28 February 2013

Look Ma, No Hands!

Well, at least not as many.  Lookee what I made:

Stamps! I paint so many lions on all my Caerleon stuff - and for other company members, too - that I finally just up and made a stamp to save myself some work.  These don't produce a finished product by any means, but they're a quick and easy way to give myself identical outlines to work with on a project with multiple lion charges (and there are always at least three).

Testing out the 2" size on a piece of scrap linen/rayon blend.

Vasilii's Russian Caerleon tunic, with two sets of three stamped lions.  This was the reason I finally made stamps, actually - I did NOT want to try to sketch out or stencil all those little bitty lions (2" high).  This took one stamp, one "second coat" of paint, and then just detailing with the red and black.  Done!


27 February 2013


I can't help it, I just have to say it like that.  SNOOOOOOOD.

I made one:

This is a big deal for me, because I've tried this four times before and never could get it right.  I kept trying to crochet one in the round - and I make a LOT of hats that way, and they come out just fine, but for some reason I just could not make a snood in the round without screwing it completely up.

This one's a square. :D   It's just a 16-row square (16x16 rows), on an F hook, size 5 cotton/metallic crochet thread.  Took about four hours.

It's hard to tell in the picture of the finished snood, but you can see it a bit here:  this "natural" colored thread (kind of a newspaper-cream) has a shot of thin gold metallic thread woven through it.

It's all sparkly and stuff.  <3

Yes, this is the snood I wore at the event last weekend with the new Italian.  Red velvet with cream cheese icing!  :)


26 February 2013

Allons Bourguignonne! O no?

Remember that red velvet Burgundian I inherited?

yes, this one. 

Well, in December, I got it all torn apart and ready to be made over.  I took the sleeves off to alter them, lowered and widened the neckline in the front, removed the collar and cuffs and even cut out a new collar and cuffs from some white faux fur I had lying around.

Carlo Crivelli1470
And then one day a couple of weeks ago, it went all Italian on me.

I blame the painting at right.  Many moons ago, I loved it for the amazing detail and pattern on the sleeves (click to visit pinterest, and a larger image).  Every time I ran across this painting, I thought mournfully of the pomegranate sleeves that were never to be.

Then I happened across it again while I was idly and half-heartedly sketching out some changes to the red velvet Burgundian...and I thought....wait...

It was already torn apart.  I made an Excel spreadsheet comparing the changes and amount of work needed to finish it as a Burgundian or turn it into an Italian gamurra (because I'm a dork like that), and realized that not only would it be LESS work than the Burgundian, I wouldn't need to also build a hat at the last minute before the tournament last weekend, but I also had some fantastic jewelry already made that I can wear with it!

And, of course, the pomegranate sleeves - which I did eventually cut out and sew together, but I had never finished them (I couldn't find the right buttons).

Permettetemi di presentarvi Maddelina della Sarta.  
I love this so much. :) 

So what'd I do?  I removed the sleeves from the Burgundian, and faced the arm holes and neckline with red linen.  I cut the top of the bodice , took in the sides and the back to fit. then pleated the top edge of the skirt and stuck it back on.  I also made a privacy panel to pin inside the front under the lacings, to make it look like there are more layers going on here than there really are.  

So how many layers are going on here?  In this picture the only thing underneath it is my fitted chemise.  I have that fluffy camicia that I made somewhere - but I'll be damned if I can find it lately.  I'm hoping it turns up before this weekend, since I was planning to wear this at court!

The silver lacing rings on the front are plain ol' aluminum "chain maille" rings from the jewelry section at the hobby store (because they were cheap and not crappy-looking);  after I took the picture I replaced the black ribbon on the front with silver, and tied the sleeves on with silver ribbons to match.  Here I am at the event over the weekend, Bjornsborg's Tournament of the Smitten Heart:

with my pointy almost-period tent in the background, with silver lacings
and sleeve ties instead, and all my pins and favors from the event. :) 
I had so much fun wearing this, and it was so comfortable, and I felt so nice wearing it, and got soooo many compliments, that I've decided that Italian Ren is my new love.  I can't wait to make some from the ground up!



