Söderköpings Medieval Fair 2017

It’s almost been a month since the yearly Medieval fair in Söderköping, and I just now gotten round to post about it, but better late then never right:-).

I’ve been attending this fair with my sister for a few years now (2014, 2015, 2016) and this year was no exception, only this year I didn’t joined the dance recital, but instead had my hand full taking care of my 1 year old son.

As always I had a bit of a trouble deciding on what to wear, but finally settled on the Elizabeth I dress l made last year.

My sister borrowed my red renaissance kirtle.

And baby Charlie wore the Henry VIII coat from last year, pared with an old red velvet hat to match.

I promised my fiancé I wouldn’t dress him to weird, and in my defence I can only say I (partially) held that promise. Besides from the coat and hat (which he needed for head covering), he wears a regular gray long sleeved t-shirt and pants pared with his autumn boots. 

*Disclaimer: This post will be full of cute (faceless) “Henry VII” baby pics – so consider yourself warned;-)

**I’m sorry about the “Floating ruff”, but the partlet was simply to hot to wear, and I’ve forgotten to bring my necklace and/or black-worked smock, so I figured it was better then nothing… :-/

We begun the day by touring the market place.
And I got a beautiful feather fan, and a book about medieval clothing that I’ve never seen before.

Then we walked the 500m or so to the camp and Medieval playground.
 There was a lot of “follow the toddler” happening.

Then we meet up with the dancing team and baby C got introduced to the whole gang for te first time.

My sister joined the dancing

And me and C watched(At least for a little while), then he was of agin… I do think we made for quite a sight.
Lots of people commented on how cute he looked, and some even wanted our picture.

After the dancing we went to get some food, and encountered the knights on our way to the restaurant.After lunch we stopped to take a break and to play a bit in the parks playground.  The slide is by far his favourite.
The we did even more exploring the townHa ha, I love that my sister tries to play with him and how he’s much more interesting in the gravel:-D  Trying to get some nice photos together… It’s harder then you’d think
Before we headed home we took another round of the market and listened to some music, Met a knight of the crusades  and looked at some more pretty things (that we didn’t buy). Renaissance ladies.
 It was such a fun day, and a perfect “first event” for C (who was in the best of moods during the day, and then slept the whole car ride home). What more could you wish for 🙂

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Shirts for a Gentleman

Last fall, right before I hit the wall sewing wise I’d taken on one of my rare commissions (I don’t usually sew for others unless its totally on my terms).
But when my wonderful dancing master Sievert asked me if I could help him update his historical shirts I couldn’t say no.

He needed both a new medieval and a new regency shirt to use on our dance recitals.

So I got some nice cotton (I know linnen would be more accurate but I was to make them on machine anyway. And they needed to be easy to wash and care for), made some quick pattern calculations and cut the rectangles needed for both the shirts.

Then I stopped, put my head in the sand and closed my eyes to everything sewing/historical (because pregnancy can do that to you)

More then 10 months later (after the birth of my son, and then some), I was once more ready to tackle the shamefully late commission.

So after one intense week of sewing in between feedings, I managed to sew and deliver both shirts.img_0882

The process went pretty fast and straight forward except one little hiccup –
While putting the last hand on and pressing the Medievals shirt I noticed the seam allowance on the outside on one of the sleeves.

Meaning i’ve put it in inside out.

Crap!

So it was on to un-picking the french felled seam (with hand finishing:-( )
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I then turned the sleeve outside- in and re-attached it, pressed and once more used tiny hand stitches to fell the seam.

There done!

Or, wait a second…

NOOOOoooo!!!

I done the exact same mistake AGAIN!

Some of you might remember that I’ve done this before (on my Borgia chemise les then a month before).

How is it even possible that I didn’t learn?
By now I tossed the damned thing into the corner and went to sleep, debating with myself if I could leave it like that.
Of course I couldn’t – It was  a commission piece after all.

So bring back the seam ripper.

The only trouble was that these folded french seams needs really small seam allowance to look good, and the only way to achieve that is by trimming it after you stitched the first seam. This practice, and the fact I’ve done it wrong not one, but twice, meant that I cut of about 1,5 cm on the left shoulder compared to the right. Making the whole garment a bit of.

