Intermediate · Modern Recreationist · Modern Recreationist Intermediate

Amy of Gleann Abhann

Location: Barony of Axemoor, Gleann Abhann

Category/Level: Modern Recreationist/Intermediate

Project Update Blog: The Enchanted Tower

About Amy : I dabbled in the SCA back in college, and I’ve been dipping my toes back in over the last year or so. I am very comfortable using a sewing machine on a commercial sewing pattern, but I sew modern and vintage styles more frequently than medieval styles. I have very little experience drafting patterns; hence my hesitation to attempt a cotehardie. I haven’t settled on an SCA persona, or even a name, but this project is going to be a good opportunity to test out 14th century Western Europe.

Her Project: I’m planning to make a middle-class 14th century European woman’s outfit for myself. I’ve wanted a Gothic Fitted Dress/Cotehardie for several years, and this project is going to be my motivation to finally try one! Due to budget constraints – and the fact that this is going to be a wearable muslin – I plan to substitute cotton for linen and wool. My first layer will be a chemise, my second layer will be a fitted kirtle, and my third layer will be a Cotehardie. My accessory will probably be leather shoes as leatherworking is a different discipline and not something I’ve tried before.

Final Photos

Her final thoughts on her C3 experience:

Thank you for hosting this!

I’ve wanted to make a dress from this period for about 10 years now, and apparently this was the push that I needed to actually do it. It’s not perfect, but that’s okay! I think part of what’s been holding me back for so long was that I wanted my first gothic fitted dress to be perfectly fitted. This one isn’t, but it’s done. Pattern-drafting is hard, and it’s okay if you aren’t the best at something the first time you try it.

Layer 1

This is a woman’s plain cotton underdress. The neckline is very wide to remain unseen while accommodating the style of the first quarter of the 15th century in Western Europe. All visible stitching was completed by hand: felling the gores, skirt and sleeve hems, and neckline. I’ve made this pattern before, so I was able to copy most of the measurements and tweak the ones that I didn’t love from my last go-around this time. The pattern came from a blog post on Reconstructing History. Inserting gores into fabric slits remains challenging, but I found a tutorial on La cotte simple that did help it to lie more smoothly. I’m happy with this garment and might consider investing in a more expensive fabric if I have cause to make another underdress.

Layer 2

1400-1425 France woman’s fitted kirtle. I’m proud of this dress because I tried some new-to-me techniques like self-drafting and flat-lining. Although I didn’t quite get the fit that I wanted even after several muslins, I did manage to get the front of the gown to lace closed. This leads me to believe that I was on the right track with the fit, but that I needed some more help, and maybe in a post-pandemic world I can get that help. I also wonder how much of that fit would be improved by using better fabrics (there are limits to what cotton can do) and more a fitted undergarment. The sleeves especially felt like they suffered because it was hard to make them any tighter when there was so much loose fabric from the underdress fighting for space underneath. Now I want to research more options for undresses. Also, as I feared, by making my underdress first, the necklines don’t quite line up and the underdress peeks out at the shoulders from the kirtle. I definitely don’t have time to fix the underdress, but I have some other ideas for making the underdress less visible.

I did cheat a little bit while I was making this dress. The most obvious visible cheat is that I used my sewing machine to sew the eyelets (technically buttonholes because my machines only sews rectangles). My second big cheat was applying some medium-weight interfacing to the facing along the eyelet holes to help prevent gaping along that front edge. It was effective, and I did enter into the modern recreationist category.

I hand-stitched the visible seams – skirt hem, sleeve hems, and understitched the facing around the neckline. I have no idea if facings are period, but I’ve noticed that flat-lining is popular in SCA circles, and I know that bag-lining is a relatively modern innovation. Facings are certainly an efficient way to finish those edges.

This dress may not be perfect, but it is finished, and now I can start on my next layer.

Layer 3

In keeping with the rest of my outfit this is a gown meant to be worn by a middle-class woman in France circa 1400-1425. I substituted cotton* for linen for budgetary reasons. The gown is simple and relatively efficient, I made the whole thing with only 5 yards of fabric plus the lining. *I say that the gown is made of cotton because that is what I intended when I went to the store. I had a lovely blue selected, and found a bolt that was nice and thick so I was confident that I could get my full yardage. However, when I went up to the counter to get it cut the clerk unwrapped one cut yard of fabric and then another, and it became apparent that if I wanted a single cut of yard I would need another bolt. I went back to the same section and pulled a nearly identical bolt of fabric, but didn’t look closely at the label. After pre-washing the fabric I went to iron it and noticed that it had a lot more stretch to it than normal, so I think that I may have purchased a cotton-poly blend. Oh well.

