Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Wishes

Well it's been a very productive  December. I worked as much blackwork as I can be done with the supplies in stock. Placed an order for more black Silk thread, now to wait for the mail.
However when I was able to visit my local stitchery shop, I was able to pick up many beautiful colors of splendor silk that now I have a plan for a future project. So a polychrome silk embroidered coif on linen is in the works. In the meantime idle hands are bad, I have pulled out my gold threa transitioning some of the goldwork on this piece. Best to be productive and useful, while I wait for the silk to come in the mail.

 For Christmas I bought a six book series in regards to goldwork and stumpwork. The series is interesting, I had picked up a book about her before; named Jane Nicholas. I discovered this author wrote many other books in regards the topic and decided that the one book that I had was not enough and I want to see other projects that she has made and researched. So I bought the series of books and there's a lot of interesting information in regards to stumpwork. I do look forward to finding ways of putting a little bit of stump work and some goldwork into a few projects as long as I can document it. In the meantime I'm going to come up with the composition then I can work and put in some small three-dimensional frames as an examples.
Of course the past couple weeks of been transitioning a new cat, her name is Star. She has been an early Christmas gift to myself. It's been wonderful to watch her blossom and be accepted by my other two cats. It wasn't until Christmas eve we really had a breakthrough with everyone getting along. Really do look forward to watching her grow up in the new year.

As far as actual Christmas gifts I received a few phone calls from close friends on Christmas which was lovely to hear from them. Received a gift card, a body lotion kit, and another bottle of my favorite perfume for Christmas. Along with a large goodie bag which will probably take me some months to actually finish.

The house has maintained being clean and organized and does not need as much upkeep know that I know where everything is located. Even with the transition of the new cat, the house is maintained being fairly clean. Just the normal struggle of trying to find time to do laundry and plug in a few chores here and there. A secondary Christmas gift that I was able to do for myself, was retrieve my maiden name. I was able to submit some paperwork to the courts to have that transition back. I was able to get that switched through a few government agencies on Christmas Eve day. So a great gift to myself of having my old name back for Christmas. Over the past month I was able to get all bills switched into my name for the household which is also been a relief. 2014 has been work and transitioning to a new life. 2015 is getting opportunity to live that life to the fullest. The world is my oyster; full of possibilities.  Looking forward to seeing what's in store for me in 2015.

We are all works in Progress,


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Coif Blackwork Diary

Picture of extant example from Private collection 
Day 8- All blackwork complete

Day 7- blackwork almost filled in
and some goldwork progress
Day 6- vines now to fill in leaves
Day 5- less progress but halfway
Day four – almost halfway
Day three – making progress
Day two – blackwork continues
Day one – beginning blackwork embroidery

At this point I have ordered the gold thread for all of the goldwork. So I am waiting for it to come in the mail, it should arrive before Christmas. As I am slowly working on all the blackwork. I am keeping in mind my supplies of my silk embroidery thread and being as very frugal as possible for its consumption. I did get in touch with one of my local embroidery suppliers. Just see if they carry more of this particular thread, waiting to hear back.  My very elaborately stumpwork embroidered box that I had purchased on eBay some months back, am dedicating to goldwork supplies only. Since bought an extensive amount from a supplier I found online. Figured this would be a beneficial idea considering not only does the box has some goldwork on it. As well as the opportunity. to try to store my very find materials not only in a beautiful container, but to make sure that they or safely organized.  So my embroidery box with peacocks has all of my silk embroidery threads and general supplies, while my floral embroidered stump work box contains all of my goldwork supplies beads and other accessories for embroidery.

On a literary note, I acquire seven more embroidery books with money or receive for Christmas. They are various different books by an author named Jane Nicholas. She specializes in stump work and goldwork embroidery. Possess one book of hers in regards to 17th-century stump work, and I enjoyed the book so much I found and research other titles that she may have written. I do look forward to receiving these in the mail and adding them to my expanding list of embroidery titles.

On a personal note I got to spend a wonderful weekend with my family going to a German Christmas market called Chriskindel Market.  I had a wonderful time watching the various different ethnic dancers, and they had some fantastic embroidered aprons. Took a few pictures, which I will post later that show this wonderful work. I believe the most of this work is most likely machine embroidery however it is nice to see embroidery out in public. Looking forward to getting either a Nother nutcracker or cuckoo clock however they were very overpriced. So I will have to find some other sources to see if I can add to my collection at sometime later. Despite not having picked up anything from this festival, I still had a lot of lovely time spending with my two sisters and my parents. It was nice to be able to get out and do something festive for the upcoming holiday.

