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

Æsa Helgulfsdottir

Location: Barony of Endless Hills, Æthelmearc

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Advanced

Project Update Blog : In Wolf’s Clothes

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

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

Final Photos

Her final thoughts on her C3 experience:

I’m very happy with my final project! When I started the dress concept in October, I was trying to envision what would look good photographed in a bleak January landscape (Pennsylvaniacan be pretty dreary this time of year!). I had many moments during the challenge where I questioned the decision to leave my designs simple and the colors natural, but in the end I’m very happy that I stuck to my original plan. It turned out exactly as I wanted it to.

Layer 1

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

Layer 2

The second layer is a simple gown made of Shetland wool in a diamond twill. It’s a dress style and pattern that I’ve used many times before, so no issues! All the seams are handsewn and raw edges enclosed.

Layer 3

My third layer is an apron dress. The fabric was hand woven from yarn that I spun in my fiber mill. The center panel is dyed using walnut hulls. The dress is a simple tube construction with a little gathering in the front. I think that the tube style might be an issue if I was walking, but in the wheelchair it gathers the underdresses in and keeps them away from the tires very nicely! I had originally wanted to bind the top edge with more of the walnut dyed fabric, but it ended up being too bulky so I used the same wool as my stockings instead. I really liked the look of the felted fringe at the edge of the weaving, so I left it as the bottom of my dress.

The seams are handsewn; however, the fabric is a very loose weave and I did have trouble keeping the seams from unraveling. The fabric is thick enough that bound seams were becoming very bulky. Because getting dressed in the wheelchair can require a lot of tugging fabric into place, I reinforced a few of the seams on my sewing machine. This is the only machine sewing in the entire project.

Layer 4

My judged accessory is a willow and oak basket. The most explanation that I could find on viking baskets that were not the Gokstad backpack was the following reference “Round and square basket bases were found in the Scandinavian settlement in York, England, then known as “Jorvik.” The bases have holes around the perimeter, indicating that sticks or reeds may have been seated there, serving as the vertical staves to support the horizontally-woven bands.”

My husband cut and drilled the oak base for me, as the majority of our woodworking tools are in the basement which is not wheelchair accessible. I soaked the willow for a week and then wove the basket using a 3 rod wale for the bottom and top edges and a single plain weave for the body. I’ve made baskets before, but this was my first willow basket and my first with a solid base.

Layer 4+

Additional accessories include:

A handwoven shawl from Shetland wool. I spun the yarn in my fiber mill.

A headscarf of linen, lightly dyed with walnut.

A Jorvik cap, handsewn from linen I wove on a ground loom many Pennsics ago.

A leather knife sheath with sterling silver embellishments.

A necklace of carnelian and crystal quartz with bronze additions.

Bonus Points

Advanced · Historic Advanced · Historically Focused

Aethelwynne of Grimfells

Location: The Shire-March of Grimfells

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Advanced

About Aethelwynne: I joined the SCA last February, so I’m still very new! I sew regularly, both for work and for fun, and have been creating historical costumes for about 10 years now. I originally started with Victorian-era costuming, and worked my way back through time to early medieval, which is now my absolute favorite period of history to study. Besides sewing, I also participate in heavy combat and archery with my local group. This project does directly tie in to my persona, a 10th century Anglo-Saxon woman. I think the sewing itself will be easy for me, but the bits I’m hoping to do, specifically the embellishments on the gown and wimple, will definitely be harder as I’m still learning to tablet weave and embroider!

Her Project: I’m planning on making a late 10th-early 11th century, high status Anglo Saxon women’s outfit. It will consist of a plain linen smock/chemise, a green wool gown with pale yellow silk trim, brown wool cloak, and white decorated veil. Due to the inclusion of silk and the color of the wool, and the planned embellishments on the veil, this outfit could have been worn by royalty, high noble status, or wealthy abbesses/nuns. It isn’t based on one specific illumination, but I have taken different image references from “Dress in Anglo-Saxon England” (drawn from sources such as contemporary religious texts and the Bayeux tapestry) and picked various elements as my inspiration. It won’t include heraldry or awards because I have none yet (joined just before all the covid cancellations). This is an outfit I’ve wanted to make for a while; I have a few normal “everyday” gowns that look nice, but I want something extra special to wear to court or have for big events.

Final Photos

Her final thoughts on her C3 experience:

I really enjoyed this challenge! I tried to make my clothing as accurate to the evidence as possible, and I’m pleased with the final look of the outfit. I’m happy to finally have something more extravagant to wear to events, that would have plausibly been something a 10th century Anglo-Saxon woman could wear. I was able to improve my tablet weaving significantly by doing this project, and learned which areas I need to work on for future weaving. Once it’s safe for events to start again, I look forward to getting some wear out of this outfit!

