Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ooooo. Ooooo! OOOOO!!!

The final post re the ACC are starting to come out and boy howdy can you folks sew!

And craft!

And smith!


What amazingly beautiful work, my compliments to you all!

(ps: Happy New Year!)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

More repairs

It seems I sadly underestimated the time it would take to reinforce the edges of my lacis pieces, mainly because I hadn't realized the extent of the damage. I've found that many of the pieces are completely missing the final row of net on one or more sides. I've worked out a way to replace that edging by making loops for every other square and then connecting them together but it is slow going.

Step one - make the loops

Monday, December 26, 2011

Back to work on the partlet

Oh how I love long weekends! Not only did I finish Boen's shirt, and loads of cookies, and have a scrumptious and relaxing holiday but it's not over and I've figured out how I am going to approach the partlet. At last. (Woo hoo!)

Boen likes the lacis pieces set on point best. I agree, and since it seems to be the more period appropriate approach I'm running with it. I played with the layout of my squares and decided that I am going to make the two squares on the top of the shoulders the foundation of the layout/structure for my partlet. They will be connected with a full square at the center back...and then we'll see.

I think the single square set on point will be enough depth for the back of the partlet. If so, I will probably fill in the edges with 1/2 squares of lacis to square up the back and back shoulders. I think it may take 3 full squares on each breast to provide sufficient coverage to compensate for the complete lack of upper bodice which is the hallmark of this style. I want to be able to play with it so I'm not making any final decisions about the front until the back is completed.

I'm planning to start the collar by using the inner points of the three squares which form the back and shoulders. I think if I only join the squares to about the 1/2 way point they will form an appropriate opening for my neck and the remaing points will form a nice little standing collar if I connect them with some little triangles of lacis. I'll probably have to make these pieces but at least they'll be small! I'm not sure about making a ruff as of yet. I'd like to have at least a small one to serve as under proper for a larger ruff but since I can't wear the dress at all until I have some kind of partlet it may have to be a later addition.

At any rate, the first step is to finish/reinforce the edges of my purchased lacis pieces. They have a lot of missing joins at the very edge which need mending plus I am going to be putting the finished partlet through a lot of strain so I'm running three parallel rows of reinforcement thread along/around the outer three rows of netting. I plant to stich the sections together using these three rows to anchor the work. (Fingers crossed) We'll see how it goes!

Reinforcement stiching in progress:

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Naughty, naughty!

My Boen just suggested that for today's entertainment we could just go out to a store, stand in a corner and watch!

Men who have gotten all their presents can be so mean... ;)

I'm still working on the collar of his Christmas shirt so I rather feel for the poor shoppers, myself.

Happy holidays!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Apparently, cookies don't make themselves.

I have been working on the last of my holiday sewing projects and am...oh about 1/2-way done with a new not puffy shirt for Boen. (At his request. Making a simple, close fitting white linen shirt with no ornamentation doesn't come naturally to me!) It's going pretty well and nicely fast considering I only discovered where the white linen I bought for it weeks ago was hiding when I was heading out the door for work on Thursday morning.

I've been stitching away all day...feeling pretty virtuous...bbbbbbuuuuuutttttttttt

We have no cookies. Not a one. Not a single cookie in the house!

I can't take it anymore.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sewing kit is finished!

And not a moment too soon, too.

(I've suddenly realized that I had better get a move on with Christmas present projects!)

Since my last posting on this project I have finished the needle lace edging and crystal bead buttons for the needle case, replaced the bottom three tassels on the original bag with larger ones, and created a scissors case and restraining cord for the clippers. Like the pin pillow and needle case, the scissors case is attached to the bag by a length of finger loop braid, but this one was anchored at the center of the bags handle so it can dangle freely and also can be looped around a belt and through the bag's handle above the bead to anchor the chatelaine securely when the bead is raised. I have no idea if similar arrangements were done in period, but it works!

And now, for your viewing pleasure:

The closed chatelaine

And open to show off the contents

I can't believe I'm finally going to have all the gear I need to sew or make repairs at events easily to hand. I can hardly wait to give it try!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

ooooh! gotta have it!

it's possible I'm obsessed....

I think I'm gonna have to try making one. :)

(BTW, I discovered the above image courtesy of the wonderful research posted at: Thank you Alys!)

Better Living Through Shopping

I admit that I am feeling the teensyiest bit guilty about this (it's too easy!) but I think I've found a way to test-run a lacis partlet.