Also on a personal note I adopted up a new kitten. Her name is Star, she is an black long hair cat with a white star in her chest. She happen to run in to a friends house while I was there for our normal Sunday visit. After a clean bill of health from the veterinarian, Star has come to live with me and my other two cats Jasper and Tabatha. It took a while for Jasper and Tabatha to warm up to Star. However there everyone seems to be finally getting along after about a week of adjustment. Star is a real treat because she is more of a lap cat, which my other two are not quite that comfortable. So it is really nice to have such a good natured well behaved and trained kitten.  Was wondering whether or not she had belong to someone before. However she was very thin I look like she had not eaten in several days.  Besides being a lap cat, she very loud purrer. I can tell she's very thankful to have a place to stay food to eat and wonderful affection, so an early gift indeed. 

So in the end working on my plans as scheduled, and plenty of new and exciting things to keep me busy and my personal, SCA life. I want to take this wonderful time before the busyness of 
the season to wish all of my readers and a very Happy Holidays and Prosperous New Year. 

Best Seasons Wishes,


Sunday, December 7, 2014

All That Glitters.....

After a while of freehand drawing, I finally have my new coif project underway. It took me a while to design from a picture of the extent coif  which is located in a private collection in England. This is a 16 century coif embroidered in coral stitch and then has the Elizabethan loop stitch done in goldwork. The black work itself is very small work so I know is going to take a while and use a lot of gold thread to complete the looped effect.

As I'm working on this project, I decided to do a small change instead of stitching spiderweb stitches inside each of the flowers I put in beads instead. The beads I have already worked into the center of each individual design so as I embroider around them, they will fit properly. I am working this in a black silk thread a 12 ply Splendor hundred percent silk thread. I have two cards of this particular silk. I am sure I'm going to need more eventually. There was just enough pearls and glass beads to fill all the centers. I feel very fortunate that there was just the right number to give this project a dimensionality that I think will be very eye-catching.
I have as of yet to order the proper gilt gold embroidery thread. It is on my to do list and is going to be probably part of my Christmas money to spend for actual guilt thread for this project. Really want to give its true authentic glow. There is something different about true guilt thread, it has a shiny luster that you cannot get from regular DMC or other artificial Goldthreads.

 Along with the particular thread there are other features and materials for goldwork that I plan on ordering as part of my Christmas gift to myself.  I want to design a goldwork specific project for a heart on green fabric done with gold work materials and techniques. And this is a strictly personal item it is something that could be document to pull through this SCA. However I'm going to be designing the project myself so it would not be an extent version however it could be representative of goldwork materials and techniques.  I do want to say particular thank you to THL Jaqueline de Moliere of the SCA for such a wonderful course on Goldthread's and their uses. And her experiences that she was willing to share with my local embroidery group. It has truly inspired me to look into other forms of embroidery and try my hand at something new and exciting. I have received all the Royal school of needlework inspired spiral workbooks. So I have those to look up technique. As well as a received an early 12 night gift from my wonderful friend Thorvaldr of a goldwork technique book.

It's late, best ready for work in the morning. Hopefully gold fever and will not keep me up.



Friday, November 28, 2014

Sweet Bag

In the meantime, I have been working on a practice embroidery. Its a striped floral arrangement that is 4 inch square. Actually turns out to be the size of a sixteenth century sweet bag. I decided then that is what I was going to create. So, I took some silk from a pre-existing shirt that had been cut up and lined at on the inside and back. Then proceeded to braid up some draw strings. Used some silk floss and some of a glittery yarn that I happen to have. The work itself is completed using beads and pearls. I also have some split stitch trailing stems on this particular piece.

Arranged in a stripe pattern horizontally. The pattern was actually taken from a coif', however I found out that proceeded to use it on the front of my sweet bag. Its not uncommon for the period to use beads, however it is a little later than the time I am trying to depict.

I plan on getting some photos of my embroidered 16th century waistcoat, while I'm at the event this weekend. Did take a few photos for friends recently to show what it looks like while wearing it. However I wanted to get a much better quality photo at the event of the outfit for you. So patience being a virtue, all will have to wait. It will be nicer instead of me holding the camera in the mirror to get a photo of everything.

