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.

Final Photos

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.

Layer 4

Kendrick did most of the work for this accessory item. The inspiration for our piece is an 11th century reliquary pouch. The original is in the German National Museum in Nurnberg. It is dated to 1050 to 1100 C.E. and Byzantine origin. We feel confident that trading between Anglo-Saxon England and Eastern Europe would have allowed similar bags to be found in England at this time. The original is a silk bag 12.5 cm wide and 14.8 cm tall, the front of the bag is decorated with 21 silver plaquetes, the center five are covered with an almandine stone, which is a purplish garnet, and 4 gold thread covered knots complete a five by five grid of elements, this is surrounded on each side by 7 heart shaped almandine covered plaquetes and 14 small square silver plaquetes with every other one covered in an almandine stone. All of these elements are surrounded with long strands of white seed pearls and three rows or silk cording. Unfortunately we could not create an exact copy of this bag.

Compromises of necessity and material were required. We could not duplicate cast silver plaquetes so heavy pewter craft foil purchased from Blick was used to cut same size and shape plaquetes which were sewn on using white silk thread. The heart shaped plaquetes on each side were eliminated as they were too hard to replicate or substitute with similar shaped pieces. Remnant burgandy silk was used instead of brown silk fabric for the bag which lead to a change in stones, although we had similar sized and shaped purple stones we decided that red coral stones looked better with our silk. Some of the bottom square plaquetes were replaced with bugle shaped coral beads because mounting the bead on the plaquete completely covered the plaquete. Additionally spacing the small square plaquetes was changed to allow for possible future seed pearl cords to be added, we couldn’t find small enough seed pearls to allow closer spacing. Gold silk 20/2 yarn was used to weave the bands across the top. The twisted tan cords around the sides and bottom of the original was replaced with 4 strands of loosely braided 10/2 ecru silk yarn which gives a similar “bumpy patterned” look to the border. When we get the chance, we will complete the decoration of this bag with strands of white seed beads surrounding each element on the front of the bag. Kendrick is proud of this example of an 11th century reliquary bag even if keeping the overall look of the original required some substitutions. The biggest change would be making or purchasing cast plaquetes but purchasing different shaped cast plaquetes would have changed the overall look of the bag so with our skill at this moment, cutting metal plaquetes was the best choice and we couldn’t find similar shaped plaquetes from the medieval craft sellers we know. A class that has been on Kendrick’s “to learn” list is enameling on metal, he thinks this might be the most approachable and best looking replacement for cutting special shaped cabochons.

Layer 4+

For our extra accessory layer, we made socks with a nalebinding technique. There are very few examples of nalebinding from this time period. The most complete one is the Coppergate sock, which dates from the 10th Century in York England. This would have been from the Anglo Scandinavian part of England. Due to the abundant trade between cultures, and the lack of any surviving socks from Anglo Saxon cultures, many researchers assume that nalebinding was a likely technique for the Saxons as well.

The socks were made from the top down. The exemplar sock was done in what was dubbed the York stitch, but this is the only example of that stitch in any surviving work. As I am familiar with the Oslo stitch, and these were my first socks, I chose to work in Oslo. Also, since I prefer to work on my thumb, I worked in a medium weight yarn, not a fine knitting sock yarn. At the cuff, a small raised collar was used, similar to the coppergate sock. This was worked for a few rows, then half of the row was detached to form a gusset. The heel was worked in decreasing rows in the space left open. Then the rest of the sock was done in decreasing rows until it was reduced and tied off at the toe

Since this is the first time I have made socks by any method, the first pair was a learning experience, then tossed. The second pair was much better, and the final pair was finally getting close to what I wanted. This is the pair I have submitted to you. I loved nalebinding socks, since prior to this I have only done hats. I plan on playing with this more in the future.

Bonus Points

Advanced · Historic Advanced · Historically Focused

Agatha Wanderer

Location: Barony of Endewearde, East

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Advanced

About Agatha: I have been in the SCA for about 12 years. My expertise is in patterning/draping and sewing clothing, specifically 15th century Austrian/German garments. I specialize in underwear! This will be a stretch and a challenge, since it’s not my specialty, but I am excited for this!