That is, to try it out and make some observations about the shape, support and coverage I will need prior to making my own lacis partlet 100% by my own hands.

You guessed it, I found some lacis pieces on e-bay. Ten of them, in fact, and each about 8 3/4" square.

They came in the mail yesterday and while they make my own poor attempts at lacis look like great hulking lumpish things in comparison (I'm going to have to look into getting a smaller gauge and some finer thread) I'm excited to skip past the 'making the lacis' stage and get right down to making a partlet so I can experiment with the 'how in the world does this work!?!' part.

Now I just have to figure out how I want to assemble them....

and then get up enough courage to wear it!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Well, my scissors (and stuff) came yesterday...

and with them came something I had forgotten about, a pewter pilgrims badge representing St. Peter of Rome (Vatican City). I bought my scissors from Fettered Cock Pewters and I got to pick a pilgrim's badge as a free gift (and you will too if you order while the special is still on.) Quite a nice holiday surprise!

Naturally I immediately started on a scissors case for the chatelaine, but my big news for today is:

The Pater Noster I made with my new badge!

Talk about projects you never expected to undertake. I went to the bead store [Danger, Will Robinson!] to get three little beads to use as buttons on the needle book and walked out with just a teensy bit of additional stuff...clear and white quartz crystal beads...and lapis beads... and some red silk beading thread...

I made the red silk tassel with a spool of silk thread I've had sitting around for ages. It's not quite the right color (aka, matching thread) but I just had to get as done as I could with the stuff I had on hand!

Ain't she pretty?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Progress on the insides

While I wait for my clipper scissors to arrive (so I can get started on the scissors case) I've been working on the pin pillow and needle book for my chatelaine.

I made a little bitty piece of lacis for the pin pillow and learned several very important things:

1) Yes, stretching it on a frame is important!

I decided to just stretch the netting in my fingers as I worked the pattern. Bad idea. The finished piece is...kinda lumpy. It's not as easy to control the tension as you work the pattern into the net and it's also much harder to get all the stitches in the correct place.

The second reason it's a bad idea? Dirt. I handled the piece a lot more and it's beautiful creaminess is decidedly grey in spots.

Live and learn (and wash itty bitty pillows!)

2) Cotton batting doesn't like having you squish it into a tiny space and then stick pins into it.

Next time I will try looser filling, but I suspect cotton is not the material of choice when it comes to filling pin pillows, mainly because the glass-headed pins I bought keep bending when I try to stick them into it!

3) It would have been a much better idea to graph out the pattern I wanted.

If I had I might have realized that my original idea for a pattern wasn't going to work before I stiched it up. This tiny little piece of lace is positively riddled with joined sections from figuring out what I was doing on the fly.

Still, all in all it looks pretty good.

The needle case is much more of a work in progress. It's got a little pocket for a needle threader and two leaves of felt with a selection of tapestry and general sewing needles. I'm thinking I'll work the edges with needle lace and add a button to close it. And/or I might add some white work embroidery...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Oooo...look what I found!

It appears to me that some of the extant sweet bags/chatelaines may have a band or bead to adjust the cords they hang by. I've had them on pouches or bags in the past and found that they keep the strings under control and add an extra level of security in keeping things closed so I took the dangerous step of going to the local bead store to look for a suitable bead. (Cue danger music track.)

I should, perhaps, mention that said store is only a block away from my new place of work and knowing the temptations such places offer I have, up to now, been very good and kept far far away...

But that's all over now!

(Cue joyful crescendo of bliss.)

Let's just say that it's a nice shop, but the important bit for now is that I not only found a yellow jade bead that works nicely for controlling my strings, I also found Mother of Pearl oblong beads which I think may become the most beautiful thread winders.

It sounds like I should be able to grind a curve in the long edges (maybe with sandpaper?) and then polish them back to shiny goodness. I guess we'll see, but they sure are pretty!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holiday yummies!

Tonight is the annual Yule party for our local barony and Boen and I have been up for hours working on our contribution to the potluck feast. We are making an absolutely enormous meat pie with beef, almonds, raisins, apricots, apples, bread crumbs, eggs, milk, coriander, cumin, tumerick, onions, garlic, lemon zest and juice, bay leaves, salt and pepper...all baked up in pastry with a topping of egg custard.

It smells as yummy as it sounds!