Layer 1

This is the shift I’ll be wearing as my base layer for my 10th century female Anglo-Saxon outfit. I made it out of a medium weight linen; I prefer this weight over handkerchief linen because it doesn’t seem to cling to the body as much when it’s hot out. I hand sewed the entire shift, with backstitch in the higher stress areas and a running stitch everywhere else, then felled all the raw edges on the inside; the sewing is pretty much invisible on the exterior. The pattern is a simple T-tunic style, with underarm gussets and side gores, following the cutting example from “Dress in Anglo-Saxon England”. The sleeves are nearly a yard long, with extra fabric to bunch up along the forearm as seen in period artwork of women. It isn’t specified whether this was a style worn by all classes of people, or if it was a way to show how wealthy a person was to afford extra fabric, but in most of the artwork women and men of this period have pleats or bunching along their arms, so this is the style I’m going with. It’s a little awkward to put on as I have to bunch the sleeves before I can pull it over my head, but I love the finished look. The construction went as planned, but the one thing I would do differently next time is cut the sleeve looser right below the elbow. I tapered the width a bit too much so it’s a little tight once I push the extra fabric onto my arm. Hopefully as I wear it the linen loosens so it will be more comfortable. Overall, I’m pleased with how this came out and ready to work on the main gown!

Layer 2

This is the second layer of my 10th century high status Anglo-Saxon outfit. It is a gown made of green worsted wool, and trimmed with gold silk that I’ve embroidered with wool and silk thread. This is cut in the same manner as my shift, following a t-tunic style layout. It’s entirely hand stitched in green silk thread. I sewed the seams with backstitch along the arms and shoulder seam, and running stitch along the gores. I then folded the raw edges toward each other and whipstitched those edges together, forming a mock French seam. This technique is documentable during the period. The facings are made of silk charmeuse that I’ve had in my stash for years. I embroidered it by couching down a fine wool yarn with silk floss, then adding French knots in between the lines with the same wool. This was my interpretation of a common design seen on Anglo-Saxon clothing in period artwork, where two parallel lines have small dots or circles running between those lines. This is seen along hemlines of gowns, sleeves, and cloaks, but I also added it as a neck facing. Everything went as planned, but the one thing I would do differently is find a stiffer silk to make the facings. I used the charmeuse only because it was what I had, but it was so thin and easily warped as I worked with it. This made the embroidery difficult; I used linen underneath it for some structure and had to keep it under tension as I sewed. If I were to do it again, I would use something like taffeta, that won’t wiggle off grain so much. As it is, the embroidery looks decent, but it was particularly hard to get it even on the neck facing due to the charmeuse so I’m not entirely happy with that. Overall, I do like the gown, and I’m glad to finally have something fancier to wear to special events!

Layer 3

This past month I worked on my 3rd layer, a wool cloak. Anglo-Saxon women of the 10th century wore mantles (poncho like garments, basically a piece of fabric with a hole cut in the center for pulling over the head) and cloaks; I prefer cloaks since they’re a bit more versatile- for example, you can fold over part of it to use like a hood, or you can use it as a makeshift blanket at camping events, so this is what I chose for my outfit. I used a thicker wool broadcloth, and construction was easy enough; I cut the fabric to length, and the fabric doesn’t fray, so I left the edges as-is. Period artwork tends to show women in plain cloaks, but written accounts mention more decor on clothing than what is seen in the drawings. This is in contrast to artwork of men, who are shown in decorated cloaks. The trim I used on layer 2 (a contrasting band with dots/circles along it) is shown in multiple images of men in the 10th century, and as there is ample artwork with women wearing this trim on their gowns, I figured it would be reasonable to decorate the edge of my cloak this way as well. I tablet wove a band in yellow wool directly to the bottom edge. For the dots seen in pictures, Dress In Anglo-Saxon England mentions that this could be embroidery or jewels sewn on; I chose the latter to contrast with my second layer. The cloak is wrapped around the shoulders and closed over the center of the chest with a brooch. The construction all went as planned; my only gripe is that I settled for glass beads on the trim, as that was what I had available locally. These were used in period, but after the challenge I might try to find flatter or smaller gemstone beads to replace them, as high status people would have likely used gemstones rather than glass on their clothing at the time.

Layer 4

My final layer is called a fillet or binde, which was a woven strip worn across the forehead underneath the wimple/veil. This band was worn by married women of all social standings in 10th century England, with finer materials used for fillets worn by wealthy women. My fillet was tablet woven in silk thread, using a “pickup” method seen in archaeological finds from England. How this works is that the cards are “rocked” back and forth; two holes on each card have both white and blue threads in them. To make the pattern, you turn the cards, then manually lift each thread in the correct sequence before throwing the weft and turning the cards again. This technique is slower, but there’s more freedom in the designs you can weave. The patterns I chose are from a fellow reenactor’s website; she used patterns from existing Anglo-Saxon embroidery and stone carvings, so this is something that could have existed during the period. Making it up went as planned; I’ve made fillets before using this technique so I had no worries there, but this is the most complex pattern I’ve ever woven, so I really had to take my time and pay close attention to what I was doing. The big thing I still need to work on with my weaving is keeping the tension even- the beginning of the band is slightly narrower than the end, but it’s not terribly noticeable. Overall I’m very happy with it, and think it really adds nice detail to my outfit!

