Posts tagged ‘costume’

Checking back in…

It’s been quite some time since I blogged here, and I haven’t been going to many events due (mostly) to time constraints, but that doesn’t mean that all has been silent on the A&S front. This being AS 49, I decided I need to get up and moving on my 50 things project, and to do this, I need to get up to date with my list. I previously was at Breadth challenge #27, so here’s my list continuing on:

28. My songbook has now expanded to include 55 songs, some of which are period and some not. This has been a depth challenge for me (and will continue to be ongoing… there are a lot of songs available  and a lot of pages in my songbook which are yet to be filled in.) I’ve got a YouTube channel where I’m gradually adding content. Due in part to bad speakers, another part to poor microphones, and a third part to the fallibility of my vocal cords, the sound is not always the best, but I believe it’s probably sufficient for other bards to pick up a tune from what I’ve posted. You can listen to me on this channel:

29. My wedding dress. You’ve already seen the fabric, here and here… the final product was entirely hand stitched to my own design. It didn’t entirely work the way I wanted, due majorly to my weight (and size) jumping all over the place while I was making the dress. However, I’m (mostly) satisfied with what I made, and apart from some minor freakouts on the day and the groom having a broken leg (that’s a story unto itself), the wedding went well. I’ve since used the dress at an event, and now that I am fatter, it fits me a lot better.

My wedding dress, from my own design.

My wedding dress, from my own design.

30. My wedding cake. This was made entirely of gingerbrede with marzipan icing. I will admit to buying the pink flowers on the cake, but am particularly proud of my own marzipan roses.

Wedding cake made on gingerbrede and marzipan

Wedding Cake

31. A painted buckler. I carried it into the wedding. For those who are curious, the text on the buckler is not period. It is, instead, made of Tengwar and written in Sindarin (one of the Elvish languages from J.R.R. Tolkein’s Middle Earth stories). The text reads “loving twin souls” and “eternity”. Note: I did not make the buckler (which was rehomed to us from a heavy fighter who could no longer fight due to chronic shoulder injury), I simply painted it.



A painted buckler

A painted buckler

32. My wedding jewellery. Namely a strand of  black pearls, strung on silk, using a  toggle clasp.

A photo of me which displays my wedding jewellery

A photo of me which displays my wedding jewellery




33. A naalbinded phone pouch.

Naalbinded pouch

Naalbinded pouch for my love’s phone

34. Turks-head knot balls. I gifted these to Stegby a while back so the canton can build a children’s play box. I don’t currently have a photo.

35. Naalbinded bag. I make a lot of bags and pouches, it seems. This one became my token display area.

36. Bone pendant. This was a wedding gift for a couple of friends. This pendant was quite challenging due to the intricacy of the design.

Bone pendant featuring knotwork

37. Cider. My dear husband has taken to brewing his own cider, and so I have dabbled alongside him. Chief among my accomplishments is a dry pomegranate cider (yum).

38. Mead. I managed to find a period recipe for “weak mead”, which I have used, drank, then used further as a base for…

39. I am unsure what to name this drink. It may be considered a melomel, or it may be considered an ale: I used a weak mead recipe as a base and added barley. The result was dry, with a lemony flavour and a lingering but not unpleasant aftertaste in the back of the throat. I may try it again sometime.

40. Sekanjabin. This is a period Middle Eastern drink of  vinegar and sugar, heated until it becomes syrupy, and used as a cordial. I use red wine vinegar, but my father tells me it’s quite nice using apple cider vineger.

41. Embroidered handkerchiefs. Carrying tissues around at an event is (while convenient) something that detracts from authenticity. To this end, I have embroidered some handkerchiefs so that I’m not dropping tissues whenever I happen to have a runny nose at an event.

42. Illumination.  This was the product of an A&S class at this year’s Great Northern War.



43. Pilgrim bag for my father. Having at some stage read about Elizabethan era stitching techniques, and having a father who is about ready to entrust himself to the SCA and who accompanied me to Great Northern War, I decided he needed a pilgrim bag to put his feasting gear into. You can see the bag in the background of the below image. All fabric edges have been folded into a hem and secured with a running stitch, then seams have been whipstitched. I decided that, as the fabric I was using was unbleached calico and the stitches would be visible anyway, I would make the stitches become a feature of the bag. All stitching has been done in blue. I also followed this pattern with the strap, making the strap a long tube and placing the seam for the strap uppermost and in the middle rather than on one of the edges. I think this will probably add long term strength to the strap also.


My father. Note the bag on the table next to him.