Drafting the dress was challenging since this was something I don’t really know how to do, but I followed the tutorial offered by another C3 member. I can’t remember his name now, but it’s posted on the Stars and Garters blog, and it was a 6-panel gown. I didn’t get the fit quite right, but I got it done, and that is worth celebrating for me.

The bodice of the gown is lined in white muslin, and I used the same fabric to line the hanging portion of the sleeves. the bodice is flat-lined, but the sleeves are bag-lined. The sleeves should be lined in fur, not cotton, but that’s not practical in my current climate, so I used something else.

I had time to make one lucet-braided cord out of cotton embroidery floss to lace up the side of the gown. I also attached my first aglet to that cord, which was exciting. Unfortunately, the gown requires 2 laces, so I had to make do with ribbon on the other side. Imperfect, but it holds the gown together.

Layer 4

I made a necklace out of coral beads. I’ve seen a few of these on portraits of women throughout Europe in the 1300s. I’m not sure if it was right to make an alternating pattern of large and small beads or if it should have been large beads and knots as is seen on modern-day pearl necklaces.

Bonus Points

Beginner · Modern Beginner · Modern Recreationist

Makenzi Dingman

Location: Barony of the lonely tower, Calontir

Category/Level: Modern Recreationist/Beginner

About Makenzi: My name is Makenzi. I have not chosen a SCA name. I was introduced through my sister and her husband, Makayla and Tristan Smith. I joined in the spring. I do sew regularly, just not clothing to this extent. Mostly repairs and accessories. I enjoy Archery, and am learning to be a scribe. I am sure this project with provide many challenges. Thank you!

Her Project: I am new to the SCA and wanted to create something nice to wear to my first event when they are able to be held again. I have loved the look of italian dresses for many years and decided to create one for myself.

Final Pictures

Her thoughts on the C3 experience:

This was such an amazing experience and I learned a lot. I can’t wait to do more projects and become for period accurate as I go! It took lots of Blood and Tears. I am thankful for Jorunna for answering all of my questions even though it was hard to explain in text and most of the time I didn’t know how to ask the question without showing her. I am also thankful for my sister, Makaylas knowledge and distant encouragement. Silly pandemic keeping people apart. If not for socially distancing She would have been a great help with sizing and stopping me from making silly mistakes. Even with the struggle, I can’t wait to start again.

Layer 1

My first layer is a modified Chemis. I was unsure how to make it to fit at first and so I pinned it to my size and sewed it. It looks nice and I am happy with it. I have learned since that it would be more time period to add a string and lace it through to fit on the neckline, so next time that’s what I will be doing.

Layer 2

My second layer is a 16th century Italian dress. I used a light green fabric for the skirt and a tough dark green for the bodice. I used hook and eye for the closures and laced the sleeves with a gold ribbon to match my first layer. If I were to change anything, I would modernize it a little more by adding inches and making it more easy to move in.

Layer 3

Layer 3 is a heavy black cloak. I used a fleece layer for the lining to keep warm and a stretchy cotton material to add weight and protection against the elements. It is very warm and blanket like. I cut my fabric into triangles and sewed each together before sewing together the layers. I am very happy with this peice and would even use it in my day to day life.

Layer 4

I make a leather square pouch. I used a white leather I was gifted. I sealed it with beeswax. Which originally stained it yellow. I then dyed it black instead. It was tough to sew together, I would probably use a softer leather next time. I used popsicle sticks, cut and sanded myself until the shape I wanted for the button closure.

Layer 4+

My final layer was a cloth belt. I used left over fabric from my bodice and a gold trim. I am super happy with it and this it gave just the perfect touch.

