Group Members: Elaisse de Garrigues, Randulf of Oakheart, Uhtred of Oakheart, and Wulfric of Shyreburne.
Location: Oakheart, Calontir
About Elaisse’s Brood: I have played in the SCA for about ten years (with a long break in the middle as I changed kingdoms), and I hope to use this challenge to draw my family more into my SCA life. The boys (13yo Wulfric and 10yo Randulf) enjoy youth combat, archery, and thrown weapons, as well as blacksmithing and making pottery. My husband, Uhtred, has only been to a handful of events, but has enjoyed Cut and Thrust fighting, brewing mead, and blacksmithing. I am primarily known as a musician and bard, but I am also an experienced costumer and I dabble in a wide variety of arts and sciences. I expect this project to challenge all of us in many ways as we delve into skills that are nearly or entirely new to us.
Their Project: Our goal is to produce items that will better enable our whole family to participate in future SCA events. We plan to create a set of four outfits reminiscent of what might have been worn by upper-class Anglo Saxons in the eleventh century that would be comfortable and practical at a typical SCA camping event. We have wide-ranging and ambitious ideas about various “accessories” that we might attempt. It will be exciting to see which ones we get to and what kind of progress we make. Possibilities include: tooled leather armguards for archery, quivers, arrows, belts, pouches, shoes, mead, cheese, butter, bread or other food, youth combat armor, feast gear, knives and sheaths, a crossbow, an Anglo-Saxon lyre, and an Anglo-Saxon geteld canvas tent. These are all projects that I have intended for us to tackle for some point, and if this challenge provides the impetus to get a few of them done, that will be quite a triumph!
About Gianna: I’ve been active in the SCA for 4 years. I’ve sewn for a long time but over the past 3 years I have started focusing on learning how to construct my clothing using historical methods and fabrics versus modern methods. My primary focus is 1450-1580 Florence. However, I have a strong interest in Tudor England and Venice. When not sewing I dabble in tablet weaving and other fiber arts. I find Florentine clothing to be challenging and deceptive. All of the structure of Florentine clothing is created within the clothing itself, meaning, they did not have corsets or farthingales to create the overall shape and support. Creating the veste will require a few new skills so this should be interesting.
Her Project: I’m drawn to the elegance of the portrait of Isabella de Medici by Alessandro Allori from around 1560, Florence. I will recreate the ensemble seen in that painting. Isabella was part of the Medici family who was ruling Florence, Italy at the time. An outfit of velvet and numerous pearls would’ve been worn by upper nobility as I imagine the cost would’ve been prohibitive for anyone else. This is an outfit that I’ve been wanting to make for a while and have completed some of the pieces that will not be entered into this competition.
I will be making the camicia, sottana, and her veste (or overgown). The sottana is the supportive middle layer dress that will help create the overall shape. The sottana will be made it so that it can be worn as stand alone dress. For my 4th, non-sewing item I will be making a pair of chopines. These are elevated platform shoes meant for outdoor wear to keep dresses and shoes out of the muck and show off wealth.
I’m submitting a linen camicia which is the underlayer that was worn by everyone. Since my entry is later period I added cotton lace around the neckline and wrists. The construction seams are machine sewn but all finishing is done by hand (hem, felled seams, and lace). Once I can try it on with the sottana I may wish that the neckline was a bit lower but we’ll see.
I’ve made a upper class women’s sottana (dress) that would’ve been worn between 1540-1560+. It’s difficult to know exactly when Florentine women stopped wearing these because they went from being the outer layer to being the middle layer throughout the 16th century. I went ahead and made this dress so that it could be worn as it’s own dress or as a supportive layer. Bodies, stays, or farthingales weren’t found in Florence during period so all support and structure are created within the sottana.
The outer layer is a shot silk dupioni that’s either an icy blue or periwinkle, depending on the light. It’s trimmed in a dark blue velvet in a pattern that is fairly common for the era. The sleeves are also trimmed in the same velvet and feature a spiral design. The bodice and sleeves are lined in linen. The support and structure of the bodice was created by layering duck cloth and melton wool per the method found in The Modern Maker vol. 2. The skirt is stiffened with wool felt that I stiffened with 3 rows of zig zag stitching creating a faux pad stitch.
The bodice is side laced through metal lacing rings. I wove 2 cords on the lucet with pearle cotton which I then waxed (wax, melt into the fibers, repeat) to strengthen the cords and hopefully help prevent wear from the lacing rings.
About Zoe: I’ve never been able to be as involved as I wish in the SCA. However, I’m at a time in my life where I can make some changes and become as involved as I would like. I sew regularly along with a number of other crafts. I’ve worked in theatre, tv, and movies as a costumer. I love to try and work on new crafts and there are a number of them that I do and would like to learn, nalbinding being one that just popped into my head. While the sewing of these garments is not necessarily that difficult, I’m hopingtime will permit me to work more on my hand stitching but mainly I’m hoping to be able to work on my embroidery/embellishment and research skills with this project.
Her Project: I’m creating an outfit for my new persona, a Hellenistic Grecian noble woman during the time prior to Rome taking over Greece. I’m beginning with a strophion (basic band bra); a peplos and/or a chiton; a himation; and for the final accessory layer I’m still trying to decide between some kind of shoe or some jewelry to go with the clothing. While these are relatively simple clothing, I do plan on doing either some fabric painting or embroidery (my choice will be made when I figure out timing).