Using a “bra dress” to extend the life of my kirtles

Lengberg_bra_600_years_570I’m faced once again with shrinking out of my fitted kirtle (I know, rough problem to have). This means I again need to re-fit my bodice pattern and make new clothes. I hate that. I mean I have three workable if slightly big dresses which I would like to continue to wear and making all new clothes is a pain.

After thrashing about this for a while and reading a few threads in the Age of the Cotehardie Facebook group I’ve decided instead to make a Lendberg bra dress. That way the .. ahem heavy lifting will be handled by an under garment and I can continue to wear the dresses I have for a while longer. That said.. I recognize that I’m trying to recreate late 15th century French fashions.. and the bras are German/Austrian/Bohemian. I’m fundamentally ok with that. Honestly I’m just looking for something to extend the life of my current dresses while I’m shrinking out of them… though I may be tempted to use this as a support layer going forward.

Since I don’t have another costumer readily available to help with a fitting I’m instead going to ask my husband to help me make a duct tape pattern. It feels like cheating but I think that will be a nice quick way to get a mostly accurate form to help make the pattern.

The plan:
– (done) Have my husband duct tape me into the shape I want the garment to hold me in (Jan 8, 2015)
– use this duct tape dummy to make a prototype of the bra portion only (iteration 1)
– try this out to confirm the pattern works for me
– add a skirt and sleeves onto the bra portion and use this in place of my current chemise(iteration 2).
– Fit a new kirtle pattern over the new bra-dress.
Continue reading Using a “bra dress” to extend the life of my kirtles

Erik’s Waffenrock

erik_waffePlanning began December 9, 2014.
Outfit first worn January 3, 2015.

Summary

While working on the outfits for Coenwulf, Katla and Kolskegg I was repeatedly struck by how very cute it would be if I dressed my son, Erik (13 months), in a waffenrock. Especially if he were walking. As fate would have it, Erik started walking about 3 days after his first birthday November 19, 2014. As soon as that happened I knew that I would have to make him a waffenrock that matched his daddy’s waffenrock for 12th night.
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Coenwulf’s Waffenrock

West Kingdom 12th Night 2015.  Front view.

West Kingdom 12th Night 2015. Front view.

Planning began December 2012.
Oufit finished November 22, 2014.

Summary

A while ago Coenwulf traded me a Kitchen Aid mixer for a waffenrock. For many different valid and invalid reasons this has taken a lot longer than expected. Many thanks to Coenwulf for his patience.

The body of the waffenrock will be modeled after the “Hauptman” image using black wool with burgandy speckles for the base and burgundy and gold brocade for the guards. The “noodly appendages” will be modeled after the waffe sleeves in the second inspiration picture. The fake-wam sleeves will be simple fitted sleeves made of a black and orange zig-zag fabric. A second set of undersleeves will be made up in another shocking loud orange fabric.

Normally, in period, there would be wams (a fitted doublet), shirt and hosen worn under the waffenrock. Because we live in California we decided to fake the wams by adding removable undersleeves. The faked-wams-sleeves will tie unto the waffenrock at the armseye hidden by the waffenrock sleeves.

I’m annoyed as heck that on the day that he first wore the outfit I totally forgot to get any pictures. Luckily he agreed to pose for pictures at 12th night(January 2015).
Continue reading Coenwulf’s Waffenrock

Katla’s Ärmelrock (sleeved dress)

Kolskegg and Katla at their stepping-down.

Kolskegg and Katla at their stepping-down.

Work began August 2014.
Outfits first worn November 22, 2014.

Summary

Kolskegg and Katla, the current Prince and Princess of the Mists, asked me to do their stepping down outfits. My work for her outfit consists of an Ärmelrock (sleeved dress).

The dress will be green wool with black wool slashed guards with white linen showing in the slashes. The bodice will be lined in black linen.

Continue reading Katla’s Ärmelrock (sleeved dress)

Kolskegg’s Outfit

Kolskegg at court.

Kolskegg at court.

