torsdag 25 mars 2021

A checked muslin dress from the 1810s

The gown has been finished for a couple of weeks, and the chemisette for abotu a week, and today I had the energy to get dressed and take photos with my phone and a tripod outside a local manor house from the 1840s.
It was cold and overcast, with some drops of rain too, so the curls that I had worked on just disappeared. But I really like the photos. The house is an office now, but because of the pandemic there didn't seem to be anyone there, which of course is just as well when you're taking photos of yourself in funny clothes just outside their house.

Here is a page about it, with more photos and info, some inspiration fashion plates etc.

onsdag 17 februari 2021

I DID skate more - 17th century Dutch version

Ever since I saw the Dutch 17th century paintings of people skating some 20 years ago, I have wanted to make one of those outfits. I have made a collection of historical Dutch ice skating pictures over at the web site of the Rijksmuseum, not all of them 17th century though.

But it is only the last years that I have allowed myself to make clothing from eras where I have nowhere to wear them, and then there was the need for proper ice :) We don't usually get these winters in Gothenburg.

Miraculously the cold came back after a short thaw with snowfall, and I have enjoyed over two weeks of skating on various ponds and bogs. The one that I skated on in my Regency outfit never got good ice again, but there is a bog with open water in the middle in a nearby nature reserve (2,5 kilometres walking from where I live) where people have cleared away the snow for skating. 

So I decided to make a wool doublet to go with my linsey-wolsew kirtle that I made  this summer. I had already planned to make one from silk damask for Gothenburg's 400 anniversary this year, but that celebration has of course been postponed due to the pandemic. The nice weather however put a fire under me, and I decided to make a wool doublet to wear for some skating photos.

It is now warmer again, around or just below zero and it snows quite a lot, so I am happy that hubby had the time and energy to go with me last Saturday to take photos of me skating in my early 17th century clothes.

And that I managed to make the jacket, and the weird starched hat. 

Most of the women in the Dutch ice skating paintings which were my inspiration wear a black gown, hitched up, over a kirtle, usually with applied stripes on the skirt, like mine.

Hendrick Avercamp, c. 1620:

I did actually have enough of the fulled cloth for a gown, but it is way too heavy and bulky to be hitched up. So I settled for a doublet. This is also more useful for me, since it is something that is often seen in Scandinavian early 17th century pictures, and I can wear it whenever we will celebrate the anniversary.
Lower class women are seen in jackets on Avercamp's and other's paintings, usually in some kind of regional costume, but my costume is more an affluent burgher's style, so let's call it a compromise. And it is not uncommon with doublets on Dutch women in the early 17th century, just not when they're skating.

This was a stash busting project. The doublet is hand sewn from fulled wool cloth that my mum bought 23 years ago, lined with linen fabric I got from a friend after he cleared out his stash from stuff he hadn't used in over 15 years, the buttons are thread (I used perle cotton, because it covers better than the silk buttonhole twist that I had at home) over wooden beads that I bought to make buttons for this outfit from 2007. They didn't turn out right then, but the ones that I made now I am quite happy with. 

The twisted cord is viscose, and I got it for the loose kirtle shown here, which is from 2004.

The "hat" is a combination of an undercap that I already had, and a new wired and startched creation. I need to do some changes on that, but it was thrown together in the morning before we went out to take the photos. With the anticpated hange in weather I was in a hurry to get this done. That is also why I am wearing a 20 year old ruff, that really isn't right, but was the biggest that I had.

And yes, I know that I should have a very different type of skates.

This is not how the ladies are generally depicted skating in those Dutch ice skating paintings.

This is more like it, more sedate.

And this.

Nice back view.

tisdag 26 januari 2021

Embroidering 13th century sleeves

 As you can see on the images I shared in this post many of the ladies in the images have decorated sleeves on their shifts. And soemtimed on the body of the shift too. Like this:

I thought about weaving trim, but I think that embroidery is a more likely technique for this. Especially since there is decoration on the chest too.

This is a small scale illustration, so any pattern would probably be very stylized, but I still used this painting as inspiration for my embroidery.