Once the sleeve was re-set, a third time, I quickly finished and packed the shirt away, out of sight.

The finished medieval shirt:img_0420

img_0388The final result after all the re-stitching.

img_0428Sleeve with ties

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Then it was time to get cracking on the Regency shirt.

This time I didn’t do the same mistake (Hurray!), and the shirt was finished in a few days.

The finished Regency shirt: img_0873

img_0878Metal buttons on a standing collar.

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The two shirts now at their new home.img_0884Lets hope he gets a lot of wear out of them.

2016 in Review

2016 is one of those years we will always remember for it’s tragic events, raising lack of humanity/ compassion for the most vulnerable in our society (and world).

But for me, 2016 will always be one of the mot important years in my life – it’s the year my son was born.

Thus a big change in my priority’s (and time/energy) leaving my sewing somewhat on the backwater.
And taking into account that I had a 6 months hiatus from sewing last winter(Oct 2015 – April 2016) there is a miracle I managed anything at all. But I did actually finish a few items both before and after my delivery in June.

And here they are:

1790s printed Roundgown:
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Viscose 1790s Roundgown (both with and without baby-bump)IMG_9669

Regency Petticoat IMG_9661

Babyclothes:
Modern:
Jackets, bodys, pants, hats and rompers several of each.IMG_9732 IMG_9915

Historical:
A hat and shirt for a newborn IMG_0282

Halloween:
Henry VIII Costumeimg_1718

Menswear:
(not yet posted about)

Medieval shirt:img_0416

Regency Shirt:img_0861

1950s turquoise viscose dress:IMG_0842

1450s Italian Gown:img_0524

1400s Chemise IMG_0334

1450s Italian Court Gown img_0442

1550s Elizabethan gown:img_1581

Brocade gown img_1480

  Quilted petticoatimg_1033

I’ve also finished a few minor projects like, hemming skirts/pants, sewing curtains/pillows, adjusting dresses etc.

And as always I have a few things on their way which I didn’t manged to finish before the new year (but which hopefully will be completed in he following months).

Al in all I think I did pretty well with my 3 mayor project, which all has been on my wishlist for quite some time.

Medieval Fair Söderköping 2016

A few days after I finished my “Borgia dress” it was time for it’s first outing – To the yearly medieval fair in Söderköping.

This year I had a hard time deciding whether or not I should go, and if I did, then in what way would I attend.
Because of the new baby…
The first thing I needed to decide was If I should go at all, and should I then take him with me?
And If I took him, should I breastfeed or give him the bottle (this is the million dollar question when it comes to clothing decision), and would it be better to wear something old and easy to wash (because, baby spit) instead of my new princess gown?

I had three dresses that I could wear to the event:

1. Italian renaissance
img_0504Pros:
New dress!
Never worn
Soo pretty

Cons:
“Booberella”
Difficult to wash and thous breastfeed in
Never worn….

2. Medieval Cote
IMG_3663Pros:
Comfortable and opportunity to wear a whimple
Perfect for the Fairs time period
Easy to breastfeed in
Well tested and trusted

Cons:
Thick wool = super hot
Difficult to wash
Worn a lot

3. Tudor Peasantsidan-solPros:
Easy to wear
Easy to wash and to breastfeed in
Cons:
Simple on the verge to boring

In the end the choosing was made easy by my boyfriend insisting he take the baby for the day and I go alone (well not alone, my sister was to come to).
This was to be the longest time away from Charlie I ever been, so lets just say I was les then focused when dressing in my gown (New Borgia gown for the win, because – New dress :-)) and kissing my boys goodbye.

img_0919The familiar scenery of Söderköping.

We meet up with the dance team and participated in the show (with only a handful of on-lookers)img_0890

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img_0900I really need to do something about that neckline (or work a bit more on my posture)…

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img_0913Ha ha, love this picture.
Some people do take the dancing a lot more serious 😀

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After the dance recital me and my sister took a walk around the market.

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img_0922Mmmm fabric….

We also took a few minutes to take some pictures by the big church (while trying our best to ignore the other visitors taking our picture).

