30 December 2011

Более Россия вещи (More Russian Stuff)

With my outfit for Candlemas halfway finished, it's time to start working on Vasilii's as well.

You remember Vasillii...

We're slowly but surely cranking out more stuff for him for the upcoming war in the spring.  We're both going to need plenty of clothing for the week-long event.  He's up to here with shirts, and we're getting there on pants.

This red shuba, though, is his *only* court wear!   That's no good at all.

Radzivill Chronicle - 15th Century, via Sofya la Rus' website 

So, we're working on an opashen, which is a long (calf- or ankle-length) coat.  It buttons up the front, and the sleeves are nearly as long as the coat itself, and slit in the front so you can put your arms through the slits.  Opasheni were also worn without the arms in the sleeves at all, sort of like a cloak.

via Anglesey's online photo gallery

Here's a picture of one in the SCA, worn by then-king Vladimir of Atlantia...which I find utterly hilarious, considering how much he and Vasilii resemble each other.  I really hope they meet at war in the Spring, and that I'm there to see it.  "Hey!! You can't be the big blonde Russian,  *I'm* the big blonde Russian!"   And then the universe would implode. LOL.

Vasilii's opashen is going to be a soft, olive green "wool"  (it's actually a somewhat loose and fuzzy microfiber, which looks and feels like wool, but without the price, the itchiness (I'm allergic), the weight, or the heat).  I'm going to be using the brown faux-fur on it that I used on his shuba, as well as a gorgeous gold-and-black lightweight brocade we found that looks just smashing with the olive green "wool", in the trim and other little decorative accents.  I'd like to try to find some really pretty, high-relief braid to use for the button loops and bars down the front, and I found some really GREAT buttons to go with the outfit, with the Russian double-eagle on them!

 ♫  fabulous ♫

I also have a surprise for him, but since he reads this blog....


27 December 2011

Halfway There!

...did that go to a Bon Jovi place for anyone else? Just me?  Okay.

Well, the aubergine linen gown is finished!

yes, it's the same picture. I forgot to get a new one.

This is actually the undergown to the outfit I'm putting together for Candlemas - which I've hinted at, but never fully discussed, mostly because I've been angry with this outfit, confused by it, disappointed with it, and I've gone back to the drawing board *3* times in the past two months.  And I still haven't decided entirely which design to go with:

L-R:  short sleeve, wide open front;  bell sleeve, front laced;  bell sleeve with semi-detached shoulder and side laced

At this particular moment, I'm leaning heavily towards the first one.  More of the undergown's sleeves show, open-front lacing looks awesome on me, and it will need a little contrast panel under the lacing on the outer layer (so as to cut down on the visually-confusing effect of two layers of lacing, while still allowing the lacing on the aubergine gown underneath to show at the top)...and I love those. :)  

In any case, the overgown is a forest green linen.  I think it'll look smashing with the aubergine underneath.  I suppose I'd better at least start cutting it out, since Candlemas is in *checks calendar* like 42 days.  o_o

Fabric-store.com's softened emerald


DIY In Mundania, and This Week's Projects

Look, I made over my sewing room over Christmas weekend!!

Most of the work I did was in re-painting the room, the furniture, the shelves, and the closet; and in re-making my loooong sewing table.

Before + After, and lots more pics and info over at my other blog, where I keep all the DIY stuff.  :) 

Meanwhile, turns out, I loved the beige linen I used in the sewing room for the curtains so much, and had so much left over, that I'm working on a new shirt for Vasilii:

And I've been working on a plain gown for myself, in a really pretty, soft, aubergine linen (which is going to be the undergown for my outfit for Candlemas, though it can be worn on its own).  It's nearly done; all I have left to do is finish the embroidery on one sleeve and attach it, and it'll be ready to wear.  


And I'm still working on the embroidery on that bag, and I'm still working on the scroll I'm making for the competition in January, which I started nearly two weeks ago.  Eek!  


20 December 2011

A Pomegranate Project

The fancy, wonderful, beautiful fabric that I ordered - the one that turned out to be a completely different color than I anticipated (because, as it turns out, I read the website wrong), is seeing some action after all.

It's gorgeous, and it feels so silky and soft.  It's linen, the design painted originally, and printed on the bolt. The pattern, as it turns out, is also quite a bit larger than I'd anticipated...again, because I read the website wrong.  Those were inches, not centimeters.  Far too large a print to use for sleeves, and have them make sense once they were all made up.

However, I've carefully extracted a small sample from the main piece, and am making myself a new purse. The giant pattern lends itself really well (I think) to a very small piece like this, since it highlights some of the fine details that may be lost on a larger project, when looking at the entire design as a whole.

vaguely purse-shaped (this is the back)

highlighting the major lines

This embroidery is relevant to Sweet Pea's interests. 