Layer 4+

This non-judged layer is a part of my headgear (a tablet woven fillet). It is a linen wimple that I decorated like the wimples seen on page 224 in Dress in Anglo-Saxon England, which shows a group of nuns in elaborately jeweled headdresses. The wimple is a cone shape with one seam that joins the edges together. To decorate it like the picture, I fingerloop braided multiple lengths of silk thread- one for each edge of the wimple, and two to go from forehead edge to the back- and dyed them golden yellow. Once they were stitched on, I added pearls from forehead to back as well, between the two rows of silk braid. I think it looks much nicer than just a plain wimple, but doesn’t take attention away from the woven fillet or dress.

The other accessory I’m wearing is a tablet woven belt, made prior to this contest. It’s woven in wool and linen, and I wear this belt with most of my outfits. It seems, based on artwork, women in the 10th century wore belts if they wanted to; some pictures actually do show a belt or sash along the waist. I like the look of the gown cinched in a bit, so I’ve chosen to wear a belt in the final photos.

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

Intermediate · Modern Recreationist · Modern Recreationist Intermediate

Birna Isleifsdottir

Location: Barony of Castlemere, Trimaris

Category/Level: Modern Recreationist/Intermediate

About Birna: I’ve been in the SCA for about 40 years. Own and operate an agro educational Icelandic farm in north east florida where we teach leather, wood, metal, and fiber arts. I have until now sewn by machine but have started sewing by hand; pretty ugly still. I have never embroidered. The garb design and initial construction should not be a problem. I have never made shoes before so that will be challenging. Also the trim; although I make the looms and teach the craft, takes many hours to get that much for hems and other pieces so that will be time consuming. I think the hardest for me will be the embroidery since I want to be very elaborate with Norse knot work and other designs in multi colors. This will be directly related to my persona and will be used when I compete at local, kingdom, and IKAC events.

Her Project: This is an archery outfit of my own thoughts. There will be a hood, shooting cap, dress, and apron. There will be hand woven trim; by me, on all the pieces and the dress, hopefully, will have embroidery around the hems and sleeves. I am doing this in a Norse style, early period. I also plan to make a pair of shoes in the Jorvik style and pour a pair of broaches at my forge. Although this is not fashion related I am also tooling a new leather quiver and making a set of period arrows. I am a mid 11th century Icelandic woman who was raised by my father to do everything the men do as well as what the women did around the farm. I fight, loose, do metal and wood, leather, cook, and run our farm.

The Complete Garment

Birna’s final thoughts on her C3 experience: i am very pleased with most of what I did. I wish I was better at embroidery at the beginning of this. I have had some very good practice over these past four months and I feel I have progressed. The dress I’m working on now for my wife; not in the challenge is way better than the dress I made for the challenge.

Layer 1

This layer is a Norse dress for someone in the tenth to eleventh century. I am Icelandic but it could be any of the Norse countries. The dress is part of an ensemble for a female Norse archer. The material is a camouflage pattern to blend into the woods of the landscape. The embroidery is hand stitched and the trim is hand woven on a loom that I built. This is the main layer of the ensemble. The next layer will be the pants and apron. After that will be the boots, hood, cap, and then final layer will be the weapons.

Layer 2

the pants are norse draw string pants. The apron is a strap apron with broaches.

Made my pants and apron from matching material. pants are lined with flannel for comfort and warmth. apron is double sided with the material for stability and strength. X stitched every seam on both pieces with embroidery floss. Embroidered six designs on the apron. made the trim for the straps on the viking flat braid loom that I made.

Layer 3

Early Icelandic woman’s archer garb. boots and cap. part of my entire ensemble.

Layer 4

This is a female archery garb for 11th century icelandic or scandinavian. it went as planned. Most was done by hand and although some was done by modern conveyance such as a gas forge it was substituted for an period method. This is all my work.

Layer 4+

this layer is all the bits and pieces that go with the garb. The two knives, the pouch, and the belt. All hand tooled and hand made.