That’s it for the moment. I’m so close to my 50! I do have a few projects on the go at the moment… one crewel work embroidery, a splitstitch embroidery, a blackwork collar, a girdlebook, and a carved spoon, which means that once they’re done, I have only two more items to manage for my list.


Breadth Challenge #26: Mittens!

I have, for the past couple of weeks, been recuperating from hand surgery.  I can’t do a hell of a lot with my right hand right now due to a lack of mobility, after stitches and a week in plaster left me with a stiff wrist.  Wanting to make sure I developed precision in my fingers once again, I’ve been reprising the stitch I mentioned in the last post (which has now been identified as buttonhole stitch), and have a variation which I’m currently looking up.  Sorry, guys, no process photos this time, but perhaps with my next post (which should be socks)

So I got through the first mitten, and started thinking about the way I attached the thumbs.  I grew up with integrated thumbs on gloves, so it seemed like the most natural way of attaching them, but as I worked the mittens directly off my hands rather than any researched pattern, I really don’t know.  I think I’ll be going on a research binge over the next couple of days, because I really want to know now.


Breadth Challenge #24: Trichinopoly

So, something new for my breadth challenge.  I first saw trichinopoly last year at Rowany where, alas, I only saw about 2 minutes of the tutorial on said subject, and that two minutes was without any form of comprehension as I was just waiting for my next collegia to start in the adjacent tent.  I’ve been wanting to try it ever since, but haven’t had any idea how to start.

For those who are left completely at sea by the five syllable word that sounds like a prehistoric sea creature or something, trichinopoly is also known as Viking or Norse wire weaving, or Viking chain knit.

Yesterday, I came across the Viking Knit tutorial on the Tangible Daydreams blog.  I immediately set to trying it, but ended in a puddle of disappointment and horrendous knots.  Knowing that it was my understanding that was at fault rather than the tutorial, I set out to find similar tutorials that put things into slightly different formats.  A couple of searches later, I found this tutorial.  The two tutorials together got me knitting in no time.

I am rather proud of myself for going the extra step and using my man’s drill press, which I am somewhat terrified of, to drill myself a drawplate.  Eight different gauges of drill bit gave me eight successive holes to draw down, and produced a very even finish.

Alas, my camera is pretty much dead, however I’ve managed to snag some photos with my i-Pad.  Sadly, the quality is bad, but you’ll get the idea.

Weaving in action

Necklace once it's been drawn through the drawplate

My only hassle has been with the clasps at the ends.  This, I think, will require some practice.

A last note:  In one of the tutorial links the writer made a note about the chain becoming two times longer.  This is not necessarily accurate.  I stopped my knit at 15cm, expecting a choker sized length.  Instead, my completed length of chain is 55cm.



Breadth Challenge #20: Norse Treasure Necklace

I was going to write this post yesterday, but sadly I was distracted by the charms of John Barrowman as I caught up on old Torchwood episodes.

Today I have no such excuse, so I’m pleased to show you my entry for the Stegby Feast of Friendship Arts and Sciences competition, Norse Treasure Necklace division, which gained me a 2nd place.

Norse Treasure Necklace

I had a lovely amount of online research I’d done during the construction of this necklace, however, it all sits on a USB stick that I appear to have misplaced.  Saturday morning, just before leaving for the 2 1/2 hour drive to Warwick, rather than just printing it all out, I was frantically putting together a short documentation sheet to submit with my entry.

I think it looks pretty good, don’t you?

A lot of my necklace is based on two images:

Bookmount And Glass Bead Necklace

Carnelian And Crystal Necklace

Click the photos to be taken to the page they’re from.  I’ve also referred quite heavily on the observations posted here.

 When I made my necklace, I did it in the dark.  Not total darkness, just enough to make it difficult to determine colour.  This was so I could choose beads without being worried about how much they matched, they were sorted into dark/light, size, and shape.  I also worked hard to find as many badly made beads as possible.  Some time ago I chanced upon cheap containers of mixed beads, which were awful quality, but fabulous for this sort of thing.  I have broken beads, misshapen beads, conjoined beads, beads that look like they’ve dripped down the mandrel, beads with bits on them, beads that have flat spots that look like they’ve been put down onto a flat surface while they’re still soft.  It was so fun going through them all looking for the ones I’d never put into anything else.  Then of course, there are the other beads, the ones made of metal, amber, garnet, amethyst, black pearl, jade, and put onto wire.  I like those ones.  It was a trial trying to find bits of metal to put on, but eventually I found a button I could cut the back off and punch a hole in, and an old, silver cartouche pendant that I hadn’t worn in years.   Vikings went everywhere.  I figure Egypt is a possibility for hacksilver finds!

