Round-up of summer 2017

I had the lofty goal of updating this blog weekly, but, as has become customary forgot about it almost immediately. I have, however, done a few things since the last update. I patterned, cut out and have stitched up a new basic black 16th Century kirtle, which I plan to make my basic base layer. It’s nearly finished, the only thing left is hemming. I had help measuring the hem (Thank you, Tece!) so I just have to do the remaining bit of work. The goal now is to have it in time for October Crown Tourney in Aarnimetsä.

An old project nearing completion. 16th century gloves in soft tan leather. Sewn with silk thread.

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Another project finished this summer was a pair of leather gloves! I started them in 2008, after having the pattern done for a while after a Sewing Circle day where we all made glove patterns. I bought soft glove leather in a store which is no longer in existance, but since there are two gloves I got bored and it took nine years to finish them off. I brough them along to Cudgel War, and they were gorgeous, beautiful and all things wonderful.

Signet ring and gloves. 29/365 #everydayphotos #bwphotography #lumixgx7 #signetring #gloves

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If I were to do them again, I would fit each finger to me as I went, as the forefingers on each glove is a little too large. There’s not going to be any changes now, though, they are good enough for me.

AntoniosBreeches

Documentation for Antonio’s breeches made at Raglan

The second really cool project I did was draft and sew a pair of 16th Century breeches for a friend during the ten day camping event at Raglan in Wales. I had a look at the schedule before we went and could tell there was going to be plenty of time for me to just hang out. Instead of just sitting idle I wanted to try out some more proportional drafting as taught by Mathew Gnagy in “The Modern Maker“. He is currently working on his second book, which will contain breeches as well as lots of other garments for the 16th Century gentle, and he has been posing lots of pattern drafts taken from Freyle which is a pattern book from 1588. My friend Baron Antonio has long been asking me to make him something, so I thought I would combine the two. Said and done on the Thursday before Raglan I sent him a question about fabric, and style, and arranged for him to bring me fabrics. I provided threads and all other tools. I made a bara-tape based on his waist, and with the Freyle layout I drafted a pair of breeches, which I sewed on site using my reproduction brass needle bought in Visby.

Antonio’s breeches, front

Antonio’s breeches, side

They were a complete success as far as I’m concerned. Fit him very well, moved with ease, were comfortable enough. I also added a pocket, which I could have worked a little better, possibly might need a couple of stitches to make sure it doesn’t open where it’s not supposed to. I opted for a tight cuff at the knee, which meant I had to add a couple of points, which I made fingerloop braids for in matching silk. I started them on the Sunday and finished them just after noon on the Wednesday. The documentation was for the A&S Display for “Things worked on during Raglan”. I put the trousers out there along with the little page to explain the project, and some generous gentles left me a couple of very nice tokens of appreciation which made me very happy. I now have a matched set of fleur-de-lys brooches!

Nearly finished Laurel Cape

For Raglan I also made a little 16th Century cape, with a collar, on which I appliqued a Laurel wreath. This was a gift to Mary Verch Thomas who was elevated to the Order of the Laurel there. The base fabric is a cotton velvet and the leaves were cut from a wool cloth. Applique on velvet is a somewhat frustrating exercise. It’s also lined in a nice thin suiting wool, so it’s quite warm and cozy. The collar also makes it excellent as a wind-shield.

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Week 3 Crafty update

So, this past week I’ve not been quite so diligent on my projects, as I was severly distracted by getting a new Bullet Journal.

Anyway, I did start and finish one of four napkins designated for the giftbasket His Majesty William of Drachenwald will bring to Estrella. The first one is a Pelican napkin and I’ve started on the second one, which will be a Chivalry token. I have two more prepared for a Laurel and Order of Defence. I shouldn’t have too much trouble finishing them in time.

Pelican done! #estrellawar #giftbasket #sca #pelican

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In other news, we finally made a decision and I bought fabric to sew up a tentlining for the sleeping apse in our new big tent. We’re going to use the extant tab top curtains as the front, and cover the rest of the bed area with light cotton canvas which was on sale at our local fabric store.

Achievement Unlocked: New Peerage Order Speech

So, at Midsummer Coronation, Their Majesties Makarius and Izabella sent three candidates to vigil to contemplate elevation to the new Peerage, the Order of Defense, and they had kept the candidates very secret.
At Double Wars, the three bestowed peerage circles were tasked with organizing a vigil tent each at their stepping down, so the Laurels had to put up and decorate one tent, the Chivalry did one, and the Pelicans did one.

The candidates were Master Arenwald von Hagenburg, Viscount Cernac, and Viscount Æiríkr inn Hárfagri.

Tablecloth or napkin for the MoDFor the Laurel tent I made a small table-cloth/napkin with the badge of the new order in the middle, with the tree blades done in three different stitches to represent the three premiers. The text and one sword is stem stitch, the second blade is chain stitch and the last one is double running stitch. All embroidery done with filament silk which was given to me at my vigil. It was also meant to go with the new Masters as regalia for the Order, to be used at future vigils. A little something for them to have, to start with.