Bonus Points

Advanced · Historic Advanced · Historically Focused

Constanzia Moralez y de Zamora

Location: Barony of St Florian de la Riviere, Lochac

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Advanced (Display Only)

About Constanzia : My name is Duquessa Constanzia and I’m a laurel from Lochac. I joined the SCA in the early 90s. I’m one of the patrons of the Iberian clothing prize. My persona is Spanish and I love capsule wardrobes so I could not resist this challenge! It’s so lovely to participate from the antipodes! I hope that by showing some of the interesting clothing from Spain, that others may find it interesting too.

Her Project: I’m still deciding which Iberian outfit I want. Do I want northern spanish with the crazy hats and choupines? Do I want mid c16th Spanish with crazy sleeves and choupines? I definately want choupines…. let’s start there!

Final Photos:

I really enjoyed the process of planning an executing a multi layer outfit in a supportive environment. One layer a month was challenging at times but doable. The hardest part was settling down on what I wanted. Please feel free to contact me about clothes and spanish history. You can find me on Stanzi’s Sweatshop (https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=907981135908130&ref=content_filter) or email me at Constanziadezamora@gmail.com.

Layer 1

Layer 2

Layer 3

Layer 4

Layer 4+

Historic Intermediate · Historically Focused · Intermediate

Eleanora d’Arcy

Location: River Haven, Lochac

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Intermediate

About Eleanora: This will be my sixth year in the SCA. I grew up sewing and doing various crafts, though had a long break in using them. Am also learning many new skills in the SCA, and want to challenge myself to learn or use new skills for this challenge. This project will tie in with a challenge I have given myself, portraying a series of women through the ages, making outfits as complete as possible including accessories. Materials will have to be largely those already in the stash, due to financial constraints, which will add another level of challenge. This will basically be my main persona’s Saxon Grandmother. Saxon is not something I would have imagined doing when first joining SCA, but will help to round out the range of periods nicely.

Her Project: Anglo Saxon Late tenth to mid eleventh century gentlewoman. Looking at a number of illustrations to pick ideas. I have challenged myself to try to do at least one full outfit for each hundred years after 1000, too late to enter my half complete 12th century outfit, but this will also work well to have an outfit for a partly Saxon themed event I hope to co-steward next year. This will be my main persona’s Saxon Grandmother, circa 1066. Anglo Saxon is something quite new for me, so this will be a huge learning curve.

Final Photos

Layer 1

11th Century Anglo Saxon upper class (but not royal) ladies underdress Linen chosen in a colour appropriate for second wash madder. Embroidery was to have been silk and gilt on linen, but suitable silk was not available so cotton used. Stitches chosen included Bayeux stitch for the background, stem stitch and chain stitch to outline. The pattern was taken from a handout on Anglo Saxon Embroidery.

Embroidered facings were worked first, then dress cut out. I have made a number of bliauts and viking underdresses before, so use a similar geometric technique, but made the body of the dress a little wider for ease of wear, and altered the sleeves to make them longer, baggy at the top but very narrow over an elongated forearm to allow it to wrinkle/fold up as in contemporary sources. Gores were added to the sides only (three each side, may have been somewhat overkill, but the fabric was there) to maintain the flat fronted appearance. The facing was added by stitching right side of the facing to the wrong side of the dress, cutting and clipping then flipping it to the outside and ladder stitching down (after much pressing and pinning heavily and leaving to settle overnight). All sewing was done by hand, backstitching and faux french (whip stitched after folding) for the seams, and ladder stitch to attach the facings. Hem was folded and whipped after allowing to hang for a few days. I had forgotten to add extra seam allowance to the sleeve facings, so had to insert a piece and stitch down well at the seam. The neck facing is just big enough, but slightly higher than I personally enjoy wearing, so would probably increase it just slightly for a next time. The dress is quite long as per the fashions of the time, but may be taken up at a later date.

Layer 2

High class Anglo Saxon 11th century ladies overdress (Gunna).

Hand sewn from linen. Modified T tunic shape, larger elbow length sleeves and knee length with larger neckline to show underdress. It is very loose fitting as seen in illuminations of the time. Seams done as faux french, whip stitched closed. Neckline and sleeve trim from black silk with goldwork chain stitch embroidery, and embelished with freshwater pearls, carnelians, and turquoise. The pattern was adapted from the edges of the Sutton Hoo Brooch. I chose dragons as they are part of my heraldry. (I had toyed with using peacock pearls to simulate the closed eye of my sleeping dragon, but the price was prohibitive. Likewise the fleur de lis on the underdress is based on my heraldry, although they are argent not teal).

Originally I had planned to also do a wide goldworked front panel and hem trim, as well as embellished medallions with coral, turquoise, carnelian and onyx beading, but unfortunately time constraints and real life dramas prevented this. They are still in progress and will be added to the outfit at a later date.

