Friday, December 23, 2016

Winter Sit and Spin a Spell

Even though its cold and traditional seasonal bad weather has made travel interesting. I have been working overtime  to cushion the holiday gift giving. Arrive to work early anyway easier to get paid for it. The car is great in the snow, since its manual transmission it has more guts than and automatic transmission. More control of my speed, downshifting is great the engine slows it a bit better so no skidding really. As long as one goes slow and doesn't have to drive through a foot of snow it will be fine. Will feel better when my vacation time comes back in the new year, if it decides to blizzard. Making sure to keep my immunity up, eating well and taking my vitamins. Do not want to be calling off work due to illness either. Though working in an office around people terrifies me with the whole germ factory that seems to happen each year.

 Finding most of my evenings to myself, nothing better than keeping ones hands busy. So I made two distaffs based on some medieval illumination images so I can walk around and spin. Might be easier than to command the spinning wheel around, though it catches the attention of the public.  So I just finished my gray wool using this method. Noticing it does more feeding the wool roving instead of making clumps in my hand or winding roving over my arm. More able to make longer consistent lengths without as much blending from chunk to chuck of wool roving. So I can tell my spinning wheel has helped my hand spinning techniques as far as wool handling which made it much less labor intensive.

On the needlepoint front, have three colors completed on the large canvas and its working pretty well. Looking for more of this style there are 4 kits created on the unicorn cluny tapestries by Dimensions. These were made  in the late 70's and early 80's and are discontinued and the unworked kits are a little expensive. Though when I can see if they are taking a best offer instead of a high price, so worth trying to barter.  Doing the same on some handmade Brenda Price dolls that are historical pieces, have one and bartered for prices on two. They are wonderfully nice and come with tags and they year made, around the 1980's as well. Considering buying a proper curio cabinet to store them safely.

Exchanged early with some friends who I will not see over the holiday weekend. So there are some opened gifts under the tree and thank you's have been given. Went through old Christmas cards from years past and got rid of many cluttering up my closet with my other holiday decorations. So avoiding the mall that is close by since the rush is on for the holiday. Need to pick up cat food, littler and lunch stuffs but thinking that may be reserved for late night trips to avoid the crowds. Nice to have time off, quiet day at home with kitties and crafting.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Warp Speed: Loom

Well I finished the project on my loom, took most of a weekend to complete. In case you ever wondered, what you can make with a 6 small skein mill ends bag from a craft store. This is 5.5 yards of handwoven tabby weave 10 in wide, striped teal and white fabric. That is woven on a rigid heddle loom. It has mistakes. Though I was expecting some since this was my first attempt at such a long length.

I like the colors since there is a little of each in the two colors that were in the Mill ends bag. Which makes sense that they were put together they coordinate so well. I found some other Mill ends I am looking for future projects as good practice with this loom. One is a periwinkle blue with coral combination, they are solids but look nice together. The other is green purple and black combo that is going to be lots of fun for  something Halloween like.  Though since I am making pieces so narrow, I am looking at wider dents to use for the loom, it can accommodate a 22" dent.  Though I think it will be challenging to make something fun out of the material made because its fabric that can be sewn or patterned in many ways.

This still has to be washed to give it a more felted together look. its pretty standard to do this for the fibers to knit together a bit. Wool is especially good at this sort of felting locking process, this is not so will see how it does in a bath. Will have to take sometime to get to the laundry mat to have this done and monitor it on the gentle cycle. I do not have a wash-line to hang it out to drip dry on any longer.

Speaking of wool, I have measured out my warp for my next project. This a bi-colored wool white and brown used for the warp and in 660 yards. I am using wool from my stash as the weft. I have it already drafted on spools and on my collection of canoe like hardwood shuttles. Hoping to find more in the future.

Hoping this fabric I can make into a fitted waistcoat and pieced together. So it would be a garment made of fabric: I washed the wool, spun, and wove into existence. Thinking since the Tabby weave dates back quite far, its the safest option to use to make a nice consistent product. I don't think I expressed how much I love my loom. Much more fulfilling now, that I am using yarn I have washed and spun into creation. My soul is happy most when working on a creation process, looking forward to the end product.

Weaving away,

Lady Mairin

Thursday, October 20, 2016

16th Century Swedish Fashion Doll

 Well here she is at last! After a year of planning, months of materials gathering and careful budgeting. I present Pandora a replica of 16th Century Swedish Fashion Doll. Original extant doll resides in the Royal Armory in Stockholm, Sweden.

Debuted her at the Aethelmearc Kingdom Arts and Sciences Championship.Which was great as I was able to gain some resource on the lace on the doll being a later version of Viking wire weaving called Pasoment. There are some definite comparisons when looking at patterns in the lace then look at the versions of Pasoment left behind by the Vikings.

Since she is Swedish this is a possible regional style of lace in this area. Though there would be a challenge even buying this lace outside the country, let alone finding it online. I will have to learn to make my own version eventually to replace the current space holding gold wire. The wire treatment on the skirt is for now to save a place for the lace when I do learn the skill. Its on the to do list.

The sleeves are by far the nicest part, as they were also the part that took the longest to complete. Though her wig was a challenge to get right with the hyde glue stinking up the house. Though every aspect of this doll was planned and thought out meticulously. I do have some guiding stitches that will need to be replaced and some finishing touches I plan on doing before spring.

