tisdag 8 november 2011

Let there be frills!

As said earlier, I´ve yearned for a frilled veil ever since I listened to Isis Sturtewegens lecture on frilled veils this August, but other things came inbetween. But the forthcoming weekend I´m going to lecture on details in medieval dress at Drachenwald Kingdom University and I just had to have one done for that.

Said and done, I found my really fine linen and started by cutting out a semicircular veil and the a thin band to make the frills. Then I hemmed the band along one side as well as the veil itself (tiresome work).

I then folded the band on the middle, sew it together in the loose end and then started marking out the seams to create small channels. Sewing them took some time as well since I made them rather small (two centimetres wide).

Then I had to find out what to use to shape frills out of these channels. Making wooden plugs like Isis has was not an option, since I´m a bit short of time. But I found a cheap and rather quick solution. Earplugs! Just the right size, easily accessible at the nearest pharmacist and easy to get in place since they can be squeezed together and then reshape on their own.

So, just pin the band of frills to the veil and stitch them together!

Then I bought a large can of spray starch and got the frills soaking wet before getting the earplugs in place. The whole thing was then left to dry over night.

And this is how it looks once the earplugs has been removed. Now I just need to carefully press the veil and I´m done.

Of course this is not at all as lasting as the starched frills of Isis http://m-silkwork.blogspot.com/2010/05/finished-swedish-frilled-veil.html and Elina http://www.neulakko.net/?page_id=743, but for a quick project I´m really happy with the result.

torsdag 15 september 2011

Embroidery contributions for Gift Basket

Every year my SCA kingdom, Drachenwald, swops gift with another kingdom at this well-heard-of event called Pennsic. I have never visited Pennsic myself, partly because it takes place at the same time as my baronys biggest event, Medieval week, and partly because it takes a lot of money traveling to the States.

However, I like to contribute to the gift basket, since it is a way to show how many fantastic artisans we have here in Drachenwald. This summer I got the possibility, together with lady Lunetta, to emborider badges for the king and queen of Ealdormere, the kingdom with whom we swopped baskets this year.

I made the kings badge, a red wolf on white. and Lunetta made the queens, a rose.

This years basket has been mentioned on SCA today: http://www.scatoday.net/node/21260 where you also se the finished bags with badges as well as all the other contributions.

Drachenwald rocks in so many ways and I am proud to be a small part of it.

söndag 11 september 2011

We have dragons!

Just yesterday I was remembered about the closing deadline for the Guild challenge, 1st of October, so I have better get going! Since the gold work-experience during the Medieval week in August, I have fiddled with the idea of some appliqué in order to get a 3D-effect. I even got the very useful tip of just putting it on some small parts that really should stand out. So, diving into a basket full of small cloth scraps I found some more of the cherry red that I used for the heart appliqué. It was a bit tricky to get the pieces cut out right since the outline was fixed already, but well worth the effort. The head is all done, appliqué covered in red silk in split stitch and some bright green edged with thin gold thread for the eye.

And since I´m working with silk of different qualities the eye sinks in a bit deeper than the surrounding skin since the red silk is thicker. It is so much fun playing around with the materials like this! Now I just need to fill out the entire dragon with split stitch and then start on the hoard of treasures. I´m really looking forward to this since I´ve stocked up on jewel glass beads and goldthread.

torsdag 18 augusti 2011

Pouch progress

My first attempt at goldwork is now slowly turning into a small pouch with a 3D embroidery in red and gold. The embroidery consists of cloth appliqué in multiple layers, with edgings in gold and silk. I learned the trick of only fastening the supporting fabric in the embroidery frame and then stitching the top fabric onto this, thus avoiding tension and wear of the top fabric by the frame. I have mixed thicker gold thread (the center cross and the outer edge) and thinner gold thread (edging the heart-shaped appliqués).

This is how the back looks now, after the excess support fabric has been cut down. I will of course line the entire pouch in a steady linnen fabric so that the back won´t be worn by objects carried in it.

