About Ambra: My first event was in the womb. In that time, I have learned to make sturdy lasting garb – but have opportunities to grow my quality and aesthetic. I am very excited for this challenge. In 2017, I was elevated to the order of the Laurel for my efforts in Written Works and the bardic community, and due service to my kingdom. I come from the shiny days of firelight catching trim, and am looking to step into something more authentic (while maintaining the convenience of my sewing machine – better for my attention span…). I actually have an Italian persona, but my household is Norse, linen breaths, and Trimaris is hot! This will be the perfect wander-by-night Gulf Wars outfit. Ideally.
Her Project: I plan to make a late Norse outfit – under-shift, apron, coat, and accessory. The coat especially is something I have wanted to make for some time. It may include some heraldry. I have not yet decided. It will be based on some historical examples and altered for my personal aesthetic.
Her Final thoughts on her C3 experience:
I’m so very grateful to the Volunteers who ran this competition. I rarely put this much effort into my own carb and this was a joy And a bit of a learning experience. Very excited and looking forward to many more projects that this has inspired.
Beaded and hand embroidered felt applique sleeves – underdress. Turned yolk w machine embroidery and trim. Machine embroidered seams. I am hard on my sleeves so did not edge embroider and the overdress will be elongated so no btm adornment would be visible.
This second layer is a viking Norse Overdressed . It made out of hand-woven light Wool from Afghanistan . The And our roles and I added a bit of trim. In retrospect I don’t like that addition and will remove the trim, but for the purpose of this competition It fits as embroidery a dormant. One final note, normally I embroider the seams however I am going through a weight transition and if I were to add gores it would ruin the dress given the delicate nature of the fabric so I decided not to. The lay of the fabric is lovely And the feel even more so. I love the way this turned out. The straps are attached in the back for convenience but Loose in the front as they would have been And penned to fit . The seams are all Surge and or rolled depending . And the Rocks themselves or the wool fabric Tubed And flipped and then some down.
This Overcoat was an exciting project. The fabric looks well but I think has a little plastic in it I just a little rough on the fingers . It doesn’t feel synthetic but it’s not Soft to the touch. Or scratching the way will can be. So I faced/lined it with a linen canvas Which makes it feel really good against Your skin where it touches . I flipped the sleeves so the edges wouldn’t irritate my wrists And Trimmed around the sleeve matching the bordering trim Of the open neck. I also added some Byzantine trim to the bottom Which was more complicated than I assumed given its thickness. I also use an embroidery pattern Documentable for the Era Down the seams .
The last layer was an accessory. I thought about doing a headdress but in the end decided this outfit needed jewelry. So I created three strands of beads , Careful to ensure they reflected the color scheme, but also contrasted against the brown of the Overdress. I used Norse brooches that I already had To complete the outfit . I’m very happy with this layer’s result.
About Beatrice : I started playing in the SCA in Trimaris about eight years ago and am currently living in the Midrealm. I have a fair amount of sewing experience, but have only made basic garb in the past. I have been wanting to up my garb game recently and this seemed like the perfect time to do it! In addition to sewing, I do a variety of crafts in the SCA, including kumihimo, jewelry making, fingerloop braiding, calligraphy and illumination, and banner making. At events, I can usually be found retaining or volunteering in some other way. This will be a challenging project for me, as I have not made garb above a basic level before. I fell in love with Roman garb during the hot outdoor events in Trimaris and am excited to make myself some new garb!
Her Project: I am planning to create an outfit that would have been worn by an unmarried upper class Roman woman of the Late Republic/Early Empire. I’ve been wanting to make a new, nicer outfit for a while, but this project has helped me focus that desire into a specific project.
Her final thoughts on her C3 experience:
I entered this challenge at an intermediate level knowing it would be a stretch for me. I had some sewing experience and knowledge of Roman clothing into C3, but had never tried to make a complete outfit like this. I have never entered any kind of arts and sciences competition before either. I learned a lot during this process that I look forward to applying to future projects. Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers for your work on this project!