Project Update Blog: Herrin der Nadel

Her Project: I plan to create a complete 16th century Trossfrau outfit to match the colors of my barony (I am the Baroness of my group). I will also be making a Landsknecht outfit for my husband. I don’t have any specific image yet.

Final Photos

Her final thoughts on her C3 experience:

I had a great time! I would like to say that the items in my picture that were not made for the challenge include: purse with pouches, my socks and shoes, and my headwear.

Layer 1

This is a supportive “slip” or skirted “bra”, based on a 16th century image of a Nuremburg bath attendant. This garment is completely handsewn, and includes smocking along the top bust edge, and fingerloop braids for lacing along both sides.

This is a hand-sewn linen hemd, pleated and smocked along the neck edge and cuffs. It is based on 16th century extant shirts and woodcut images of Trossfrau. I used a running stitch in linen thread for most seams, and felled them with an overcast stitch.

Layer 2

This is a sleeveless undergown of yellow wool, with black wool guards. It laces up the front, and the bodice is lined with natural linen. That I know of, there are no extant examples of Trossfrau undergowns, so I made an educated guess about its construction. A skirt alone would be combersome, so I decided that attaching it to a bodice made sense for keeping the skirts in place, and could be used as a primary layer in warm weather. The skirts are attached using large knife pleats; the edge was finished in a strip of linen and whip stitched to the bodice.

Layer 3

This is a black wool overgown, with slashed sleeves lined in yellow linen. I used a wide variety of 16th century prints of Landsknecht and Trossfrau as my inspiration. I decided to simply slash the sleeves, leaving them “unbound”, as I believe they would have been in period. I chose yellow linen for its lightweight wicking properties, as well as being more comfortable as a lining than wool. The bodice is lined with white linen, and the skirts are attached in the same way as the undergown. The guards are yellow wool (the same wool as the undergown) My baronial colors (Endewearde) are yellow and black, so that informed my color choices.

Layer 4

This is a leather flacket, or flask. I used waxed linen to hand-sew it together, and modern black dye to dye it. It will eventually be lined with brewer’s pitch, and has a wooden stopper.

Bonus Points

Advanced · Historic Advanced · Historically Focused

Bartholomew Sharpe

Location: Barony of Bergental , East

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Advanced

About Bartholomew: I have been a member of the SCA for approximately 6 years. I have been involved in other forms of reenacting on and off since I was 13 (23 years or so). My main areas of interest is the material culture of 16th and early 17th century England. I have been sewing seriously for about 5 years. This past year I have been focusing on making completely hand-sewn garments. While I have a good understanding of making the garments I plan to enter, the challenge to me will be in trying to use a number of period techniques that I have only recently learned.

His project: I plan on recreating a complete English middle class men’s outfit from the turn of the 17th century. I am looking to recreate what would have been worn by a yeoman farmer or middle class tradesman in the years 1595-1610. The outfit will be based off of a variety of period artwork, as well as extant garments. It will include: shirt, doublet, hose, and jerkin. I plan on hand sewing the entire outfit. If time allows I may also make a belt, purse or knitted hat to round out the outfit.

The Complete Garment

His final thoughts on his C3 experience:

What a fantastic idea for a competition! This is one of the few A&S challenges that I have gotten excited for in a while. The ability to make an entire outfit from the skin out was a fantastic way to try new techniques and get better at other skills. Huzzah for the organizers of this challenge!

Layer 1

I am checking in my first layer, a linen shirt appropriate for the late 16th to early 17th century. The shirt forms the basic function of underwear during the time period. It is made very long to act as both a covering for the body and the hip area. The pattern is very basic and seems to have been fairly universal across western Europe for the times. It is constructed completely of linen fabric and linen threads of different weights. It was drafted using the “bara” system as describe in the Modern Maker book series (late 16th/early 17th century methods). Shirts similar to the design I used are found in many museums and covered in detail in Patterns of Fashion 4, by Gannet Arnold.