For finishing the pouch, I will either do a woven edge all around or a passpoal-edging in red cloth.

lördag 13 augusti 2011

Battle of Wisby 1361-2011

Today we went to town to watch the reenactment of the Battle of Wisby 1361, when the danish king Valdemar Atterdag won over the gotlanders outside the city walls. It was hot today, and sunny, and lots and lots of people watching. This is when the danes and the gotlanders engage on the battle field, the danes to the left. I found it interesting, being the first time I watched reenacted fighting like this, and just a tad theatrical. Not as much adrenaline and some of the participants forgot what they were doing and looked at the audience and the cameras... But overall fun and impressive!

fredag 12 augusti 2011


Yesterday was spent in excellent company trying to get the techniques of goldwork, one of many interesting workshops held this week in the Battle of Wisby encampment. Now the technique of sewing down the gold with fine silk wasn´t that different from other embroidery stitches I´ve tried before, but fun! And shiny, especially when we moved out into the sun. But I was inspired and will surely do more of it, and I got the tip on different ways for getting a 3D-effect. The one I´ve tried on the green is simply stitching on another piece of cloth on top. I will try also the way of stitching coarsely with wool thread and then cover it with embroidery or even with small pieces of silk.

torsdag 11 augusti 2011

Radio Ga-Ga

So, today I went early (well, fairly early) into town in order to meet up with the local radio that wanted to make a report on what is and what is not medieval in the dress of the visitors of MTV. I was called in as some kind of expert (hmpf, not sure that´s a good thing). But we had fun and some of the guys that I criticised came and asked about a million questions on whats right and wrong and what they should think about for future projects. The afternoon was spent fabric shopping and listening to Margareta Nockert. Interesting but not that inspirational as Isis Sturtewegens lecture yesterday. Some of my shopping today will most definetly be used for a frilled veil or two.

Todays outfit is the blue dress now worn with an open hood, more french than german...

Now sorting out what I need for tomorrows workshop - I´m learning goldwork!

tisdag 9 augusti 2011

Going 14th century

Today I will guard the camp for a couple of hours and since I suspect I might have to fill the lanterns or someting else messy, I picked out my best working dress. The dress was my first 14th century buttoned dress in thin brown wool and I love it!

måndag 8 augusti 2011

Finds from the market

Yesterday I sent my husband and the eldest son off for a trip out the harbour in the Hanseatic kogg. They were supposed to be away for half an hour or so, but the ship wrecked and had to call out Sea rescue in order to get towed back. They sure got their moneys worth, gone for three hours! And they had fun. The youngest and me went to the market and, besides some toys and trinkets for him, I bought this. Some pottery, as always when I find something I like, and bling for my belts. And the hoop for making a really nice 15th century pouch, Dürer-style...

New day - new outfit

Hoping that today will not offer as much rain as yesterday, I´ve chosen my fully lined black short-sleeved dress. Aiming to look proper, I put on my smocked apron, gefrens and double layers of white headcloths. I will hold a 15 minute lecture on headgear today at the local museum. It will be a speedy show and tell where the audience will be able to ask questions and look at different hats, hoods and caps...

lördag 6 augusti 2011

All dressed up

So, today the Medieval week on Gotland begins and I´ve picked the new dress to wear. This is how it looks on with all accessories, like white shift, green gefrens, the swiss-inspired headcloth, the Dürer-inspired pouch and all. I think I can show my self at the market without shame...

fredag 5 augusti 2011

One 14th-century dress to go

So, finally, at eleven minutes past midnight, I was done. And with still a couple of days to go!

This is a dress that a friend is going to use during Battle of Wisby, the commemoration of the large battle outside of Visby in 1361.