For those of you who don't recognize this dish from the list of ingredients (which I wouldn't have until earlier this week) this filling is one of the many variations of a South African classic: Bobotie. We used this recipe for the ingredients but changed the technique a bit. Basically we precooked the meat (as did several other recipes) and added a crust.

I love that it is completely possible/plausible/believable in the context of a medieval kitchen, yet I've had Bobotie pie at a restaurant and found the recipe in a gazillion places on-line.

I hope it tastes as good as it looks(and smells)...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Is it a butterfly yet?

You remember my lacis piece that wanted to be a bag? Well, my project has changed form several times, but it's coming along well!

I started out thinking it just wanted to be a sweet bag...but then it got more detailed...and wanted accessories...and now I seem to be working on a sewing kit/chatelaine much inspired by this example.

I've worked and attached finger loop braid for the edging and tassel/strap loops, made tassels and am currently working on binding the thread loops and making more finger loop braids for the various straps which will be necessary to attach all the pieces together as a chatelaine.

Since I lined the original bag with silk organza and it is going to be possible to see any objects it contains, I want to stick with my current off-white color scheme. I'm thinking I need a needle case, pin cushion (with pins), scissors with case and maybe some thread winders or lace-making supplies (bobbins or gauges?) or something.

I'm going to have to do some research on how period chatelaines were made and worn but I really excited to add such a useful item to my kit!

Progress thus far...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New thoughts...

Do your projects ever speak to you?

I've been getting some increasingly clear messages from my second piece of lacis.

It doesn't feel like a fan. It doesn't want to be a fan!

It wants to be...

a bag!


Sunday, November 27, 2011


The second lacis piece is all stitched up at last. I'm still pondering my fall-back treatment for the stick...maybe carved and painted?

Anyway, I expect the lacis partlet to be a long term project. Just making the netting is gonna take a while so it will probably be a while before you see more lacis from me (after this fan is done, of course.)

Not to worry, I have lots of other projects to work on!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Just another case of belated cleverness

So today I finally got to the store and bought the thread I need to finish my 2nd lacis fan (and the proposed lacis partlet too, btw) and while I was there I bought sculpty in several colors to try making an 'ivory' fan.

Mixing canes of various colors was looking pretty good for the ivory so I took out my 3/8" dowel, cut in some grooves for the fan's wire frame to run in, and started covering it with the plastic clay...only to discover that it was going to turn out way too thick. OK, plan 2! I took out my 1/8" dowel and started covering *it* with the plastic clay...looking pretty good...I only have to sculpt and bake it....

Oh...wait minute...

I have to bake the oven...rats!

I've tested it out and there is no way a 3' length of dowel is going to fit in my current oven. (Sigh, I really miss my fancy stove which is back in New York state.) I've decided to keep the 'ivory' and try it out a fan with a shorter handle so it's back to the drawing board for the stick treatment for this fan. I guess it's good that I still have some stitching left to do!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I've run out of thread

for my second fan so I'm stalled on that project until I can get to the store. (Sigh. So close too!)

The good part of that situation is that I now have time to wander around on the internet looking at cool stuff. I've found plenty of info on ways to make faux ivory out of fimo or other similar materials so my current plan is to make the stick for this fan out of a wooden dowel (it's a bigger fan so I think I will go for a full 3' length in the stick) covered and sculpted in faux ivory.

They say I should bake the fimo stuff on a wooden or even cardboard surface so I don't think baking the dowel will be a problem. I hope it works because I already have ideas about an 'ivory' wax tablet...I guess we'll see!

The possibly bad part of wandering around on the net is that I learn about other new a different cool stuff. Like the Scroll Blank Challenge which is going on in the Midrealm (aka my new Kingdom.) I have been thinking about trying my hand at the scribal arts and now could be the time. I have until early February to make a donation so I'm sure I will at least be able to make a scroll case for the concurrently running Scroll Case Challenge.

Scribal Arts..what fun!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ideas about the Palo/Lotto partlet

The lovely big picture of this partlet at Web Gallery of Art pretty much makes it possible to count the threads so I have been counting, and pondering, and doing some on-line investigating and have come up with a theory regarding it's possible construction.

I think it may be a double weave (which basically means to weave two layers of fabric at once) which is joined together at the curvy diamond shapes (the lighter threads at the back layer brought forward to make the pattern) the flowers (the warp of the back layer pulled forward and held around a dowel to form loops) and the knots. (I'm calling them knots for lack of a better term but I think they are actually more loops which have been woven in again after several rows.)