Layer 2

My second Layer consists of a linen canvas doublet and wool hose. These 2 items represent the basis of all men’s outfits from the 15th to the 17th century. The doublet is made in the style of the late 16th century to early 17th century. It is made from a linen twill outer layer, interlined with linen canvas, and lined in a light weight linen. The doublet is completely sewn by hand using various weights of linen thread. The buttons are of pewter. The button design was taken from a number of extant examples shown on The Portable Antiquities Scheme (finds.org.uk), as well as examples found on the wreck of the Vasa. I first carved the button masters in wax and then used a 2 part mold to cast them. The hose are representative of the style commonly referred to as “trunk hose”. They were a common style seen from the 1560s through the 1620s in various configurations. The are made from charcoal or “sheeps black” wool fabric, and lined in linen. They are sewn by hand using both linen and silk threads (silk for the buttonholes and eyelets). The raw edges of the hose and pockets are bound in a linen tape.

Layer 3

My third layer consists of a leather jerkin. It is based on period art as well as some surviving examples of English jerkins from the second half of the 16th century. Since I am attempting to recreate a “working mans'” outfit I chose to leave it mostly undecorated. I did however add leather piping with tiny slashes to the seams to give it a bit of flare. It is made from purchased modern chromium tanned leather, this was a mistake on my part. the chromium tan leather does not lend itself to being hammered flat. On one example in the Museum of London, the seams allowances are hammered very flat, being vegetable tanned it is much easier to do that on than chromium tanned leather. The pewter buttons are cast by myself. They are inspired by examples found on The Portable Antiquities Scheme website. I chose to piece one of the skirts together as an added historical touch. Many examples of surviving clothing incorporate piecing and I felt it helps to achieve a more historically correct garment.

Layer 4

My fourth accessory layer consists of a knitted hat. The knit hat is based on the styles seen in period art and examples in the Rijksmusem in Amsterdam. It was knit in the round from bulky wool, it was then fulled (felted) by hand. The hatband is made of a 4 strand braid of wool yarn that I dyed with madder root.

Layer 4+

My four+ accessory layer consists of a girdle belt, belt purse, and a cloak.

The girdle belt is made from vegetable tanned leather (purchase) and was dyed with black walnut juice. The buckle for the belt was sand cast in brass. The design for the buckle came from an example I came across on the Portable Antiquities Scheme and is dated from 1500-1650.

The belt purse is made from vegetable tan leather (purchased) and again dyed with black walnut juice. The purse is based on purses seen in period artwork, as well as an example found in the Netherlands.

In the end I decided to make up a cape to go with this outfit. It is handsewn with a coarse thick wool similar to that describe as ‘frieze’ in period. It is lined with linen, and closes with brass hook and eyes I made.

Bonus Points

Historic Intermediate · Historically Focused · Intermediate

Frieda Ocoilean

Location: East Kingdom

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Intermediate

About Frieda : well, I and my husband joined a little over three years ago after I had open-heart surgery as a hobby to keep me busy, I have been sewing on and off for over 15 years, not a master. I do show interest in other skills and try to pick them up, but I love sewing. and I really hope to if only at least complete this challenge with a sense of accomplishment, I know that will be huge but I would love to take the challenge and place honestly by I feel that would be great.

Her Project: I am going for mid 14-1500, I believe it is as close as I can get that as possible based on the patterns I was able to purchase. it is a piece I have been wanting to make for a while. I do usually sew by hand so that makes this a very big challenge for me. I plan on making the chemise, underdress, overdress and something completely new to me, I will be making a leather chatelaine belt.

Layer 1

This is the first layer an chemise , with additional chest cover , and bonnet . Was going for 14-15 century. I still have another three full layers. Everything is all hand sewn

Layer 2

My second layer , first one over my chemise , is made with a tan and dark brown layer , i made fabric buttons for the first time . everything is hand sewn like the last layer . i intend on using december to do my final outer layer which is a thinker material great for the winter . like i said before my era is 14-15 century , and i would say my entry is middle class ish

Layer 3

The last sewing layer is to be a jacket or overdress layer , I intended to use this layer in matching with previous one layers

Bonus Points

Advanced · Historic Advanced · Historically Focused

Nastassiia Ivanova Medvedeva (called Tasha)