As you may see from the not yet finished sleeve to the left I use a type of Aida where the threads are glued together with a water soluble glue. After embroidering you put the fabric in water and dry it, you can then pull out the guiding threads. Not even before old age started affect my eyes did I have very good eyesight, so I can't really do counted embroidery on linen without help.

The embroidery threads are cotton. Silk, or even wool, would probably have been the period choice, since they take dyes so much better than vegetable fibres, especially linen. But cotton is actually not htat hard to dye, and cotton was both grown and woven in Spain in teh 13th century, so I could make some kind of argument for using it. But it's really because I already had the yarn, from thrift stores, and because I want to be able to wash my underwarm in hot water.

The embroidery is extremely simple brick stitching, since I saw it used on some 13th century German textiles when I was looking around for period embroidery stitches.

Now I need to finish the next sleeve embroidery.

söndag 17 januari 2021

Ice skating Regency style

I've wanted to do this ever since I started making Regency clothes again two-three years ago. But Gothenburg doesn't have very cold winter so most ice rinks are indoors, and not very pretty or historical. And of course they are closed now due to the pandemic. Even the one outdoor rink is closed, which I think is rather silly.

Luckily we have a cold snap right now, around - 6 C, and for the first time I tried skating on the pond by the University. Since there are so many plants in it I thought the ice would be full of debris and very uneven, but it was actually rather good, some arts even enough to make som more advanced things on skates, like standing on one leg with the other one lifted. Not advanced for a real skater, but for someone who is over 50 and hasn't skated regularly since the early 1980s.

I did some skating last evening, since I had noticed people walking on the ice when I was out hunting Pokemon during the day and thus knew that it was thick enough to hold. I haven't done much skating on nature ice, so I am a little cautious.

Since these cold snaps usually don't last long, it's supposed to rain on Tuesday, I decided to make to best of it and asked hubby to accompany me to the pond and take photos. And I can't really choose, so you'll get lots of them. I'm wearing shift, stays, petticoat, chemisette and my checked cotton gown under the redingote. And of course a small line cap under the bonnet.

I had planned to wear a "nicer" dress, with long sleeves. But then I realized that it was only 2,4 metres wide at the hem, which is a bit narrow if you want to do some more vigorous skating ;) 

Which I did.

This is how happy I get from skating.

After the photos were taken I took off the bonnet and put on a knitted cap and changed the redingote for a knitted cardigan, giving me a  sort of 1910s look.

But now I have rather sore thigh muscles after skating two days in a row after not skating for a year. I hope there will be more cold days however, I want to skate MORE!

fredag 8 januari 2021

The finished pellote

In the end I decided to line the pellote with thin wool, because I had it at home. Some reading about the tighter sayas from Las Huelgas showed that they were lined with "Anfalusian cloth", a term that isn't explained, but since they did make wool fabric in Spain (like everywhere else in the Old World) I decided that it was good enough for me. I am waiting for Vestiduras ricas: el Monasterio de las Huelgas y su época, 1170-1340 on Interlibrary loan.

Here I am modelling it with my newest jersey dress. a christmas dress with holly, mistletoe and lingonberries on it.

Both to protect the fabric and because it looks nice I sewed a cord to the bottom hem.

Silk taffeta from, cord from the museum store at Göteborgs Remfabrik.

lördag 2 januari 2021

First project of 2021

 And technically the last of 2020, since I cut out the pieces before our New Year's Eve dinner, so that I would have some hand sewing for after dinner.

Yes, 20 years after Ingeborg, Arnaut and I, had the idea to have a 13th century Spanish themed party in the medieval group Nylöse, I am finally starting on a 13th century Spanish outfit.

It really is the best time and region for a themed party: there are lots of period images of clothing, and there are preserved garments, there are cookbooks, books of music to sing and play, and there is of course Alfonso X's "Book of games", so you can be period in everything you do at the event.

Well, the party never happened, but the clothing has been in the back of my head all the time. When I turned 50 I got a gift card from a fabric store from my friend Anna, and spent it on blue silk for the saya encordata, the laced garment you see here:

Photo from the Museo de Burgos

Being plus size, with 36 G bra size I need to work on the cosntruction of the shift, which will need to give some of the support, and the saya encordata, which will give most of it, so since I am mentally exhausted right now, I started on the simpler of the garments (simpler cut I mean): the pellote.

