Summer Survival – Refurbishing undergarments

So I wrote up a new post, which turned into a page detailing my Brand New Summer Survival Clothes. Hopefully that page will get updated throughout the year to help me survive next summer’s events. With the scorchers this year I definitely need to refit my closet.

Summer survival chemiseAnyway, the first thing to happen is that my new chemise that I made over the summer ended up too long, so I cut off four inches off the hem, so I won’t forget to re-hem it.

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.

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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.