I think I could get the loops at the edges just by leaving some extra thread at the edge at each pass--possibly held by another dowel for consistency of size and tension.

Mind you, I haven't actually woven a thing since high school, and even then it was never this complicated, but I think the theory is sound and worth trying. I guess my next step would be to investigate looms...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Lace fan#2 - More Progress

Stitch, stitch stitch....

Hmmm...Looks WARM!

Portrait of Laura da Palo, Lorenzo Lotto 1544 (Detail)

I swear this lady looks like she is wearing a variation on a potholder/trivet thingy one of my Mom's friends had in the 1970's. It was of string-ish yarn, thick, with loops on the edges much like this partlet and caul.

I have no idea what the technique is called but if I can figure it out I may have to make a set for myself. Warm would be nice.

Any ideas?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lace Fan #2 - in progress

Having finally finished the net for my second lacis fan I've stitched it into a temporary stretcher frame and begun working the pattern. I had to make another stretcher since this piece is larger than the last one. I'm including a picture for those who are curious about the process details. (I just bent some wire into approximately the right shape and stiched the net on with some waste thread.)

I'm using a period pattern but I graphed it onto a piece of graph paper for my reference while working so here is a picture of what I am going for...

Pretty, huh?

I have been trying to learn something new with each project I take on so this project I'm learning new stitches, and maybe I'll try making faux ivory in fimo for the stick.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Um, help?

I'm having one of those days.

When I was looking for a pattern to work in lacis for my Idle Hands Challenge flag fan I kept seeing period patterns which I think may be for lacis partlets.

They were shaped vaguely like a diamond with the top tip cut off which left a flat top for the neck opening, slanted top sides for the shoulder seams, and a long point going down to the waistline in the back. (Or at least that is how I envision it working.) But now that I have formed the ambition to make such a partlet for my IRCC outfit can I find a pattern? Nope!

If any of my readers happens to recognize this description and knows where the patterns may be found I would really appreciate a hint. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Gear Queen goes shopping

One of the things I like most about our new home is the surprises.

Last weekend we found the most wonderful retro diner--Arnold's Drive-In--in Decatur, IN, and last week I found these

at my corner hardware store!

Apparently they are a kind of hand drill called gimlets. My new set is made by a company called Robert Larson. I can hardly wait to work on a project which requires holes...I can now drill them guilt free!

(By the way, if you are ever at Arnold's and wondering if you should get the apple dumplings with cinnamon ice cream, the answer is unequivocally YES! They are amazing.)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Feverish! The IHC deadline is over...results?...

I've been nearly exploding with desire to see what everyone has wrought for the Idle Hands Challenge. In fact, the pressure has gotten so bad that I decided I have to at least post about what *I* did or I may well POP! So...

Fan #1 - Feather



I already blogged about most of the process I used to create this fan so I'll just say that I'm proud of the techinical parts of this fan.

The wooden base I assembled is very stable and provides a lot of strength/support to the feathers. Drilling holes thru the base and sewing the feathers into place worked well as a temporary hold while I glued everything into position and waited for the glue to dry. It also let me make corrections before I glued it all up. (NOTE TO SELF: Ostrich feathers go on--front and back--FIRST!) Finally, I used two layers of ostrich feathers, one on both the front and back of the fan base, and found they completely obscured the wooden base which made it easy to decoratively finish the fan without worrying about hiding the inner workings.

I made my fan to approximate the narrower shape which is often seen in paintings but rarely found 'in life.' It moves air well, and seems to me to be much easier to carry and use than a rounder fan. I'll be interested to see how I feel about it after an event.

In my next fan I'm going to work harder at getting a proper curl on all of the feathers. I did curl them all but they seem to lose body and curl to the side. I'd like to try splitting two feathers--keeping the barbs on one half of each--and attaching them together to make each plume. I think that may get a better result when replicating the distinct, full plumes of the feathers in many period portraits.

Fan #2 - Lacis Flag Fan



I made that. :) !!!!

It was very interesting to me to note how the fan gradually became more useful as the net was embroidered. Net on it's own was absolutely useless as a fan but as the lacis pattern was filled in it became more and more effective. The bottom line is, it works great!

I've already started the netting for a second fan. This time I'll carve the chanels for the wire entirely seperately from any decorative carving on the stick. I also hope to do more carving on this one...and maybe even some painting and/or gilding...

Yeah, I thnk I have a thing for fans.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Idle Hands Challenge - Complete!

