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

Arianne de Châteaumichel

Location: Shire of Starhaven, Trimaris

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Advanced

About Arianne : I’ve been in the Society since the 90s and sew regularly – in fact, the greatest difficulty will be either fitting my personal sewing amid my commissions or figuring out how to do the required different layer. My persona is 14th century French and deserves a new outfit.

Her Project: I’ll be making a late-14th century noblewoman’s côtehardie and accompanying garments, possibly with a matching male outfit. This will be appropriate for my persona. There are several similar gowns featured in illuminations of the late 14th and early 15th centuries, but the most famous similar one is the blue côtehardie in the early-15th century Très Riches Heures de Jean, duc de Berry.

Advanced · Historic Advanced · Historically Focused

Catarina Caravello

Location: Atlantia

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Advanced

About Catarina: I have been costuming since 1998, and joined the SCA in 2004. Since then I have dabbled in everything from Norse to 16th c. English, and a fair bit in between. In recent years I’ve settled into the latter half of the 16th c., experimenting with embroidery and surface decoration. This project doesn’t directly tie into my persona – but honestly, I jump around so much I couldn’t really say that I HAVE a dedicated persona. I’ll be using some tried-and-true techniques and some new ones, so I hope that this will be interesting, challenging, and help me grow as an artist.

Her Project: I will be creating a 1540’s farthingale, kirtle, French Gown, French Hood, and accessories. Nobility class – I usually stay firmly in the working or middle class, so I’m taking this challenge as an opportunity to make something sumptuous. Loosely based off of Holbein’s portrait of Jane Seymour, William Scrott’s portrait of Princess Elizabeth, and other similar portraits.

Historic Intermediate · Historically Focused · Intermediate

Edine Godin

Location: Innilgard, Lochac

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Intermediate

About Edine : I’m Edine Godin from Innilgard, Lochac. I’ve been in the SCA since 2006. I’ve previously been a keen fencer and a bit of a sewer. I don’t make myself fancy court clothes very often, preferring lower-class clothing. Now I have a reason to make a ‘dream gown’ for myself, but I haven’t made garb at all for a couple of years and nothing structured for about five, so I’m feeling very rusty! The outfit will be as close to my person’s era and status as I can make it. The deadlines particularly will be a challenge for me as I already have a full plate – but without them, I haven’t been making time to sew. I’m hoping this competition and the community of people supporting and encouraging each other will help re-light my fire of sewing interest and motivation.

Her Project: I will make mid to late 16th century French noblewoman clothes reflecting my persona. Drawers, chemise, and partlet; kirtle in black linen with silk trim; green silk gown, sleeves, and headwear; and jewellery – girdle, necklace, and earrings. I’m basing the outfit off a couple of engravings, with additional portraits for some details. I wanted a gown in my new heraldic colours of vert and argent for a special occasion. I’ve been thinking about a nice court gown for a while but haven’t had a good reason to expend the energy and money towards it, as I’m constantly on a budget for both.

Advanced · Historic Advanced · Historically Focused

Lady Eilish neé Salé il de Ré

Location: Westumbria, Calontir

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Advanced

About Eilish: I have been a member of the SCA, Kingdom of Calontir, Shire of Westumbria for about 4 years. Currently I am the Westumbria Herald. Sewing? Long? Oh, let’s see? Since I was old enough to use a needle & thread. (Note that I didn’t say “safely”.) I love historical sewing. To date I have made Roman, Irish, French, Norman, up to the 14th century; then I jump to 1830s Mountain man era, Souix maiden dress, prairie dresses & even some leather breeches; then Civil War hoop dresses, 1880s bustle dresses; & of course mundane from 1970s to present day. This dress will, hopefully be the signature gown for Lady Eilish. It will be a challenge because I love challenges. Especially sewing.

Her Project: I purchased a purple linen, Green Silk w/slubs & a textured white silk at Clothiers a couple of years ago. The dress idea didn’t gel for a while. After researching the following is what I have settled on. The design is completely mine using historical references. It will be made using machine & hand work. 12th century green cotehardie with detachable & reversible sleeves, trimmed with the white textured white. Trim is to be neck, arm cuff, reverse side of bell sleeve, mid calf trim & a tippet. White will eventually be embellished with embroidery & beads. Underdress will be purple linen. (Because there is not enough yardage for the complete long underdress, upper to below hips will be linen & lower will be unbleached linen.) Some aspects may not be historically accurate, ie; detachable/reversible sleeves & using a second color for lower skirt; but I like the ideas. Detachable/reversible sleeves & a tippet will make this dress at least 4 dresses in one.

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

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)

Advanced · Modern Advanced · Modern Recreationist

Gisele de la Fontaine

Location: Barony of Couer d’Ennui, Calontir

Category/Level: Modern Recreationist/Advanced

About Gisele: I have been in the SCA since about 2015/16, I don’t recall when exactly. I do not sew regularly for myself in the SCA, though I do sew quite a bit for my partner. I dabble a bit in period cooking, sometimes making period recipes by accident, period dying is fun and I have recently started tinkering with illumination since I have all these hard won watercolor skills that aren’t currently in use. This particular project ties nicely into the direction my persona is going, which is developing more French, though all my current garb is Flemish. I started Flemish, mostly because the garb was comfy and there is a certain quality to late period Flemish kitchen scenes that I love. But in the last couple years I have drifted more French because the period cookbooks are fun, the politics are bonkers and the women of the late period French are a force to be reckoned with.