Some of the interior portions will be gold, and green.

And beaded, too, although I haven't decided
exactly how and where just yet. 

The best thing about period embroidery stitches, I've learned, is that they're all very easy and simple...which are the only kind I can actually *do*.  Heh.

More news as the situation develops.


19 December 2011

November Month In Review, and Some Shiny Stuff

Late again!  At least I remembered.

November In Review:
  • Events: Tournament of the Cross/Three Orders in Rosenfeld
  • green velvet sleeves
  • painted/link sewing kit box
  • white linen braies
  • navy sleeves w/ cloth buttons
  • fancy pomegranate fabric ordered, rec'd, and wrong (not really, I'm just a dipsh*t)
  • brown liripipe hood
  • red côte/navy trim

Meanwhile, after a full day of fabric and hobby shopping Saturday (hee), I washed some gorgeous eggplant-colored fabric that I brought home, and threw together some jewelry components (the pendant and chain, and the earring drops were new; the rest of the hardware and beads I already had).  Candlemas Outfit Draft #4 is officially underway!  :) 

inspired in part by the necklace Inara wears
in the Firefly episode "Jaynestown"   :o)


16 December 2011

They See Me Scrollin'...

ey, guess what I did last night?  I painted a scroll!  I'd never done it before.  A friend of mine recently obtained a stack of pre-inked scrolls from a workshop, that just needed to be colored in with paints, so we sat down together this week and painted a couple. 

The scroll I painted was an Iris of Merit - so, no pressure or anything!  It's an Italian white-vine illumination design, which I'd never even heard of before (not being an actual scribe), but which I find absolutely gorgeous.  It was so fun, I took a second scroll home with me to paint over the weekend (a Rising Star, for up-and-coming minors of the kingdom).

design by Mistress Zenaida;
calligraphy by Thorbjorn Nordstrom of Bryn Gwlad

I'd always been sort of interested in doing scrolls, in a "Yeah, sure, sounds neat...if I ever get the time to learn a new hobby" kind of way.  I HAD SO MUCH FUN DOING THIS!  I'm very, very new at anything remotely scribal, but reading the "about" information on the bottom of the scroll sheets was fascinating.  This one says gives information about classic white vine coloration and suggested variation, and also says that the Gothic-style calligraphy, while contemporary to this style of illumination, was not normally used on actual white-vine scrolls.

The gold paint. I heart it so much. 

There was actually a scroll idea I had a couple of months ago that I'd put on the back burner while I tended to more immediate projects that is now floating around in my head again.  Rather violently.  (Yes, violent floating. Just go with it).  

And I just found out that there's an original scroll competition at Steppes' Twelfth Night in January!  I am SO entering that!

To the art supplies store!  *WHOOSH* 


15 December 2011

Finished Hood!

...Er, two weeks ago, actually, but for some reason I forgot to post this.

Crappy pic of me; great shot of the hood.
Even though it's all rumply from sitting in a pile. Oops.

Yes, I do have three articles of clothing now
with these same buttons.  Hand-stitched front edge
where the lining is sewn into the outside shell.  

Hard to see in this pic, but, there's hand-sewn top stitching here,
too.  While the inner/body seams were machined, I did all the finish
and top-stitching by hand, to give the hood the appearance of
having been all hand-made.   


14 December 2011

The Green Experiment

I write this post late afternoon at work, on the last uber-busy Monday in a set of three.  I'm stuck waiting for things to print so that I can continue...and I find myself in need of a brain break.  SO.

In preparation for the fabulosity I have planned for Candlemas, outfit-wise, I whomped up a little sumpn-sumpn yesterday afternoon, in a mad frenzy of boredom and extra fabric.  There was a pattern alteration I'd been avoiding for two weeks, just sure it would take me at least that long to get it right.  I started yesterday on a whim...and finished the pattern in about fifteen minutes!  Yay!

All I did was take my stock côtehardie pattern and adapt the shoulder seams and shaping to a new line.  One more like the seams and neckline on this:

I love the eyelet arrangement, too! 

And here's how I did it:

(click for bigger)

The next step was to try the pattern with something wearable, to make sure it would function, so I grabbed a green sheet I had laying around that I bought a while back to use for linings or cheap, casual garb, and banged out a plain, casual dress.

front fit + shoulder seam

It's alright, serviceable even; though I think I'll play with the exact shape of the neckline some more.

So that's something else out of the way, as far as Candlemas planning goes:  the pattern is figured out, and I have nearly all the fabric I'll need.  I'm still not entirely sure where to go with the over-sleeves, since the fabric I ordered turned out to be the wrong color, but I'm working on that one.

We shall see.


13 December 2011

Yule Revel

Have something new finished to show you...as soon as I get pictures taken.