Or at least it is for me. :)

We're off to pick up more of our stuff in NY so I've wrapped up my first two fan projects and sent my final report off to Bella. I suspect she may be holding them until the Challenge is over so I'm still not posting pictures...or even details...but it's nice to know I can actually finish a Realm of Venus Challenge!

And I'm really happy with the fans I have made.

Of course I am also happy with the 2 other fans I have started, the 3 I am musing about, and the muff I have started the planning process for...I've even been thinking about handkerchiefs!

I really like focusing on one aspect of costume at a time. Or maybe I just really like accessories...


Good luck to all you other IHChallengees. I can hardly wait to see your pretties!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Back to work...

on the Pavillion!

Maybe it's the fall weather but I'm getting the itch to get back to work and finish my pavilion before the next SCA Camping season. It seems like forever since I worked on it but the break has been good for me. I thought my way through the quandry caused by finding the roof panels which I had misplaced.

I'd re-envisioned the sections I had at hand into a completely different style of pavillion (a Bell Wedge instead of round) and finished enough of the hand work on the rest of the pavillion that I really didn't want to go back...but I don't have too! I've been wanting to make detachable walls to convert one of the awnings into a bedroom and I think I can dismantle the extra roof to use for some of the parts of the bedroom walls.

Yippee! Now to implement the plan....

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sigh...tassels are a no-go

I've made several attempts at attaching tassels to my Idle Hands fan. I wanted them to cover the bare wire which allows the fan to spin (and very well) but every version I've tried ends up with the tassel caught under the wire and filthy dirty after just a few spins!

Perhaps that's the reason I didn't find any pictures of flag fans with tassels at the stick?

At any rate, after I cut off the last tassels and got all the bits which had lodged themselves under the wire loop unstuck, I darkened the metal of the wire so it's not so noticable.

Much better!

The only bad news is that I'm going to hold off on final pictures until the challenge is concluded.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tasty Nibble #18 - We has a fan!

I spent yesterday carving the stick for my flag fan and putting it together.

I started with a 3/8" x 48" dowel from my local hardware store. For strength and contrast I picked the heavyest and darkest dowel they had. I don't know what kind of wood it is but I'm sure it's not pine.

I was inspired by various pictures to try a flag fan with a loooong stick. I was thinking somthing around 2 1/2' - 3' but my dowel had a bend in it so I cut it just above the bend and ended up with a 29 3/4" for this fan and a remainder piece just long enough for another fan. (I think I may try my hand at a round fan too.)

So, carving:

I couldn't find my file or carving tools so I abandoned the idea of a turning lathe for this fan and went with simple carving using the tools I had on hand. I used a coping saw to saw the dowel to length, to saw shallow channels for the wire which forms the frame of the fan, and to saw shallow channels at the top and bottom of the ball ornaments I was going to carve. I then used a 1" chisel to shape the wood and an emery board to smooth the finished work. (I told you they were simple tools!) I then heated a small amount of olive oil and rubbed it into the wood to deepen the color and add a slight gleam.

If I hadn't decided to add a tassel or two I'd be done. But since my theory of late period costume can be summed up as 'Add More Ornamentation!'...tassels are next.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tasty nibble #17 -Idle Hands Flag Fan in progress

I decided to make a third attempt at making the netting base for my fan and it turned out considerably more evenly than the previous version. I stretched it out in a frame I jury-rigged from some wire and stitched up the lacis pattern.

Woo hoo! It's my first piece and I think it came out just lovely.

To convert the Lacis piece onto a fan I've made a 4" x7" (finished dimensions) frame of wire and covered it with the same thread I used for the lace. I basically covered the frame with buttonhole stitching with the ridge of the loops running on the outside of the frame and then stitched a second set of buttonhole stitches around the frame between the stitches of the first set, this time with the loops running on the inside of the frame.

I used a very simple faggoting stitch to attach the lace to the inner edge of the covered frame--see all the pretty little holes? I am currently working a pointed lace edging around the outer edge of the frame.

The next phase will be to prepare my stick and attach the fan!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Uh Oh...

I just made an update to my "What holds breasts up" page and poof! another chunk of text dissapeared! I'm hoping it is a Blogger issue and they will fix it...

Tasty Nibble #16 - Idle Hands Feather fan - WIP

There's still another layer of feathers to come!

As usual, I'm also posting construction details on the "What Holds Breasts Up?" page.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Better Late than Never

I have finally got some Pennsic pictures to post.