The book in the frst photo is Clothing the past by Elizabeth Coatsworth and Gale Owen-Crocker. It only covers some of the royal clothing from the las Huelgas monastery in Burgos, but it is very useful. For example it tells us that the pellote I am using as inspiration for the cut was lined with rabbit fur. I actaully have a white rabbit fur coat that used to belong to my mother, and which is older than me. However, even if teh fur is in good shape for being so old, there's no saying how long it will reamin so, and if it's one thing that I hate more than sewing fur it is removing dried out fur which crumbles into fragments.

I could use fake fur, slightly less annoying, but I don't like using fake fur when I am hand sewing and using real silk taffeta (from, it just feels wrong. So I will probably line it with silk, linen, fustina or even a thin wool. I need to have a look at more of the preserved garments from this time and place before deciding.

The saya encordata above was worn with a pellote (sleeveless surcoat). The one depicted above used the same fabric for both, but there are also examples with contrasting fabric in contemporary art. Just as you see with tunics and surcoats in Europe north of the Alps, though the matchign sets seem to be more popular in Spain and Italy.

These images from the Book of Games show women wearing shifts decorated with embroidery (or woven trim), tight saya encordatas, pellotes, and cloaks.

Red sleeveless saya encordata, blue pellote and blue cloak on the woman to the left. The woman to the right have a more general medieval outfit with a pink gown with gold trim.

The woman to the left is a littel bit unclear, but she might be wearing a dark green saya with sleeves, and a matching cloak, but I need a better photo to see this. The one on the right has a white shift with embroidery, a red saya, red pellote with white trim and a red cloak, probably lined with vair.

The woman to the right wears a red saya encordata with sleeves and gold trim along the arms and around the wrists. She has a light blue pellote with striped trim, and no cloak. The woman to the left wears some kind of Muslim dress.

One woman and at least one man, probably the other one too, judging from the fit, wear a saya encordata. The woman furthest to the left might be wearing a looser tunic in pink with her blue pellote, but the woman playing wears a white shift with embrodiered or woven trim, a red, sleeveless saya encordata, a blue pellote, and a red cloak, draped over her lap. 

The woman to the right wears a white shift with black trim, a pinkish saya encordata and a light blue pellote with white and black trim.

This woman wears a sleeved saya, it is unclear if it is tight and laced or not, and a green pellote and cloak, both with white and black trim.

Here we see a white shift which only trim is two rows of black tape or cord at the sleeves. The saya has no visible lacing, but is very tight, and the pellote is a greyish blue with white and black trim.

Anyway, this far I have sewn most of the seams on the pellote and now I have to decide on whether to line it before hemming.

And I really want an SCA event to wear it to.

tisdag 29 december 2020

Costuming and sewing year in review

 Well, as we all know there weren't any costumed events after the beginning of March, except a few picnics, and online SCA events, but I did sew and make new costumes, and also plenty of clothing more for every day wear.
I am still recovering from exhaustion, and the first months of the year I mostly spent watching "Bones" or walking in the forest. Walking in the forest, and biking continued to be my favourite activites throughout the year. Since I am immunocompromised I can't go on public transport, so if I wanted to get somewhere it was on my bike or on my feet.

But, on to the costumes/clothing - there are five main categories this year:

*SCA period - medieval and 16th century

* Directorie and empire/Regency

* Fantasy costumes

* Dirndls

* Modern clothing, mostly from jersey

So, here we go:

SCA period

In April I started on my first medieval costume of the year: a green wool 12th century gown with embroidered trim in silk. It is all hand sewn, and has a hand sewn undergown from linen. It was finished in the beginning of June, but then it got too warm for me to consider a photoshoot. And hubby was working so we had to count that in too. So it wasn't photographed until early July. More photos and lots of information can be found here. The belt is from Svetlonoska weaving.