Currently laying out the arrangement for coif.  With that I am trying to figure out how I'm going to make the design set right on the fabric I have prepped and waiting on a scroll frame. Took a picture of the design to show you what it looks like. This is a very interesting 16th century coif from a private collection. That not only has black silk work done in coral stitch. It also contains some interwoven gold work within the coral stitch not and some cool gold work woven pea like features.

So at this point that is what the current project is on the table. I also plan on working on a gentleman's Tudor outfit for a friend. So that is going to also take some time and effort to get it completed by January. Always so much to do, and so little time. My holiday for Thanksgiving was nice it was great to spend it with family.

Happy Stitching,


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Stitching to Oblivion

well it's another week and another project down. I was able to complete all of the embroidery on the Tudor Rose silk embroidery that I had been working on. And after completing it, I noticed that the design was too far off to the one side. Due to the miscalculaton, it is going to make it difficult to figure out what I can do with this design. However it is done mostly with split stitch and it looks really nice and I'm impressed with how everything turned out.

Continuing on the silk embroidery theme, I had a random design
already drawn up on linen and put on a frame. So I am currently working that piece with the left over silk. And also using some beads that I've been wanting to use. I plan on using these pieces for decorating some collar and cuffs on a few shirts I currently have. They do not have any type of decoration and I figured these bedecked simple pieces would be nice to use on shirts. The design is an original design of mine inspired by period pieces. However I think some of the bead work would be non traditional. But in this case it is meant just as a subtley and the pieces I'm wearing or not for arts and sciences purposes.

This is a precursor exercise before I get into two different acanthus leaf Designs taken from period sources. I'm very excited at working on these designs. However I wanted to take some time and do some more research with the images. Using for this embroidery, are a few images from my previous post using portraiture from the time. I need to look at the design and figure out if I want to use the original colors or friend going to change that.

At this point in time I'm collecting some books from a new series of embroidery. I will be reviewing them shortly, the series I believe it's pretty decent for someone who's not familiar with various styles of Renaissance embroidery to create a few projects. More on that in my next post.

Embroidering away,


Monday, November 17, 2014

Elizabethan Needlework Series Book Review

I did receive some embroidery books as of recent that have been very influential. Exploring Elizabethan embroidery by Dorothy Clarke, has been a very useful guide with working with motifs and design on the Elizabethan embroidery.  I have had this book for sometime and have enjoyed working some of the designs from it. Many of the designs in the first book are more display panels that could be used in many ways but they do not show as much applications in the first book. There is a sweet bag that I do want to make as well as some pincushions and the rest of them or more like needlework display panels that you would frame. There is a great middle section of the book that shows several different needleworkers, and their final designs. There are not any examples to these designs anywhere else in the book. But it shows what you can do with your skills and the projects that you could create in the future.

Discovering that there is actually a series of books on various different authors. The second in the
series is called Elizabethan Needlework Accessories by Sheila Marshall. This book outlines more detail in regards to more intricate designs, there is bookcovers, handbags, needle cases and several different designs with many more practical applications of this style of embroidery. This book is very heavy on projects. There are at least twice as many projects in the second book as there were in the first book. So you really are able to take the instructions and make many beautiful creations.

The third book in the series is called Festive Elizabethan Creations by Shirley Holdaway. There is a lot of interesting information in regards to necessities needed to create types of embroidery how do you frame and find fabrics. How to care for your embroidery after it is done. So there is a little bit more information in the third series compared to the first two books there is only one or two pages in the first two books that talk about tools, care, and use of embroidery. All three books have fantastic diagram showing how to create various different stitches and a fax using the designs from the books. This third book in the series also has color charts from three major thread companies. So if you want to follow the design examples in the book to the exact color. You are able by following the thread numbers recommended for each flower and design element.

There is even a brief history given about this style of embroidery in the first book. What I like is that this series allows anyone to try this style of embroidery. It opens up the intricacies, makes them relatable. Shows how to do the stitches via diagrams and instructions. And allows one to make anything from a small needlecase up to a much larger display panels for the home that could be framed. As far as true historical accuracy, these designs were created by an modern artist. So therefore if you wanted to create an arts and sciences project you would have to make sure the design you're creating is something from an extent piece. Or found an image from an existing needlework in a museum and draft a pattern from it. The examples in the book or a way of getting great practice and learning the stitches. And allow someone to create beautiful objects and accessories for their home to represent the Elizabethan needlework style of the 16th century. However it's best to take the knowledge gained and create a project from an existing museum piece for SCA arts and sciences projects.



