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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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)
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)
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!
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 Mikhaila: My SCA name is Mikhaila von Dhaun and I am a second genner. I have been sewing my own garb for about 15 years and have been wanting to completely hand sew an outfit for a while. This gives me a good reason to sew this Anglo-Saxon outfit, especially being made up of fairly geometric shapes. I sew regularly. I have slowly been gaining more comfort and confidence with my own abilities. My persona is German, but I was born in England near an Anglo-Saxon Village in Suffolk called West Stow. I thought this would be a good explanation for why my German person was in England.
Her Project: I will be aiming to make an outfit that fits within the same time period as the Anglo-Saxon village that I was born near, West Stow, 420-650 AD. As I am unsure if I will be able to find extant examples all from one place, I plan to construct pieces using information from Germany and England, possibly Middle or Merchant class. I hope that by bringing together this combination of extant items, I will be able to make up an outfit that would have been worn within the bounds of viability for West Stow.
Her final thoughts on her C3 Experience:
I appreciate the opportunity to push myself by producing this outfit completely by hand and researching the pieces that would make a plausible outfit of this time period, culture and place.
I would like to state that I chose to recreate the wrist clasps and bands from Lincolnshire as they were not out of the realm of possibility for a merchant to have purchased a set on their travels to purchase things to sell back home.
This layer contains: an early period linen underdress sewn by hand with linen thread and a linen strophium, hemmed with linen thread. I failed to complete a pair of underpants and socks due to some research difficulties.
This layer contains a wool overtunic sewn by hand with linen thread, a set of Anglo-Saxon wrist clasps (based on a set from Lincolnshire, cut out, stamped and bent from brass sheet) embedded on leather bands (sewn with linen thread). I also forged a brass penannular pin to close the slit of the keyhole neckline.
This layer contains a linen peplos-style dress (hand seamed and hemmed in linen thread) with a set of brass fibula pins that I forged to hold it together at the shoulders. I failed to finish a linen tablet woven belt in time due to some technical difficulties.
Based on an Anglo-Saxon spiral bracelet from Tuddenham, Suffolk between 410-649AD. I made it from purchased strip brass, which I sawed to length, annealed, stamped and bent into shape.