even sure this is actually Mencia De Mendoza…. So a lot of assumptions were made based on published research of that art. This led me to the ten year period around 1490, and influences from both Milan, and Barcelona as she was tied to both areas. Her fashion in this painting has elements of both cities- the long sleeves of the Spanish camisa, with the tighter fitting sleeves of Milan gamurra dresses at that time. The bodice of the dress isn’t seen in this gown so I had to use other art references from that period and those regions to help me pattern.

Having none of the support garments and very little of the under-dress showing in this art has been a difficult but exciting challenge. It has also given me a little freedom to make creative choices that would normally be limited in a strict recreation with more of the support garments showing.

Bonus Points

Display Only · Intermediate · Modern Recreationist · Modern Recreationist Intermediate

Kristine Nic Tallier

From: Axed Root, Calontir

Category/Level: Modern Recreationist/Intermediate (Display Only)

Project Update Blog: Stars and Garters

About Kristine: I joined the SCA in middle school when my mother started taking us to meetings. I wasn’t always as excited about it in the beginning, but when I found tablet-weaving, I was hooked. I met my fiance, Vincent, as well as all my closest friends in the society.

Vincent and I came to a deal a long time ago that he would make our garb, since he enjoys it and it just puts me in a foul mood…. but since I’m spearheading this challenge, I feel like I have to put my money where my mouth is and participate. Wish our household luck!

Her project: Years ago, I came upon one of the images below and felt like I fully understood the woman wearing it – and I love her apron. I can’t just make the apron, right? I have to make the whole outfit to go with it. These images are all from the same illumination and are a little later than my usual time period (I’m usually mid-to-late 14thc Scot) being earlyish 15c inspired by images from The Book of Faiz Monseigneur Saint Loys. So, My plan is to make all the layers shown, a chemise, a supportive kirtle (stretch project of additional pin-on sleeves), a silk cotte with embroidery, and a wool over cotte with embroidered embellishments. My accessory will be a tablet woven belt, though I’ll also be making the aforementioned apron. I have other wacky ideas on extra accessory layers, but we’ll see how it goes!

Layer 1

My layer 1 consists of a chemise and a St Birgitta’s Cap. Both are made of white linen and are of machine base construction and hand finished with linen thread.

The chemise is based off the general late period pattern which has been theorized was used in the early 15th century. As I’m in the modern recreationist category, I took a step from what I could document and added a simple embroidered pattern around the neckline and tablet woven trim around the base. The trim is of cotton, as it’s what I had on hand, and was woven by me – the first of many tablet woven projects which will be incorporated into this outfit.

The cap is of basic construction and went MUCH better than my first cap I attempted years ago. It went so well that I’m considering making a second one with some decorative elements.

Layer 4+

  1. Farmhouse Cheddar – Cheesemaking techniques haven’t changed much since medieval times. I’ve made two cheddar rounds, one smoked (ok, burned. I scorched the milk. But I already had the yeast and rennet in it by then, so I went ahead and finished it. Who knows?) and one regular. They’ll age until January when it’s time to take pictures
  2. Beeswax – The beeswax was processed from the yearly rent paid by the bees who live in my yard. The hive shaped piece is mine for the challenge and the bees went out to people from my local group who have taken up the challenge as well.

Bonus Points