Every Rose has it's Thorn

No rest for the weary. This is the next project that I have been working on in conjunction with the Elizabethan polychrome embroidered jacket. This is some silk embroidery based on the portait of The Marchioness of Northhampton circa 1578. These roses have been modified a little bit to not include the strawberry bud that was on the one side. They're done in 100% silk threads, done in split stitch.I know that I've posted about it before. But I making some major progress on it.

I've completed all of the right-hand side as you can see above. And I'm currently working on the left-hand side of the embroidery. I'm further along than what the picture shows. I have three of the left-handed stems and leaves complete. And it's going to be working on the red petals. I have as of yet to figure out what I want to do with the centers of the flowers. But because of the scroll frame if I want to do any beads it was going to warp some of the fabric. So in that case what I'm going to do is to leave the centers to be done at a later time.

After this embroidery is complete, I'm not exactly sure of the application I am going to do with it. As of right now it is just going to be a practice panel to work with the silk threads and get used to their qualities compared to working with wool thread. I noticed there is some warping trying to get strong tension on the scroll frame. So I do have to be careful as I am working to try do you maintain smooth tension without warping the fabric further. I am looking into other methods on applying my fabric to the frames to maintain tension and to adjust as I am working. Which would allow me to have a better final product.

Progress is good,


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Elizabethan Polychrome Embroidered Waistcoat Gallery


As promised, the pictures of the Elizabethan Polychrome Embroidered Waistcoat!

My friend and I were discussing this project as it has finally came to a close. What was interesting is this journey this project has become. Literally has been out on a work training trip to Minnesota. So believe it or not I got it and all of its materials through TSA. It has been to many SCA events, work related meetings, role-play gaming D&D sessions, Family gatherings. Survived one marriage from beginning to end, it's traveled with me everywhere I've gone for the past three years. There'll be times I will  miss bringing it with me, there'll be other times I will not. I am just happy to say this project finally complete. 

The journey has it been literal, it's also been figurative. Over the course of creating, I have learned so much about the time period that these jackets existed. I've learned so much about the materials they are made from the time, what  it takes to create something so elaborate. In the span, I learned from my mistakes and I've learned my strengths. And I really couldn't have learned this except for by doing. There are so many more stitches, techniques, and better choices of materials that I have learned in doing this whole project. It may not be exactly the way that they would've done it back in period. However this was a great opportunity to learn, embroider, assemble this jacket for a much more accurate one in the future times.

There is another of these Elizabethan waistcoats that I am planning to make, however it's going to be much more simple in design and execution and materials. The primary reference on this waistcoat was found by Heather Clark Nice, otherwise known as Her Honorable Lady Elizabeth de Salisbury. She located references of a jacket in the Victoria Albert museum that is red wool on linen, there are many unique and interesting animals that are featured on this jacket as well as flowers and other plants.  I am more specifically looking variety of stitches spacing and design on this before I lay and cut any patterns. This project will probably take a long time as well. 

This feels like an end of an era for me, because it is taking so long to complete this project. Largely the amount of time that is taken to complete this was unexpected however not unrealistic.  I look forward to debuting this complete outfit off at my next SCA event.  I do have a heart shaped cap worn with the teal gown before, am going to wear that with this particular outfit. In the meantime I have it on my dress dummy, my cats have the sense to leave it alone and I can prep the outfit for wearing. 

Enjoy the photos,


One down, Many More to Go!

Well after countless hours and three years of my life. The Elizabethan polychrome embroidered waistcoat is complete. Other than hook and I fasteners for the front of this garment everything else is done. I am still debating on whether to put the silk pink ties on the front of this. These have been known to be added later than the time period of this garment.  Most likely I will not add them. Full length photos with the teal under gown will be coming soon. I am so happy that I was able to take this project in time for fabric, fiber and fighting event.