Location: Canton of the Towers, East

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Advanced

Project Update Blog:  Built Fjord Tough

About Tasha: I’ve been in the SCA for about 20 years. Sewing is one of my main activities, but really, if it involves textiles, string, or some combination of the two, I’m in. I started hand sewing all my garb several years ago when I realized that I hated machine sewing, I wanted my garb to fit better and last longer, and I couldn’t hear the movie I was streaming over the sound of the sewing machine. In addition to sewing, I also do leatherwork and am a regional combat archery lieutenant. This project does tie into my persona in that I believe it’s the sort of thing I wanted to make for my late husband, both in and out of persona. I think it will be a challenge both because I haven’t really made menswear at the level I am at with womenswear, and because I will be drafting at least two new patterns (shirt and pants) if not three (the coat). It will also be a time management challenge, since the holidays are smack in the middle of this process. This is going to be fun!

Her Project: I’m planning to make a set of men’s clothes from Viking Age Sweden, built to fit me. I started fighting a few years ago and I still don’t have a proper pair of pants (track pants from Target Do Not Count). I really want to figure out how to draft a pair of late Viking Age trousers for myself, both to add that skill to my repertoire and to have a pair of pants to fight in.

I’ve also bee fascinated by the Viborg shirt for years, and am extremely excited to adjust the pattern to fit me and to use the very interesting stitches I’ve found to flat line the bodice. I’ll also be making a wool tunic with my tablet woven trim, a coat to go over everything, and a leather belt and pouch. I hope to spin the wool thread to sew the coat and tunic as well, and if I can find the right fabric, I may even dye it for the tunic.

Final Photos

Her final thoughts on her C3 experience:

This was a heck of a challenge and I’m glad I did it. I learned a LOT about how to put things together quickly and easily, and pro tip: it’s not using modern sewing methods. I’m looking forward to making more clothes using the things I learned.

Layer 1

I made a version of the Viborg shirt adapted for my figure, using instructions from the pamphlet “The Viking Shirt from Viborg,” by Mytte Fentz. The original was made for a man with a 32″ chest — I am not that size or shape. It was found at the bottom of a posthole in Viborg Søndersø, Denmark, in the center of Jutland. Because it wasn’t found in a grave, we have no idea who wore it or why it ended up there — it could have been a sacrifice of a valuable garment for the future stability of the building… or not.

The front and back of the torso section is lined, but the sleeves are not. There are flaps hanging from the front and back as well, and the edges of these extend a couple of inches to wrap around the body, with the back overlying the front. These are also unlined. The shirt has a square neckline, with an ingenious arrangement of flaps at the neck with slits at either front corner and ties arranged so as to pull the slits closed for warmth.

I made it out of 5.3 ounce bleached linen from fabrics-store.com, because it was in my stash. I adapted the measurements to accommodate my curves, making it longer in the front of the torso and longer over the buttocks in the rear, as well as making it bigger through the bust and shoulders. I used a mix of linen and silk thread to sew it — I ran out of linen and had silk on hand.

Layer 2

I finished the main layer of my outfit: a pair of wool trousers based on the Thorsberg Trousers, and a tunic based on the Kragelund tunic. The trousers, while harkening back to the much-earlier Thorsberg find, are also found in digs dating to the 10th c in Hedeby. They would have been worn by men, though given the nature of the vast majority of the Hedeby finds (Wadded up between the planks of a ship and covered in tar), it’s impossible to know what social class wore them. I’m inclined to say everyone did.

I’ve never drafted trousers before, and they are *really* hard to pattern by yourself. I really could have used help fitting the back and hips, but I did my best. They’re still about four inches too big in the waist; given my waist to hip ratio, even a belt won’t hold them up comfortably and allow me to get them on and off easily, so I think when I finally rebuild them, I’ll want some sort of fly. It’s not attested to in period, but needs must.

I first made a mockup out of muslin, basting and rebasting and remaking pieces till I got it where I thought I needed it. Then I traced the pieces onto heavy paper, cut them out of a brown and yellow herringbone wool, and sewed them with handspun thread. I usually sew wool by sewing down the seam allowances and then whipping the seam together, but for extra strength, particularly in the seat, I sewed the seam and then pressed both seam allowances to the same side and sewed them down.

