Group · Historically Focused · Intermediate


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

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.

Historic Intermediate · Historically Focused · Intermediate

Alanna of Skye

Location: Carolingia, East

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Intermediate

About Alanna: I’ve been in the SCA for 20 years, mostly doing service things. I also do equestrian, thrown weapons, and archery. Nearly all of my sewing up til now has been by machine in straight lines (this is why early period is great) but I’ve made a decent amount that way. I enjoy embroidery and I’m working on improving my tablet weaving. I say my persona is 12th c English but realistically I think it’s turning into Norse cause it seems easier to make the complete picture look accurate. I’m doing this because I want to have garb that is as accurate as possible to level up my participation and this seemed like a good reason. This will be my first hand sewn garb and my first time constructing most of these pieces accurately. I’m also learning nalbinding for this project as I have never tried it before.

Her Project: My goal is to create a migration era Norse ensemble from the skin out, entirely sewn by hand. It will include an under tunic, serk, smokkr, and nalbinding mittens and socks. Other accessories will be made by friends, or possibly added to by me if I have extra time. This will be based off of extant finds, contemporary writings that describe the outfits, and visual representations from the period, mostly as interpreted by people with better research skills than me. I think this outfit would be worn by a woman of high status to a situation where many important people would see it to show off her wealth. I’ve been wanting to up my garb accuracy for awhile, and this will be the first time I work on a complete outfit for that goal.

Beginner · Modern Beginner · Modern Recreationist

Aleydis deRungholt

Location: Barony Beyond the Mountain, East

Category/Level: Modern Recreationist/Beginner

About Aleydis: Been sitting on the sidelines for 30 years, only ever worn loaner garb – time to jump in! I can sew, but I have never done this kind of Big Deal Project.

Her Project: Sunday Best, so to speak, for a widow of modest means from mid 14th century North Frisia

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.

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 (, 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.

Bonus Points

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.

Historic Intermediate · Historically Focused · Intermediate

Elizabeth LeClair

Location: Barony of Stonemarche, East Kingdom

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Intermediate

About Elizabeth : I have been doing living history re-enactment in 17&18century groups for over 25 years and became interested in SCA about 5 years ago and became a member shortly after. I Have always sewed my own clothes because I could not afford to clothes for 2 growing girls and myself. I enjoy research and sewing, embroidery work. I am learning to weave and love to learn anything related to textiles. I have been a retainer for the past two Queens of the East. I believe it will be a challenge .

Her Project: I am planning on making 14century women clothes which I plan to wear for any holiday or gran event. I plan on making clothes based on paintings/ illuminations. Lady would have worn this Sideless Surcoat. Since I am still relatively new to the SCA , I do not have a heraldry

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

Intermediate · Modern Recreationist · Modern Recreationist Intermediate

Martha of Smoking Rocks

Location: The Barony of Smoking Rocks, East

Category/Level: Modern Recreationist, Intermediate

About Martha: My name is Martha of Smoking Rocks. I have been in the SCA for about 3 years now residing in the Barony of Smoking Rocks East Kingdom. I’m still working on Persona development. I’d like to be Martha Allgood of Smoking Rocks. I’m working on heraldry as well. My Nana put a sewing needle in my hand when I was about six years old. I definitely don’t call myself advanced, by any means! I sew well enough to get by, but I constantly try to improve my skills. I do a lot of different crafts. I have never met one I didn’t like. I’m a member of Athena’s Thimble Arachne’s Web, and the Soothsayers Guild. This it’s going to be a definite challenge for me.

Her Project: The most difficult part of the Calontir Clothing Challenge has been deciding what to make. I’m torn between a Parti-colored Heraldic Gown versus an Elizabethan Woman’s. I haven’t received confirmation of my heraldry, so Elizabethan I must go. I have been inspired by the Elizabethan ladies patterns from Margo Anderson, and some extant pieces. Because of recent and anticipated weight loss I have not decided if my outer layer will be an Elizabethan Comfort Gown or a Doublet. For that reason, I will be starting on the underpinnings. I have very little garb that I have created for myself, only a Kirtle, Tunic and Viking Apron. I’m not planning for a specific event, but this may possibly be used for my future persona. I’d like to think my was a wealthy Tradesman. I sail along with him. We travel by means of a spelled ship to various times and places…

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.

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, 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.

Bonus Points