I can now focus on creating and researching the next Elizabethan embroidered jacket. I knew for a while there in a second one was in the works but I did not have an extent explode I liked to. Until I was consulting a friend on the next waistcoat to find out that there was a red wool version that still exists in the Victorian Albert Museum. The primary reference was found by Heather Clark, otherwise known as her ladyship Elizabeth de Salisbury. The waistcoat will be red wool embroidered on linen. This is actually from an extent Elizabethan jacket that is housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London England. I find the design on this one very interesting because not only are there flowers on this there are a lot of unusual animals.  Plus it is in red which is one of my favorite colors, is an example of red work done in England. Because other researched pieces have come from Eastern Europe that have been red embroidery.

I found a painting at the Metropolitan Museum of art in New York that I find very interesting. It is of an Italian down from the 1580s to the 1590's. And I'm trying to determine the layers on this garment. It has a beautiful white acanthus embroidered pattern on the sleeves and the placard, I'm just trying to figure out whether that is in under dress and then the blue silk overdress pins to it. Or if it is one complete garment with detachable sleeves. Yet again determining from our it is hard to figure out how the layers work and how the dresses constructed. It's called Portrait of a Lady by Berandino. This will be in addition to the pink and white Italian gown that I plan also on making sometime soon. I have the fabric both white and pink to make the gown. I just have to take some time to make it and wash the fabric I received.

I really do like the acanthus leaf embroidery pattern from this gown. It is something that I want to try to copy and see if I can re-create. I'm not exactly sure if it is a project that I am going to create in strips and appliqué  directly on white silk. Though it is something I'm considering.

 I was considering embroidering the floral pattern on the white and pink Italian down. Except I'm not exactly sure if it is silver or if it is white. With the way that it is painted it is hard to tell. Found a reasonable trim that will work to somewhat replicate the floral pattern. I am however a little worried about the washing of the fabric that I need to do to get the white fabric situated for this gown.

Besides working on that I have a order for custom curtains. And I'm still trying to figure out a decent pattern for though. I am also trying to figure out what I need to do for a tutor gentleman's outfit. And getting the proper measurements for it. Tutor gentleman's outfit has to be completed by January. So I do have to get started on that as soon as possible. In the meantime still working odd and interesting hours and maintaining my numbers. So in the end things are working out slowly but surely.

So that is what is on the horizon for now. I am sure that there is always more to do and interesting things to observe. Looking forward to the classes at fabric fiber and fighting. Also being able to do a few youth project. And overall excited to be getting out and about.



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

It's been a very eventful month so far. Not only have I been taking care of all of my household needs and the needs of my two feline companions, Jasper and Tabatha. I have been working very hard to reorganize my work schedule to suit a wider range of hours. Hoping that some of my schedule will allow me to have some more free time in the evenings and weekends.

Been getting out of the house here and there.  Went to the movies on occasion, getting out to a club or bar once a month. Since Halloween is my favorite holiday I wanted to do something special this year. I surprised all of my friends, dressed up as Catwoman from the most recent Dark Knight series of films. With all of the weight loss that I have gone through over the past few months, 30 pounds to be exact.  So much more of a drastic life change, i've cut carbs down to a very low level and eat lean meats and vegetables. That is why refashioning a lot of my garb is going to have to happen this winter.  

I knew it would not take much to find a costume that would look right for me. I have always wanted to portray the Catwoman character since high school, but it's always been a very mature adult based character, and was not looked very favorably at the time. Considering my soon to be newly single status as of the new year, I figured this was a great opportunity to break out of my shell and do something out of my comfort zone. I wasn't really planning on sharing these pictures on my blog. But I figured is a good opportunity to show some other costuming that I do besides just the Renaissance.

On a more Renaissance costuming note, I did finish a commission recently. Which was for some accessories. I did the 1490s Italian coif that is made from metallic trim and beaded with pearls. Based on the painting of Eleanor De Este by Leonardo da Vinci. I included a hand strong 32 inch strand of pearls, and three sets of handmade earrings, using 14 karat gold French wires and 14 karat gold plated accents with fresh water pearls. Depending on whether I can get some transportation to one of my local SCA events, will depend on when I can deliver this commission to its new owner.

I have a friend wanting a basic gentleman's outfit so my next goal is to work on getting that properly fitted following the Tudor Tailor pattern. And I also have a request for a set of curtains for another friend. So there is some sewing going on, it's just very slow because of work scheduling.

Was planning on attending Aethelmearc Academy unfortunately meeting up with the dear friend was not going to happen. So I had alternate plans for the weekend. I hope to get to fabric fiber and fighting but that will depend upon gaining transportation on a holiday weekend.