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14689770_10210697130606027_928742329_oMedieval selfie 🙂

Before heading hoe we did a pit-stop at the fabulous fabric store, where I got lots and lots of cute baby fabrics.

Traveling with Baby – Medieval baby sling

For the easiest entry to HSM ever, I started looking into ways to travel with my little one.

Before the use of strollers and the intricate baby carriers that’s becoming more and more popular, people (read women) used the easiest way of tugging their baby’s along – a fabric “sling”.

I will not go into the use of slings and ways to travel with baby’s in past times, since others do it so much better, like Som när det begav sig (link in Swedish). A simple google search will also give you the history from (more or les reliable) sites – most of which sell modern baby carriers and shawls.

The construction of my baby sling/shawl was to make a rectangle 3 x 1m and hem the edges.
I then tied it around my body (under one arm and over the other shoulder) and placed my baby in it.

And that’s that.

And since I sewed it by machine it actually took longer getting dressed for the photoshoot then it did making the sling.

Photos:
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IMG_0226Photo: Maria Petersson
(I only let go of my hands for a second)

The Challenge: Nr 6 2016 – Travel

What: A baby sling

Year: 1500-1600s

Material: 3,5 m of ivory cotton

Pattern: None – I just cut a rectangle 1 x 3,5 m and hemmed it.

Notions: Thread.

How historically accurate is it? The fabric should probably be linen or wool, but since this was meant as a first try I think it would do. the machine stitching are on the other hand not at all accurate. 6/10

Hours to complete: 10 minutes

First worn: Beginning august for photos, but will maybe be used late August for a Medieval fair.

Total cost: 100 Sek (16 Usd)

Final thoughts This was such a cheat. It was way to easy and fast to really count, bu since I did have my baby (!) in June I think I can give myself a break.

Monochrome Medieval baby undies

Last fall when I took a break from sewing I also quit he HSM mid run.
But now it’s time to jump on the bandwagon (halfway through) again.
I have been sewing a few things that would fit the previous challenges this year (read all about them here) but lets start with July (since that the first one I managed o finish within the time frame of he month).

The theme for this HSM 2016 nr 7 was Monochrome, and I was eager to test my hand at some historic baby clothes.

Using my newly bought book “The Tudor Child” for the patterns for basic baby gear. IMG_0179

The Pattern for the shirt is fairly simple. IMG_0180

I cut the fabric in my favorite cotton/linen blend, and started by hemming the piece as stated in the instructions.IMG_0181

IMG_0183The folding pattern for the shirt.

Then I whip-stitched the hemmed edges together.
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Once the shirt was finished (it all went surprisingly fast considering I did it all by hand with a sleeping/feeding/squirming newborn in my arms) I moved on to the biggin/hat.

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IMG_0184The pieces cut from the same cotton/linen blend.

IMG_0191Hemmed pieces. I decided to ad ties to help keep the bigging on my baby’s head.

I did a slight miscalculation drafting the pattern making the center piece to long. IMG_0192Ops… 
But really, it was just to cut it of.

I also realized I messed up stitching the shirt.
The center is supposed to be open to get easy access for the baby, and since they are supposed to be swaddled (Yeah, No, that’s not going to happen with my baby) the opening would be completely covered in other fabric. so in the end I think this way was better for me.

The finished pieces: IMG_0282

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The Challenge: Nr 7 2016 – Monochrome

What: A shirt and bigging/hat for a newborn baby.

Year: About 1500-1600

Material: 0,5 m Linen/cotton blend.

Pattern: baby swaddling Shirt and Bigging from “The Tudor Child”.

Notions: Thread

How historically accurate is it? Pretty good. The pattern and sewing methods are good (except the mistake of stitching the shirt front closed). The fabric should be linen, but since I have difficulty finding a soft linen I think the 50/50 cotton blend I use are quite legit. About 8/10

Hours to complete: 4 (3 for the shirt and 1 for the bigging)

First worn: Beginning August for photos. Was meant to be worn late August for a Medieval fair, but I’m not sure anymore (see “Final thoughts”)

Total cost: 50 Sek (8 Usd)

Final Thoughts: It was really fun making these pieces. They came together so fats and the fabric was a joy working with. Unfortunately the Shirt ended up way to small for my fast growing baby – well guess I just have to make another one…

Söderköping’s Medieval Fair 2015

This weekend it was once again time for the annual medieval fair called “Söderköpings Gästabud”.
And just like last year I talked my sister into going with me, to watch and help with the dance recital.