Her Project: Late Period French Lady’s Ensemble. Between 1530-1550. Lesser Nobility or Wealthy Merchant Class woman(new money from the newly expanding global trade). Not a recreation of any one particular dress, but a combination of features I like from a selection of paintings within the same time period/region. Hood from one image, trim from another, etc. Much of it styled after one of my favorite French Mistresses, Diane de Poitiers, a brilliant woman who managed to stay in favor at the court through multiple French Kings with her intelligence and beauty. Mostly, this ensemble is all the things that have been on the “to make eventually for myself” list. I have had most of the materials for a while, but while I was costuming for a living(the pre-covid times) I usually didn’t have the motivation to also sew in my off hours. I have collected several images for inspiration.

Intermediate · Modern Recreationist · Modern Recreationist Intermediate

Jorunna Refsdottir

Location: Barony of the Lonely Tower, Calontir

Category/Level: Modern Recreationist/Intermediate

About Jorunna: I’ve been in the SCA going on 4 years now. I’ve been learning to sew my own garb the past 3 years and slowly building up my collection. A good portion of what I have is Norse. However, I have a Persian outfit, a gift bliaut, a couple of Italian dresses, and some roman chitons. I want to have garb from all different times and locations, and have a list of what all I want to make. In the SCA I also do target archery, equestrian, mounted archery, heavy combat, combat archery, embroidery, and dabble in bardic. This endeavor is going to be a bit challenging for me, but I’m excited to learn new skills and have a new outfit!

Her Project: I am looking to make my first 12th Century French bliaut. This project is to add a summer weight or light weight bliaut for warmer weather. I was given a velvet bliaut from a friend, but it’s too heavy for warm weather events. This one will be made from a beautiful silk looking cotton rayon brocade. The fabric has embroidered fleur de lis in gold. The sleeves will be lined with actual silk that is lavender and gold. I plan to make a matching veil too. For inspiration I’ve been looking at images of the carvings on the Cathedral de Chartes, some illuminations, and some other SCAdians’ examples of bliauts. This is a chance for me to make something completely new that I’ve never attempted before. I’m excited to be expanding my sewing skills and knowledge and branching out historically!

Layer 1

This is an underdress for my 12th century ensemble. The outfit is meant to be a noble. I cut out the dress as a standard early period underdress. Using rectangles, triangles, and squares in the pattern. I decided to go with a scoop neck neckline on this dress, and realized after that I probably should’ve cut it an inch smaller than what I did, but it’s ok, and will work. I decided against decorating the underdress with embroidery, so that I can use it as part of other early period ensembles as well. It’s a pretty base layer and I love the color of this dress.

Layer 2

This is my 12th century bliaut main dress. It’s made of cotton/rayon blend that feels and acts like silk taffeta in a lot of ways. The sleeves and neck (purple/gold) is real silk that was repurposed from sari silk. It’s very lightweight and sewing the two together proved extremely challenging! I had to hand sew almost of the time on it because it kept sliding when I tried to use the machine. I did 20 hand sewn eyelets in the side of the dress. They took a while, but I learned a lot! I decided to machine sew the dress hem because 1. It would be more sturdy and hold up better. 2. I was running out of time for this project because we bought a house and have to move at the end of the month. If I had more time I would’ve hand sewn the hem too.

Layer 3

This was a 3/4 circular mantle I made as the top layer of my entry. It’s based on some of the courtly mantles seen in the paintings of the 12th century. I used a wool/poly felt blend for the top of it. I used fake fur to line it. That was awful. The fake fur while super soft and warm has a stretchy backing that made it difficult to work with. It took 4 times as long as it should have because of that horrible material and I will never use it again. Lessons have been learned. I found a really pretty metallic trim to edge the front of the mantle. This piece was almost entirely machine sewn. The brooches I got from Raymond’s quiet press and are replicas of 12th century brooches.

Layer 4

This is a leather belt I did. I’ve never done leather working other than cleaning horse tack and armor, prior to this. It was all new! I bought a simple blank and the 12th century replicas for the belt findings. I stamped the leather with a circle and Celtic knot design. Then riveted on the findings. I didn’t want to dye it black, but not sure what color I really want with it, so I left it natural for now.

Bonus Points

Historic Intermediate · Historically Focused · Intermediate

Kathleen Stonehaven

Location: Barony of the Lonely Tower, Calontir

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Intermediate

About Kathleen : I have been in the SCA for 30 years and lived in 6 different kingdoms. As a wanderer I have been involved in diverse activities involving just about everything except fighting. Lately I have been concentrating on sewing. I am most interested in becoming more authentic and learning as much as I can.

Her Project: I plan to recreate an outfit based on a 14th Century illumination from the Tres Riches Heures de Duc de Berry. It will consist of a supportive undergarment, a short sleeved dress, hose, hood, apron and several accessories that I haven’t quite decided on yet. This outfit fits with my 14th Century persona which is loosely located in the borderlands of England/Scotland. This is a typical outfit for most of Western Europe during the 14th Century. I have been waiting long time for an opportunity to make this outfit, I just needed the motivation. This outfit will be made from the ground up with as many historic features that I can manage. The basic construction of most of my garments will be sewn on the sewing machine and then I will hand finish all the seams. This is something I’ve been working up to for quite awhile.