Sunday, October 26, 2014

Balancing Act

Well it turns out that organizing really makes a difference. I have reorganized all of my costuming and historical research books. As well as all of my personal novels. So my library is much more categorized and easier to view all of the titles in my collection.

I am now able much easier to find many items on hand. As well as able to reorganize my extensive costume and accessories collection. Now searching is easier in my trunks and my closet, select an outfit with accessories under an hour.

After having lost so much weight, many of my outfits are loose. Which is not very accurate depiction of the clothing of the time. so there will be a lot of time this winter adjusting the fit of my clothing to make sure that it is up to proper standards. In the meantime there is a small selection of historical clothing outfits that will now fit.

More or less the month of October has been a fall cleaning of sorts. I was afraid with all of the changes that I would not be able to attend  SCA events. However I had filled a need at the most recent event called AE war. I was able to fill in for Chatelaine, which was a great experience to try to help in a different way. I also brought some examples of period embroidery, since this topic wasnt on display this event. What was nice to be able to educate on embroidery and help newcomers that would be interested in this immersive experience.

Recently found out that my commission for having my heraldry done in stained glass is complete. I am hoping to pick this up at my next event. And looking for a safe window space to display how gorgeous this custom work of art is. Speaking of custom things, I have a few commissions I am also working on. As I find time, I also have a piece of clothing I am working on for a friend for upcoming festivities.other than alterations, and the gowns that I have spoke about over the past several months. I do not have any additions to new gowns that I want to add.

Howwever, there is always a possibility of finding a new historical portrait to be inspired by to make a creation of a gown. In the meantime I'm going to try to focus a little bit more on embroidery. There are some research projects that I'd like to complete in regards to it and just to become better versed in this skill.

I feel very blessed now to have space to safely display all of my spinning and yarn creation items. I have also found some time to figure out the inner workings of my yarn Swift. It needs some work to make it do what it supposed to do, which is measure about 80 yards of yarn and then click to indicate that there is 80 yards on the winder and a skein is full. At this time I would have to count the revolutions of the yarn winder to fix approx figure out the amount of yarn that would be on the arms. Having the clockwork gears inside carved and working properly will make this a much more functional piece. My spinning wheel is still in fantastic shape and now has a space that it can be properly displayed and used. I am noticing however that many of the working parts are fatigued when I purchased them, and have become more so since I have been using the wheel. So I am having some spindles and spools made for my spinning wheel that are going to be representative of the current equipment, but will be new and be able to put up with more use.

Tabitha has recently adopted the chair is one of her new favorite locations. Along with the new to me reclining rocker wingback chair that I was able to procure. the Jasper and Tabitha take turns sitting on the new chair. They are finding life much more calm than they did last week during all of the moving. Other than their normal running around the house at full speed playful times, things are much more calm.

So other than working my normal busy schedule for work. It is been nice to be able to come home to some very happy cats. Be able to relax a little bit and unwind in the evenings. Some days are longer than others so there is less time in the evening to arrange chores. But at least I am able to make it work on my own schedule. Now that my personal life is much more in my own control, I hope to get my work life back up to the standards it needs to be. Unfortunately I only have so much time during each day to focus on certain things.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

On a personal note...

I figured it's probably best for me to let folks in general know some developing information.  It's with a heavy heart to inform all, unfortunately my marriage has become irrevocably broken. I do hope that you will give me a lot of patience, prayers and space at this time. However I will share a little bit of what's been going on in general my life currently

 So I've been dealing with separation of household including division of items. I have unfortunately not been able to do any creating as of late. And I have not made any further progress on the Tudor rose embroidery I was working on last post. Though I am doing research and looking in books for patterns in regards to future projects.

In the meantime with the moving of items, a positive thing has certainly come out from the separation. Which is the decluttering of my living space and crafting space. I can actually walk in my front room now and actually have space to move. Reorganized my fabric stash and going to put my Skein winder and my Spinningwheel out in the living room as soon as the bookshelves are moved. The space is looking more like mine every day which is very comforting.