And of course she needed something to wear…
So after a week of intensive sewing we were finally ready for the fair.

20150829_134702_resizedSis and me in our Medieval garb:
Blue Burgundian (24 hour) dress, and green wool cotiehardie

Once at Söderköping we hurried to find the rest of the dance team to get some last minute practice before we were to perform.  IMG_8308

My sister also got to partake in the dancing (even though she only watched the performance once before, (a task she performed perfectly, of course).IMG_8307OMG – how I’m I to keep my hats on while dancing?”

IMG_8314Medieval dancing…

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IMG_8311Othilia and Maria (sis) catches their breath after the performance.

Since we then had a 3 hour break until next dance-performance, me, Clara and Maria headed of on our own.  IMG_8330

 First stop, “Jofotex fabrics” – the by far best fabric store in our area.IMG_8327“Price the lords for fabrics”

You could clearly see the influence the Medieval fair had on the store (and the well dressed clientele), with special prices on wool, linens, and everything slightly medieval. And the staff didn’t even bug an eye at our walking in in costumes.
IMG_8319A for effort but some what lower scores for historical accuracy…

Once again out of the store, somewhat poorer, (I bought some lovely ivory lace and fabric for a new skirt to my 17th century bodice) we headed back to the market to see everything. We found:

Knights practicing their fencing.IMG_8334

IMG_8337Maria and Clara listening to lovely music. 

Knights and horses.IMG_8341

And a coffin…IMG_8346

IMG_8348The town of Söderköping really is the perfect place for this kind of events, with the rivers, cobblestones and old houses it looks so beautiful.IMG_8351

I managed to get some pic of the new gown:IMG_8354

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The market place lay beside the old church in the middle of the city.IMG_8374

There was lots of great things to shop for any historic/fabric nerd:IMG_8367Natural Furs

IMG_8370Colored furs – note the leopard and zebra colored ones.

IMG_8369Ribbon bonanza

IMG_8372Linen fabrics

IMG_8368Silk and velvet

IMG_8371And of course rows and rows of lovely wool.

Then we returned to the place for or next dance performance just in time to enjoy a great band playing medieval music.IMG_8376

IMG_8377Karin and Dan relaxing in the grass enjoying the music.

IMG_8381Sis in a sea of dress.

I didn’t get any pics of the dancing itself (since both me and my photographer was dancing), but it went really well and we had lots of folks looking and clapping.

Afterwards we had some final chat before it was time to say goodbye for this time.IMG_8386

IMG_8383The musicians Lena and Eric and dance master Sievert.

IMG_8387Maud and Othilia having a cozy moment.

IMG_8392Karin and Solveig both looking great in their dresses and headwear.

IMG_8397And that’s all folks…

(24 hours) Burgundian Medieval Gown

Last Saturday evening I came to chat with my sister about the upcoming Medieval fair, where I was to have a dance performance this weekend.
I asked if she wanted to come along, and since she doesn’t have any medieval clothes, if I should try to make her some…

Of course she wanted – So said and done.

I made a quick calculation of how much time I would have for this project – with deadline in 6 days wear of 5 was workdays and the only whole day was Sunday – where all the fabric stores are closed. And no I didn’t had anything suitable in my stash.
This was going to be a though one, but I knew that with some planing (and boyfriend away at work most of the nights) I could do this.

And this is how it went:

Saturday evening/night:
I sent her some picks of various medieval gowns that would be easy to make even without to much time and fittings.
She selected a model – The 15th century Burgundian dress, and sent me her measurements.
20150822_211254_resizedPicture from “The Medieval Tailor Assistant”

20150823_100221_resizedMy quick sketch including calculations on time, fabric and money.

