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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A household forms

I mentioned, briefly, that I had more news after Cudgel, and I can finally share them, as the plans have been enacted.

This weekend myself and Edricus travelled along with Lady Tece de Kaxtone and Lord Erik Dalecarlius to Festivalo de Caderas, put on by the Barony of Gotvik, for a mostly relaxed and low-key event. It was just that, but it also was the one year anniversary of me taking Lady Silwa af Swaneholm as my apprentice. I gave her my own old green belt, which I wore as Helwig’s apprentice, at October Crown Tourney last year and she has worn it for the last year. We have throughout the year talked about the Laurel/Apprentice thing, and agreed that after a year’s trial we both wanted to continue the relationship, and formalise it with a proper indenture.

Silwa's Indenture

Silwa’s Indenture

Since Silwa finally decided on viewing C&I as her primary art form I left it up to her to do the wording of the indenture and write it out, and she did it admirably, writing out the text twice on the same piece of paper, with our devices drawn in ink between the two texts, so that the separation could be done through them and mark each half as belonging to the other. To make it proper and official we also wanted some highly placed witnesses, and Her Highness of Nordmark, Princess Isabetta and His Excellency of Gotvik, Baron Einar, agreed to witness the contract and our exchange of gifts.

I promise, in the indenture, to provide Silwa with materials for her to practice with, so had arranged for five sheets of pergamenata, gold size and the left-over gold flakes which I have been collecting for a few years. They can be used to make shell gold for example. Silwa, for her part, presented me with two cakes of wax. Over a pound (half a kilo) of wax. She had also arranged to have a seal ring made for me, but lacked my ring-size so the project can only be finished once I provide that. She had tried to ask Edricus, very sneakily, but he did not know, as even I don’t know that!

I demanded my old belt back, and had a new one for her, provided by Lionheart Replicas, with belt studs that she picked out. We both signed the contract, and then Her Highness and His Excellency signed them and I cut them apart with a beautiful pair of scissors provided by Lady Tece.

With that done, I picked up my old green belt and turned to the next order of business, asking Tece de Kaxtone if she wanted to be my apprentice, for a period of one year as a trial. At Cudgel War I had asked her, and she then indicated she would like that, but I wanted us to wait until my old belt was freed up, so we could talk a little about what sort of relationship we wanted. Tece had not changed her mind, and so I put the belt around her waist, which she will wear for one year. After that, if we still want to continue as Laurel and Apprentice, she will also get a belt of her own and an indenture.