Sunday, January 19, 2020

Unfinished Objects (UFO) Completed

Well with the snowy day, it was perfect time to catch up on some sewing projects that were outstanding.  I first worked on something small as that would be the easiest to get done. It is good to start out all with a sense of accomplishment for the other projects. So the Tudor dress hooks were the first one up for completion, I needed a length of linen tape just enough to go around my lower back and hang just below my hip at the front to catch skirt material.  So stitched the ends of the length of tape and added the hooks. Making sure the sharp hook will be facing down to hook into the skirt material. I know this part of my kit will be very handy.  Especial with the numerous dresses I own and could use this for some of the medieval wool ones too. Love utilitarian items.

  The next was sewing some trim on the back of a dolls coif.
I mostly completed this one last year although realizing the back of the bonnet trim was not stitched to place. So fixed that quickly. I didn't include her in my previous YouTube videos about dolls. So made a quicker one about her and the inspiration for her outfit. Although a name is needed for her I realized in hindsight. So if you know of a good older circa 1600 Dutch/Netherlands name for a girl, add a comment. Always happy to hear from my readers, even if you don't have a name in mind.

Lastly on this mini marathon of sewing, I finished the trim for my wool cloak. This cloak I have in my possession for 15 years. Its made from an old army blanket and is well loved. Although it was plain and one could see the over-lock stitching on the edges for its original intention as a blanket. So I added red woven trim around all edges and down the middle of the hood and back of the cloak to hide the back seam. This trim added a much needed pop of brightness against the drab green color. I also changed the clasp to an black iron Pen-annular knotted style clasp to be more medieval. I still have more of the red trim and am contemplating either different uses for it. An other option would be adding a second stripe all around the outer edge of the cloak, if I have enough left. I am waiting to see what I think of it as it is in the current arrangement.  At least for a little period of time, I will be contemplating if it really needs more.

Sew Pleased,

THL Marrin O'Cadhla

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Wooly Goodness- Part 2

The number one question I get since I take the knitting with me, to medical appointments for my parents, is what am I making? Which I just make large squares and rectangles most of the time, it seems off putting to those asking that I do no know. With most projects I do wait to see, what is calling to me from the source material to be made into a particular object. Which I know that seems odd to some but this is meant to keep the hands busy at leisure and at work. So sometimes needlework is a fidget for me so to speak. Just like the blue yarn that turned haphazardly round into a caplet, it worked out and still need to find a fastener for that yet.

So knitting away on the delicate black wool right now, so that will take a while since I have several balls to use up and this is a thinner gauge yarn. The next step is to carefully felt the knit fabric to a solid wool fabric. I have the purple berry color and the black with orange all ready for some felting trials. I am working on the thinner and much more delicate black wool that is more lace like to see how that will turn out. Considering the felting, especially if I want to cut the fabric as this will prevent a certain amount of fraying.

I am on the look out for a bright crimson and a scarlet wool fabrics for making some items as well. In the past I lucked into some good ones, although local stores of changed the offerings. Currently its more challenging to find the weight I want at a good price at all. As is with all things I will need to shop and keep my ear to the ground on this. A great source for online linen is known to me but the wool is tricky.

So if anyone know of a good one send me a message.

Wool is happiness,

THL Mairin O'Cadhla

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Sharing Knowledge with You

As many of you know I participate in a group called the Society for Creative Anachronism for many years, 15 to be exact.  If you want to know more about this organization, the SCA follow this link.  Even when I started back in 2004, I was interested in Tudor life and all that encompassed although became most involved with sewing clothing at first. Eventually switching from regular size clothing, to dolls and fiber arts to learn more about fabric and its processes along with other unique miniature interests there in.

More recently, after the Arts and Sciences Kingdom Championship a few months age was over. There was a great offer of assistance to all entrants, to share their knowledge further with everyone about their respective research. Which is a brilliant idea! The Aethelmearc Gazette is a small website about various events and happenings in my local kingdom. The SCA Kingdom of Aethelmearc, which is within the geographical region that I live to know more on that see this link. Now I am active with this group of avid medieval research enthusiasts for many years.

Now approaching the reason for writing about the prior. An article was written from my research for the Aethelmearc Gazette. Very happy with how it turned out, looks very nice and the pictures are great. Still in shock about my 3rd place finish, very flattered and humbled about doing so well. It was nice to see accumulation of hard work pay off.  Here is a link to the article, please see below:
Behind the Scenes-Kingdom A&S Championship: The Arabella Stuart Doll by THL Mairin O'Cadhla

Always Thankful,

THL Mairin O'Cadhla

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Something Old and Something New

No, it’s not a wedding. Although some belated gifts were received from the holiday.  Today a hand crank for my sewing machine arrived in the mail. The weather was seasonally festive today, the package was packed well and not wet. Added it to my machine after shoveling the snow and tested it out. It works great! That is believe it or not, despite the old styling and antique related use, this my something new. As it is a new item and not previously owned.