(Consultation = 1 hour)

Sunday morning:
I drafted the pattern for the dress based on “The Medieval Tailor Assistant” and her measurements.
Then I cut and made a mock-up.
I also drafted and made a pattern test for the typical Burgundian “flower pot” headwear. 20150823_131154_resizedI tried the mock-up on myself to see if there was any obvious problems.

(Pattern (1) & Mock-up (1,5) = 2,5 hours)

Monday:
I meet with my sister after work to try the mock-up – which fitted her really good.
Just some minor alterations like shortening the sleeves, raising the under arm seam and ad more width to the skirt and it would be perfect.

Then we went to the store to pick out her fabric.
Due to lack of both time and funds we decided on some cheaper cotton twill in a lovely teal blue color, combined with purple for the stomacher and white fake fur collar – from my stash.
The dress should probably be made in lovely thin wool or heavy silk brocade to look it’s very best, but I’m convinced no one will notice our small budget, and if it men the dress is done in time and looks nice I think it’s the best choice to make.
IMG_8230the selected fabric

Once home again I immediately started to pin the pattern to the fabric for the cutting.
IMG_8227measuring the biggest possible size of the gores

Then I begun the daunting task of pinning all the (huge) pieces together.IMG_8232The back pieces pinned together.

And finished the night by hand sewing the base of the Burgundian Hening in front of the TV.
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(Fitting (0,5) + Fabric shopping (1) + Cutting (1) + pinning/sewing (2) = 5 hours)

Tuesday:
When I got home from work on Thursday I immediately started to sew the dress together, pinning and pressing as I went.
The time flied and by the end of the night I had a pretty decent looking dress (thank good for sewing machines and sergers)
IMG_8248The basic dress stitched together

Once the night fell I once more seated myself in my favorite couch to put some more work into the hat.
Adding bias-tape round the edges and covering it with glued on batting.
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(Sewing dress together (2) + Hat (2) = 4 hours)

Wednesday:
On Wednesday I focused on getting the collar done to get the dress as finished as possible for the final fitting on Thursday.
I sewed the collar to the neckline and carefully pinned the fur pieces on top, attaching the by hand.
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Then I finished the cuffs and attached the sleeves.
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I also started covering the hat with black fake silk.

(collar (2) + hat (1) = 3 hours)

Thursday:
I meet with my sister once more to try the almost finished dress, and to determent the length of the skirt.
20150827_180344(0)_resized 20150827_180319_resizedI love the look of this whole outfit

Once my sister left, I got to work on cutting the hem.
I really wanted to make it by hand, but time was running out and I still had the head-dress to finish so I took the easy (fast) way out and machine stitched it.

(Fitting (0,5) + hemming (0,5) + hat (2) = 4 hours)

Friday:
With the dress finished I got to work on the hat, adding the front “loop” and the lining. I finished by attaching a sheer veil (my 18th century fichu) at the top.

The I steamed the whole outfit, and put it on my dress-form for some nice pictures “finished”.

(Finishing = 3 Hours)

Saturday:
I re-pressed and packed all her garments, dressed in my cotiehardie and traveled to the fair – leaving home 08.00 pm.
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More Pics from the Event and photoshoot is in the works.

(pressing, packing and dressing = 0,5 hours)

(Summary: 1 + 2,5 + 5 + 4 + 4 + 3 + 0.5 = 24 hours)

The Finished Hat:
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The Finished Dress:
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The facts:

What: a 15th century Burgundian gown and hat.

Pattern: I drafted my own using “The Medieval Tailor Assistant” as a guide and my modern bodice templates as a base.
For the hat I refereed to lots of picture sources online this being the main one.

Fabric & Notions: 4 m of teal cotton twill, 0,3m purple cotton twill for the stomacher, 0,3m white fake fur, and thread.
For the hat I used 0,3m black fake silk, 0,3m buckram, pieces of batting, cotton scraps for lining, 0,5m polyester chiffon for the veil (I used my 18th century fichu), 1m of millinery wire and thread.

Time: 24 hours including fittings and millinery-work.

Cost: About 300Sek (48usd) although some of teh material came from my stash so we didn’t pay that much up front.