The underlayers for my Late Roman Republic outfit for an unmarried woman consists of a strophium (bra band), subligar (underwear), and subucula (under tunic). Because these will not be seen by others and I am entering the modern recreationist category, I chose to machine sew all these pieces. The strophium is a long band that gets wrapped around the chest, similar to an ACE bandage. To create the pattern, I measured around my ribcage, multiplied that by 4, then added a few inches as ties. For the width, I measured just below my bust to just above my bust. I used a linen/cotton blend I already had in my stash, but wool or leather would be more common in period. Wool naturally has some stretch to it, but linen and cotton will stay stretched out once stretched. This leads to linen or cotton strophium needing to be adjusted throughout the day. Because I was using up fabric from my stash, I did sew the strophium in two pieces instead of making it out of one long piece. According to written evidence, subligar were not always worn by women. Extant art suggests they were worn at bathhouses and while exercising, but they also may have been worn during menstruation. I made my subligar based on an extant leather pair found in a well in Britain. The extant examples available look very much like a modern string bikini bottom made of leather. For my subligar, I chose to use a medium weight white linen out of my fabric stash and used cotton bias tape for the ties at the waist. I drafted my own pattern using a modern underwear tutorial. This was the most difficult piece to make this month, as I had to get the fit just right. But I think they turned out well. The subucula is a simple rectangle and was easy to make. I used the directions from Dulcia’s Roman Closet website to create my own pattern based off the directions for a closed shoulder tunic. I used a lightweight linen from fabric-store.com. During the Roman Republic, wool would likely have been the top choice for the under tunic, but linen, silk, cotton, and blends were all available. My subucula is mid-calf length and I left the bottom couple inches separate for ease of movement.
The second layer of my 1st century inspired Roman outfit is made up of the Tunica Muliebris, more commonly known today as the gap-sleeved tunic, and the Cingulum (belt). The tunica is made of a dark green wool/acrylic blend. The side seams were machine sewn, while the neckline, sleeve opening, and hem were all hand sewn. The fabric was thicker than I had anticipated and is not as drapey as a tunica should be, but it will make an excellent winter outfit! The Cingulum is made of cotton thread and woven by me on an inkle loom. I had planned to make the belt out of silk, but there were major delays in my supplies reaching me. So I went with the cotton I already had on hand. This is the first band I have ever woven. I really enjoyed weaving it and think it turned out quite well for a first attempt.
The third layer of my 1st century inspired Roman outfit is made up of the Palla, a large piece of cloth women would have worn for modesty when out of the house. Pallas would have likely been made of wool or a wool blend with cotton, silk, or linen. I chose to make my palla out of 100% silk, as it is a fabric I am familiar with. I purchased white silk from Dharma Trading Company, then dyed it lavender using modern batch dyeing techniques. I have a lot of experience modernly with silk dyeing, so I was able to get a nice even color on my palla. I hand hemmed the raw edges with silk thread so it would also dye the same color as the rest of the palla.
The fourth layer of my 1st century Roman outfit is consists of a necklace, two rings, and a pair of earrings. The necklace is made of sodalite and pearl beads and brass wire. The necklace is based on many examples found in period art as well as extant examples found at the British Museum. This was my first time making a necklace. I learned a lot during the process and look forward to refining my technique on future necklaces. The rings are also made of brass wire and are based on examples from the British Museum and The Met. The earrings are made of brass wire, small pearl beads, and a modern bracelet connector.
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.
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
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
The last sewing layer is to be a jacket or overdress layer , I intended to use this layer in matching with previous one layers
About Ian’ka: I have been in the SCA for 27 years. I’ve been sewing for about 22 of those years off and on. I am a scribe and researcher but have been known to make clothes for royalty and of course for my family of my husband and my son. This project will directly link into my persona and I have been struggling with motivation to make things in the last few years. I’m just now starting to get the urg to make clothes and was quite delighted to hear about this challenge. The clothes are things I’ve been wanting to make and now will have a reason to make them. I’m excited to pattern out a new style of underdress and to change up to slightly more Byzantine influence on the overdress. I’ve been meaning to make myself a lightweight coat for quite some time and I’m excited to finally use some coveted fabric in my stash. I think this project will challenge me in skill set as I will be developing new patterns for the underdress and since my motivation has been a bit lacking of late the reminders and the pressure from others in my household who are working on clothes will help keep me on track.