In the meantime, here's a better shot of that black côte (with my new white under-gown) at the Yule Revel last weekend.

Vasilii & I, late in the evening after the
headgear came off for the dancing. 


09 December 2011

A Herd of Boxen

At the aforementioned Yule Revel last weekend, we had a Largesse Competition, wherein each contestant made or otherwise provided a set of five things.  They could be five of the same thing, five related, or completely un-related things.  The person who's set was chosen as the winning entry got to choose an item from the entire table as her/his prize, and all the rest of the items went to fill the Barony's coffers, to be given out  by the Baron and Baroness as largesse and gifts to members of the populace in the coming year.

What a cool idea!

And, hey, guess what?  I won! :D  For my prize I chose a gorgeous pair of earrings made by a friend for the competition, in serpentine and pearls. :)

And, of course, I forgot to take a picture of them on the table at the event, so all I have are pics of them on my kitchen counter.

They're just $2-3 wooden boxes from the craft store, stained and painted with plain ol' furniture stain, acrylic craft paints, a Sharpie marker, a gold paint pen, a stain touch-up pen, and a can of matte-finish spray-sealant.

done, on my kitchen counter last week

the insides, painted

my favorite one, stain-penned border & sharpie/paint vines

second-favorite, design inspired by this 

gold paint marker + sharpie

stain pen wood tones

And of course, one had to be the Star of Ansteorra  :o) 

P.S. - Interested in seeing a video of the choral and musical performance I was a part of at the event?  It's on the blog I keep for the Choral Guild: http://bryngwlad-choir.blogspot.com/2011/12/yule-revel-performance-video.html


08 December 2011

More Underwear!

I love underwear. I really do.  This week it was a long-sleeved, front-laced chemise.  And it bugs me to no end that after searching for HOURS online, I can't seem to find the single painting from the 15th century that depicts this thing that I made from memory of the painting.  (Read: "I have documentation, I just don't have it with me, Officer").  I thought I bookmarked that thing!!


You can see why I'm trying to find at least the one picture I know of that shows an example of this style of chemise or under-gown. I've found plenty that depict a tightly fitted [sleeveless] chemise, but I can't find the *one* picture I know I've seen where one had a short lacing placket down the front like this, as well as the long sleeves.  It's out there somewhere. Laughing at me.

It's looser in the skirt than most, and longer; the sleeves are long and fitted; and the front is laced tight under and across the bust.  Not as supportive and constricting as a côtehardie, but enough to, well, help, and it fits nicely and smoothly under a buttoned côte.

I'm not sure if there's a better term than "under-gown", but that's it's function.  I have a plain, sleeveless chemise that works just fine for what it is, but I wanted one that could double as a true foundation layer and not just a layer of fabric between my dress and me.

And guess what?  Also this:

WHAT  A  PAIN  IN  THE   BUTT!  I decided to try hand-stitching eyelets on this thing, one, because I hadn't ever done it before, and two, because I'm thinking of lacing an actual kirtle with hand-stitched eyelets on a future gown...and now I'm seriously re-thinking that.  Pain. In. Thebutt.

The chemise is a soft, lightweight cotton...a sheet from a thrift store, actually.  It's not really sheer, but you can see in the shoulder seams and the edging around the neckline that it's not entirely opaque, either.

I put a boring ol' lettuce edge along the end of the sleeve cuffs, so that when it does show, it's decorative, though simple, without adding a bulky cuff hem underneath another sleeve worn over it.

I've learned two things from this project:

  1. I want more period underwear. 
  2. I think I'm going to have to have a white côtehardie one day.  I wonder if I could actually wear one for any length of time without spilling stuff on it. 



05 December 2011


The fabric I was waiting for showed up over the weekend!  It's gorgeous. It's a heavy, upholstery-grade woven linen, and it's SO soft and supple and silky.

It's also the wrong color.

The fabric I ordered, I thought, was a cranberry-pink-gold-brown design on a white or off-white background.  The website description called the background "wheat"...but all the pictures looked off-white to me, except for one, which I thought was just a photo exposure thing.  Because I'm an idiot.

Turns out that the yellow-y picture was the only one with the correct color:  the background of the fabric is a lovely, golden-brown, cafe-latté ...wheat...sort of shade, which, don't get me wrong, is absolutely gorgeous...but it's also horrible for my skin tone.

Which honestly wouldn't matter--because I do like it just the way it is--except that it was for a pair of sleeves.  Will they be close enough to my face/shoulders to make my skin look horrible, as I suspect they will?  Or will the shoulder and neckline of the gown they're to go with be enough distance to keep this "wheat" color from making me look transparent and jaundiced??

And if it's the second thing, and it doesn't work, what will I use it for?  And what will I do for sleeves for this dress, if this fabric doesn't work??