25 February 2013

Nailed It!

So, awhile back I saw this on IkeaHacker.com:

And I thought:

  1.  That would be awesome hanging in my pavilion at events. 
  2. I have everything I need to make one of those for myself. 

And so I spray painted an old metal charger, drilled holes in it, attached some heavy jewelry chain to it, and put it on a double-ended steel hanger, and voila: 

I'm thinking that will either be filled with LED candles (for safety's sake) or a small basket of bread or fruit. 



24 February 2013

Blue Box the First


That used to be a banged-up old wine box that a friend gave me several month ago.  All the black "hardware" is just painted on, except for the catches in the front.  (The holes are where the handle goes.  The box came with a rope handle; I'm trying to find something of the right dimensions to replace it).

I have no idea what I'm going to keep in it, but it's pretty. :)

From the Romance of Alexander

23 February 2013

I Suck At Embroidery, But I Enjoy Every Minute Of It

I made a wee needle case to tuck into my sewing kit, to replace the plastic packages I was carrying them in before, and to negate the need for toting my gigantic pincushion around in my SCA sewing kit with me.

red velvet scrap, various "gold" (yellow) embroidery thread

interlined with cotton scrap, and lined with a fuzzy furry scrap.
Gold braided ties to close. 

I embroidered the vines on my sewing machine (I'm not
completely insane), then did the leaves, knots, and of course,
a wee pomegranate, my device. :) 


22 February 2013

I Am Altering the Dress. Pray I Do Not Alter It Any Further.

It's almost Gulf War, which means it's time for alllll the alterations.  This one concerns my red linen cotehardie with the navy blue trim:

This was a neat dress, and I wore it often until I (a) ripped the hem one day, and then (b) harvested the buttons to use on something else.  I'd since fixed the hem, but it was, until recently, still buttonless, and still trimmed in blue.

The blue was because I was going to make a pair of red/blue oversleeves to wear with this, but I never got around to it.

I stripped off the blue trim and replaced it with red linen to match the body of the dress, replaced the gold buttons with silver ones I took off the Ikea Cotehardie, and then trimmed the neckline and sleeves with faux fur!

The fur's awfully rumply in this pic, I apologize.  It's cut from a brown faux fur blanket I bought on clearance at Target last year for six dollars....and then promptly lost.  It was in one of my fabric boxes the whole time.  So it's a bit smushed.  A quick run through the dryer will fluff it right back up again, though.




21 February 2013

It's That Time Again!

Underwear time!  I made one of these:

Or rather....

It's basically just the "Medieval Sports Bra" with a skirt.   I loved the bra I made in September;  so much so that I've made myself two others, and now this thing.

This one is made of a very lightweight, loosely-woven cotton - practically gauze, it's so sheer (hence the pants, in the picture).

I've seen a lot of people lacing these things on the side;  I have rotator cuff issues in both shoulders, so side-lacing is really difficult for me, hehe.  Hence the front-lace.  :)



20 February 2013

Yea, and A Purse To Put It Into

If you've been reading, you know I'm [still] in the middle of embroidering two purses for myself.  There's no deadline there;  they're my "sitting around at an event and need something to do with my hands" projects.

But I DID need a new purse.  The one I had was just a big circle with a drawstring, made out of a scrap of red polyester microfiber.  I loved the shape and size, and ease of use.  I did not love that it was falling apart, because I carry it everywhere.

So, last night, after altering *two* dresses to fit, and finishing a third (more on all three later this week), I replaced my worn red circle-pouch with a new one:

This one's BRIGHT RED cotton velveteen, given to me by a friend, with a plain white cord drawstring, and machine embroidered, just for a little extra sumpn-sumpn.

That took a long.    freaking.    time.


As I said, I'll have clothing updates soon.   Also, this weekend is the Tournament of the Smitten Heart, in Bjornsborg.  Will I remember to take pictures this time?  ***drumroll***


19 February 2013

Plastic No More: Priceless

How does one turn this....

encampment of Le Chateau Rose,
of theWest Kingdom, via Pinterest
Into this? 