Now I just have to make a heap more viking garb to wear with my necklace!

Breadth Challenge #17: A favour for my beloved

This is, sadly, the second favour that I’ve had to make for my beloved to fight in combat with.  The first (rather heavily embroidered) favour disappeared, along with his fighting shirt, from the fighter’s tent at Great Northern War, and has not turned up amongst lost property, nor has anyone responded to my plea sent out on the Shambles list.  Our belief is that it was accidentally packed with another fighters gear; one who left on the Saturday evening, or the Sunday, as my partner took a day off from fighting, and the disappearance wasn’t noticed until the Monday.

This left me feeling that I was under-represented on the field.  A ribbon just doesn’t cut the mustard as far as I’m concerned, he needs a favour that shouts out that he’s fighting for me.

So, I set out to create a new embroidery for him.  I have, in the time since the first embroidery was done, decided on charge and colours for my heraldry, and I’ve only got to re-submit my device (the first submission drew one conflict, so I’ve altered my design slightly), so I’ve used the charge I’ve decided upon, which won’t change, no matter how many heraldic permutations I have to wade through.

A token of my favour

This favour is made of a square of muslin, hemmed by hand.  A white scorpion, outlined in purple, is embroidered into the corner, and along two sides is a purple line of running stitch.  The favour was then folded and stitched at the back, so that a loop is formed.  This should secure the favour much more stoutly than my previous man-hankie sized one that simply tied onto his armour.  If this one disappears, it will be because someone took his favour belt.


Breadth Challenge #16: Hennin

I find myself rather suddenly in need of headwear for Abbey, my snood being elsewhere due to a miscommunication about garb I lent out.  So, last night I searched the internet for 15th Century headwear, intending to make something to fit with my 15th Century Italian gown.

I found the hennin,  many pictured on ladies wearing gowns very similar to the cut of my own.

The classic image of the princess wearing a pointy hat with a long, flowing scarf trailing from the tip is the example most people are familiar with.  Some hennins are portrayed as being conical, others as heart shaped, but the one I have made is a truncated cone.

I had absolutely no idea where to begin, so I searched Google for a “how to” guide, and found this.  Whoever wrote that guide is forever golden in my eyes, because it took me only a few hours to get a wearable hennin, and most of that was taken up in hand sewing.  After wearing it for the past 2 1/2 hours, I can quite honestly say it’s possibly the most comfortable headwear I’ve ever worn.

Hennin Components: clockwise from left, the cage, the sleeve, the comb, the scarf, and the U-needle

There are 5 pieces to this rather elaborate hat.

  • The comb, which sits around your head and is tied in the back to fit snugly.
  • The cage, which ties directly onto the comb.  This is the structural assembly that holds it all up.
  • The U-needle, which hooks onto the comb and allows for forward adjustment at any time you feel your hennin may be slipping backwards.
  • The sleeve, which fits over the cage and hides all that wire.
  • The scarf, to drape over the entire lot.

Me wearing my new piece of garb

The trickiest part in the entire thing is the cage, but a little perseverance will get you there eventually.  My hennin is slightly lopsided, but I don’t think anyone except me will ever look that closely at it to notice.

Breadth challenge #13: Sleeves

I finished these a few days ago, but I’m only just getting around to posting about it.  Sleeves, for this dress.

Sleeves for a teenage re-enactor

The pattern is fairly easy.  I’ve measured in 6 places on the arm.  Tip of the shoulder to the wrist, under the arm to the wrist, tip of the elbow to the wrist, around the upper arm, around the elbow, around the widest part of the hand.  Please refer to my lovely little scanned diagram below.

Generic sleeve pattern

This dress is using a detached sleeve.  This greatly increases its wearability, especially somewhere like Australia, where the heat in Summer can really make you wish you were wearing short sleeves, but the cold of Winter means you want that extra warm garb.

I’ve made the sleeves to tie on, attaching just once to the bodice at the shoulder, and tied three times along the length of the arm.  This should leave plenty of room for growth, offering some small amount of leeway for arm length and width.  Ribbons can be replaced, but adding fabric where there is none to spare is somewhat difficult.

I’ve also slit the elbows.  Hopefully this will allow her a greater amount of movement, teens being teens.

My partner’s daughter has been thrilled with the costume so far.  I have yet to see her with the sleeves on, as she’s been spending school holidays with another relative.  This weekend will be her first time wearing the complete outfit.  But the day she tried on the chemise with the dress, she didn’t want to take it off.  I think it’s a hit.


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