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.

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…

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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Medieval Fair

Two weeks ago I attended my first medieval fair.

I wore my green Cotehardie paried with the separate beige sleeves, faux braids and headcloth.

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The weater was terrible, the rain had been goning on for days, turning the gras and gravel at the fair to a muddy brown mess. Everywere you looked people wore capes or umbrellas.IMG_8204Some stylish gentlemen.

As it was my firs time, I tried to take it all in and got very exited walking around amongst the stals, taking picures.

There was food…IMG_8193

…Horses and knights…IMG_8195

…Great music… IMG_8199

…More music…IMG_8209

…Familys living in the camp…IMG_8191

…Friends resting on a bench…IMG_8211

…a girl gambeling using a mouse to earn some coins…IMG_8208

And of course lots of stalls with costuming wares. Like:

Juwelry…IMG_8207

…clothing and headwear….IMG_8201

..leather items like bags, and wrist bands…IMG_8202

…more leather and fur items…IMG_8206

…Childrens items (helmets, swords and shirts)…IMG_8200

I also found this strange set. A boar posed as a sign.IMG_8203

I did stop longer at some boths then other, and one I found especialy interesting was the both from “Svarta kattens handelshus“.

They sold juwelry and knifes…IMG_8212

… lovely woll fabric…IMG_8213

…and nice linnen fabric…IMG_8214

…medieval patterns…IMG_8215

…linnen thread, ribbons and yarn…IMG_8216

…and some realy soft furs.IMG_8217Sadly I’ve forgot to bring my purse. Or perhaps it was a good thing, since I surley would have spent a lot more then I should have, if I had had my purse.

Anyhow, I did’nt go to the fair to shop.

But to dance…IMG_8190Some of the members of the historical dance group.

We did some of our dancing in the mudd.IMG_8221

IMG_8230The weater and location made the few on-lookers even fewer,

So we took our line and danced ourself onto the jousting arena. IMG_8232

Where we got company from the jesters who tried to get the wet public in good mood before the knights arrived.IMG_8249

Then it was time for the high point of the day – the jousting.IMG_8245The knights saluting the audience.

IMG_8254Full speed ahead.

IMG_8243It was realy fun to wach the talented knights and horses performing there tricks.

But the best thing must have been when the “mystery knight” rode out, picked a lady from the audiense and propsed. To think he arranged the performance and dressed as a knight to porpose in a way he knew his medivel loving girlfriend would realy appreciate. IMG_8255She sad yes.

When I got home I was cold, wet, and muddy literary up to my knees.IMG_8259Natural agenig of my costume.

Medieval pattern drafting

This fall/winter I will attend my first medieval event and therefor will need something to wear.

Odly enough I must admit the middle ages never tempted me before. I tought the costumes and styles of the period seamed pretty plain and boring, and I figured I would never have the use of one.

But when the invitation for a Medieval feast arrived from my dancing company I didn’t heasitate. I signed up for both the party, the medieval dance course and the medieval sewing course. If you haven’t noticed, I have a tendency to go all in with things like this.

So now it was time to make an medieval outfit – and we only had about 1,5 months to do it. The first challenge was to decide on wich style of dress I was going to make.

medieval4The stylished simple Cotehartie

campbellp393Or the pretty high waisted gown from later in the period.

The sewing group was asked to by the book “The Medieval Tailor Assistant”, (I’ve already read through it), and will treat it as my construction bible for this project.

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While still unsure about the dress style, I draped a fitted bodice pattern on my dressform.

IMG_2340I adjusted her size to my mesurments and putt a sports-bra on her.

IMG_2343Following the instructions in the book, I cut and draped two pieces of fabric over the dressform.

IMG_2354Starting with the shoulders, pinning the fabric close to the dressform.

IMG_2355And then the waist.

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I did the center back and neck shaping. And then the same at the front.

IMG_2352The front neck needed some big darts to lie nice and flat.

IMG_2357Side view of the front.

IMG_2366Then it was time to mark the armholes.

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Cutting the exess fabric from the neck and armhole.

IMG_2378Then I marked the lines with a red marker, making sure not to miss any needels.

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IMG_2383And removed it from the dressform. Lying falt on the floor, I traced the dotts to make some nice looking lines.

IMG_2388The vertical darts will be left closed while cutting the toile.

IMG_2391Cut the pieces out, and place the front pieces (and then the back pieces) on top of each other. Adust the lines.

IMG_2395 Trace the pieces to a cotton fabric, and cut the toile.

IMG_2417IMG_2431Make it up and try it on.

Since I draped mine on a dressform and not straight on my body, there was a few adjustments that needed to be done. I took out some width at the center back and also placed a vertical dart at the shoulder blades.

And there you have it – your bodice blocks to make your pattern from.

Now it is time to start with the actual pattern.

Which dress I will make?

You will just have to wait and se…