In June I re-made an 18 year old dress from c. 1300 to make it fit me better. You can read that story here.

In August I hand sewed a late 16th century kirtle from linsey-wolsey. Info here.

Directoire and empire/Regency

Between January and March I worked on a riding habit, mostly based on the one in Patterns of Fashion, you can read more about it here. There's even a video of me riding Casey. I really should have had a saddle, but I am just happy that I didn't fall off.

In November I hand sewed a new pair of regency stays from cotton and made a new linen shift, also by hand.

I also made a checked cotton dress, from thrifted fabric, a new cap, and a two new aprons. One from new grey cotton, one from the same thrifted curtains that I used for my late 18th century open robe. Like the rest of my Regency wardrobe everything is hand sewn.

Old caps in these three photos.

New cap, from a thrift store find of home made lace, and cotton fabric an old dress that used to belong to my best friend's daughter.

I also made a winter bonnet from an old plastic "straw" hat and some fabric remnants and thrifted trimmings.

In December I made a regency ball gown from sheer cotton with a silver thread woven in, trimmed wioth silver fringe and glass beads. I am now waiting for silk to arrive so that I can make a a sleeveless petticoat for it, I can't wear the same petticoat with everything.

Fantasy costumes

In March I made a 16th century corset, using my effigy corset pattern, and added lots of fabric leaves to it. I then dragged my husband to the forest to take some photos.
The skirt is bought.

In April I put fabric leaves, made by me, on my 16th century Venetian gown and made a peasant blouse for it from a cotton scarf from a thrift store and lace which I applied and sewed beads to.


Fantasy version:

I also made a capelet all covered in leaves and some flowers.

More photos and info here.

In September I made a 1930s bias cut gown, which I used for a set of fantasy photos. I had by then started making wire crowns, and wanted to make one for each of the elements. We made a really succesful photoshoot of me as a Water Elf by lake Vänern, more photos here.

I also made a Fire Elf costume in October, from an old sunbleached saree for the undergown and two brocade table cloths that I found at a thrift store, pluts some velvet remnants. The overgown is heavily influenced by the works of Mariano Fortuny, as you probably all can see. The crown is made by me.

We did a photo shoot with my air crown too in October, but I am not very happy with it and I didn't make any new clothes for it.

My dirndls, and dirndl-inspired dresses fall somewhere between costume and mundane clothing. They are neither modern, nor normal, but I do wear them for everyday wear.

I started with a green one in April, and then went sort of crazy.

That dress quickly became my standard hiking clothing throughout late spring, summer and early autumn. It has as apron, but I don't seem to have any photos of me wearing it.

The next one was made from unused cotton fabric from a thrift store. Here I tried Froschgoscherl (info here) as trim for the first time.


Both these are worn with a bra under, but for the next one I made the bodice supportive, with a few bones in front. Unlike the first one which was made with hook and eye tape and the second which has buttons this one is laced. It has Herzrüche around the neck, and the apron was actually made for the blue dress. It is an old sheet from a thrift store. This dress is otherwise made from new material, both cotton.

I re-made a courduroy skirt that I made last winter into a winter dirndl with a velvet bodice. Horrible photo, and I have curlers under that cap ;)

I made another more winter-y dirndl, from the same pattern as the light blue one, from a vintage cotton fabric in green with pink roses.

And finally, as you have seen: the christmas one, from christmas patterend quilting cotton sold at half prize in February this year. With real lacing rings, supportive with a few bones, and closed with hook and eye tape under the lacing. I wonder when I bought that hook and eye tape - it can't have been this millenium.
And it has TWO aprons, one from the old lining of my first medieval wool cloak from 1993, and one from cotton bought at another thrift store this summer. The trim is also from thrift stores, love vintage ribbons.

Modern clothing, mostly from jersey

As mentioned above I made a 1930s bias cut gown from viscose satin.

But mostly I made insanely colourful dresses, and a pair of tights and a hoodie.

I have actually made a few more, plus a jumper for Rickard, but I don't have any photos.

My projects for next years is more Regency, a late 16th century silk damask doublet, and 13th century Spanish. Plus continue to embroider on my silk cloak.