Layer 3

11th century upper class ladie’s mantle based on manuscripts of the time. Rust coloured wool and purchased trim. Basic rectangular shape, the hardest part is finding the precise point to attach the pin holding it together, so as to allow the mantle to fall in a flattering manner, and also allow it to be quickly pulled up as a self hood in case of sudden inclement weather. Trim hand sewn to wool piece. Was very pleased that it seems on the dummy to sit very much as the illuminations depict. I chose to do a very light mantle as it is summer in my area, and I already own a heavy duty early period cloak.

Layer 4

11th century homespun naalbound ladies hose.

This was my first attempt at naalbinding. I had tried to do this with some dropspun yarn, but it had been spun at a demo and was very uneven and was not working well, so I purpose spun some thicker wool yarn on the wheel (for speed) and that was far more successful. They were each worked as one piece, tubular to the start of the heel, heel plate worked backwards and forwards, then the stitches on the edge picked up (and some skipped) to shape fully. Post construction areas which will have heavier wear (sole and heel plate, back of ankles) and any areas where the yarn seemed thinner were padded out by weaving wisps of underspun fibre through the fabric. The hose were then put on and fulled with the help of a footspa.

Knee length worn with garters were used by ladies in this period, longer hose usually worn by men. I am postulating naalbound hose as these were common in the Viking period, not only amongst vikings, with bias cut cloth used in later centuries, especially after the Norman conquest. At this time knitting was really only practiced in the far to mid east.

While they are not perfect, fulling them made them much better. The most surprising thing about them is how amazingly soft and comfortable they are, and not too hot. There will definitely be a few more pairs made in the future.

Layer 4+

Accessories for a high class 11th century Anglo Saxon Lady. It was my plan to have a complete outfit from underwear out totally handmade by me of, as much as possible, period materials and with as period techniques where possible.

Shoes: (first ever attempt) Black leather, pointed, semi turned with a front seam as seen in pictures of men’s shoes of this period. Most illustrations of ladies shoes just show black pointed ones similar to men’s shoes peeking out from under the hem of the dress. Cut in one piece from black leather, stitched with matching linen. Next time I would trust my original patterning (had thought they would be too tight, adjusted and now they are a little loose but should be ok with a felt or suede lining). Learned a lot about using a stitching awl during this! (and thoroughly qualified for the “bleed for it” category).

Enamel Brooch. Done during an A&S class dedicated to enamel brooches, had the teacher cut the shape using an Anglo Saxon pendant cross as the template, made using a modified version of the original cross pattern. First time doing enameling for over 40 years, would love to pick this skill back up again if able to afford the equipment.

Headrail Woven from 20/2 black silk, 300 thread warp 24 inch four shaft table loom. Again another real learning curve, with learning to use a warping board and loom. I had thought the end result a little gauzy, but it has settled well off the loom, and is probably more appropriate for our climate than the welsh black homespun originally pegged for the job. (this will be used with a revamp of the silk warp to weave a second headrail for winter). No respectable older Anglo Saxon lady would be seen without her headrail, and black was one colour repeatedly noted in illuminations of this time.

Garters Inkle woven from Gutterman silk thread, with the addition of a little gilt thread from the embroidery. This is still a relatively new skill for me, and at 80threads to make 8 mm (just over a quarter inch) it was the first time I had attempted anything so fine. Very fiddly and challenging to make, but quite satisfying. I have already bought thread to make some similar as trim for other projects.

Inkle woven belt Again, a relatively new skill. I had hoped to learn tablet weaving to do a silk belt for this outfit, but time forbade it. The first belt I made was approximately 1 inch wide, too wide for a Saxon lady of this time period, so the pattern was adjusted and the second one is around a half inch wide.

Sadly time also prevented the original plan of making pattens to wear with the shoes.

Bonus Points

Group

Iolair Artisans

Group Members: Rose Chapman, Matthew Chapman, Marguerite des Baux, Caitlin inghen Raighne, Giraude Benet

Location: Cum an Iolair, Calontir

Category/Level: Modern Recreationist/Advanced

About the Iolar Artisans : Caitlin, Giraude, and Marguerite have known each other for well over a decade. Rose and Matthew met Caitlin approximately 10 years ago, and the others in late 2009. They are banding together to make a better set of garb for Rose. Rose and Matthew in particular are stretching themselves on this project by making the chair – Rose is teaching Matthew to weave, and Matthew is teaching Rose woodworking!

Their Project: Rose recently rejoined the SCA after several years on hiatus, and is developing a new persona with all new garb. The clothing we plan to create – a smock, kirtle, and handwoven cloak – would befit the wife of a merchant in 14th century England. The outfit is loosely based on the effigy of Katherine Mortimer, Countess of Warwick, 1369. The chosen accessory will be a Dantesca style chair based on extant examples with handwoven fabric for the back and seat. Stretch goals include a cap of St. Birgitte, a tablet woven belt, and hand embroidery.

