About Alexandria: I’ve been in the SCA for the past 5 years and in that time I’ve been made the St Florian Arts and Sciences officer and won one championship for Arts and Sciences. I don’t sew often, if I do I tend to make either dolls clothes or more modern clothing (1960s). In the SCA I do bookbinding and heavy fighting as well as embroidery, leatherworking, and illumination. My SCA persona is a 16th Century Landsknetch, so it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that my company could have travelled to Russia. I’m looking forwards to the challenge that making a costume like this will entail.
Her Project: I’m planning on making a 16th Century Russian court ensemble. I’m basing this piece off of a painting of Anastasia Romanovna, first wife of Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible). Her clothes indicate the high court clothing that I’ve been looking to make. It’s an outfit I’ve wanted to make for a while, high court Russian were heavily headed and carried fair amounts of gold and silver in their clothes as well as accessories. I intend to include parts of my heraldry in both my clothes and accessories.
About Claricia: I have been in the SCA for 10 years now. I enjoy sewing and increasingly prefer hand stitching. I have also done weaving, spinning, knitting and a little leatherwork in the past but not huge amounts of historic stuff. I do like to research and try to be accurate. I like working in different eras as this gives an understanding of the way clothes design developed. I am more inclined to make things for other people and just cobble together things for me. I want to use this challenge to give me a really nice set for me.
Her Project: At this point, I want to enter but I am unsure if I will do a new Viking era or expand into a different period. I will be working solely from my existing “stash” so will use the rest of the month to sort out my best option
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 Edine : I’m Edine Godin from Innilgard, Lochac. I’ve been in the SCA since 2006. I’ve previously been a keen fencer and a bit of a sewer. I don’t make myself fancy court clothes very often, preferring lower-class clothing. Now I have a reason to make a ‘dream gown’ for myself, but I haven’t made garb at all for a couple of years and nothing structured for about five, so I’m feeling very rusty! The outfit will be as close to my person’s era and status as I can make it. The deadlines particularly will be a challenge for me as I already have a full plate – but without them, I haven’t been making time to sew. I’m hoping this competition and the community of people supporting and encouraging each other will help re-light my fire of sewing interest and motivation.
Her Project: I will make mid to late 16th century French noblewoman clothes reflecting my persona. Drawers, chemise, and partlet; kirtle in black linen with silk trim; green silk gown, sleeves, and headwear; and jewellery – girdle, necklace, and earrings. I’m basing the outfit off a couple of engravings, with additional portraits for some details. I wanted a gown in my new heraldic colours of vert and argent for a special occasion. I’ve been thinking about a nice court gown for a while but haven’t had a good reason to expend the energy and money towards it, as I’m constantly on a budget for both.
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.
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.
About Fionnabhair: I have been in the SCA since the early 2000’s and love my 16th C Italian clothing. I am self taught and don’t enjoy sewing (and am not confident about it). I would much rather be doing embroidery! I think clothing is a big part of one’s persona so I force myself to keep sewing. I also enjoy cooking and illumination, and love women’s dress accessories.
Her Project: I am planning a 16th Century Italian Noblewoman’s ensemble. At this stage I would like to do a dress, coat, undergarment and (hopefully) a suite of accessories. I would like to try and use mainly materials from stash. It would be nice to be able to incorporate elements from my heraldry, but I am still very much in the vague, planning stage. I have a series of similar gowns in portraits that I would like to base my dress on.
About Giles: I have been in the SCA for 35 years and remain an ok at best tailor. I will be doing more hand sewing in this project than all the rest of my sewing combined. I have made costume from Ancient Greek to late Elizabethan, but never this time and place. I prefer to make clothes and not costume, and this project will push that to my limit. I am excited and anticipate some epic failure.
His Project: The outfit is inspired by the portrait of St Matthew in the Book of Kells. Suitable for my current rank as a landed Baron, Irish mens wear from about 800. This suit will be the basis for a capsule wardrobe to attend Lochac’s biggest event – the Rowany Festival. I will eventually need at least 5 days of clothing. I plan on constructing truis (pants), leine (shirt), ionar (jacket), and purchasing historically reasonable accesories. I have wanted to make this clothing for nearly 2 decades, and the “right time” has never come along. This is a moment I have to sieze. much of my guidance comes from this work – https://coblaith.net/EarlyGaelicDress/EarlyGaelicDress12bw.pdf
About Honoré: I’ve been in the SCA for a very long time. I’ve mostly been a behind the scenes administrator, with occasional short timeframe bursts of sewing energy. I sew, I knit, I cook. This project is going to be developing a new alternate persona, so I’m diving headfirst into research I either haven’t had time for, or simply haven’t needed to do in the past. I’m trying to use stash fabrics for as much as I can – why not use them? Plus, with shipping the way it is right now, I’m not sure I have time to order from overseas.
Her Project: I’m going to build an outfit for a merchant or upper middle class woman in Prague, circa 1590-1605. I’ve been reviewing a number of extant pieces and some of the few paintings that are from Bohemia at that time. It’s a new idea – new persona – so I’m feeling the pressure I’m putting on myself to get it “right” for the first outing which will be Twelfth Night in Lochac in January. Where it will be very hot. And I’ll be wearing wool. Whoops. My outfit will be fairly stark, as was the fashion in Western Europe at that time. Embellishments will likely take the form of thread wrapped buttons, or possibly some black-on-black embroidery. My fabrics will be of the highest quality permitted for my class and time.
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.
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!
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.
About Jocelyn: Hi, I’m Jocelyn, I’ve recently become the captain of archers in my barony after only a year in the SCA. I need proper garb for myself and have been lacking in the motivation and confidence to start on actually making something as im really worried I’ll make a mistake that ruins the whole thing. I have done sewing in the past, but usually it’s just repairs or something small. I’m really excited and nervous for this challenge as it will be difficult for me I think, but I’m ready to have some cloths for events that are actually mine and that fit me properly!
Her Project: 14th century fitted dress and under dress with embroidery or black work on it. I’ve wanted one of awhile and love the flowy skirts! As it’s my first one, it will be more practical and so more for a working class person in length, but as fancy as I can make it in everything else!