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.





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