Completed Outfit

Layer 1

This 14th century women’s linen smock is designed to fit invisibly under the kirtle. Caitlin patterned the smock with the aid of Rose’s kirtle pattern and measurements, machine stitched the construction seams, and finished the seams by hand. Despite not being able to have in-person fittings, the smock fits Rose perfectly!

Layer 2

This is a 14th century English kirtle made out of a linen/cotton blend. Matthew helped Rose make the pattern for the dress via the draping method. After determining the main dress panel dimensions, Rose carefully planned the cutting layout to make the gores as large as possible to reduce fabric waste. Rose stitched the dress on a machine, then finished seams and stitched eyelets by hand. Rose made her very first tubular tablet woven cord to use for lacing.

The original dress plan called for close-fitted sleeves with 19 buttons on each arm between elbow and wrist. Giraude made the cloth buttons, and Rose made a start on buttonholes cut out with a chisel for uniform length. Unfortunately, Rose was not able to hand-stitch 38 buttonholes and sew on that many buttons within the challenge time frame due to wrist strain, so plain sleeves were used instead. Rose had just enough extra fabric to make the second pair of sleeves, with a whole inch of length to spare! The wider sleeve design is still period, it just places the kirtle earlier in the 14th century than originally planned.

Layer 3

14th century English wool cloak. Marguerite des Baux wove fabric by hand on 4 shafts. Rose Chapman constructed the cloak with machine-sewn seams and finished the seams by hand. Rose also embroidered an ivy leaf motif along the front edge of the cloak using a chain stitch. Almost everything went as planned – even matching diagonal stripes on the center back seam! However, the gold thread was a wool/silk blend, while the green and blue threads were 100% wool, and the differential shrinkage that showed up after wet finishing the fabric created uneven selvedges. Rose was able to hide most of the unevenness in the cloak’s seams, but the front edge remains a tad uneven.

Layer 4

While this Dantesca style chair was used from the 16th century onward, Rose couldn’t resist making a period folding chair for events even though her persona is technically 14th century. Matthew carved, sanded, and assembled the chair base out of 2×6 pine boards. The medallions covering the bolt holes on the front and back of the chair were purchased, but we made everything else. Rose stained the chair, wove fabric out of 8/2 tencel (imitation silk) for the seat and back using a period pattern, and patterned and stitched the seat and back based on extant chair examples. Rose serged the handwoven fabric to sturdy canvas before constructing the seat and back to ensure they would bear weight without stretching too much. Matthew affixed the seat and back to the chair with upholstery tacks.

Rose was originally planning to learn woodworking and Matthew was going to learn how to weave to complete this project. Rose, being a relatively new weaver, didn’t realize that tencel is a tricky material to work with and therefore not a good choice for beginning weavers, so she assumed weaving duties and left the woodworking to Matthew. Rose will learn how to work with wood to make a second chair in the future so the couple can have a matched set for events, and Matt still plans on learning how to weave.

Woodworking pattern and instructions followed: https://sawdustandshavings.home.blog/2019/08/02/building-the-dantesca-chair/

Pavy lisere 8-shaft weaving draft: https://www2.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/webdocs/mnm_mt31.pdf

Layer 4+

Tablet woven belt. Rose made the belt on her inkle loom out of 3/2 perle cotton. The buckle and chape were purchased online, and affixed to the belt with rivets. This was actually Rose’s second attempt at a belt. Her previous attempt with only burgundy and blue threads didn’t show the original pattern well and looked very bland, so she added gold thread and chose a completely different pattern draft.

St. Birgitte’s cap. Rose machine stitched the construction seams on this linen cap, and finished the seams with hand stitching. The pattern was copied from another cap Rose drafted and tested for mundane wear, since it’s such a practical piece of clothing.

Split mittens. Rose had a few scraps of cloak material left over. Since she wanted to take photos in the well-timed snow but didn’t want frostbite, she managed to eke out just enough cloth to make a pair of mittens as the storm rolled in the day before the final photo shoot. As you can see, there was barely enough! The thumb and thumb hole shapes were copied from a commercial pattern, while the main hand pattern was drafted based on hand measurements and tailored on the fly.

Bonus Points

Advanced · Historic Advanced · Historically Focused

Joana de Bairros

From: Southron Gaard, Lochac

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Advanced

Project Update Blog: Joana de Bairros blog

About Joana: I have been involved in the SCA for 19 years in the Barony of Southron Gaard which was originally in the Kingdom of Caid and is now in the Kingdom of Lochac. I have sewed for most of that time. Until recently I did mostly Italian dresses which can be seen here – https://elisabettafoscari.wordpress.com/la-guardaroba-di-elisabetta/. More recently however I have wanted to explore my Portuguese heritage through the SCA and have therefore spent much of this year researching and reading about everything related to 16th century Portugal to help develop my Portuguese persona of Joana. I also love cooking and have cooked several feasts for my group, the biggest was for Midwinter Coronation last year.