While waiting for my something new, I did do some touch up painting on my Singer. I found a good enamel paint in an applicator stick, which makes a top coat not necessary. Did some gold leaf touch up on the wording and other areas. I did order two manuals for my Singer to keep in with the tools, paint and presser feet.

On the other hand, I received a new to me laptop is my something old. A HP
chrome book, which will give me the capability to edit videos I make for YouTube. This will allow me to have an updated internet experience. My prior laptop ran Microsoft Vista, the more technical capability was gone due to the lack of updates since the cut off of support. Which is sad my old laptop which is also HP, still works a little slow but not bad. It doesn’t have the capacity for more updated data storage as technology demands. It’s a great, a pretty coral and is nicely light weight and thinner. Looking forward to using it in a few places.

So here is to technology old and new,

THL Marrin O’Cadhla

Friday, January 3, 2020

Antique Singer Model 66 Red Eye

Shopping for an antique sewing machine for decades but wasn’t sure what kind to get. The Singer brand is synonymous with sewing and I knew something like that would cost a pretty penny.  I liked the idea of an non electric hand crank or treadle machine but space was always challenging. Apartments, trailers and other small affordable housing options do not lend space for much of any hobby space, let alone clothing creation. As utilitarian influence weights heavily on my mind, I didn’t want a nice machine to be unused or damaged due to lack of space.

Additionally for years, I felt an working antique machine was financially out of my reach. When I set up housekeeping over decade and a half ago,  my mom gave me her sewing table. There wasn’t a machine to go with it that fit. I was gifted my grandmothers machine, a Kenmore although the engine was broken. So I had a modern Brother machine for over 10 years, sitting on top of the table. It is no longer used as it is on last legs, hoping to find a rest-home for dying sewing machines.

Well the past year, I decided it was time to find my Singer sewing machine. Since red is my favorite color, I wanted a Model 66 Red Eye Antique Singer. Locally I found other off brand machines that worked but I didn’t want the cabinet to go with it or it was an electric modified machine. Sadly there was one that was all rusted solid, a sign saying,”it makes a great door stop”. My eyes welled up, seeing a workhorse Singer so abused, what a crime.

On a better note, dreams can come true.  Today is the day for found my cast iron baby. Sitting on the floor in a different local antique shop, I found my Singer Model 66 Red Eye Sewing Machine, in great condition it moves smoothly, condition on the paint is very good,  not much wear little to no rust. I am just over the moon it only cost me $38.00. For a similar machine online would have cost me 7 times as much. Although one would have had a case or something besides just the machine.

So it’s home and fits in the table like it was made for it. Just waiting for a hand crank accessory to complete this. Then will test and oil the machine, currently reading up on the options and any non electric accessory for this machine. I will be looking for a cover for my antique sewing machine. Since this doesn’t fold into the table without trying to slip from the clips, I gently tested this. No sewing machine were harmed in the testing of the sewing table. Cleaning of the machine and some superficial oiling will be down this weekend. I did some research based on the serial number this is a machine made in 1923. So it’s 97 years old, she looks very good for her age.

Very pleased,
THL Marrin O’Cadhla

Monday, December 30, 2019

New Years

Well, I completed a knit wool caplet this weekend. I was thinking about making a hat out of the completed knit. Although concerned about the stress on the edge that was gathered for the top of the hat. So since the wool was thicker gauge,  I decided this would be a better use of what was made.

Currently considering a small skein of blue for more edge detail. Including a little collar for this as well. Also I will need to see what kind of closure I would like to use for this accessory. My goal is to make sure this looks finished. A really polished look makes it look less homemade and more a custom knit accessory.
It would be a bit librarian chic kind of garment. Not something I would typically wear. Although I am going to experiment with some styles for interest in my everyday wardrobe. Which I always had an artist flair to my clothing but nothing over the top.  I don’t like to be looked at by anyone for long periods of time, so more a  subtle uniqueness to my wardrobe. Although it’s not as much as when I was in college.

There is a new kind of lifestyle wardrobe trend called historybounding. Similar to Disneybounding where one dresses as a character inspired by but not exact version of the character. Basically where you have a history slant to your everyday clothing from any era of your choice. I am considering adding some inflections since my mom gave me this great wool cabby hat that I wear in winter. I have a wonderful pocket watch and a smaller watch with clear case  which with a bar clip pin would give a great accent to a vest or sweater. Imagine a blouse with sweater and long skirt combo.  Thinking 50’s casual would work for business casual since many folks don’t wear fashion correctly. Which work requires business casual, so this basic combination falls within the guidelines. Librarian chic shouldn’t be distracting in the workplace, certain we will find out.