Her Project: The pieces will be what may have been worn by women in North Western Russia in the 9th-10th Centuries especially with groups that were traded with or influenced by the Norse traders. My SCA household is a mix of Rus and Norse personas and as one of the Heads of the House and a Duchess the clothes should show the prosperity of being a wealthy trader’s wife in the 9th to 10th Centuries. A thin linen shift will start the outfit which will be a new endeavor for me as I don’t usually where that layer. Then the underdress will be based upon the fine linen garment found in the Pskov find which has a gathered neckline, this is a new construction technique for me. This fabric is a wonderful check patterned fabric in red/white. Checked fabric has been found in a number of graves in the North (Haithabu) and Russia. The linen overdress will be based more on the Rus with the silk details as noted in the Pskov finds but with the decorations from the Byzantine influences. The silks found in the Pskov grave show the Byzantine motifs in portions of their weave. there are many examples of this style of decoration in church frescoes, period bracelets and in grave finds. The plan is for plain silk that will be accentuated with tablet woven trim in either linen or silk. The trim will be either made by myself or my husband. A wool coat will be from handwoven fabric, accented by silk and based on kaftans from period descriptions and paintings. I am yet undecided on if it will be center buttoning or side buttoning as both were worn. If I have time I plan on making a new set of beaded jewelry for this outfit to compliment it all.
Her final thoughts on her C3 experience:
I’m really happy this event happened. It got me out of my rut and gave me something to get done with a due date since everything else has been in a state of limbo.
I was able to three entirely new patterns for myself and they are things I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time but never had the initiative/need to start them. They were always on the “eventually I’ll make that” or “someday I’ll try that.” It reminded me I don’t really need an excuse and a deadline to make something but it really does help with the motivation.
I’m going to go and make one more layer for this outfit as I did run out of time due to how long it took me to make my patterns since I made test pieces I really did complete more garments just not for the final show. 🙂 But I plan on cutting out my coat to have it ready for this fall.
The is the shift (underwear layer) for my 10th Century Rus woman from Pskov’s outfit. For most this would have been the underdress and long sleeved but as I am the wife of a wealthy merchant and modernly a resident of a very warm Kingdom, the layer is a thin sleeveless linen shift. My underdress will be the next layer. The shift would have been used as sleepwear etc. The Pskov grave find did have evidence of very fine linen but it was mostly disintegrated in situ.
The linen is handkerchief weight linen and I used my standard pattern for the front back and side gussets and gores that can be seen in many Slavic and Norse grave finds. This construction is square with truncated triangles for gussets and gores. The gussets allow the garment to nip into the natural waist to give a bit of shape.
I cut the neckline wide and slightly scooped the armscye to allow good movement and to leave a clean line for where the square edges of the pieces met in the armscye.
The long seams were machine sewn but the straight cut edging (not bias cut edging) was applied by hand. The seams and hem were also had finished.
This is my underdress which is based on the evidence of a linen garment with a gathered neckline bound in the same fabric which was edged in silk at cuffs and hem in Pskov. The fabric is a plaid cotton since I did not have plaid linen but its wonderfully bright red and white and is representative of other checked fabric has been found in a number of graves in the North (Haithabu) and Russia. I chose a fine red silk for the cuffs and hem. Color is very common in clothing of the period especially rich reds.