I greatly overestimated the rise I’d need, even after cutting off quite a lot. Currently they are 3-4 inches too long in the crotch and about that much too big around. It’s going to require some reconsideration to fix the issues. Other than those fit problems, however, I find them quite comfortable and would be willing to make more… once I get the pattern sussed out.

I found the tunic much easier, since I’ve made similar garments before. I like to draw cutting layouts before I go to the fabric, and I drew layouts with the tunic body in one piece and with a shoulder seam, and for a knee-length tunic, it was actually more economical of fabric to do the body in one piece.

I cut the gores in such a way that I needed to sew them all together up the middle, and I did that using a lapped seam (cited in Die Textilfunde aus dem Hafen von Haithabu by Inga Hägg, 1984). The side gores were inserted into the seam, but the center front and center back (CF and CB) gores were inserted into a slit… sort of. Using chalk, I drew a line down the center of the body panel, starting where I wanted the tip of the gore. Then I drew stitch lines down the edges of the gore using a 1/2″ seam allowance. I lined up the edge of the gore with the line on the body panel and stitched it down. Then I cut the line, flipped the gore to the inside of the tunic, lined the edge of the gore up with the cut line, and sewed the other side in. I reinforced the top of the gore with knotted buttonhole stitch. Rather than the pointy and sharp tip that people seem to strive for in the SCA, the tip of my gore is rather rounded, but it hangs beautifully, looks great, and best of all, was incredibly easy to do. I’ve avoided CF and CB gores for *years* because they intimidated me — well no longer! I am the BOSS of I found the tunic much easier, since I’ve made similar garments before. I like to draw cutting layouts before I go to the fabric, and I drew layouts with the tunic body in one piece and with a shoulder seam, and for a knee-length tunic, it was actually more economical of fabric to do the body in one piece.

my gores!

Once the gores were in, I pressed the seam allowances to the outside of the gore, snipped away the underside seam allowance to reduce bulk, and sewed down the seam allowances with either an overcast or herringbone stitch, depending on how much I felt I needed to baby the edges (I use herringbone when they seem likely to fray). I used handspun thread as much as I could, but eventually my dwindling supply of thread bumped up against my dwindling supply of time and I finished the rest of the tunic with commercially made Burmilana wool blend thread from MadeiraUSA.

The sleeves were next. I sewed in the gusset and sewed shut the sleeve, then sewed it to the body of the tunic. Again, I turned seam allowances away from the gusset, graded down the underside seam allowance, and sewed down the seam allowances. Then I cut the sleeves to length and tapered the sleeve from elbow to wrist… or at least that’s what should have happened. On the first sleeve I tapered first and cut to length second, then needed to retaper as it wasn’t close enough, and then needed to move the elbow point as it ended up somewhere near the top of my ulna.

Then I put in the second sleeve inside out and discovered my mistake after finishing the seam allowance, so I had to cut it out, flip it, and carefully resew so I didn’t destroy the tiny amount of remaining seam allowance. It went really smoothly, but had I been paying actual attention to what I was doing I wouldn’t have had to fix it and put myself a day behind.

I bound the neckline and cuffs with some silk dupioni I had in my stash. It looks nice, bound edges were known in period (though perhaps later than the Viking Age), and it’s SO much less bulky than a turned hem. I did turn the hem at the bottom, pressed it with steam, and stitched it with a herringbone stitch because it’s practically invisible and very very flexible.

I am SUPER happy with the tunic, medium happy with the trousers, and when I put the whole thing together with my shirt and put on legwraps, shoes, and a belt, it all looks REALLY good. I will definitely be wearing this when I need to be outside in cold weather at an event.

