A 13th century striped and lined veil and blue silk cotte


Regular readers of my blog know that I am very fond of the lined and/patterned veils of the 13th and early 14th centuries - see this blog post, and this. So I decided to make one for myself. I had remnants of both white silk (since the late 90s) and red silk. But I really wanted a striped one. I have a sheer veil with gold stripes already, but I wanted an opaque, lined one too.

Countless internet searches convinced me that white silk (or linen, cotton or viscose) with gold stripes are very hard to find. So I cut out the laregest semi-circular(ish) veil that I could get from the white silk. Then I went to the haberdasher's and got the widest, not-plastic-looking gold ribbon that they had.
   I contemplated adding them by hand, but anyone who has tried sewing something straight on top of slippery silk understands why I chose to do it on machine - soo much easier to get it straight and the tension right. I also wanted to have a narrow red line at each of the edge of the gold, so sewing it with red silk thread on machine seemed like a reasonable solution.

Then I sewed it together on machine, except for a small opening, turned it, sewed the small opening shut by hand and ironed it.
I don't mind hand sewing, I've in fact made many of my outfits entirely by hand, but the result would have been worse if I had made this one by hand. I will make a new one when/if I find the perfect striped fabric.

The cotte is blue thin silk, and based on the pattern of the preserved 13th century cotte which used to belong to St. Elisabeth of Thuringia. You can see it here, on Marc Carlson's web site. Unlike the veil this one is hand sewn. I made it for Visby medieval week in 2006, and also wore to the party to celebrate my PhD (where I spilled gravy on it).

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