All of the long seams are sewn by machine (1947 Singer Featherweight) and then finished by hand with a whip stitch by folding the seam allowances together and tucking the raw edges under to one side of the seam. The neckline was pleated with a single pass of the needle and thread with a basic gather and was then bound with straight cut edging of the same fabric as the dress. That edging also transitioned into the ties for the front of the neckline. The dress was sewn in Gutermann polyester thread but the silk was finished off with Guterman silk thread.
I was more generous in the cut down the neckline for ease of summer wear in Atenveldt than was was shown in the period example. I do plan on wearing this with my Norse kit as well and it will be a good addition to my wardrobe as a wealthy merchant woman on the borders of Norse and Rus culture in Pskov.
This garment has been one of the hardest items to pattern for my weight lifter physique and even the final garment required a redo of the entire shoulder to floor seams after I placed the sleeves too high (sewing too late at night is not a good thing). In the end I am most pleased with it. The garment is very comfortable and I will be excited to wear it for future events.
I will probably make another of these dresses but they are a lot of work for an underdress compared to my normal pattern but it was fun to learn a new thing and learn more about how to adjust and build patterns for different body styles. I do think on the next one I make, like the test pattern I made I will make the ties a bit thinner. These aren’t quite behaving and flop around a bit. 🙂
Overdress – The overdress is a lightweight linen with silk accents and silk tablet woven bands. The pattern for this dress is modified with extra gussets on the back shoulders to accommodate for my physique. While this style has not been noted in grave finds for Rus/Norse it is well documented in the cultures of the Middle East. Pskov was a trade town, which bridged the cultures of the Norse and the Middle East to the South. Ibn Fadlan traveled up the Volga River in 921 C.E. and other traders traveled the same routes for the Silk Road from China/India to the Scandinavian countries. There are finds in Russia, which show obvious Asian influence in the gilt shot/patterned silks and the use of more Asian style of clothing patterns. These influences were all found in graves South of Pskov, and they can be conjectured to have also occurred further North.
The extra gusset is trapezoidal in shape and allows for more movement at the shoulder blades before the rest of the garment lays straight. It seems odd that such a small change would allow for such good movement but it really does. I made my gore that goes with it angled on the outside and I think for ease of fit of the underarm gusset/gore sets that I will make this straight next time. It is just easier to assemble and it will help with the ease of cutting the hem. With the angled gore the back is wider than the front . However, if you have an ample “back 40” this may actually be a good modification. My next rendition I will try it and see how I like the fit.
Like the other layers, all of the long seams are sewn on my 1947 Singer Featherweight and then hand finished. The silk yoke of the dress has reinforcements along the button band. The linen while very opaque is quite light in weight and the weight of the bells used as buttons and knowing that buttons can be a stress point in garments this needed reinforcement. The loops are also silk and are integral with the band reinforcement. The trim is woven in silk by Duke Ivan Petrovich, OL & KSCA, and is based on a Danish pattern from around the same time. Tablet woven bands have been found throughout Russian and Scandinavian grave finds. The silk at the cuffs and hem is finished with a small running stitch which all work on the yoke is finished with a whipstitch. The threads used are commercial Gutterman or vintage mercerized polyester (Auntie’s stash thread).
Fitting the shoulders for this pattern worked really well, what I would have done differently would be to open up the sleeve circumference a bit for a bit more movement with the other dresses underneath. Having worn the clothes for a few hours, I am not noticing much issue with that fit but it is a note for future garments on this same pattern.
Only recently, had naalbound hats been found in archeological evidence during the SCA period, before then it was conjecture if they existed but the evidence was favorable with mittens, socks, cuffs etc. all being made by this fiber technique. The pattern was first documented in Danish Bog burials as the “milk strainer stitch” as it was used a strainer for milk. I chose this pattern because 1) it is the only stitch I know and 2) it provides a nice open weave which breaths well. Additionally, the stitch has been shown as a decorative edging on clothing as well. Most folks who embroider can do this stitch, as it is the buttonhole stitch! The hat started with 8 stitches within that circle and the hat spirals out from there. The loose end of the circle is pulled to tighten the circle down to a closure i.e. magically closing it! After the first row, the next row follows with 2 stitches in each of the stitches from the previous row, then the next row does two stitches in every other stitch, the next row does 2 stitches in every 3rd stitch and so on until the top of the hat had met or exceeded the circumference of the wearers head. The final rounds of increases for this hat were 18 or 19 stitches between each increase. In this case, that was about 8″ in diameter. After that diameter had been reached, the pattern was 1 stitch per 1 stitch until the hat reached the proper length.