Layer 3

This is a Klappenrock, also known as a wrap coat or a warrior’s coat. It would have been worn by men in 10th c Hedeby, and fragments assumed to be from a similar garment have also been found at Birka. It’s made of blue wool lined with a tightly woven yellow wool twill, edged with silk and trimmed with cotton and silk tablet weaving. I made it based generally on the shape of the tunic, though due to a lack of lining fabric I left the sides open as slits rather than adding gores to make it wide enough to walk in. The entire coat is flatlined, using the same sewing technique I used to join the sides of my shirt, which is modernly known as the English stitch. By stitching these seams very closely, I was able to create strong, sturdy seams that went together fairly quickly. Everything went pretty much to plan; I don’t recall anything surprising or anything that threw up a roadblock. I did find that the fronts are too wide (probably the whole coat is a touch big, but I’m not taking the whole thing apart), and I plan to fix that later. I actually don’t think I would do much differently with this pattern. It went together fast and neat and I’m very happy with the result.

Layer 4

This layer is a leather belt, based on straps and knife sheaths found at York in the Anglo-Scandinavian layers. The buckle was purchased from an Etsy seller and is based on a find from 10th c Norway, in the Borre knotwork style. The belt is approximately 5/8″ wide and is made from a vegetable-tanned belt strap purchased at Tandy Leather. I beveled the edges and slicked them for comfort, then wet the straps and impressed a geometric pattern of lines using a stylus, modeled after similar designs from knife sheaths from York. I used a modern dye to dye it brown (Tandy Waterstain in medium brown) because I didn’t have time to make a period dye. Using my fingers, I rubbed in a hide softener to condition the leather and make it more supple. The belt strap wasn’t quite long enough for my purposes, so I pieced two together, stitching them with waxed linen thread. I skived one end of the strap, making it thinner to wrap around the bar of the buckle, and punched a (very wobbly) slot for the tongue of the buckle to go through. I punched stitch holes with a stitching chisel and sewed the belt end around the bar of the buckle using a saddle stitch for durability. I then marked and cut the belt to length, punched hold for the belt tip using an awl, and sewed the belt tip to the end of the belt with waxed linen thread. Finally, I punched holes for the tongue of the buckle in the strap and the belt was complete. The build pretty much went as planned; this width is both a pain and a joy to work with. It was hard to slick the edges because it was hard to hold the leather and run the bone slicker over the edge at the same time. If I were to do it over, I would look for more sources about belts; all I had time for was the one resource I had that’s written in English. Overall, though, despite a whole lot of “don’t wanna” yesterday, I’m really thrilled with how it came out.

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

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

Historic Intermediate · Historically Focused · Intermediate

Yehoshua Ben Hayyim HaLevi

Location: Quintavia, East

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Intermediate

About Yehoshua : I do like to sew, but recently it has been more mundane stuff. Currently, I am working on a modern dress shirt and waistcoat. I have been in the SCA on and off since about 1992. (Last 10 years mostly off). I started in the Barony of Carolingia in College and received the Drachenwald Service away for founding the Shire of Ma’ale Giborim (Israel) which is now defunct. I am also the person who created the initial East Kingdom Website. I started getting back into the SCA about 2 years with an attempt to revive the shire in Israel and then when I moved back to the USA.

His Project: Still working on the details, but I am working on an outfit based on a group portrait of a civic guild in Amsterdam in 1588, based on pictures at the Rijksmuseum. The actual outfit will probably be a mix of details from several of the figures in that painting. The doublet and trousers will be made of wool (Colors TBD, based on what I have in my stash and what I can find locally) https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/collection/SK-C-378 My persona has been based on the relative tolerance of the Netherlands for some years. It was at the time a pretty decent place to be Jewish. I have actually visited the Portuguese synagogue in Amsterdam on several occasions, which was built about 100 years later. This is similar to the style I have done for some time, but will hopefully be done better.

Final Photos

His final thoughts on his C3 Experience:

Thank you for hosting this, I had a great deal of fun. I wish I had someone else to do a better photo shoot, but I didn’t have anyone local

Layer 1

doublet, trousers and hat, Based on various paintings from the netherlands in the 1590’s. Not an exact reproduction of an outfit

Layer 2

Off white jerkin with inkle woven trim.

Layer 3

Cloak, of wool with a modern fabric lining. Based on a cloak in patterns of fashion 3 (Page 30) Original in the German National Museum,

Layer 4

Chanukah Menorah, made from self drying clay. Was used for all 8 nights of Chanukah with Olive Oil and wicks. Also tried lamp oil which burned way too fast.

Bonus Points