måndag 20 augusti 2018

Being an invalid...

...leads to much hand sewing.

I have had sugery on my left foot and can't really walk a lot. I should also ideally spend most of my time with my foot elevated. This keeps me from the computer long times, because it's stationary and I can't get my foot in a good position.

What it doesn't keep me from is hand sewing.

Last week (three days): a new regency gown, all hand sewn.

Embroidery on cuffs and sewing of cuffs and neckband with ruffles for my friend Måns' new 16th century shirt.

Today: A new regency indoors cap.

söndag 5 augusti 2018

Croquet and tea 1790s style

Today Anna and I again went to Gunnebo House to amuse ourselves in late 18th-early 19th century style. Last time, in the end of June, sketching and exploring the gardens were the period activites that took place. This time we played croquet, before the usual tea and a swim in a nearby lake.

I got to wear my open robe, new cap and straw hat.


I am not very good at croquet. But then I haven't played it since the 1970s.

I will make a page with information on the gown and the inspiration for it, but now it is bedtime.

fredag 3 augusti 2018

The start of a Society of the Golden Egg challenge

A little more than one year ago, when Contessa Isabetta del Verde was queen of Drachenwald, she founded the Society of the Golden Egg. The Society of the Golden Egg is a challenge household for the arts and sciences in the Kingdom of Drachenwald, within the Society for Creative Anachronism.
This is the web page of the society, which will tell you much more, including ongoing projects. Members of teh household are either in the process of making their challenge or have finished their challenges, after which you remain a member of the household for three years. After that you will have to make another challenge if you want to stay.
There are currently eight challengers, and I am one of them.

I liked the idea of the society from the start, but since I research and make stuff all the time I wasn't sure if I needed this/it was for me. Especially since even the largest projects, such as Valeria's Eleonora di Toldeo gown, tend to be finished much quicker than in a year.

But then I found this, which if we take into account the fact that I have started working 75 % instead of 50 % probably will take a year - at least if I include research, blogging about it and making an article. It really is the perfect project for me:

A quilted auqueton from 13th century France
A Golden Egg challenge by Aleydis van Vilvoorde

The project is to research and recreate the auqueton of St.Isabelle of France, the sister of St. Louis, who lived 1224-1270. While St. Isabelle did become a saint the garment in question is not a religious habit, but a secular garment worn for warmth, and a rather fashionable one too, since quilted garments had recently become popular under the influence of muslim manners of dress. The garment has its name from the Arabic al coton. While fashionable it was not only a high-status garment; quilted garments made from linen or half cotton/linen and with cotton wadding were made as ready-to-wear, at least in Italy, in the period and since the materials were relatively cheap (and labour very cheap in the Middle Ages), they were actually a cheaper alternative to wool garments to keep warm.
When making it I will be using the correct materials and with period sewing techniques but make the garment in a size that fits me. The aqueton will also act as the focus for wider research on quilted non-military garments in medieval Europe. Included in the challenge is that I will blog about the research, tests and finished results. I will also write at least one article on the subject for Dragon’s tale and present the finished aqueton and the research on a web page at my blog.
The project is a challenge in several ways: I have never quilted a garment before, so I will learn new skills. Patterning for a quilted fabric will be an interesting challenge which will mean making samplers to see how much the fabric shrinks from being quilted. it will also be a challenge to make all that hand quilting in less than a year. My goal is to finish the challenge so that I can present it at Double Wars 2019.

To sum it up why it is perfect for me:

•  It is from one of the time periods I mainly make and wear.
•  It’s a preserved garment
•  It involves the new fashions for quilted clothing, and cotton, which is something I am very
   interested in researching further.
•  It will provide opportunity to continue my research in the field of cotton and quilted clothing of
   the high Middle Ages.
•   It is rarely done, the reconstruction of Sihame Cornetet linked to below, being the only example
   that I have found.
•  It will be a challenge to make all that hand quilting in less than a year, and I need something to
   push me.
•  It is a practical garment to keep warm. Though wool I does this admirably, so this is the least

I have started on the research: The garment is one of those included in the recent book by Elizabeth Coatsworth and Gale R. Owen-Crocker: Clothing the past: surviving garments from early medieval to early modern western Europe. I have also studied Sihame Cornetet's analysis from her blog. There you find many interesting photos and information, and she has also has begun a reconstruction.  

Apart from reading my first step was to make a test quilt, to see how much the fabric would shrink from quilting.

Yesterday, during the sewign meeting that I host  for the barony of Gotvik every other week I took some linen scraps of the approximate weight that I am going to use and I measured and marked a rectangle on it.

The cotton batting is spread very thinly, just like the original. When I make the actual pieces I will probably comb it to make it a little more even though.

I then quilted it with waxed linen thread, using running stitches. The finished piece is still flexible, due to the thinness of the cotton wadding, and it didn't shrink noticably.

The next step is finding if there are any older publications in French about this garment and if possible hunt them down. Actually starting on the quilting will have to wait until next salary, because I have bought quite enough fabric this month already.

The other challenges include cooking, brewing, clothing reconstruction, spinning and weaving and lace making - you can read about them here.
There is also a facebook group for the Society, which will keep you updated abotu what is happening with the various challenges.

tisdag 31 juli 2018

What am I doing?