Living in Atenveldt I still want my head covered but even in Winter having your clothing breath helps a lot. I made this hat slightly oversized to go over my hair in various styles and to go over my head wraps. Again, the want is to let things breath while still keeping the sun off you.
The yarn is my own handspun from 2013-2015. I believe it was from the Bisbee Arizona Fiber Guild and I spun the plies on my hand spindle while I traveled all over as Crown (2013), and then was plied (2-ply) on my spinning wheel (2015). It was my first project on my wheel, and it is a bit bumpy and lumpy but once on it looks great and it is a wonderful color.
The needled for this project is fossilized mammoth ivory and made by Duke Ivan Petrovich, OL & KSCA.
About Lianor: I have been part of the SCA in Lochac for 5 years. I was originally drawn to Equestrian. And led me to an interest in 16th century Iberian culture. I love the aesthetics of the period. But my lack of Spanish language skills have made research harder. I have a good level of modern sewing skills, and one of things I’ve enjoyed in the SCA is translating this into historic skills. This project will be pushing me to improve my research skills and pattern drafting. I really enjoy hand sewing and detail, but I know I will have to comprise on my decisions to met the deadlines.
Her Project: My project is inspired by the portraits of Juana de Austria, Particularly the 1552/53 portraits by Juan Pantoja de la Cruz & Cristobal de Morales. Very much a royal portrait, it is assumed to be her wedding clothes. The third (outer) layer will be drawn from later portraits or images from the period. Mid to late 16th Century Iberian is a culture that I have researching for the last 2 years. And this challenge is giving me a reason to create this outfit that I have kept coming back to over the last 2 years.
Her final thoughts on her C3 experience:
I’m so pleased to have taken part in this challenge. It pushed me along to get something a bit special done, at a time when there wasn’t much motivation. I’ve so enjoyed the enthusiasm of fellow challengers, and loved seeing the range of things that were created and lessons learnt. I pushed myself to improve my pattern drafting and tailoring techniques. And I feel a lot more comfortable with the techniques now, and I can really see the value in the end result. Overall, I’m proud of what I produced.
My project is based on the portrait of Juana de Austria by Coello. Juana was daughter to Charles V of Spain, the portrait is thought to show her wedding clothes from 1552. The high status garment shows features typical of Iberian high status clothes, constructed of costly black silk velvet. Complex tailoring and structural under layers. Layer 1 is the base layer, and would have been similar to layers worn by most levels of society at the time in terms of construction and function. The difference would have been choice of fabric.
The Chemise is linen, and constructed using basic rectangles and squares for efficient use of fabric. Drafted myself from my measurement. As the chemise is unseen in this portrait, I have left it unembroidered. The unseen seams are machine sewn for speed, but seams and hems are hand finished so no machine stitching is visible.
Faldellin – half circle petticoat is worn over the top and is the first support layer for the skirts. The pattern is drafted using instructions from Matthew Gnagy – based on Alcega’s tailoring manual of the period and culture. The fabric is light weight wool blend, the slight wide pinstrip is not noticable in the made up garment. And it was choice for coolness and access – the right wool can be hard to source. The under hem is a heavy wool / synthetic blend felted fabric – similar to melton, that was in my stash. The trim is a tightly woven synthetic taffeta, silk taffeta would have been the ideal choice but I couldn’t find a really tightly woven silk in my budget in time.
This was the first time I had made one of these skirts and I’m really happy with the results. The hem treatment is really effective, adding a significant amount of structure to the garment. The bara tape draft was easy and being based on proportions it was a flattering cut. I also learnt to love my thimble and got a lot faster with my hand sewing. I think I got a better feel for the handsewing approach a tailor of the period would have taken.