Drumroll, please...

28 November 2011

Pics or It Didn't Happen

Though I haven't had time to take pics and make actual blog posts this week, I am actually getting things done.  (It didn't help that I was deathly ill most of the week, which required a lot of video game playing).


  • red dress for Yule
  • brown linen liripipe hood, also for Yule

Next Up

  • A friend of mine gave me the most gorgeous white silk, tissue-fine, to use for veil stuff. 
  • I picked up a really nice, soft, white cotton sheet at a thrift store recently that I plan to use for a proper chemise/undergown/scooting around camp dress/nightgown. 
  • Another thrift store score:  a white linen blouse with a pretty embroidered edge that I plan to make into a coif.
  • A couple of period-ish gift items I'm making, which I'll write about here after they're no longer a surprise. :) 

The Big Next Thing

  • The next big event is a big one - our baronial Candlemas event, which is a pretty serious deal.  It's also my SCA-a-versary--one whole year! I'm so excited about the outfit I have planned, and I have nearly all the materials and bits to make it ready to go.  Just need to sit my butt down and get to work. 


27 November 2011

Meanwhile, somewhere in the land of lost packages...

So, I ordered some awesome fabric...a while ago.  It hasn't come in yet.  It's not cause for serious alarm or off-pissedness or anything just yet, but I am a bit concerned.  I emailed the company last week to ask for the FedEx tracking number so I could check with FedUp about it, but I haven't gotten an email response.  And granted, last week was Thanksgiving week, and it IS entirely possible that the company was shut down for the whole week.  So we'll see how it turns out.

FedEx is currently standing between me and a fabulous dress.  We wants it, Precioussss.


Because hoodies are cool.

I'm currently making myself a liripipe hood!  It goes a little something like this: 

The Medieval Taylor

Is that not awesome?  I love it!  I've wanted one forever, but it's only now getting to be the time of year (here) where I might need some extra warmth at events. 

The liripipe on mine is going to be loooong - I fully intend to be able to tuck this baby into my belt, wrap it around my head or my neck, or maybe put marbles into the end and smack people.  Maybe. 

Kat's Hats
  I recently learned that this wonderful weirdness evolved out of the liripipe hood.  There's a way you can roll up the "face" part and leave the shoulder cape hanging off to one side and the 'pipe sticking out the top, and it looks like this. Apparently folks loved it so much they started building a look-alike on a big puffy stuffed roll - because even in the 14th century, your hat had to be more epic than everyone else's, hehe. 

Incidentally, while there is a proper name for this hat, I can never seem remember it in conversation, for whatever reason (it's chaperon, I looked).  Maybe there's a hole in that part of my brain, and it falls out, the way things do when I put them in the left side of my crappy old purse.  I have a friend who rocks a really fabulous hat like this.  I call it his Pile-of-Laundry Hat, because it makes him laugh. :o)

Mine's brown linen on the outside, leftover from a dress I made in January for my very first Serious Event (Candlemas, and no you can't have a picture, it was hideous).  

The innards are a light, muted blue with a bit of a jacquard weave, from an old set of sheets I had a piece of just big enough to make a hood with.  

I'm going to button up the front, but I haven't decided yet what kind of buttons to use.  At some point I reached the stage where I have approximately two frillion côtehardie buttons just sitting around left over from projects, so I'll probably end up using some of them.  Maybe the silver ones from my gray linen côte. 

Who knows?


23 November 2011

Red Côte for Yule

Tada.  *yawn*  I'm getting a bit tired of cranking these out, though they're awfully nice to wear.  Easy, comfy, warm when they need to be, cool when they don't.

Plain red...mostly.

The neckline and sleeves are trimmed in navy blue.  There was originally going to be a wide band of the same color around the bottom of the dress, until I started putting it together and discovered that I'd neglected to cut out *one* of the trim pieces, and was out of fabric.  Fail.

It's hard to see in this picture (phone + mirror = not a great combo), but the buttons are arranged in groups of three. In between each set is a hidden hook & eye.

Navy trim.

This is going to be my outfit for Yule Revel.

If I get time between now and then, I'm going to make myself a liripipe hood to wear with this.

These are the buttons.  From BrazenButton.com


16 November 2011

[Insert Stupid Pun Here]

Not much to post about lately - nothing terribly exciting, that is.  I'm working on a plain*, red cotehardie for Yule Revel + the choral performance, and plans for lots and lots of other things, including gifts, woodcrafts, and some spiffy jewelry.   Also a gown I plan to make, done after a Van Der Weyden painting, that I think is going to be quite the bomb-diggity.  I have to finish the Yule dress first, and all the other little things that are going to be happening over the next month.

* "plain," but with fabulous buttons, of course. ;)