Still have a lot more cleaning and moving of items do but I've been working on that as I've been moving items so it is not so overwhelming and their is progress. After I get my home reorganized I will be able to start working on embroidery and other scadian projects again. In the meantime in a little bit of limbo at this point in time but I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Crewel Twists

It's noted in an inventory from the Victoria & Albert Museum, that there is a waistcoat embroidered in red wool embroidery on linen cotton twill fabric. Though my waistcoat is done as wool on silk, there's at least one instance where wool was embroidered on these waistcoats in the late 16th century. I contacted their textile in costume department to find out if they have a full-length picture of this garment, there was no full-length pictures showing this particular waistcoat. So waiting to see if they will correspond back.   From what I know also sarcenet is a type of silk fabric that was used also in these garments. Though the surviving examples most seem to be linen based ground fabrics. Granted it is one instance out of many garments made, were made but many that didn't make it through time. This leaves a realm of possibility some creative aspects in the design of these jackets did occur, from made of the colors to the fibers chosen did vary, a little food for thought.

It's my goal to have my waistcoat completed by the New Year. It's been far too long to let it go unfinished. I just recently acquired some spangles for the finishing touches. Over the last month I replaced all of the wool functional stitching with matching colored teal stitching. Now I am working on the embroidery all over the body of the waistcoat, with spangles after that. Then linen lining added and fastening ribbons or hook and eyes. Light at the end of the tunnel at long last.

In the meantime I've been doing other sample embroidery with silk to get used to its characteristics.  Some of the projects to try out will work with some new stitches from an Elizabethan stitches book. I'm also looking into some gold work stitches to make some smaller projects like a set of cuffs for gloves, an embroidered polychrome coif, a monochrome coif with gold work and other projects.
So lots of stitching and my future and looking forward to many a unique project to be made.

On a different note the First Annual; Lake Augusta Renaissance Festival was a success. There was a lot of compliments on how educational and family friendly this event was for the public.  It's different this Renaissance Festival is compared to commercial festivals. I think we had a very good crowd the weather was nice, I spent most my time embroidering and  helping out in the arts and sciences tent.



Sunday, August 10, 2014

Work Hard...Play Hard

Found gold organza gold embroidered placemats on Ebay, been eyeing up these for a while. I figured a partlet was possible but didn't realize there was enough for a matching bonnet. These have some Tudor like embroidered flowers, gold seed and bungle beads on gold embroidered leaves and swirl edge with scalloped edging. This was a lot if fun to make, though it was a lot of assembly and careful stitching. Organza is not very forgiving on fraying, so had to negotiate the gorgeous gold shiny fabrics carefully. These were made from placemats, as seen by the photo below. Took an evenings worth of hand sewing to complete.

It's ironic that once I bought this and started assembling it, into a new to me partlet/bonnet set, that one later gown I purchased would match it. A couple weeks after buying the placemats for my birthday, bought two Elizabethan gowns in partial completion for a steal of a deal. It had a small amount of binding tape the same color as the burgundy in the partlet flowers. I found a merlot burgundy fabric to line the sleeves, which there was enough fabric to complete the sleeves and guards. I have to add the burgundy trim that I have, which was from an SCA auction in large quantities. Figure I can try a few different combinations of laying trim and see what looks nicest.

 Here is what the fabric looks like.  The bodice was complete but needed to add a back panel, sleeves, skirt and eyelets. It comes out as a similar to side back lacing on me.  So I will have more control over the fit and not squeeze into a gown too small.  The picture to the left is a good photo of the color and damask pattern variation.  It's very beautiful in person. Lining with the burgundy fabric really punches it up, all because I followed the same color binding tape on the gown bodice. Right now besides setting sleeves and laying the trim. Looking into laces for these but still lots of finishing to be done before looking to lucet laces and points.

I have a second gown with puffy sleeves and yardage for a skirt. It's burgundy with gold lozenge pattern. Though there are laces on the front, maybe to attach a placard. I have to set a back panel to make this side back lacing to fit. Sleeves fit and length is good. Looking for pleating the skirt, attaching it to bodice.  I need to figure out if I can find hundreds of freshwater seed pearls to accent the lozenge fabric. Not sure if I want to make an open from skirt or keep it closed.  There is black binding  on the bodice and the black laces. So got to figure out this war puzzle of fun.

So collecting real silk for A&S projects.  Finishing off these partial gowns and accessories for something new to wear. For now just keep up working on these and thoughtfully plot my next A&S project for the coming months.





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.

Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose

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

Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose

O'Cadhla Heraldry

O'Cadhla Heraldry

Queen Mary I of England

Queen Mary I of England