Well, for starters, we get rid of the blue plastic cover on that EZ-Up shade canopy.  It makes a great gathering space at events for me and my
friends, but it was awfully...well...plastic. 

This is a 9x12' untreated canvas painters' tarp.   In this picture, Daisy is helping me cut out the side pieces, by folding one corner of the tarp over to make a 9' square, and cutting it into triangles.  The leftovers were divided into 8" strips to use as the apron/sides of the cover.  

I sewed the four triangles together, then flipped over the resulting square, and sewed the apron pieces on, so that the raw seam edges were on the opposite side from the raw seams that attach the triangles.

Note:  all of your cats and dogs will think you're insane for setting up an 8' pavilion in your living room.    

This is my first attempt at doing this, so it took a little adjustment; the biggest being un-sewing all four corners and adding a 4x18" gusset to each one to widen the fit around the sides.  The legs go out an an angle, they're not 90º!  Derp. 

The next time I make one of these, I'll use this cover as my pattern, and hopefully I'll have large enough fabric that I can cut the triangular pieces and the apron pieces all as one piece each, instead of attaching the apron separately as I did this time. 

I finished the edges of the seams inside, then wrapped the outside seams with red bias tape  to add a bit of bling, and to help protect the seams.

It's ready for use, although in the future I'll be doing more to it - waterproofing it, for one thing, which I'll do at the event in Bjornsborg this coming weekend.  Eventually I'd like to make side walls for it, a second apron to attach with red dags, and something decorative to hide the legs as well. 

9x12' untreated canvas painters' tarp:  $25
8 3y packages of red bias tape (extra wide, double fold;  I used a total of aout 22y):  $10
1y package white velcro: $2
1 spool white heavy upholstery thread: $3

Total:  $40, and two days' sewing. 


18 February 2013


I finished my belt!

This is the buckle and strap end set I got from Armour & Castings last year, and the blue belt I bought last year at Gulf Wars.  It took me THIS LONG to find the right size glass rhinestones to pop in there!  I attached them with plain old superglue;  and I attached the metal bits to the leather myself!  Yay! (My second-ever attempt at "leather work").

Oh, and these:

A pair of small pins that I can use to keep my sleeves, tippets, and hoods secured.  They're just two buttons with the shanks cut off, a little red glass rhinestone glued in the middle, and the bumps on the medallion design highlighted with bright red nail polish.  I hot-glued pin backs to the back side of each one.


05 February 2013

The Problem With Experiments...

Is that sometimes, they just come out all weird.

Lemme back up.

Remember the Ikea linen dress, that once was gray, got renovated, and then dyed purple?

This one. 

I wore it to Crown Tournament a few weeks ago, and on the way home from the event, my friends and I stopped Waffle House (a longtime road trip tradition of mine).  They had just mopped the bathrooms.  Raise your hand if you already know where this is going.

I thought I got my dress off the bathroom floor in time;  I grabbed it the second I smelled bleach...but it was too late.  When I got home I realized that nearly the entire hemline, and some of the front of the skirt were covered in huge, white blotches.  

Damn it. 

I considered spot-dyeing it, but I didn't want to end up with patches along the bottom that were dyed differently, or overlapped, or what have you.  So I opted to lighten the dress and re-dye the whole thing.  Since this purple was achieved with plain ol' Rit dye, I thought I'd give Rit's Color Remover a whirl, since I'd never used it before.  I barely worked.  When I dyed the dress purple originally, I had to do it twice, because the first time, it came out all blotchy.  The color remover, it seems, removed only the top layer of dye - the dress was back to being blotchy purple again.  Sigh. 

So I bleached the crap out of it, hoping that it wouldn't ruin the fabric.  Thankfully, it didn't.   Here it is wet: 

And dry, the bleaching process finished: 

I now have a very pale lavender dress, with yellow tapestry sleeve linings.  Also, all of the buttonholes remained the same color, because I used polyester thread, which didn't bleach.   o_0   The fabric is actually quite a lovely lavender, and it actually looks good on me - and I'd keep it, if the color were remotely even, but it's really, really not.  

I'll be dyeing the dress again tonight.  Wish me luck.