Bonus Points

Intermediate · Modern Recreationist · Modern Recreationist Intermediate

Roxelana Bramante

Location: Grimfells, Calontir

Category/Level: Modern Recreationist/Intermediate

Project Update Blog: All The Pretty Flowers

About Roxelana: I joined the SCA over 25 years ago because “the SCA is 4H for grown-ups” first as part of the Mid-Realm, then NorthShield, and now Calontir. I’ve entered more than my fair share of competitions through the years and I really enjoy that aspect of the organization. I started in beadwork and have taken that knowledge to figure out 1520 silk flowers and recreate them. My silk flower adventures are all on my website. Years ago a made a Landsknecht gown for NorthShield’s first kingdom event and it was incredibly well received. It doesn’t fit me anymore and I really want to make something else that is that WOW. I have the fabric for it – I just need the motivation.

Her Project: I’m thinking Second half of 16th century Italian. Definitely late period high end stuff as I have a lot of silk available. I have one picture that I have always wanted to recreate and I’m thinking now is the time. I’m really not into the whole documenting (because I read everything and who takes notes so on future projects that aren’t even in their imagination yet can be properly documented?) aside from make it look exactly like the painting/original item. And I reached a point were medically I don’t have many good years left to do the kind of detail work I would like to do.

Final Photos

Her final thoughts on her C3 experience:

I am so grateful for this challenge because it gave me the gumption to create the partlet that I always wanted – and once that was done I knew I would go the whole way! While I still have the final blue silk dress to make, because of this challenge, I know it’s going to get done!

Layer 1

Chemise – the very basis of almost all female clothing. I have some rules for my chemises:

1. They must be comfortable.

2. They must not be reveling (either see-thru or open exposure)

3. They must not get dew-soaked so they should not touch the ground.

4. If I’m going to all the trouble, then it must be linen. And linen requires all raw edges to be finished so I tend to make as few raw edges as possible.

I have many chemises but the one I like the best is a heavy weight linen body with light weight linen sleeves that I never cuffed because I always have them rolled up! I had a happy accident when I made it in that I cut the neck too wide and had to put pleats in the neckline to get it to the correct size. This was happy because it kept the neckline closer to the bust and cut exposure. I have also taken to wearing bloomers because – way more comfortable. I have several pairs and I cut them in two pieces – left leg/right leg – so there is minimal seam. I (again) could not find the pattern so I made a new one. Several of the previous ones have no elastic, or only back-side elastic because I don’t have issues keeping them up. I did put elastic in this pair though. I chose to make this set with natural colored linen rather than white or cream because I was really liking the salvage and I already have lots of white ones. I cut the front and back out of a heavier weight linen and cut the sleeves and bloomers out of a slightly lighter weight. I cut the sleeves so that the cuff would align with the salvage and cut them a bit wider than normal with the seam running up the back of the arm (more historically accurate.)

I cut out the front and back, rolled the side seams together and machine sewed them. I pressed and rolled the hem and machine sewed it. I cut the sleeves, rolled and sewed them. I pressed in a rolled edge and hand sewed the neck opening and inset the sleeves with linen thread.

I finished the sleeves with silk yarn doing a gather stitch – It is good for now, but I might smock the sleeves or find some other solution. I like that it looks lacy but I’m still able to roll them up if I want to.

Layer 2

For layer two I made two kirtles: a fitted and a loose one, and a pair of sleeves. I did not start out to make two kirtles but after trying on the outer dress with the fitted kirtle I decided it actually needed something to fill in the inverted V of the skirt. Thinking to the final dress – I wanted something lightweight and airy for summer-wear, so I searched the stash and found some silver striped cotton and made a loose kirtle. I lined the front of the kirtle with gray silk and will eventually trim out the gray so I will have two looks in one garment.

For the sleeves I based the pattern on Margo Anderson’s curved sleeve pattern and, again, made them fully reversable so I will have two looks. One side is a wool/silk blend while the other is very golden. The loose kirtle has a space in the shoulder seam to tie the sleeves. The sleeves have a tie sewn in (finger-loop braid). The fitted kirtle is made with two pieces of linen (I know today’s looms are much larger than in period but I have so many issues with linen disintegrating, so I tried something new and put in fake seams.) All seams are rolled or fake. I reinforced the back opening with cotton trim and then sewed the rings onto the trim. (I could not find my larger rings and these are just a hair too small.)

Long seams were all done with the machine, I hand sewed all the edgings and openings. I made the finger-loop braids for the kirtle and sleeves.