Her Blog: Joana de Bairros

Her Project: I am making an outfit suitable for an upper class lady from around 1510-1530 in Portugal. This is to fit in with my persona of Joana. My inspiration is primarily the St Auta altarpiece which was painted between 1522-5 but I will also be using Garcia Fernandes painting of the Martyrs of Lisbon as inspiration for my outer layer. My pinterest board on Portuguese fashion is a good place to view these and other images https://www.pinterest.nz/elisabettaf/portuguese-fashion/ I have been developing my knowledge of this period of Portugese dress recently and have made a couple of outfits already in this style. I have some particularly lovely brocade in my heraldic colours of green and gold I want to use for this project. The outer layer I have wanted to make for ages as it looks pretty and practical. I would like to cook a Portuguese style dinner as my other item using the Portuguese cookbook “Um tradado da cozinha portuguesa do século XV” which was written just before the period of my dress.

Final Photos

Her final thoughts on her C3 experience:

I feel very happy that I have made an outfit and cooked a meal that would be familiar to my persona, Joana de Bairros, a Portuguese lady of the 1520s. I was able to wear my dress to the ball at our camping event last week and received many compliments on it.

I have really enjoyed this challenge! It has been a great chance to make an outfit and I like the fact that there was the catergory to do something a bit different. Thank you for all your hard work in running it!

I don’t have photos of me in my dress eating my dinner. I did not think that the dress would go well with cooking and preparing a meal so decided to do the meal out of dress. I am very confident it would be exactly the sort of food my Portuguese persona would have eaten however.

Layer 1

This is the underwear layer of my 16th century upper class Portuguese outfit for a woman. It consists of a chemise and petticoat. The chemise is based on one worn in a portrait of Queen Catherine of Austria who was Queen of Portugal and the petticoat is made using the Alcega pattern of a ‘skirt for a fat woman’. Both items are fully hand sewn using mostly whip stitch! The chemise is made from cotton/linen and has gold trim around the neckline. The petticoat is made from an embroidered polyester taffeta.

I had to put an extra gusset in the side of the chemise as the arm was too narrow which has resulted in the sleeve sitting a bit short under the arm. You can’t really tell unless you are staring at my armpit however. I did not off set the corner of the sleeve and the body of the chemise enough so will do that differently next time.

The petticoat went very well and I also put a wool layer in the hem to add extra padding. I would have put a bit more fabric in the back and made the ties shorter but overall I am very happy with it!

Layer 2

A dress in the style of 1520s Portugal made from green silk and gold brocade. The bodice is interlined with two layers of a linen/cotton canvas that are padstitched together to make it firmer and lined with a ecru coloured linen. The dress is trimmed with a green velvet ribbon that has a very narrow gold bobbin lace style trim on both edges. The sleeves are lined with pink silk and the bottom of the sleeve folds over to show the lining at the cuff and this is trimmed with gold lace and pink pearls. The seams are machine sewn and all fabric pieces were overlocked with a machine zig-zag seam. The rest is sewn by hand, mostly using whip stitch!

Layer 3

For this layer I made a hood/bonnet. I used the headdress on the Lopes picture of Maria Madalena as my inspiration. I loved the shape of this especially the heart shaped front. I decided to make it out of black velveteen as that is what the original looked to be made of. This is also consistent with many of the hoods seen in English and Spanish portraits of this period. I lined the hood in the pink silk I used to line my dress sleeves as I wanted to link it to the dress. I bought the trim around the edge of etsy. It is gold work embroidered on to a tan velvet ribbon which gave it a similar look to the portrait. I had wanted to embroider it myself but time was short. I also made a pearl tassel for the corners of the hood out of a plastic drop pearl, a garnet bead and a earring wire.

To make the hood I used the pattern on page 51 of the Queen’s Servants as a guide. The shaped rounded back of this gave me a look which I felt fitted with the image. I edged all pieces on the machine and machined middle seam on the velvet and the silk. I machined one edge of the velvet and silk together and hand sewed the rest closed with a whip stitch. The trim was sewed on by hand.

To create the shaped back I hand gathered the centre back as indicated on the pattern. I pulled the gathering stitch which gave me a tight frill which I hand sewed together on both the velvet and silk. On top of the velvet side of the gather I sewed a ouch I bought from Steve Millingham pewter replicas.

To make the shape around the face I sewed some millinery wire inside the front seam between the silk and velvet. I then bent the wire to give the shaped front. Wire was used in early 16th century English headresses and I have seen several examples of these frames at the Museum of London.

The jewel at the front was bought from Armour and Casting. I sewed it on to a strip of black velvet and then sewed that to the front of the hood at the centre front. I have done something similar with hennins in the past and found it gives a good anchor point for the hood.