This is of me, all dressed up and ready for the Red and White Ball.

And this is my Boen.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Now I'm remembering what's so hard about moving...

Getting settled in enough to find all my stuff and get back to work!

I finally started unpacking my SCA boxes today. Found the red silk I may use for my IRCC overdress and a lot of clothes in need of a post-pennsic washing. Sigh. We're renting an apartment for our first year in Indiana and the new place doesn't have a washer/dryer in the unit. Bigger sigh. I've unpacked 4 *huge* tubs of SCA stuff but have yet to find my red brocade which I will probably use for the IRCC overdress. I don't want the silk to win out by default so I'll perserve with the unpacking but I looked at the Realm of Venus today and discovered Bella is sponsering a Mini Challenge (only a month long) focusing on items held in the hand. Hmmmm....

I'd been planning on making a second fan any way so this may be just the thing to get me back to work...

Since I'm going to think of this fan as another piece of the IRCC outfit I'll probably use the 'What Hold's Breasts Up?' page to chronicle my progress...fingers crossed this gets me jumpstarted!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

We have internet!

At last.

I'll be back to work on both my pavillion and IRCC out fit soon. (Like later this week, I hope.)

I can hardly wait to get restarted but first I have to -- de de de Daaahhhhhh -- catch up with my e-mail. Eeep!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Moving day is here

...I can hardly believe it!

We are all packed into the truck and just touching up the staging for the house before we hit the road. Indiana, here we come!

I'll be getting back to working on my IRCC dress after we settle in. Same bat time, same bat channel...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Home again, home again, jiggety jig!

I'm exhausted, but HOME!

Pennsic was lovely. Pennsic was overwhelming. Pennsic was HOT!

Sleeping now, but later I will gush at you about how lovely my IRCC undergown looked at the red and white ball...


Thursday, August 4, 2011

OK! Hi from Pennsic!

I'm here. It's hot. Oh so hot!

I finally made it out of camp (in a sudden burst of ambition) so I though I'd take a moment to tell you:


1) Pre-Pennsic sewing should include making several outfits which keep you covered up but feel like you are nearly naked.

2) Then you can think about what *else* you could take off.

3) Yes, it is worth it to bring a shade pavilion/fly!

4) It turns out the earplugs aren't so much about sleeping through the drunken carousing, it's the trucks on the highway causing the real noise.

I'm off to take about 15 million classes. Having fun. Wish you were here!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tasty nbble #15: The bodice begins...

linen lining with hemp cord 'boning'

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tasty nibble #14 - IRCC Project #2 is done!

Behold, a close-up of my new girdle!

As usual, you can find more info on the "What holds breasts up?" page!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

So, about that Pavillion...

It's past time that I admitted to you that I will not be able to complete it in time for Pennsic XL.

It's not just that the deadline is only a week away, or that I've had to prioritize our move to Indiana. The biggest problem is that while I was packing up the house for our move I discovered that I actually had completed a third section of roof panels...way back in the dark ages in California.

So now what do I do?

Since I actually have all 12 pieces I could revert to the original plan and make a round pavilion...or...
I could split the third section in half, connect each half to one of the sections of 4 pieces I was planning to use for my bells, and thus have a larger bell/larger tent overall...or...
I could come up with some really brilliant third option.


So right now I am stuck, and crazy busy. I'll get back to the pavilion after our move..

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tasty Nibble #13

I like....

Now if I can just get this sucker to stay on!

Tasty Nibble #12

The lace is going on the camicia!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sudden IRCC death. I don't get it.

I've been watching our numbers dwindle, bit by bit and I'm feeling really whiney about it.

I want to know what everyone is doing! I want to see what people are working on! Even if it's not going well, undone, and/or not for the IRCC! I want everybody back!

There, I've said it.

I thought *everyone's* projects were really interesting. I liked how your work gave me ideas and inspiration. I *miss* you guys!


What am I supposed to read while I stitch away at my skirt if you are not here?!

(still pouting...)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tasty Nibble #11

My pocket has tassels!

They dangle, and bounce around, and are just unbelievably cute!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

Tasty Nibble #8

Now we're getting somewhere

Friday, July 1, 2011

OMG! We're moving!

It's official, my sweetie has accepted a new job and we are moving to Indiana.

In two months.

And Pennsic falls right in the middle.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The World, Such an interesting place.