Layer 3

The outer layer of my outfit is a Dress after the Florentine painting of Eleonora di Garzia di Toledo in 1571.

Years ago I made a similar outfit as a skirt and vest and I always had issues getting it on and off. When the two pieces are attached, the weight of the skirt will allow the vest to slide right off and will reduce wrinkles in the vest while wearing it. So I made this dress by patterning it off the old one that was originally patterned off of Margo Anderson’s Elizabethan Pattern.

I did not slash out the sleeve caps as this dress was originally going to be a mock-up for the final dress. I will be using the pattern I made from this one, as I think it fits really well, for making the blue silk dress. I have confidence now. What I learned from this layer will be put to use in making the final blue silk gown. (I have already dyed and put together the trim but I didn’t want to rush it to meet the time restrictions.)

Overall – major seams were done by machine, attached the pleated skirt to a grow grain ribbon (I’ve had to take these apart before and wished I had taken this step) and then hand-sewed the skirt to the top and the skirt to the lining. I’m not sure I like the closures, but they do function correctly.

Layer 4

So it took me about two months to do the embroidery and another month to get it all put together. It is after this painting although my proportions are not exactly the same. I wanted a smaller ruffle and taller collar which fits my face better. That may not have worked so well. I did it entirely by hand with silk embroidery floss and linen thread. Real seed pearls on manufactured bobbin lace and linen ground fabric.

 Most of the supplies I got at Thistle Threads which centers on 17th century casket construction and the embroidery that is featured on the caskets. I buy most of my silk floss there because she also carries purl that I use frequently and she is particular about carrying historical colors. All of the trimmings are accurate as well although some are modern recreations with more modern materials to keep costs down. The bobbin lace trim was no longer available in gold and I like silver better anyway so I got all trimmings in silver but also got the trim for the sleeves in gold. The red and silver cording I got two years ago and used most of the yard I had available. All of the silk threads (Ovale and Trame) were in my stash. The linen thread I picked up at Pennsic last year, Wm Booth Draper 60/2.

The ruffle is done on a singe layer of salvage so I wouldn’t have to worry about hemming it and I got it to ruffle using the pulled thread method. The base is done on two layers, of folded linen, using stitches I couldn’t name because I learned to embroider as a child. I did it all freehand without drawing out anything other than the boxes so I would get the spacing correct. I did not embroider the back/middle section of the collar because it should never be seen when I’m wearing it. The entire ruffle is embroidered with random flowers that are particular to me. When I hit the halfway point I did the same (similar) flowers in reverse so one side is nearly a mirror image of the other. I tried to keep the back of the ruffle neat and tidy because it is not covered up.

 I beaded the trim and then attached the trim to the ruffle and then ruffled it by pulling a thread, then I sewed the ruffle to the embroidered collar. I then cut out and hand sewed the base of the partlet and hemmed it all the way around excepting the front opening which was cut on the selvage. I attached the base to the collar, sewed trim all the way down both sides, and cut a piece of linen to cover the back. I also stiffened a piece of organza and sewed that into the middle of the collar as well (it probably didn’t need it but I wanted to be sure it stood up without issue.

Before I seamed up the back I tried it on and it fit well but I found it underwelming visually. I decided to add some extra trimming (based on what I saw in the painting and what supplies I had on hand.)

 I am very pleased with how it turned out. And this piece was all about the embroidery and beadwork so I’m hoping you will count it as my accessory layer.

Bonus Points

Advanced · Historic Advanced · Historically Focused

Sara of Stonley

Location: Shire of Hadchester, East

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Advanced

About Sara: I’ve been in the SCA for 15 years, though there have been periods of less participation. I have sewn most of my family’s garb from the beginning, but definitely have a love/hate relationship with sewing. I draft most of my own patterns. I love trying/learning new things. I have a tendency to learn new skills for a very specific project then move on to the next thing; be it skill, project, or what have you. This project is encouraging me to complete an outfit that I’ve been meaning to make for a 14th century themed event in Aethelmearc. My persona is 14th century already, but for this I will be “upping my game” with the details. I have done very little embroidery until the last few months. I will be incorporating that into this project. I have done zero woodworking or painting so the painted chest “accessory” is a big undertaking for me.