Sewn in dark green wool cloth, the dress is cut in four pieces with gores back, front and in the sides. The bodice and sleeves are lined with linen, and the lining for the sleeves is cut on the bias for maximal movability. Laced in the front and buttoned in the sleeves I´m hoping it will be a good dress to use for everyday work.

Since it got a little short lengthwise, I decided to do the hem with a band of contrasting fabric in stead of sewing it up. This gives at least two to three centimetres on the length and gives the dress a more elaborate look.

Buttons are sewn in the fabric scraps of the dress and lacingholes, buttonholes and buttons are sewn with a steady black silk that will hold.

tisdag 2 augusti 2011

A fitted gown in the making

Helping out friends with their wedding clothes (the wedding is soon, real soon..) I went to their home and completely forgot to bring my Herjolfsnes patterns for a fitted gown. But since I remembered Robin Nethertons alternative interpretation on how to make the "advanced" tailored sidegores in her article on Greenland fashion in volume four of Medieval textiles and clothing, I decided to give the method a go. It is really simple, cut the front and back panels, then cut triangular gores, as many as you want, and then you start fitting the dress on the recipient. We decided to make it simple, with two side-gores, and cut out the pieces in an old bed-sheet in order to get at pattern to keep.

When we were done, this is how it looks spread out. Doesn´t it look quite like the original?

måndag 1 augusti 2011

I´ve got a new dress!

So, even though I´m busy with commissions, helping friends and trying to relax a bit during my vacation I´ve managed to finish one new dress all for me. It´s a german-swiss inspired shortsleeved dress in dark blue and grey herringbone patterned wool. The sleeves are a bit to long, but I´m thinking of lining them so that I can fold them up a bit with a contrasting colour. The question´s just, which colour?

The cut-out is simple, a four-piece bodice and the skirt in four parts as well. Not that much width since I ran out of fabric, but it´s supposed to be a working kirtle for everyday use. The bodice is lined with linnen for support and is cut in a rather deep V-neckline in the back.

Now I just need to finish that lovely green 14-th century dress that´s sadly not for me. The details are turning out fine, just takes to much time!

I just might go back to 14th century myself after this amusing little excavation into german 15th and 16th century. Going to lectures on frilled veils with Isis Sturtewagen and 14th century cut and materials in clothing by Margareta Nockert next week just might push me over the edge...

söndag 1 maj 2011

Commissions comes first

In spite of the big event Double Wars getting nearer, I haven´t even started on my new garb that´s been planned for at least a year now. No, since I´ve gotten a large commission, this comes first. Six complete outfits, from three different time periods, all hand-sewn and should be ready like yesterday. But it feels so good to be making something wonderful and pretty and for someone that really understands the work and appreciates the detail and quality of handsewn clothes. And if I really get my inspiration flowing (with a nice big kick in the butt to get there) I just might make something for myself aswell.

I have however gotten around to make the outlines for my first dragon for the "We have dragons"-challenge (read more: http://dragonsembroiderers.blogspot.com/). Sometimes it´s not all bad when no-one turns up for an embroidery workshop...

onsdag 16 mars 2011

My new blog!

So, finally I´ve gotten around to create a new blog where I will try to document and show ongoing projects, mainly in the textile arts. As a member of the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) I aim to create beautiful things for my self, my family and for the society in general. My main interest is embroidery, which soon will show in the blog. Just now I try to get started on a new challenge by the Dragons Needle, the embroidery guild of the kingdom of Drachenwald where I´m a member.

The challenge is named "We have dragons" so the theme is quite obvious. My first task is to assemble the materials I will use for the first patch I´m making, a dragon on its hoard of jewels, goblets, coins and other precious things. Pictures will be posted!

I also have a number of unfinished embroidery projects, and in an attempt to find the inspiration to finish some of them, I start publishing pictures. Here´s one, supposed to become a pillow for my husband who got it for christmas some years ago. The technique is Bayeux stitch in a one-ply wool thread on dark green wool. What´s missing? The dog of course, that just won´t agree with me in how to sit...