There are a few tailors, clothing makers whom are trying an experiment/ lifestyle of wearing authentic period specific fashion for everyday wear. Which I admire this greatly this dedication to ones craft and art.  Although figuring that wearing Tudor fashion would not directly violate my corporate employers dress code, although there is a clause about non distracting at the end  list of unacceptable form of dress in the office.

So with all this in mind it becomes important to avoiding any form of questions, if I should attempt historybouding at work. I don’t work from home or for myself otherwise I could fully try something more. Plus it’s good to avoid the typical questions that come forward when dressing from another era. The most common  being,” are you in a play?”.  I do have an appreciation for curiosity and questions but please ask some more original questions. Repeating makes me concerned about our ability for humanity to have original thoughts.

I digress, just putting my thoughts down and see what I can make of an eccentric wardrobe change.
A new year, a new me some food for thought.

To the returning to the roaring 20’s,

THL Marrin O’Cadhla

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Yuletide is Upon Us

With the upcoming holiday, I have been working on all the gifting based tasks, as of late. So there has been craft but of a festive nature. Created a crochet, knit, and woven gifts for my siblings. Working on the last one at this point, along with other such things. Recently was given some hints of other gifts ideas, which will be procured this week. My one sister will get hers in the mail post holiday, only so much money before hand.

I was able to attend my local Chriskindl Market two weekends ago, which is an outdoor Christmas market of the German tradition.  Would have spent more time there and obtained many more photos, although the weather was miserable this year. Damp and just downright unpleasant, although not very
I was able to procure some tastes for my parents, who have been indoors due to my mothers long-term illness.  Also for self obtained 32 ounces of Shetland wool in grey, black, brown and tan. Despite the noon rain, all the goals were obtained.

On a Tudorish note, my wait for some books to come in from Nottingham, England is over. From the most distinguished Tudor Tailor ladies, who I do consider as friends. Made an order since knowing the quantities will be limited with the giving season fast approaching. I was to be given money for part of a gift, so books it is! They arrived safe and sound on the 23rd as expected. I found that they have one last pre-made doll on their shop. It’s a little pricey but considering it as a late gift for the living room. Decorated tops of dvd cases keeps Jace from perching in a high spot.

With most of the gifting obtained and just needing wrapping. Update wrapping completed but Jace overstimulated from paper shiny of all kinds, tried to climb the doorframe between the living room and hallway. No damage but he did look possessed for a few split seconds.

The current goal is to set up a naked Christmas tree and see what the cats make of it. I did put one up last year and it seemed okay, I checked for a picture and the tree did survive last year. Although Jace is much bigger and now all full in his feline powers of naughty glee. So we shall see what happens. Update he did pester it once decorated and seems over simulated to play with it when lighted. The newest developments is using the tree skirt or presents as a spying ambush location. Please see my Instagram for picture details of his holiday mischief.

In celebration of thankfulness, I am grateful for my sewing closet. Features a shelf for books and small items along hooks to hang project bags: certain it’s meant to be a coat closet but it keeps the cats out of the current projects and keeps the clutter down to a minimum. I put my more at hand books here for ease instead of finding them in the basement. I was able to add some books to the basement bookshelf and get them out of the boxes. Eliminated one box. I will look for more books to add up stairs from the basement but am carefully choosing those.

So if I don’t get an opportunity for saying so later. Wishing all my readers new and old a very a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays and a Healthy New Year.


THL Marrin O’Cadhla

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Wooly Goodness

      Just to give everyone an update for the next few months: Besides completing the wool partlets with matching wool aprons. I am knitting up a storm lately. Looking at felting the wool yarn into fabric for making more accessories. Since the wool was king for a majority of the low and middle classes for clothing in Tudor times. It was time to return to this fabric to see how it all works in various  applications.

      For the winter I am looking for wool yardage to make outer garments for my Tudor kit. These would be lined at least in the body portions of the garment. I am trying to reduce bulk and would use binding on raw edges if needed. Along with tape for trim on the garments, will keep them middling class and simple clean lines. So slowly compiling the right materials, not in any rush.

     I am still spinning the flax into thread but that is going to take most of the winter to finish. So I am keeping busy with multiple projects all at once, which is business as usual. On a side note, miniature painting on weekends to complete a gift for Albert requested for Christmas. Also keeping up with my parents and their needs. So I work on items when I get a free moment but those are reduced by work and life. Not impossible but will take time.
The linen kirtles I finished in summer and the silk ones the prior summer are the building blocks of the next tasks. I am looking forward to making outer garments in the New Year. For example, making Tudor fitted and loose gowns to go over top those base kirtles. Plus reworking some of my wool fitted jackets, I found some fitting challenges and need to rework them.

      After this in the spring, I want to begin the Medieval Doll Initiative. Lots to do but no major deadlines which is the best.