Final thoughts: I’m so happy with how it came out, And I think my sister also loves it – at least she looked quite happy and confident at the event yesterday…
The only thing that may need some fixing is to lengthen the sleeves about 1 cm, which I in my hurry to finish cut to short – ops.
But the worst thing is – Now I have to buy some nice wool (or brocade silk, oh my) to make myself one of these gowns….

Medieval Fair (and Dance)

Today me and my sister visited the annual Medieval Fair in a town near by. I was there as part of the dance group doing our routine, and my sister followed as our photographer and general cheer on.

I wore my green cotehardie, and my sister borrowed my tudor Peasant outfit.

Right now I’m to tired to write a lot about the day so instead I will let the pictures speak for them self (for the most part…).

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IMG_1874Unexpected on lookers.

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IMG_1928Oh, swoon – that knight looked at me…

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IMG_1930What, Is God, up there?

IMG_1932Oh swoon, another knight…

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Book Review – The Medieval Tailor Assistant

I thought this might be a nice opurtunity to stay a bit longer in medieval times, even though I’m itching to show you some of the other stuff I’ve been working on latley.

So lets do a review of the only medieval costuming book I own.

I bought it last autumn when I attended a medieval sewing cours, but have not used it as much as I whould have wanted – so many time periods to sew, so litle time.

But now I thougt it a good time to do a review. I would also love to here your opinions about the book  so please coment and let me know what you think.

The Medieval Tailors Assistant by Sarah Thursfield.IMG_7290

About the book:

It is a ok about basic medieval pattermaking for men and women. The book does not include sewing instructions, but do however have a couple of pages about stiches, teqnicues and fabrics used at the time.

The book is about 230 pages, and contains several different costume pieces for both men and women like: Underwear, outerwear, gowns, dubblets, hoses, headwear, childrens clothes and accessories.

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It also have a diagram which shows what clothing pieces were being used during different fashions and times during the time frame caled middle ages.IMG_7293

To get your pattern yo need to make you own “basic body blocks”, draping the pttern straight on your body.IMG_7294

The draping adapts and also workies on a dressform.IMG_2348Draping my fitted body blocks.

The basic sleeve needs to be drafted “on the table”, and have instructions and picture on how to do it.IMG_7295

Pros:

I like the wide range of costumes you can get out of the book. Using several different pieces of garment you can combine you own look in whatever way you like.

IMG_3287 Lots of different intrepitations of the patterns in the book.

I also like the wide range between the garments – you can make male, female, child, old, rich, pore or anyone in between. and the pages showing how to combine your outfit are great.IMG_7299

The detail pictures are great in showing how the finished piece should look.IMG_7297Love the detail of this photo.

The pattern for the sleeve is adaptable to several different models but can be a bit tricky if you are new at pattern making.IMG_7298IMG_2487Detachable tight fittig sleeves.

I think the instructions for adapting the bodice blocks are good and easy to follow, and the sketch and pattern layou helped me a lot while figuring out my design and pattern. IMG_7300

IMG_3454Short sleeved Cotihardie.

There are a wide range of headwear in the book. And I also like that they included the children, accesories and under wear chapters. IMG_7302

Cons:

I think the patterndarfting are a bit to hard for a beginner or unexperienced patternmaker.

I observed several beginners trying to figur ot the draping (and had a bit trouble doing it myself). It does take some practice to get it right.

I also think the sleeve cap are a bit of. I stuggeled trying to get it right, ending up raising it about 2 cm to get it to fit in to the arm hole. I guess this is something that happends whaen the bodice and sleeve are not drawn from the same template but one draped and the other drafted on paper.

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I loved the pictures in the book, my only complaint is that they were way to few. Sometimes it is hard to know how a garmnent would look like just from principle sketches or patterns, thats when you need the pictures.IMG_7301

I would have liked to get some patterns, measurments or more details on the more complex headwear in the book.IMG_7303

I needed to work a bit to get the shape I wanted on my headcloth. Even though it can be great to figur things out by ourself, sometimes you just want to know what/how to do it. IMG_3066 Faux braids and semi circular headcloth.

Would I recomend it:

I think the book is a defenetly must have if you are interested in medieval times or historic costume design.

I do however think the book is a bit hard for a beginner to use, but if you are willing to give it a try – go for it.

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