Of course I went in to talk to all three candidates at their vigil and was surprised, humbled and honoured when Viscount Æiríkr asked me if I would speak for him at the elevation ceremony on Saturday morning. The first time I spoke for anyone was Countess Cecilia’s Pelican ceremony at Double Wars just over a month ago, so this was only my second time ever speaking for anyone. It didn’t occur to me then but later that night, when I was trying to write the speech, that I would actually be a part of a historic moment for Drachenwald.

The ceremony of sending them to their vigil was awesome and emotional, and I wept like a big softy, which I always do, and the elevation ceremony was also very well done and thought through, with speakers from the now closed Order of the Dragons Steel, Chivalry, Pelican, Laurel and Rose, plus speakers from the Populace. I was going to be one of three Laurels speaking at the first elevation of a Master of Defense. So, when it turned out that Sven was speaking for both Arenwald and Cernac I realized I was going to be one of only two Laurels speaking. I got a little more nervous then, but I managed to say the words, without weeping (much), including a few words from Æiríkr’s Laurel Mistress Melisende Fitzwalter.

I am still awed, honoured and grateful to be given this opportunity to be a small part of history with the establishment of a new Peerage Order in Drachenwald.

A giftbasket thing

I had a little time before Double Wars when I knew there was going to be an elevation, and had time to prepare a little thing. For her reign with Marcus I made napkins for Cecilia, and I also made up a shirt with embroideries that I finished for their coronation. For her elevation to the Order of the Pelican I had a tiny napkin in a fine even quality linen which I embroidered with a little pelican in one corner and her initials in the other (C J). I forgot to take a picture of it, so had to ask her to send me a couple. It was fun to do, even if it was a last-minute thing. All of the stitching was done in black silk, except the three drops of blood, stem stitch. I think everyone needs a tiny napkin for court-tears. Also, since I have taught it a couple of times now, the handout of long-armed cross stitch, and the handout for drawn-thread hemstitch can now be found under the folder Documents at the top.

More kneeling pad progress

I am now almost finished with the embroidery on the second kneeling pad for my Principality. All the backgrounds are filled in as well as the borders. The only thing left is the shade on all of the leaves of the wreath. Each leaf is done with the two tones of yellow and I am also alternating the directionality of the stitches so when the lighter shade goes from left to right, the darker goes right to left and vice versa.

wpid-2015-01-08-11.10.10.png.pngThe next update on this project will hopefully be of the finished pad.

ps. Stupid image wouldn’t attach when I made the post on my phone. Added now. Also, just finished off the last stitches on the pad today, Friday January 9th.

Embroidery, take 2 Nordmark Kneeling Pillow

Two years ago I worked on a large-scale embroidery to make up a pair of kneeling pillows for my Principality. One was finished summer 2012, and presented as an A&S project at the Coronet Tourney this year (May 2014). I just started on the second one, and it is hypnotic to watch it grow down, like loading a gif in the old days on a slow modem. Line by line the long armed cross stitches cover the ground.

The ground fabric is hemp, and the embroidery is done with wool, dyed by Lady Åsa vävare. There are two shades of the yellow, so the scrolls along the edges are alternately done, so the one “underneath” is done in the slightly darker shade.

This is the first shot and the progress so far:

Beginning the second pillow

Beginning the second pillow

Progress as of 3/12 2014

Progress as of 3/12 2014

Detatched Buttonhole Stitch

or

Not quite Elizabethan

The second item I made as a gift for Margaret de Mey on the occasion of her elevation was an over the shoulder bag. I looked in my stash and found a very small remnant from the fabric which I used for another friend’s elevation (as a Laurel in his case). It was enough to make up the front, back and lid of a roughly binder-shaped carrying bag, but there was not enough to make a carrying strap. However, the fabric was a golden yellow tone, and Margaret’s arms are mostly red, so I thought I would match the Drachenwald colours, and make the strap black. Luckily I had a few scraps of black wool of approximately the same weight also in my stash to lend to the project.

With the bag sewn up with a green linen lining I turned my attention to decorating the lid with Margaret’s device. I had not much time, and since the design is quite simple I decided to find a red fabric to be the shield shape, and then embroider the water bougets white on to that. Minimal of work, to create a three dimensional effect, and also weigh down the lid a little.

OutlinesThe red wool was cut to an appropriate size, then I transferred the pattern by stitching through a piece of paper where I had drawn it up beforehand. The outlines were then filled in properly with chain stitch in white silk.

The red wool was quite sturdy, and so I felt I did not need to work this in a frame, but could do it freehand. I also chose to work the chain stitches in reverse. I’ve found that this way of working them, gives me much more control over the size of the stitches, and exactly where I can place them for maximum coverage and details in the design.

After all outlines were done, I proceeded to fill in the shapes of the water bougets with detached buttonhole stitch from the top down in the main body of the design, and from left to right for the crossbar. I hoped this slight change in texture might make the two parts a little more distinct, but I’m not so sure that’s really noticeable, as the thread I was using made the distance for the crossbar basically two stitches wide. If I had used a thinner thread the change in directionality would be more noticeable. I like this sort of stitch, because it uses a maximum of thread on the front of the work, and almost nothing is wasted on the reverse. It’s efficient and thread conservative, as you can see from the back of the finished piece.

Finished work - detatched buttonhole stitch

To finish off the bag I attached the shield shape by appliqueing it to the lid with blanket stitch all around the outline in black. It also helped to highlight the edges a little, and bring in some more contrast.