Her Project: For this project I will be making a mid-14th century outfit that will include (but is not limited to) an undergarment, a fitted kirtle/gown, and a shorter dagged over garment inspired by a fresco by Andrea di Bonaiuto da Firenze. My persona is typically English, but many of my inspirational images and pieces are Italian. I have a lot of possibilities in mind for my accessory layer, in particular an embroidered alms purse and a painted chest. Both the purse and chest are likely to include some heraldic display. The chest is intended to serve as a cooler but is inspired by several of the time.

Final Photos

Layer 1

I made a supportive, sleeveless, linen shift for a 14th century woman and some linen braies. Both are completely hand sewn with linen thread using a felling stitch I got off to a slow start with this layer because I knew I needed to draft a new pattern and I couldn’t decide which method I was going to use to do so.

While I was fussing over pattern drafting I made myself these braies because I want to try wearing some (for a variety of reasons.)These braies are a different style than I’ve made in the past. (I haven’t worn braies myself before but if I decide I don’t like wearing them, these will fit my husband. ) I patterned these from my hip and thigh measurements, adding a crotch gusset. And, voila! Braies! For now, the “braies girdle” is 1/2″ linen tape because that is what I have on hand.

For the shift, I ended up drafting a “close enough” pattern using measurements and then fitted the garment on myself. I usually make my shifts with sleeves but decided to try a sleeveless option this time. I chose to have this undergarment lace up the back because the next layer will button up the front and I don’t like the bulkiness of a button placket over lacing. It is currently laced with 1/4″ linen tape because, again, that is what I have on hand.

I used a 4.7oz linen that is rather sheer for both undergarments so the photos will not be of a live model.

Layer 2

Layer 2 is a mid 14th century fitted gown that buttons down the front with 20 self fabric buttons. I chose a lightweight red woolen stuff for my fabric which, to be frank, has been a pain to work with. It frays like mad and has a springiness to it that has caused some frustration. Unless this fabric performs fantastically, I will be hard pressed to use it again. But I wanted to try a lightweight wool over linen for summer. I started with a linen thread and later switched to silk thread when it finally arrived in the mail. I used a 12mm silk twill as a facing along the neckline and behind the buttons and buttonholes. The buttons are bigger than i usually make them, partly because of the nature of this particular fabric. They took longer than they usually do. I worked the buttonholes with a 2/30 silk thread/yarn. It is sewn entirely by hand.

Layer 3

This layer is a mid-14th century dagged overgarment based on the image of a dancer in a fresco painted by Andrea di Bonaiuto da Firenze. Since I could not find the exact fabric I wanted for this garment, I decided to use a piece of wool of indeterminate fiber content from my stash. (I suspect it’s a wool/nylon blend.) I used the basic pattern that I drafted for layers one and two, making adjustments as needed. Some of the seams are flat felled and some are just a running stitch. Those I ended up tacking down using a herringbone stitch (both to remind myself that I could do it, and because I think it’s fun to work.) The neck edge is folded over and finished with 2/30 silk in a blanket stitch. This wool frayed more than is desirable for dags so I had to stay-stitch all the dags, which I also did by hand. As I hoped, this layer worked up quickly. I knew that I would get distracted making gifts, etc., for the holidays and I did. I cut this out on Sunday (Dec.27) and finished it today (Dec. 31.) However, the fraying tendency of this fabric slowed me down. Since I had to stay-stitch all the dags, it took longer than I wanted. If I had more time, I would have added more embellishment.

Layer 4

I am submitting a 14th century aumônière. This one is done in needlepoint using 100% wool yarn on a linen canvas. It is measures about 6″ × 4.5″. There are two panels. One pictures a lion and the other pictures a griffin. It has a linen lining and is trimmed with braided yarn. This is the first (and so far only) needlepoint I have done so I used a published pattern instead of creating one myself. I worked on the two needlepoint panels in November and December while waiting for other materials to ship, thinking that I could use them as a backup if I didn’t finish my other projects. I found it fun and easy to work. At the beginning of January, I had set aside my cassone when I realized I wouldn’t have time to finish it. I then spent much of the month embroidering a different aumônière but I initially underestimated how much gold thread I would need to couch the background and had to order more because I couldn’t find anything locally. I kept hoping that order would arrive in time, but I’m still waiting for it. Fortunately I had the needlepoint in reserve. On Saturday, January 30th, I just had to figure out a way to stitch them together into a purse.

