In Favor of Coordination

To start off, here are a few little hints about how I sew

  • I will also put sewing for other people above sewing for myself
  • I am incredibly frugal and use every last bit of scrap out of the material as I can.
  • I always make my own bias (always)- I also like making bias in bulk.

Currently I have probably close to 30+ hours into outfits I am doing for 2 other people, which need to be done by this weekend. In addition, I have not really had a new dress in 15 months AND some of my go to dresses are looking a little worn (to be fair they are 5+ years old), so I am also trying to finish a new dress for myself.

When working on 3 completely new outfits (each with the appropriate headgear) in under 1 week it makes sense to plan them in a way that you don’t have to make 5 different colors of bias tape and you don’t have to change your bobbins a million times. (rule #3)

Because of rule #2 combined with rule #1, I basically cut my dress out of the scraps of the other garments I am working on at the time.

Now I find modern “His” and “Her” “I’m with —>” and other matching outfits just as horrific as mullets on damn near anything.However, when it comes to medieval sewing, it makes financial and time saving sense.

For these outfits I was able to cut bias out of 1 yard of fabric for ALL 3 outfits. I was able to use only 4 thread colors ( including on the appliques). I only needed to get 2 yards of additional black fabric (instead of 3 or 4) to make my entire bliant, as I used the scraps from the hosen I made for one of the other outfits.

The only thing I purchased solely for my outfit was 1 (only 1) yard of a coordinating fabric, simply to set my dress apart a smidge.

Just because my outfit matches my consort DOES NOT have any hidden meaning or intention other then I tried to use every last bit of fabric I could after I made his new fighting outfit. – do not read into them other then they are in fact new outfits. I also currently do not and will not, check what my consort is wearing that day in order to match or not match. If we end up wearing outfits cut from the same cloth ( literally) then we have matching outfits. I will not completely rearrange what I am wearing in order to appease a modern mindset. In reverse, If we wear outfits that clash ( which we do more often then not due to my love of orange), then we clash.

In addition, I CHALLENGE anyone out there to prove to me that this was not a medieval practice.

My Thought process on that:

When making Braes I can get 2 pairs out of 2 yards, I cannot get 1 pair out of 2 yards. It takes 2.5 yards to make 1 full length tunic for my consort but 4 yards to make 2. I could only imagine that when fabric was ordered for a medieval household, that they would in fact do a similar form of math, trying to get as many outfits out of their fabric as possible. I would also imagine they would have a tendency to go towards their heraldic colors- which I did with both these outfits.

As part of my P.S.A, I implore you to NOT give seamstresses, consorts, or fighters a hard time about matching outfits– Yes they are historically accurate, Yes they are easier to sew, Yes they are a time saver when sewing numerous articles.

Making derogatory or joking comments about matching outfits (mine or others) is a surefire way to be quickly removed from the list of people I will do favors for.

Instead- compliment the hard work and appreciate the medieval ambiance their outfits create.

Thank you.

Hand Sewing References

I am just finishing up my class notes for my Norse Seam Treatment Class for Gulf Wars. I have numerous extra references /links for the Norse embroidery elements and for the seam treatments. I did not have that many extra links for generic hand sewing tutorials ( for the straight stitch, putting the garments together). Not wanting to skim over this area, I went to the hive brain and Facebook to see if any friends had any recommendations- needless to say they did not let me down.

Here are the collection of handsewing links and tutorials:

I would also like to send a big thank you to Mistress Radegund von Lutra ( Goddess and go to lady for ANYTHING migration period), Barones Cathryn of Chester ( another Goddess, this time of anything Anglo-Saxon), Sir Cellach macChormach ( a man who really knows his stuff about the 14th century), and His Lordship Ian the Green ( my go to scribal research man, and fellow once upon a time Westie)

Roman Celebration of Gods

While putting my schedule together for Gulf Wars, I was perusing the main schedule and noticed that the Gulf Wars Known World Party was “Roman Celebrations of Gods”.  I know no one is required to wear particular clothing to a Known World Party, but it is super spiffy when they do.

Now this is where people who know me start to snicker, and some probably even snort. See I known many Romans, am currently dating one, and have adopted many. I have made some male Roman outfits, and am even teaching a Roman Shoe class at Gulf this year.

However I have been purposely NOT wearing anything Roman since I began primarily hanging out with a bunch of Romans starting last year, for to many reasons to list here.

Here lies why it is potentially humorousness of me actually thinking of making a set of Roman wear for Gulf.

Luckily I have some friends who have some incredibly stunning female Roman garb so I asked for some links/references ( plus 1 amazing link from my previous Roman male research)

From the Republic of An Crosaie Project, it looks like I need ( though I kinda want to wear a Toga Muliebris, just for the humor aspect, but I don’t think it would be appropriate to wear that with my coronet)  :

  • Supparus (Subucula, or Indusium) – Under-gown; for warmth and to protect the Tunica layer.  (potentially optional as I know I would want to do a gap sleeve tunica)
  • Tunica Talaris – Ankle or floor length gown worn by women and girls. Colored… NOT White!
  • Cingulum – Belt. worn at the high waist or under the bust and tied with a “Hercules Knot”.
  • Palla – Long, rectangular length of cloth ( 5 yards);  brightly colored and often patterned, can be fringed.

I am on the fence about the Stolla, as it is supposed to be for a married female, and I am not.

I figured I would “try” to make myself ( and possibly a girlfriend) a set of Roman wear. If I get it done, I can pack it for Gulf and then decide from there if I will wear it or not. It can never hurt to have another outfit for a war.

A 14th Century Trimmed Surcoat

Back in February I was given the most amazing trim by TRM Julianna and Savaric which was made by Dillion ap Dillion. It is a fabulous orange, black and green cotton.

Unfortunately the trim is slightly to thick and heavy for my traditional 14th century cotehardies, and I did not want to make a viking with it. I therefore went looking for images or documentation for 14th century jackets, outer cotehardies or surcoats I could wear it with.

I found this image by Nicolo da Bologna, a 14th century manuscript illuminators in Bologna ( A region in Northern Italy).  This image comes from a miniature on vellum currently housed at the National gallery of Art, Washington DC .

I was drawn to this image because of the wider trims, and the obviously warmer wear clothing they are wearing (hoods, over cotehardies, ext). I was immediately drawn to both the red cotehardie on the left (the women with the violin) and the the groom wearing the red hood.


Taking this original shape, style and placement I can up with the following design principles

I used the same shape and trim placement as in the original, however I added buttons going up the sleeves. This is a style seen commonly during the 14th century and will also allow me additional ventilation and movement ( Say my arms are worm, but my body is not).

The trim up next to the sleeves which are being hand buttonholed with orange thread. The sleeves are made of a lightweight green wool and lined with black silk velvet.

For fabric, I have a light canvas weave wool in a dark green. I am going to be lining it with black linen, however in the arms and around the yoke I will be lining it in black velvet (to further keep me warm, and as a comfort as I LOVE silk velvet next to my skin). I figured this would be a good fall weight or indoor winter weight jacket.

If there is any additional trim leftover, I will go and make a matching hood, most likely in black linen or wool and then lined with the black velvet. Though the black linen would look more scrumptious on the outside, as this is a comfort jacket for me, I want to be able to feel the velvet.