Last night I went to a farewell reception for a colleague and ended up talking with a friend about the presentation she had attended at a recent conference. Ordinary enough for academics, I suppose (I should, perhaps, mention that one of my hats is 'Faculty Wife') but the subject came up because I mentioned that my summer plans include attending a two week long medieval camping event, for which I am making a tent and she had attended a presentation on Byzantine texts discussing tents.

So there I am at a work related cocktail party, talking about byzantine tents. I love my life!

Thru this conversation I have just discovered the existence of The Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies. Not my field, but super cool!

My friend presented at the SPBS Spring Symposium (April 2011) and also attended Margaret Mullett's session "Experiencing the Byzantine Text" I'm writing to Ms. Mullett in the hopes of getting permission to link to the handout from her session. Stay tuned!

(I know, I'm a wicked tease.)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tasty nibble #7


Detail of the progress on my IRCC pocket project.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tasty Nibble #6

I've begun work on my pocket and realized one very important thing.

Hey, This is fun!

(More info on the 'What Holds Breasts Up?' page.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tasty Nibble #5

Behold! The insipration for the crochet lace for my camicia.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Name/Device Progress

We received letters yesterday that both Boen's and Aurora's names made it through the first stage of approval with the SCA heralds. Yippee!

Our devices? Not so much.

They have a problem with our seme of eyes but I am pretty determined to have my eyes somewhere...

Back to the drawing board with that one (OK, 2), sigh...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tasty nibble #4

I've been working on my hem.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Oh my! 2001!

I almost can't believe it. I've been blogging for 4 months and 2 days and I just passed 2000 page views. People stop in from all over the world. It's amazing.

(And very flattering!)

Thank you all so much for paying attention to my small corner of the 'World Wide Web.'

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fizzing with Anticipation!

The paperwork to register Boen's and Aurora's names and devices was sent in a while ago, improved, and entered into the record of the AEthelmearc Internal Letter of Intent AE136 on May 1, 2011. The commentary was due at the beginning of June and the publication of it's progress thru this stage of the acceptance process could happen any time now...I can hardly wait!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Oh my gosh!

Did you see this lace for sale on e-bay?

So amazing...and just what I need! Now where did I leave that spare stash of cash......

As I tell myself, often, it's good to want.

(Which means I'm being *very* good indeed.)

Part #2

I'm having an interesting e-bay day. Doesn't this look like a partlet to you?

Out of period, I know. And it looks like it closes at the back. Still, it's giving me some ideas to work with if I find the flat partlet I'm envisioning doesn't work for me.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011's time to face facts!

Fact #1 - It's June. It's already JUNE! Since I need to have a working pavillion, I need to get my butt back in gear and finish the tent.

Fact #2 - I also need to finish quite a lot of stuff for the encampment, the folding table with its chains, the savonarola chairs, the chandeliers...

Fact #3 - Ditto the wardrobes for both Boen and I. Much needs to be done. So why oh why am I suddenly contemplating dong the lace for the collar and sleeves of my IRCC camicia in Punto en Aria? Really, WHY!

I'm starting to wander towards the conclusion that...

Fact(?) #4 - I might be crazy!

But oh the two inspiration patterns I found are *so* pretty...and all the local lace is dreck...and really, how much harder can it be than crochet?

(Such a silly, silly girl. Sad really.... (Walking away shaking head...) )

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Only 57 million more steps to go...

still, I'm making progress!

The flower forms are attached on the first two rows of my IRCC under/skirt.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Tasty Nibble #3

The progress on my IRCC camicia

Details on the "What holds breasts up?" page

Boen's Doublet Pictures as Promised

Isn't he just...yummy?

So, this is pattern #43-Boen's doublet #2. I decided to close it with hooks and eyes so I could actually have a finished, wearable doublet--at last.

I'm surprisingly happy with the finished result (just look at him :) ) but I've also learned a very valuable thing--having a PICTURE to look at really helps Boen and I evaluate and discuss his wardrobe. It turns out that we agree about the issues in the fit of this doublet--loo long in the waist, too loose in the peplum (the part below the waist) especially at the back, and the sleeves just aren't right...

But it's quite a start, I think.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Progress report

Boen's (Clarence) second doublet all hemmed - done.

Boen's third doublet has become a jerkin instead--due to lack of fabric--but it is all cut out and mostly stitched together and pretty pretty pretty. He's well on his way to having a wardrobe!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Progress Report

Let's see...

Stained our two folding x-chairs, check.

Stitched up Clarence's second doublet, check.

Pictures soon? ... I sure hope so!