Bonus Points

Intermediate · Modern Recreationist · Modern Recreationist Intermediate

Soma Tyrvadottir

Location: Axed Root, Calontir

Category/Level: Modern Recreationist/Intermediate

About Soma: I have been in the SCA for 6 years now. My main areas are sewing, embroidery, weaving, and lamp-working glass. These were all picked up as a result of my choosing a 10th century Norse persona. This will be more challenging for me as it will only be the second time I have hand finished my seams, and the first time purposely creating a whole outfit on a deadline.

Her Project: I plan to create a 10th-ish century viking outfit. This type of clothing has been found in a majority graves and would be worn by a middle class person. I plan to make a serk, an apron dress, a coat, and the accessories are undecided. Most of the inspiration comes from Medieval Garments Reconstructed, Norse clothing patterns. I have had all the supplies and been planning it for a while, but needed motivation.

Final Photos

Layer 1

This is a basic Norse serk used through much of the viking age. This is worn by women of all social classes. The difference being the material for what we can still find. The only thing I will do differently next time is a smaller neck opening.

Yellow flannel because, well wool is expensive. With blue chain stitching to finish. I had originally planned a blanket stitch but hated the way it looked 6 inches in. So I changed it! This layer is a modification of D5674 in Norse Clothing Patterns. This is a favored pattern of mine for its simplicity and fabric efficiency.

Layer 2

This layer is the Norse Hangeroc dress. The pattern was provided by Mistress Thora. It is seen in grave finds from 9th and 10th century. This dress is 100% wool, which is historically accurate. The dress was finished using a stab stitch shown in the book Medieval Clothing Reconstructed. I did struggle with this stitch and it is less than perfect in many places on this layer.

Layer 3

This coat is inspired by the dresses from Medieval garments reconstructed. It is intentional cut a bit short to allow for my clumsiness. It is not hemmed, but a simple decorative back stitch. It would be a Norse garment from about 10th century.

Layer 4

This is a tablet woven belt! Yeah I know. I said it would he the coat but the coat is naughty so its the belt! This is 20 cards of 5 forward 5 back simple geometric pattern. There are many geometric patterns found in the norse and Finnish graves. This one is not specific as the original pattern I ended up hating.

Bonus Points

Historic Intermediate · Historically Focused · Intermediate

Yehoshua Ben Hayyim HaLevi

Location: Quintavia, East

Category/Level: Historically Focused/Intermediate

About Yehoshua : I do like to sew, but recently it has been more mundane stuff. Currently, I am working on a modern dress shirt and waistcoat. I have been in the SCA on and off since about 1992. (Last 10 years mostly off). I started in the Barony of Carolingia in College and received the Drachenwald Service away for founding the Shire of Ma’ale Giborim (Israel) which is now defunct. I am also the person who created the initial East Kingdom Website. I started getting back into the SCA about 2 years with an attempt to revive the shire in Israel and then when I moved back to the USA.

His Project: Still working on the details, but I am working on an outfit based on a group portrait of a civic guild in Amsterdam in 1588, based on pictures at the Rijksmuseum. The actual outfit will probably be a mix of details from several of the figures in that painting. The doublet and trousers will be made of wool (Colors TBD, based on what I have in my stash and what I can find locally) https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/collection/SK-C-378 My persona has been based on the relative tolerance of the Netherlands for some years. It was at the time a pretty decent place to be Jewish. I have actually visited the Portuguese synagogue in Amsterdam on several occasions, which was built about 100 years later. This is similar to the style I have done for some time, but will hopefully be done better.

Final Photos

His final thoughts on his C3 Experience:

Thank you for hosting this, I had a great deal of fun. I wish I had someone else to do a better photo shoot, but I didn’t have anyone local

Layer 1

doublet, trousers and hat, Based on various paintings from the netherlands in the 1590’s. Not an exact reproduction of an outfit

Layer 2

Off white jerkin with inkle woven trim.

Layer 3

Cloak, of wool with a modern fabric lining. Based on a cloak in patterns of fashion 3 (Page 30) Original in the German National Museum,

Layer 4

Chanukah Menorah, made from self drying clay. Was used for all 8 nights of Chanukah with Olive Oil and wicks. Also tried lamp oil which burned way too fast.

Bonus Points