My project is based on a portrait of Juana of Austria dated 1552/53. It reflects Spanish court fashion of the mid 16th Century.
This is a supportive structural layer, critical to achieving the correct shape for the outer layer. It includes a spanish farthingale – Verdugado de Seda & Pair of low necked bodies – Cuerpo Baxo. Both based on patterns found in period tailors manuals. And both patterns have been drafted using the barra tape method, which is the 16th C technique based on body proportions.
The farthingale base is synthetic silk for budget reasons, channels and tapes in linen, and natural cane which I bound together for strength. I had some problems getting the shape right for the farthingale. I had expected to get a very smooth skirt, but the draft required me to gather and adjust around the canes. Once I had decided to use my judgement to make the shape right, it worked better. Using cane was tricky and I had many experiments to get the right weight and joining shorter pieces together.
The low neck bodies have an internal structure of heavy and hair canvas, with additional layers of wool and hair canvas to the front. All layers were pad stitched together, which stiffened and gave it a curved shape. I then added linen lining and top layers. It is side back laced on both sides. Because the fit was critical, a lot of time was spent checking and fitting but this was worth the effort.
The end result is very supportive, but more comfortable than bodies with canes / reeds / bones. And is appropriate for the period of the portrait.
I’m happy with the end result, and think it has given me a good base for the next layer.
This was my outer bodice, skirt and sleeves for a 16th Century Spanish court gown. Based on a portrait of Juana of Austria 1552. Main fabric is a black cotton velveteen, with hair canvas and wool felt / melton for support and a black and gold brocade for trim. The shape of this outer layer is only possible with the support layers underneath. But still required tailoring techniques such as pad stitched and supported hems. The amount of machine stitching was minor compared to the hand stitching with all the tailoring, trims and hand finished hems.
This was the first time I have produced a separate skirt and bodice that is tied together. I was a bit unsure about it, but it works really well and I can see me doing this more often in the future.
The sleeves are layered, with a plain two pieced curved sleeve, and a paned short sleeve over the top, bound together at the top.
Construction didn’t cause me any particular problems, but it probably took longer than I anticipated.
I plan to make some additional items after the challenge to better mirror the original portrait.
My accessory is a painted heraldic banner. It includes my personal heraldry and motto, which reflects my interest in 16th Century Iberian culture. It also compliments the gown I’m constructing – so I figured it would work for the final composition. Its heavy cotton plain weave, painted with fabric paints, and bound in black bias.
I chose a gonfalon shape, as it is versatile for display. And the chevron of my heraldry could also be mirrored in the hem.
About Olena: This dress will tie into a new persona I have created for myself. I have been in the Sca for almost 20 years off and on. Have sewn a bit of garb but nothing I would consider spectacular.
Her Project: Recently discovers I enjoy the Tudor period. So I will be making a 1560 ish Tudor period dress. Which will include: black work chemise(underdress)and cuffs, kirtle, dress, false sleeves, and French hood. I have attempted one gown previous to the one planned. But since I cannot work with a pattern only sew by sight I will find it challenging.
Her Final thoughts on her C3 experience:
I enjoyed this challenge. It was my first ever completely hand sewn outfit ever. I am very proud of how it turned out.
The chemise was patterned from the Elizabethan chemise pattern. It is a typical 1500’s underdress to wear under main articles of clothing in order to keep the main layers clean. Women in England and other countries owned a few or many sending on their status and what they could afford. Mine is made out of linen which is historically accurate for this time period. I did have some issues lining up the fires but it worked out in the end. It is completely hand sewn.
My second layer is the kirtle. This was also sewn by hand. Plastic boning was included in the front.
Tudor period overdress. Bodice and sleeves I found were the hardest to construct. Lots of measuring, fitting, measuring, fitting. Next time I would like to work from an actual pattern.