Scribal goodness to come

Been working away at scribal assignments left, right and center. I finished one yesterday, which I’ve now sent off to be included in the fleur-de-lis shaped book which made up a laurelling scroll.

It was a fairly special bit of work, as it was my first Drachenwald Queen EzaBella Allyot who was being elevated. Unfortunately I did not manage to finish it in time for it to be included at the time of her elevation, but I had the design already figured out in my mind. It just took me a while to actually get it down on the page, then it took even longer for me to work up the courage to try the new hand which was used in the original which this manuscript was based on. Once I got over my own fears I steamed on ahead and finished one page. That is to say a recto and a verso side of one page in the book. On the front I wrote my message to EzaBella, and on the back I filled the entire page with illumination.

I don’t want to post photos before she has had a chance to see it, so I can’t share yet.

I am also working again on my big conscience piece, which is Mistress Helwig’s Laurel scroll. I’m just petrified of making a mistake on that, and so each time is a large hurdle I have to drag myself over in order to get any progress done. It is nearing completion though.

Then I’m working on a new tiny scroll which is inspired by Mistress Bridget’s work which was given out at Norrskensfesten in Frostheim a few weeks ago. She had made a tiny jewel of a scroll with shimmering peacock feathers on it, after a page in a Book of Hours from the Master of the Book of Hours of Mary of Burgundy. It looked like so much fun that I wanted to try the same style, and Bridget, being the person she is, helped me enormously and even sent me supplies to be able to create that ethereal shimmer. Now it’s just down to me to execute the style with enough competence to not waste good materials. I’m doing this on a piece of parchment, which I also got as an off-cut from Bridget. The original is tiny, and I am using the same basic measurements. Books of Hours were small enough for the owner to be able to carry them all day long.

All this flurry of activity will result in me being able to show you photos after Christmas – I think.

Three and a half summer projects

While I’ve been in the frozen north, I’ve worked on three commission jobs, and one personal sewing projects. All of these projects will be coming along for delivery at Cudgel War which starts one week from now.

The first one is a partlet, which is accompanying a smock, which I have been working on for a long time. I finished the smock fairly quickly, but the partlet took a little longer, entirely because I didn’t actually pick it up to do anything on it, and also because I opted for a more work-heavy way to assemble it.

The second is a machine sewing project, commissioned to create a wardrobe for Pennsic. I’ve been using the machine and made three pretty much identical tunics, inspired by the Herjolfsnes-kirtle. One in bleached linen, two in unbleached. I did finish the necklines on them by hand, because… uh. Because. But all other seams and felling was done by machine, in a very efficient manner.

The third commission project is a red wool flat cap. At Double Wars I had brought the red hat I knitted, because it’s been on my shelf forever now and I’ve never been comfortable using it as it was too big for me. I had asked before the event if anyone was interested in buying it off me, for a seriously reduced price, and one lady was particularly quick to take me up on the offer. She only arrived to Double Wars late in the week however, and before she was there to try on the hat, someone else approached me asking if I could make them a red hat. I said  that of course I could, and I even had one red hat finished with me which was for sale. If the lady would end up not wanting it after trying it on I had a taker as the gentleman tried on the knitted hat and was much pleased with it. In the end the first lady snatched up the hat, and was (jokingly) called hat-stealer for the last two days of Double Wars.

wpid-20140704_204456.jpgSo I took a head measurement by means of a string, lost the string before leaving the event, and took delivery of half a meter of red wool from the gentleman to make a sewn flat cap for delivery at Double Wars. wpid-20140704_204639.jpgWith the measurement I drew out a circle, made two discs an appropriate depth which I stitched together along the outside edge and turned inside out to topstitch along the outside. Then I cut out a crown another appropriate size larger than the disc which I stitched in to the inside edge of the brim, making laid pleats all around the circumference. Then I folded in the other side of the brim to enclose all raw edges. I will advise the recipient to add a “sweatband” of either silk or velvet on the inside as well. Pretty much all extant flat caps, even for poorer folk, have a lining of silk (finds from the Mary Rose for example) so I will also recommend that to the recipient. It took me just under seven hours to make this all by hand, so I think I will definitely make myself a flat cap in the same manner as well.

wpid-20140704_204538.jpg wpid-20140704_204725.jpg

The fourth and final project is the one for myself, which I am also doing by hand. I discovered after Double Wars that I only had two chemises for my 15th Century wardrobe, and as I’m planning on wearing that for Cudgel War I wanted to make at least one more. Some of the linen in my stash went with me and I cut out a very simple A-line kirtle bodice, fairly straight sleeves with underarm gussets of a strange shape. No godets. I discovered I didn’t need them for fullness once I had made up the side seams. All seams are sewn up, and felled with linen thread, and the only thing left to do is carefully hem the neckline. I’m planning on doing that on Tuesday, when I’m going over to Master SvartulvR and Viscountess Elizabeth to hang out and craft.