Lots to do,

THL Marrin O’Cadhla

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Wool Partlets

I have had partlets on the brain, since my last sca event. Comfy warm and simple garments that give a smart finish to any kirtle. When looking around for inspiration,  there are versions in German clothing in this similar period of time called a Gollar, those seemed fur lined a majority of the time. On a small side note, who knew a clothing drying rack makes a great book stand, not I.

 Requisitely decided to make two partlets from wool in my stash
lined in linen. I followed the Tudor tailor pattern for this project and it only takes 1/2 a yard of fabric. Although black goes with everything, I wanted to make one besides  just in a dark color. So I made two, one in green and the other one dark grey black. Currently working on finishing the edges, seam binding to smarten up the edges and adding hooks and eyes.

In other news, knitting. Much of this is also happening in conjunction with sewing. I am trying to see if  wool knitted felted hats are on the agenda. As of right now making sure stitches are better understood and checking on patterns.

Making all the little Things,

THL Marrin O’Cadhla

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving 2019

Well not much being done today. Watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as is tradition. Which is wonderful as always. Tea and toast for breakfast and a moderate lunch. Will be going out for Thanksgiving dinner.
I can cook well,  prefer to not cook a holiday extravaganza food marathon because it’s unnecessary.  Especially for two people it’s just too much and I will be one stuck with leftovers. So it’s better to go out and everyone can order what they want. Plus it allows Alberts mom come along and no need for a covered dish.

Right now receiving feline advice on wool and all things knitting. As taught by Jace Boo and his expertise on all things string. It’s a very windy day and it makes the outside more interesting for the cats when stuff is flying about. Other than that a quiet day at home, indeed. Wishing you and your a Happy Thanksgiving.

Best Wishes,




Tudor Q and A

What is a Tudorosity?

A mashed combination of the words Tudor and Curiosity to create the word Tudorosity. Tudorosities is the plural form and the deffinition is as follows.

Tudorosity- an desire to learn or know anything about the Tudor dynasty assocated with years 1405 through 1603.

Most people ask my why I make the Tudor garb ?

I find the clothing of this era not only beautiful but also challenging to sew. There is much more care and purpose put into making garments and wearing garments in the Tudor Era. I love the look of Tudor so much I wanted to explore the way clothes were made back then and the subtle changes in fashion and styles of time.

How did you get started in this interesting hobby?

I started with art first, I love to draw, paint, and sculpt all the traditional fine arts. So being able to draw helps me visualize the looks I want to create in my garb. History has always been a huge interest of mine and I've had a knack for sewing since I was 6 years old. It all started with doll clothes and I learned cross stitch embroidery from my grandmother when I was little. I am self taught sewer, crochet, knitting, embroidery and tatting. My methods are learned from books mainly and there is still so much more to learn.

What is my favorite outfit and why?

It would be like picking a favorite out of one of my future children, its impossible. I love all my gown creations and really like the distinct differences in all the styles clothing I make for the Tudor Era.

Do you make the whole outfit including hat, shoes, and undergarments?

I do have a goal of making a complete Tudor from the skin out. As of right now I make 80% of my gowns and accessories. The shoes, corset, stockings, and petticoats are bought online and the petticoats are a close reproduction but not made by me. Though someday I plan on making a reed corset and petticoat to wear under my gowns, as well as other accessories.

How long does it take to make a gown?

It all depends on the type of gown I plan on making and the time period and class of the design. Generally if I work on it 8 hours a day on a sewing machine it will take 3 days to get the basics and another 5 days to do finish hand-sewing details and beading. So a week to a week and a half if working on it steady for that amount of time. I work a full-time job so it does take longer than a week to complete. I put over 40-100 hours per outfit depending on its complexity, its like its own full time job of sorts.

Do you make renaissance clothing for sale or custom orders?

No, due to new employment and changes in my lifestyle. Unfortunately, I have no time to support sewing for others. Though I recommend sewing lessons for those adventurous few. There are many fine folks who make and sell historical clothing. I suggest guidance with sew from many fine historical enthusiastic costumers out on the internet.

How long have you been making these elaborate costumes?

I have been in the Society of Creative Anachronism coming up on my 10th year. Active since 2004 working at demonstrations and volunteering when I could between working and other life's distractions. I really concentrated on Tudor sewing in 2007 and worked with patterns to learn proper fabrics, techniques, fit, and silhouette. I really enjoy the eras transition from a medieval form fitting layered cotterdie to the boned Tudor kirtle and then to structured Elizabethan clothing.

Lady Willoughby

Lady Willoughby

Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose

Peach Elizabethan Noble

Peach Elizabethan Noble

Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose

Mauve Waistcoat Elizabethan Gown

Mauve Waistcoat Elizabethan Gown

O’Kealy Heraldry

O’Kealy Heraldry