Well, since my last post I have been to Ireland. I have seen the hill of Tara, Newgrange, The Giants' Causeway, Dunluce castle, the charming summer town of Portruch, Rathcrogan where queen Maeve once ruled, Galway, the Cliffs of Moher, St Brighid's well, a hen party dressed as nuns, Carlow, Kildare and Dublin (where I noticed that the fabric store on Lower Liffey street has turned into a bar).

I have also tried to survive heat of around 30 degrees C in the shades and scorching sunlight. I am not made for this, and in Sweden we don't have AC in private homes, and our houses were built to retain heat, not to keep it out. Add menopausal heat flushes to that and you just want to die.
There has been quite a lot of swimming, though it takes energy to get to the lakes or sea by public transport.

I have visited a very old and big rural market (the real thing, not a hipster version), where I bought hippie trousers, a straw cap and a new backpack.

And I have,a s those who follow this blog on facebook knows, made a 1790s open robe from printed cotton.

I like this photo despite the modern background and my unco-operative hair. At least there was some wind.
When taking these photos I noticed that my stays and my petticoat were rather tight in the bust and over the rib cage. I have gained back some of the weight that I lost, mostly muscle (which is what makes them tighter over the rib cage), but also some fat (which gives a larger bust). Luckily this was easily fixed by unpicking a makeshift taking in of the stays that I had done last year, and by unpicking a dart on the petticoat.
I will wear it all on Sunday and hopefully get some nice photos at Gunnebo house. I have made a cap and a trimmed a straw hat for the occasion. And a bag for a croquet set that I'm bringing to amuse us with.

I also have sewing plans (of course) and last night I ordered fabric for them.

This will be a sleveless working dress, based on this fresco by Giusto de Menabuoi, in the Baptistry to the Duomo in Padua, from 1376-7.

I need to make a short sleeved smock too, but linen I can get easily her in Gothenburg.

In October the barony of Gotvik hold one of our annual events: Festivalo de Caderas. The theme for said event is purple. Since I am cooking feast I will spend most of the time in the kitchen. Our baroness and baron have chosen the Quattrocento as their time period (though not keeping to it quite as much as Måns and I kept to our period) so I will wear my green working class outfit:

I will, however, attend court, so I have decided to make it easy for myself to change into court garb:
I will take off the apron and my linen cap, smooth my hair and put on some other headwear, and throw on a giornea from plum silk brocade.

I need to buy lining for that too, but that will have to wait a while, until next salary or so.

I have recently started working 75% instead of 50% and we will have to see how much sewing I will have the energy for now.

söndag 8 juli 2018

A medieval wedding

Well, not technically a medieval wedding, because at least in Sweden that would mean agreement between the fathers of the couple and the family of the bride placing her in his bed, but a wedding in medieval clothes, with medieval music by harp and voice.

It was at Hunehals medieval day (this is how it looked last year). This year I didn't camp, which I sort of regret. But we're leaving for Ireland on Tuesday and I really didn't want to deal with medieval camping gear at same time as packing for a week away. Especially not if it had rained so that we would have to dry a tent in our flat. It didn't rain, but I still think that it was a good idea. I got tired and in pain just by packing away our clothing and feast gear yesterday evening.
But next year I will camp!

It was sunny and hot, so we tried to spend most of the time in what little shade we could find. I didn't bring a craft project, so I worked on a cap that Astridh was making for herself. She was making a new surcoat.

Astridh was singing at the wedding ceremony. She had also made a new Swedish translation/adaptation of Belle que tien ma vie , which was very moving. Mattias played the harp, here he is practicing in camp:

For the ceremony he wore his  silk bliaut which now has got some more of the trim sewn on.

Mattias has been busy sewing, because he also has a new early 14th century gown - here posing with my hubby (who looks gorgeous as always) wearing clothing from the same period.

Making new garb seem to be the thing for Gotvik's members. Ysabel had made a new Italian 15th century gown and that style and that colour really suits her.

Oh, and here's the wedding. I was a witness and stood beside the officiant. At the moment we are listening to Astridh singing.

lördag 23 juni 2018

Exploring Gunnebo House and gardens in Regency clothes

While the regency/empire picnic in September last year was a success Anna and I felt that it would be nice to do something (even) less demanding and organized. So we decided to just put on our gowns and take the bus to Gunnebo, sit and sketch in the English garden, explore the kitchen gardens and the park and have tea and cake at the tea room

In case of chilly weather I made a spencer from lilac cotton sateen this week. It turned out to be sunny, but not too hot to wear the spencer on the way there. That sateen (a sheet on sale) was one of the first fabrics I bought for empire clothing, it just took a while to get around to actually make it. The matching bonnet was made already last autumn.

Gunnebo House

We sat down in the English garden and talked and I took the likeness of Anna with my pencil.

Since it got warmer I removed not only my spencer, but the lower sleeves of my muslin gown, when it was time to explore the kitchen gardens and take tea in the tea room.

Anna leading the way up through the formal gardens

Me in the kitchen gardens after tea.

 When we had finished exploring we went thorugh the woods to the same lake as last autumn and had a long swim.
Then we changed into modern clothing and walked the 2,5 kilometres to the centre of Mölndal, where the trams home leave from. It was just such a nice day that it seemed like a wast to sit on a bus when one could walk.

We passed through Mölndals Kvarnby, with small old houses and old mills.

söndag 3 juni 2018

Lödöse medieval days

On a very hot day (27 degrees C in the shades) I went to Lödöse medieval market with some friends.

I bought two handmade brass veil pins and four olive soaps, and that's all.