28 September 2011

Василий Алексеев

WHEW!  The Fall baronial event was A W E S O M E.  I'm still sorting through photos and things, so I'll update about that soon, but in the meantime...

As promised, here's a quick run-down of the stuff I've made for my b/f, Vasilii Alexeev, a 15th century nobleman from eastern Russia: 

Vasilii's striva, or long undershirt (the neckline of which is not really correct; but e'll get to that in another post)...and pants.

Armpit gusset in the shirt that goes all the way down to the hem of the shirt (instead of just being a little diamond- or square-shaped insert in the armpit).  Classic Russian?  No. But it does give him a great range of movement for fighting. 

His shuba, which is a "light weight," fur-lined, knee-length coat, open at the top and closed below the waist.  Fur-lined? In Texas??  Hell no.  But I did trim the sleeves, hem, and front opening so that it looks like a fur lining peeking out.

With a faux-fur blanket I picked up on clearance at Target for $6, by the way.  Score! 

A close-up of the front button placket, trim, loops, buttons, and a tiny bit of the faux-fur "lining" peeking out. 

The "lining" is a bit thicker and fuzzier at the sleeve cuffs and around the lower hem of the shuba.

Vasilii can has hat. Same blanket-fur on the band.

While Vasilii's court gear is primarily red, black, and gold, most of his fighting stuff is dark blue.This is just a simple, long over-tunic, not embellished. We keep meaning to get around to dressing up the front placket and the cuffs/hems...



21 September 2011


While out shopping for fabric for a new pair of fighting pants and over-tunic for my awesome b/f Vasilii (don't worry, posts about his Russian costumes forthcoming), I happened across this jewel:

$3 a yard on clearance.  SCORE!
And the picture sucks, because it was taken with my phone, but it's a gorgeous deep red-velvet-cake red with navy blue and forest green  and gold.  Love!

"SLEEVES!" I thought, as I bought an entire yard.  Extravagant, yeah?  LOL.  No wait - two yards.  Now I'm regretting not getting the whole piece - I think I left like 3/4y at the store, and I wish I hadn't.

But it's enough for a pair of cool sleeves...

Rogier Van der Weyden, Braque family triptych 1450

Or for an entire bodice, if I wanted to do a kirtle/côte with a waist seam, with a contrast skirt and maybe an awesome kirtle underneath in a contrast fabric...

from the Moreel family triptych, Hans Memling, 1484

Or maybe the top (or bottom) half of rockstar sideless surcote?

 Or five tote bags?  LOL.  I have no idea. I'll figure it out.  :)


20 September 2011

The Black Côtehardie

Ever finish a big, long project, and think to yourself, "There, I did it!  Now I'm going to SET IT ON FIRE"?!

Local baronial Fall Championships are coming up (this weekend, in fact), and the event is kind of a big deal around here.  I needed something  ~*awesome*~ to wear, not just for court, but also for the choral guild's performance after feast Saturday night and before the theatrical performance set for that night. And since I know my tendency to think, "Look at all this time I have!" and then find myself sewing until 3am every night for the week before an event, I started seriously early - July early.  It worked: I've been done with the thing for over a week now (though I can't quit fiddling with it), and I'm not remotely stressed about getting my dress done.

I'm stressed about getting other things done instead! Yay!  But I digress. The point is: I love my outfit, and I can't wait to wear it, and I also want to SET IT ON FIRE because I've been looking at it for three months. There's got to be a middle ground between working on something slowly for freaking ever and waiting until the last minute.

ANYWAY, without further adieu, some teaser process shots...

In 26 years of sewing, and over a decade's worth of costuming, somehow I'd NEVER made a *supportive* garment from scratch. Ever tried draping/body-blocking yourself without help? It's not easy, and it's not fun.  But I did it!  This tutorial website was a HUGE help, by the way, so, big thank-yous to them/her. :)  

(And actually, this first draft was wrong, wrong, wrong, and I had to start over and do a second one - but this one has camo shorts in it, so, your argument is invalid. ;)

Body/sleeves seamed together, but not finished in any way - those are pins holding the front closed, while I checked fit.  Which I had to do a LOT over the last few months as I made this, since between July and this week I've lost about ten pounds and gained some muscles I didn't have before.  It's been weird.

The gown itself is a plain ol' 15thC côtehardie.  Black linen with a woven textural stripe.  Straight front and back skirt with wide gores - 2 each side, and 1 in the back.

It's lined with Random Blue Cotton (TM) that I had lying around the craft room, and trimmed with a forest green "velvet" (velour).

This is me checking button placement. Obviously.

While the actual côte has short sleeves on it (they're not adjusted for length yet in the pic above); the "real" sleeves for the gown are separate, full-length sleeves that will be pinned to the shoulders of the dress with decorative pins.Because I. Love. Pinned. Sleeves.

The embroidery - just dashes and dots, which prompted my boyfriend to ask me if it was Morse code - is simple, which is really all I can do, because I hate embroidering with a red, bloody passion because I suck at it and it makes my stupid arthritis flare up like whoa.  But it's simple, and sparkly, which is exactly what I wanted.  :)
 At the time I took this picture, this was the most shit I'd ever had on my head at one time. The fabric is an ivory faux-silk, which has, since this picture, been hemmed in silver and gold thread and beaded with tiny pearls. Because: bling.

<--  bling!

And no, I don't have any "after" pictures of me in the complete outfit.  You'll just have to wait until after the event to see the whole thing.  :D

To be continued...


19 September 2011

And Away We Go!

Welcome to my new blog!  My "regular" project blog was already overloaded with house-y things and gardening, and my poor little SCA posts were getting lost...and not all that popular with readers who were there for plants and furniture, either.  

But then there was a star danced, and under that was I born. Er...I mean, HEY LOOK, it's a blog devoted entirely to costuming!  Okay, actually, lots more than just costuming.  I also make jewelry, paint, build furniture (and hopefully a period pavilion of my very own, soon), and do lots of other things.  That's what this little corner of the internet is for.

So, who am I? I'm Madylyne Taylor of Bryn Gwlad, an early 15th-century Englishwoman in The Stellar Kingdom of Ansteorra. (m.k.a. Austin, Texas).   I joined the SCA in January of 2011 (so, yes, starting a blog might be getting ahead of myself a little bit...but who doesn't?).  I'm a singer in the local choral guild (for which I also run a blog), a member of the local early music guild, a sometime-archer, and, like, many other folks around here, I freaking love sewing!  I've been doing it since I was nine years old, and a good half of my total sewing experience has been with costumes, historical and otherwise. 

that's me!
So, this ought to be fun.  I hope you enjoy it!