About Beatrice : I started playing in the SCA in Trimaris about eight years ago and am currently living in the Midrealm. I have a fair amount of sewing experience, but have only made basic garb in the past. I have been wanting to up my garb game recently and this seemed like the perfect time to do it! In addition to sewing, I do a variety of crafts in the SCA, including kumihimo, jewelry making, fingerloop braiding, calligraphy and illumination, and banner making. At events, I can usually be found retaining or volunteering in some other way. This will be a challenging project for me, as I have not made garb above a basic level before. I fell in love with Roman garb during the hot outdoor events in Trimaris and am excited to make myself some new garb!
Her Project: I am planning to create an outfit that would have been worn by an unmarried upper class Roman woman of the Late Republic/Early Empire. I’ve been wanting to make a new, nicer outfit for a while, but this project has helped me focus that desire into a specific project.
The underlayers for my Late Roman Republic outfit for an unmarried woman consists of a strophium (bra band), subligar (underwear), and subucula (under tunic). Because these will not be seen by others and I am entering the modern recreationist category, I chose to machine sew all these pieces. The strophium is a long band that gets wrapped around the chest, similar to an ACE bandage. To create the pattern, I measured around my ribcage, multiplied that by 4, then added a few inches as ties. For the width, I measured just below my bust to just above my bust. I used a linen/cotton blend I already had in my stash, but wool or leather would be more common in period. Wool naturally has some stretch to it, but linen and cotton will stay stretched out once stretched. This leads to linen or cotton strophium needing to be adjusted throughout the day. Because I was using up fabric from my stash, I did sew the strophium in two pieces instead of making it out of one long piece. According to written evidence, subligar were not always worn by women. Extant art suggests they were worn at bathhouses and while exercising, but they also may have been worn during menstruation. I made my subligar based on an extant leather pair found in a well in Britain. The extant examples available look very much like a modern string bikini bottom made of leather. For my subligar, I chose to use a medium weight white linen out of my fabric stash and used cotton bias tape for the ties at the waist. I drafted my own pattern using a modern underwear tutorial. This was the most difficult piece to make this month, as I had to get the fit just right. But I think they turned out well. The subucula is a simple rectangle and was easy to make. I used the directions from Dulcia’s Roman Closet website to create my own pattern based off the directions for a closed shoulder tunic. I used a lightweight linen from fabric-store.com. During the Roman Republic, wool would likely have been the top choice for the under tunic, but linen, silk, cotton, and blends were all available. My subucula is mid-calf length and I left the bottom couple inches separate for ease of movement.
About Flavia: I have been in the SCA for about 11 years. This is my first endeavor in making a complete outfit based on a historic piece. I’ve made bits and pieces before, but it all went with my old persona. I’ve changed personas since joining the SCA and I am now a Roman courtesan. This outfit ties into my persona perfectly. In the SCA I have done quite a bit of embroidery. I’ve also focused on teaching, but in recent years I’ve been away working on my mundane career. (Which is teaching.). I also have dabbled in the bardic arts, calligraphy & illumination, and the making of largesse.
Her Project: I am looking to create a Roman women’s outfit roughly around the eruption of Vesuvius. My inspiration are these statues at the Getty Villa (which are recasts of the originals that are in Naples.) plus a statue at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. I plan on hopefully including a strophium, peplos, tunica, and if I’m lucky and the metal gods are smiling upon me, handmade buttons! Oh, and a palla for good measure. I also plan in making a leather circlet similar to the ones(which may or may not have been leather…since it’s a statue we won’t ever know) on the statues.
About Johanne: I got acquainted with the SCA in Atlantia in 1991. I joined the SCA in Calontir in 1995. I don’t normally sew. I am known in the SCA for tablet and standard weaving, but I also spin, embroider, knit and practice many other fiber arts. My normal persona, for the past 8 years, has been 9th Century Finnish. Like many others, I occasionally time travel. Because I don’t normally make my own clothing, this will be challenging.
Her Project: I intend to make a Roman, matron’s costume based on an amalgamation of two 2nd/3rd C, Roman statues. It will consist of a tunica, a stola, a pala and a handwoven belt. I’m using linen for the tunica; a lovely, textured cotton for the stola; a light-weight, silk-like, patterned fabric for the stola; and silk thread for the tablet-woven belt. I already have two Roman, reproduction brooches I can wear at the shoulders and a Roman style chain and pendant that was made for me by an apprentice brother. I understand that the materials I am using may not be Roman-period. They are what I have and can afford, which is why I am entering in the “modern” category. I hope to wear it to our next Coronation, in honor of our present Queen as she retires.
About Marcia: In the Society for Creative Anachronism I am known as Comitessa Marcia Dulcitia (also known as Countess Dulcia MacPherson) and I live in the Barony of An Crosaire, in the Kingdom of Trimaris. I have been honored to be elevated to the Orders of the Laurel, Pelican, and Rose. I’m a former Queen of Trimaris, and a former Baroness of An Crosaire. My most important role in the SCA, and out of it, is being the wife of Syr Turold Dunstan Arminger. I joined the SCA in the March of the Marshes, a Canton of the Barony of Red Spears in the Middle Kingdom in 1991 as a graduate student studying medieval and renaissance music history at Bowling Green State University. I was elevated to the Order of the Laurel in 1999 in Trimaris for my research, period music, and Elizabethan costuming. I changed my focus and persona to ancient Rome a few years ago, after the Board of Directors removed the starting date of the SCA. Ancient Rome has always been an obsession of mine, and I have enjoyed finally feeling free to truly explore and enjoy this wonderful period of history with my SCA friends and family. I have been actively exploring all parts of the Roman world, with most of my focus devoted to Roman religion and religious practices (especially religious practices within the Roman home), Roman textile arts, Roman food, and, of course, clothing.
Project: I will be creating the attire worn by Roman patrician women during the reign of Augustus and Livia, the first Roman Emperor and Empress, c. 1 CE. This will be based off the extant images, especially statuary, depicting Empress Livia and other Roman noblewomen of that time. My Roman persona is actually based almost a century later, during the reign of Hadrian and Vibia Sabina, but as I continue to research ancient Rome I find myself increasingly drawn to Livia Augusta. One of Emperor Augustus’ chief goals from the beginning of his reign was to restore Rome and the Roman people to their ancient glory. He felt strongly that the faith, morals, and values of Rome had decayed, and with it the strength of the Empire. He realized that in order to rebuild Rome he had to revive the customs and traditions of the past, and restore the faith and values of its people. A large part of his attention was focused on the public and private lives of the upper classes. Together, Augustus and Livia became the role models that they expected the Roman nobles to emulate. Livia, especially, set the pattern for the noble Roman matrona – wearing neither excessive jewelry nor pretentious clothing. She took care of the household and her husband, made most of the family’s clothing herself, observed all the public and private religious rites, was renowned for her chastity and faithfulness, and was known to also be educated and intelligent enough to become one of Augustus’ advisors. Ancient sources generally portray Livia as a woman of proud and queenly attributes who was a worthy consort to her husband – forever poised and dignified. A woman I would wish to emulate.