Progress Report:

2 cushions for our folding chairs-check.

Cut out and started pinning C's 2nd doublet-check.

Prewashed the blue linen for C's 4th doublet-check.

Sanded the folding table and touched-uped the paint where I messed it up when was working on painting my first fan-check.

Touched-up the paint on said fan-check!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

OK. Back to work

My honey is away for a couple of days so it's a good time for me to buckle down and get back to work on the Pavillion. After I stitch the dragon panel for the front I am planning on assembling that side of the tent and finally committing myself to a plan for extending the bottom part of the bell on each end.

I've been saving some of my blue/green fabric to try and extend the banding on the bell too. We've yet to know if there will be enough to finish all the remaining spots where I'd like to use it (the mottoe on the bell ends, the bottom banding for the whole pavillion, and the dragon panel for the back of the pavillion) so my back-up plan is to visually weight the bottom of the pavillion by using black banding if it looks like I won't have enough.

Did you think I had forgotton this project?


Saturday, May 14, 2011

By golly, it's a doublet!

I feel so much better.

It's really been worrying me that I hadn't managed to make a doublet for Clarence. I'd gotten close a couple of times, but the shapes just never looked really right to me. And I couldn't work my way past both of our reservations...

Now that I've got a "good enough" version to work from I'm confident that I'll be able to improve the pattern until it fits perfectly and better reflects his chosen period.

Whenever he decides that is!

In the meantime, it's nice to know I won't be sending him out in his underwear.

I still have whole lot of eyelets to stitch on the doublet. I'll post pictures after it is really truly done.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Now that I am over my fit of temper

I'll admit that the doublet is coming together really easily. I'm following advice I read in a pattern review on the Internet and using my usual method of garment assembly rather than the pattern instructions but I've been following along with them so far and aside from my deciding to stay-stich the curves, interline the collar, and line the entire doublet...we're pretty parallel.

I hope to be putting it all together tomorrow.

Since I am recovered from my earlier upset, I feel I should also mention that the pattern I purchased has a copyright date of 1986. It's possible that there is a later, improved version.


Now I see what they mean...

Having recently aquired a husband I've discovered I also aquired a costuming challenge, to wit, sewing garb for a man. A pretty skinny man. And he is going for about 1470!

It's really amazing how mystified I feel about pattern drafting in this new realm where all my skills at late period garb for fat girls just gets chucked out the window.

So I decided to buy a pattern. To be specific, I've bought Period Pattern's #43 "Mens Italian Renaissance Garments c. 1420 - 1500" and, eeep!

My overwheling feeling is aggravation and disappointment that the pattern maker seems to have been too cheap or to stupid to do really basic things--like define what measurements are being used to define each size, and/or number the pages of the documentation/'instructions' so you can tell what order you are supposed read the sections in.

Come on, what pattern doesn't include a basic size chart!

I was prepared for bad sewing instructions, but this is really inexcusable.


Luckily, I *do* sew quite a bit and I think I can figure out the assembly. It was the shaping I was being squeemish about. My love currently has almost nothing to wear to Pennsic (not entirely bad... ;) ) but I hope to change that situation soon. I'm currently working on a linen mock-up of doublet #1 and keeping my fingers crossed.

I'll keep you posted!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ok, I admit it, I'm getting scared

I almost have a tent and so I'm at that phase where all I do is worry about all the things which could go wrong with it...and start other projects!

Must sew tent. Must sew tent. MUST SEW TENT!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I'm just not feeling well

Nothing exciting. I'm just a bit ill, and sleepy, and not very chatty.

We hope to back to the regular program soon.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The world keeps spinning...

Whether we notice or not!

Many years ago I developed an interest in chopines (an ancient Italian form of platform shoe) and did all the research I could think of on-line, bought one of the few books with a section on the subject, bought some supplies for a trial pair I was going to make "someday" and the whole concept has pretty much been encased in resin in my mind for years!

And then came today.

Today I was looking about for examples of extant hairpins and ended up being lead to this:

Which may just be the holy grail of websites on "Chopine, Zoccolo, and Other Raised Heel and High Heel Construction."

I'm planning on attempting a pair of chopines for my IRCC outfit. Let me tell you, they are going to be a lot better now!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

OK, I said I was distracted...

But at least I'm working on something!

I'm detailing the progress of my challange dress on the "What Holds Breasts Up?" page but here is a peek at what I've been up to:

Red and White Spiral Sleeves in Progress