Work began August 2014.
Outfits first worn November 22, 2014.

Summary

Kolskegg and Katla, the current Prince and Princess of the Mists, asked me to do their stepping down outfits. My work for his outfit consists of a high collared hemd (white linen), knee length hosen (orange linen), waffenrock (black wool with green wool guards), and fancy fake-wam sleeves (strappy sleeves made of black and green wool).

The waffenrock, hemd and hosen will be modeled after the “Hauptman” image using black wool for the base and green wool for the guards. The fancy-fake-wam sleeves will be modeled after the sleeves shown in “Bartl zalt micht vil”. These will be black and green wool straps.
Continue reading Kolskegg’s Outfit

Organizing my fabric stash

My stash organization

My stash organization

I use 4×6 cards to track my fabric stash. Each card corresponds to one hank of fabric and allows me to see if I have enough fabric for a project without having to actually pull the fabric out. I record the fiber content, weight, color, yardage and (if I remember) how much I paid for it originally. I also staple a fabric sample to the card. As I use fabric I update the yardage to the new measurements. If I use all of a fabric then I throw away the card.

Even hand stitching

clever_stitching Clever hack to keep your stitches even.

By making 2 marks on the side of your thumb, and moving your thumb along as you work, you have a built in gauge for exact stitch length, without marking up your fabric.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT MY THUMB NOR MY IDEA. I’ve tried to find the original source to no avail. I truly would like to give credit where credit is due, but falling short of that I’ll happily share a truly clever idea.

Queen’s Champion Tabard and Shield

A while back her Majesty, Patricia, asked Fearghus to be her Queen’s Champion. For this position Fearghus asked me to make him a tabard and to help paint his war shield. He wanted both of these marked with a personal symbol for the Queen’s Champion. That is, he is not the Queen so I advised that he could not rightly wear the arms of the Queen and at this time (AFAIK) there is no “official” symbol for the Queen’s Champion. After discussing this with Fearghus and Their Majesties we decided to use a pair of crossed axes behind a Tudor rose and to arrange these items on the green portion of a quarterly green and gold field.

The axes are modeled after the Ax Fearghus received at his knighting named “Blue’s Song”. The Tudor rose is modeled after a Tudor Rose that Her Majesty has tattooed on her forearm. I painted these on the fabric and the shield using artist’s acrylic paints.

Yes, I’m aware that the quarterly between the shield and the tabard don’t match. This unhappy accident brought to you by having one person sew a tabard while the other person paints the quarters on a shield. By the time we noticed there wasn’t enough time to re-do either before they’d be used.

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tabard_feraghus1.jpg

champion_shield

Kragelund Tunic


The Nederfrederiksmose Man (also known as Kraglund Man or Frederiksdal Man) was found May 25th 1898 in Fattiggårdens mose near the village Kragelund, north west of Silkeborg, Denmark (also approximately 15 miles south of Viborg, Denmark).

The man wore a kirtle of coarse woolen cloth, the legs were bare but on his feet he had short leather boots, laced over the instep. The boots are not preserved. Because of the boots, the find was originally dated to the 12th or 13th Century. Porl Grinder-Hansen, curator Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance, Nat. Mus. of Denmark had this carbon14 dated in 1998 by the AMS-laboratory in Århus, Jutland, using the accelerator technique and calibrated according to Stuiver and Pearson 1993. It was dated to c.1040-1155.
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Chausses

Chausses – French word for medieval fabric or armor leg covering.
Pronounced [shohs] (rhymes with “shows”).
English speaking people would call them “hose”. Notice, “hose” rhymes with “chausses” (when it’s pronounced correctly).

But Sylvie, you say, I’ve heard some people pronounce it as [chaw-ses].
To which I reply: some people are idiots. Don’t be an idiot.
I know, I know. You first saw it written down and when you sounded it out like they taught you in primary school that perfectly good French word got mangled by your English-speaking tongue into [chaw-ses]. It’s ok. I understand. But now that you know better go forth and sin no more.