måndag 31 juli 2017

The Princess and the Pea

This summer I tried my first hardcore reenactment event for the late 15th Century, and my biggest struggle was to find a proper bedding solution. As the organizers proclaimed that they were not able to provide straw for beds I had to find some kind of mattress that could travel easily in a car and still support my rather old and aching body. So yes, I had to cheat a bit.

I simply sewed covers for a modern foam mattress in hemp fabric so that it would at least not shine modern that much. And the covers can later on work as a cover for a straw mattress when that opportunity comes.

I also dreamed of making a pair of the very typical blue checkered pillows that we can see in so very many illuminations, but I haven´t been able to find the right fabric for them. But I did have red-checkered handwoven linen in my stash, originally curtains in my parents-in-laws library. And I did manage to find a few illuminations showing red-checkered pillows. The fabric was just enough for two ordinary sized pillows and I had two nice feather pillows that would do nicely.

My biggest fear was being cold, so I decided that just woolen blankets wouldn´t do and hence sewed a duvet cover out of unbleached linen table cloths from a charity shop, washed numerous times and hence very smooth. And then a modern fibrefilled duvet. And to top it all I got my handwoven woolen blankets, big, thick and very warm. With just my head sticking out, I decided that my striped woolen cap a la Albrecht Dürer would do nicely as a night cap.

And yes, I slept like a princess. Never cold even though the nights were very damp and freezing.

onsdag 5 juli 2017

Amber kirtle

I have for quite a while yearned for a very plain kirtle for working, with a higher neckline than I usually do and a wider sleeve so that I can easily get them up and out of the way for cleaning dishes and the like. I gathered a number of images on what I was aiming for and then suddenly I bought The fabric on an impulse early this spring, a thin wool in a twill weave and a lovely amber colour.

Some of my main inspirations are mainly three paintings. In all of them you can clearly see a front opening, the two latter ones also show a higher neckline and they are also very plain in model, no details like open sleeves, visible decorations or anything.
Detail from the Paumgartner Altar. The front opening here seems to be slightly bulging, an interesting effect that I tried to accomplish with mine as well.

Detail from the Schottenaltar

Lots escape by Albrecht Dürer

My version of this kirtle is not lined other than two small strips of linen along the front opening, to serve as a support for the hooks and eyes. They are placed evenly and with at most two centimetres apart along the front making it a steady fastening.
Detail showing hook and eye-closing in an Italian painting
My version of the closing, I choose a simple inserted piece of lining instead of lining the entire bodice.

The skirt is simple and fabricsaving, a twopieced front and a straight back with some small pleats towards the waist. And I made the bodice loose so that I can easily fit an extra kirtle under it should the weather be colder. The sleeves are a simple S-curve with a small inserted gore towards the shoulderseam.
And here is the result.