When I make Mark 2 of this I will make the hood much bigger, especially between the top of my head and ear as it doesn’t cover my head as much as I would prefer. I found getting the correct shape for the wire difficult and while it is ok it requires frequent rebending.

Layer 4

Dinner!  I invited a Spanish friend of mine over for dinner as the final element to compliment my dress.  There is only one surviving Portuguese cookbook from my period in time which dates from the late 15th and early 16th century so would have been used around the time of Joana.  It is called Um tradado da cozinha portuguesa do século XV or O Livro de Cozinha da Infanta D. Maria de Portugal.  Both are modern titles attached to a book of recipes that was written around the turn of the 16th century and then taken by Maria, the niece of the Portuguese King João to Naples when she married Alexander Farnese.  

From this book I cooked:

Galinha mourisca (Moorish Chicken)

Pastéis de leite (Milk pastries – really a Portuguese custard tart)

Unfortunately it is a fairly limited range of recipes with a focus on meat dishes and sweets so vegetable options were limited.  I therefore decided to use the 1520 Libre del Coch by Robert da Nola.  This is a Spanish book rather than Portuguese but allowed me to keep an Iberian flavour to my dinner.  The date of 1520 is contemporaneous with Joana too.  My guest for the evening has a Spanish persona so this was a nice way to acknowledge her too.  

From this book I cooked:

POTAJE DE CEBOLLAS QUE DICEN CEBOLLADA (A Pottage of Onions called Cebollada)

BERENJENAS A LA MORISCA (Moorish Eggplant)

Both the Portugese and Spanish recipes can be accessed via the Medieval Cookery website – http://medievalcookery.com/etexts.html.

Final comments:

The food was all delicious and was very pleased with how it turned out.  The eggplant was my favourite, the onion my husband’s and my guest liked the sauce from the chicken on the bread.  The custard tarts were everyone’s favourite!

(A PDF containing further commentary about this layer is available at the bottom of the page)

Layer 4+

Additional Layer One: I decided once I put on the dress that I really, really, really did not like the first chemise I made. It didn’t sit right and it itched! I decided therefore to make a new chemise using a much lighter-weight cotton. I constructed it exactly the same as the first one in that it is all handsewn. The trim is in the same place but a different trim. It keeps to the source image though of alternating wavy and straight trim. I made the ruffle around the neck much narrower than in the first version to be more in keeping with the Catherine of Austria painting. The other main change I made was off setting the sleeve and the body of the chemise much more to provide more room under the arm of the chemise. This was an area I particularly disliked in the first one and I find the sits so much better.

Portguese coat: This is based on the overlayer worn by the lady in the green dress in Garcia Fernandes’s painting of The Martyrs of Lisbon. Happily she wears it in two panels so we have fairly good view of it. I made mine out of the same black velveteen as the hood and lined it in the same silk. For the trim I used a gold/silver woven braid. The fur collar I bought from an antique shop. It had a rip in it so I glued it on to some suede I had and then lined it in more pink silk. I have issues with using real fur but I feel that repurposing a vintage piece is respecting the animal by allowing its fur to be used for a bit longer.

I was going to close the sides with ties but it didn’t sit well so I sewed it together at the sides and sewed fake ribbon ties which I finished the bead and garnet aglets I used on the sleeves.

To pattern it I cut out a tabard shape from some scrap fabric and added more to the sides when it was obvious that this was necessary. I tried to preserve the lovely curved front and back of the garment although this was difficult with the velvet being quiet bulky.

I am moderately happy with this garment. The front doesn’t sit as I had hoped. In a future version I might try an interlining to give it more shape and then sew the velvet around this. I love the fur collar though! It is very lush and snuggly

Sash: I made a sash out of the pink lining silk. It is a strip of fabric machined together and then hand sewn at the ends. I sewed a small amount of the gold lace trim I used around the cuff.

Necklace: I had a cross I bought from Raymond’s Quiet Press many years ago. It had the perfect green enamel but the pearls had fallen off. I glued some of the pink pearls I used on the necklace back in to hollows. I made a necklace out of alternating pink glass pearls and green coloured freshwater pearls on some jewelery wire. This isn’t based on any portrait in particular but I wanted the colours to reflect the colour of the dress and I am very pleased with the match I managed here!

Bonus Points

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!

Final Pictures

Her final thoughts on the challenge:

I learned a lot with this outfit. I am pretty happy with how it turned out and look forward to wearing it to an event. It’s not 100% perfect, but for my first try I am thrilled how it turned out.

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.

Layer 4+

Rectangular silk veil. I sewed it on two sides. It’s an attempt at a veil similar to those seen in the 12th century statues and paintings. It’s the same silk I used to line my sleeves and as contrast on the collar of my main dress.

Bonus Points