Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Veils, wimples and more

I recently attended a local SCA event in Meridies, which necessitated me borrowing some garb to wear, because mine is of course still not here from Cornwall. I have always worn what is considered late period garb, meaning late 16th century, and have worn what is considered upper class, or gentry clothes. This tunic and surcote outfit was a huge change for me, but a lot of fun. I did some research and made myself a veil, barbette and wimple out of a 60/40 linen/cotton fabric, all hand rolled hems, and was fairly pleased with how it turned out. Fairly, because it really does not look how I had imagined it would. Maybe I starched it too much, I am not certain. I was going for more of the look of the ladies in the Maciejowski Bible illuminations, where the veil rests on the tops of the shoulders but the front points come down to armpit level. I am going to try it again without the starch and see how that works for me, but overall I was happy with it. The barbette is a strip of linen, a tube of fabric sewn in the back, that goes up and over the top of my head and is pinned together there. On top of that I am wearing a fillet of stiffened linen that is pinned in the back and also pinned to the barbette on the sides. The Wimple is a large rectangle of cloth that is pulled up under my chin and around to the back of my head, being pinned at the top of the barbette and a few pins along the back. The Veil is pinned on either side, at the cross points of barbette and filet. It stayed on very well, no issues with the wind at all. I folded back the front edge when I went inside and was talking over dinner and it was pretty that way. I found out that the linen fillet is a lovely sweat band!

I have just started a needlebook that I am working on some of the Zweigart Kingston linen. It is a carnation worked in GST inside a coil of gold plaited braid. A bee will figure prominently, which is appropriate as this is a gift for an SCA friend and she will recognize that the bee is from my own registered device and so will represent me. Carnations symbolize friendship, so I think it is a fitting design for the gift. So far I have the calyx on the carnation about finished, and hope to get some work done on the petals done today. I am so busy just now, trying to get my house painted before my furniture arrives, that I really don't have time to even be thinking about embroidering, but I have to sit at the landrymat today, and it helps to have something to work on so I am not sitting and fuming over wasted time.

Edit, October 15, 2010: Recently, I had the opportunity to drag my veil and wimple out from the drawer to wear to an SCA event in An Tir. I was again borrowing an outfit, because this time I had just moved across the country and my stuff was still in transit, what of it that was not damaged in the flood. The veil had come with me in my suitcase, for whatever reason. I really liked how it felt this time, and was much happier all around with the look. It helped that I did not starch it prior to wearing it. I was very comfortable in the gown and head wear, and have begun serious research into making a gown to go with the veil and wimple. I know, centuries earlier than I have ever even considered for Jane, but I think it will be fun. Most people in the SCA start early and gradually go late, so I guess I am going at it a bit backwardly.

Friday, 28 August 2009

I suck at this, keeping up with posting what I am working on. Lack of discipline, lack of organization, I don't know which, but maybe it is both.

Either way, right now I am really not working on much, at least not physically. Probably because I do not have my sewing machine, for starters, nor has the wool that I bought in England made it to the States yet.

My plans are another matter. As of now I have no fewer than four projects that will require a good bit of planning and work to get them successfully executed on time. Emma needs a suit for her residency interviews, and we have already purchased the shot blue silk for that. I plan to make her a lovely couture finished jacket and skirt, and a pale pink shell to wear with it. Next up are a couple of late 16th century outfits, one for Arilyn and one for myself. They are going to be nice middle class outfits, hers in burgundy wool and mine in a dusty blue wool. Emma has her last Cadaver Ball in April or March, not sure of the exact date yet, but I want to be sure that one is gorgeous and perfect for her. That takes me up through early Spring, and I know I will need to make Ari and myself more historical outfits as well.

Lots to do, hard to sit here doing nothing, so I am at least working on my needlework, and that is coming along fine.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Not Blackwork...

I really hate it when people say something like, "I am putting blackwork on the smock I am making!" Reason being that the term itself is so vague. Are they talking about using black thread to cover a drawn design on linen, or are they talking about counted thread work that is done in black thread? Usually most folks mean counted thread done in black, creating primarily geometric patterns using double running stitch (Holbien) or back stitch. So, there is a group of die hard blackwork enthusiasts who stolidly embroider in black silk to recreate these designs that were so popular during the 16th century. The only problem is that there is a plethora of evidence now available to show that not all of this work was done in black, and in fact it can be stunningly beautiful in other shades as well. It is best to keep it to one or two shades because it can take on a rather carnival air if too many hues are introduced to the design, and we all know that the average 16th century person was cautioned against too much gaiety in their life.

Anyway, Arilyn (my 8 year old daughter) has come up with an idea for a bookmark to make for her big sister's birthday She wants to use two different heraldic frogs, employing double running stitch and some of my cherished gylt silke twist to work the stitches. The green, of course. She asked me if that would be bad, because she was not using black silk, and I told her that of course it would be just perfect in green. And gold, don't forget the gold. So now that it is carefully graphed out, she is set to begin her work on it this evening. I will post photos soon.

Emma worked with frogs during her undergraduate years before going onto medical school, and for whatever reason now everyone gives her frogs of some sort everytime there is a gift occasion. Kind of like how everybody gives me bee stuff I guess.