I also am looking at doing some more work rounding out my research with
more documentable portraits of Swedish fashion in the 16th century. As looking at the original doll and what was fashionable at the time, there are many missing accessories. Could this be lost to antiquity from use or from a mean sibling we will never know. This was also thought out carefully as I wanted to come up with ideas but not change the orginal doll. So the added accessories are removable and do not change the integrity of the doll. Showing two versions of photos ones with the accessories and ones without as she would exist now. Did include these in the documentation for the competition.

I was presented with a challenge to scale up the clothes and accessories since she is a fashion doll, now do the period thing make the clothes. Have the fashion, now make the fashion. This would be a true challenge but I do have electronic list of all the materials I purchased, So this is another way of working out the project using all the same materials. Would the gown and all the petticoats really work?  In theory yes!

I am working on a side project as working on the doll details, now making a needlepoint piece for home decor. Its a needlepoint of one of the Unicorn panels, a kit made by Dimensions. Not neurotic enough to count and think of documentation at the same time. As this gives me something to concentrate as I am thinking about how to proceed with category specific documentation, rounding out the current documentation to really give it extra facts figures and comparison art and work out details that can be fixed before April.

All in one project is possible and I think this is my best shot as such a rare unicorn kind of piece, just a rarity. Side note I did receive new Sca business cards for contact info. Always good to advertise the society. Not publishing my documentation till its complete yet I do no really do this online anyway.

Keeping out of Trouble,


Saturday, October 8, 2016

Please be Patience Awesomeness in Progress..


     Sorry to have been on a silent stint this year, my blog posts are less than half they were this time last year. I have many life changes in 2016 that have made me reevaluate much in my home and lifestyle. So reorganizing and reprioritizing. Though I do promise there are some really awesome things in progress.  I am working firmly to get them completed to a high discerning quality and the completed documentation to go with the project.
      Plus giving all the full credit to my inspirations, advice, and help. Awesomeness doesn't happen on its own, lots of encouragement and support is behind the scenes. So keep checking in as there is going to be something really cool coming up.

Best Regards,

Lady Mairin

Monday, September 26, 2016

Project Pictures of Doll

Pictures are worth a 1,000 words so I will just leave these right here ;-)

Monday, August 1, 2016

Dressed Up And No Where To Go

Well here is the progress report so far on Everyone is Away Pennsic; sew-a-thon. One waistcoat/jacket cut and ready to sew that is the blackwork-like one, so this is on the sewing table of projects The other the red/pink embroidered the sleeves are set in and hook and eyes are next. Created a wool lined bodice and put pink trimmed tabs on the shoulders and waist line. Hemmed a shirt for attaching right to the dress of pink woven silk, this was done the weekend before last.

Found 10 yards of sage green silk and going to create a kirtle from this one with attached skirt. So this is finally off the sewing table to be created over last weekend. Looking forward to seeing how this will work out, still have to hem it to the right length.

I made a silk woven pink skirt, a black wool skirt, brown silk skirt, and a blue velvet skirt. Now looking to make the sets of sleeves I was talking about earlier a month or so ago.  Right now trying to figure where I wants the seam to sit, under the arm or the back of the arm based on the two patterns I know for period correct patterns. So this is still on the to do list yet so on the sewing agenda.

I finally finished the 14th century hood project as this has embroidery in chain, split and running stitch lined in green and gold linen a white linen upper and cuffed hood.  I leaned to make the slips, hood and project plan with Mistress Antoinette de la Croix and Hrefna frupikona porgrimsdottir from Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais,  St. Claire embroidery event. Organized by  Jaqueline De Molieres, her excellency Mistress Alicia Langlen, and staff.

Will be taking the opportunity to go through my stash of dresses and list some up for sale. This will take a while to complete as many very attached to for many reasons.  Today took a good look into organizing my fabric stash. Purchased totes to store it all surprisingly all fits put for one area underneath my sewing table, I will later have to buy one more tub for all that. Though I went through and eliminating many unusable scraps.

Feeling much better have reorganized and now also rehomed my chancellor minor toys to the proper officer. So that made room also for the tote storage. Will possibly have to look into another steamer trunk to store more gowns and skirts in for this. Not in a hurry as I have means to hang it all up and put in away in other ways.

Now back to the sew a thon,


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Weaving, sewing, and mischief

Besides a bunch of weaving that is now down to its last panel of fabric for the weft. Working on many a
project all at once. As living alone has given me loads of free-time, its high time I get some projects done.  Its coming along quite nicely but not sure what I am going to do with the handwoven fabric just yet. So I thinking the finished product will be 10 possibly 12 feet. So we shall see, had a weft break and manage to continue to repair and weave it back in, so that's a success. Its a noticeable flaw but these things are learning opportunities.

I have finally decided to work on more waistcoats to wear a more simple gentry garb for late period. So this is the red one with the very much anticipated embroidery. I have a black-work one I just cut out and is read contrast to the red. Ready to be sewn will have black collar and cuffs in the similar style .Much more portable and something I can change into unassisted. Planning on making more silk skirts, than the one I have as pink needs some washing. Looking to make a red, black one and some in wool as well. So that will be interesting. I plan on making several sets of silk sleeves and have a few bodices in mind to make a nice Elizabethan bit of wardrobe selection.

Worked out the embroidery pattern for the doll sleeve and embroidery for the face of the doll. I have a make shift stretcher frame to get these prepped for embroidery. I pleated all 3 skirts and sewn the layers to together, the armature is made, and hair is plaited. So major progress on this front.

With my birthday approaching next week been wondering what to do for my time off. Have opportunity to pay off a student loan or go to an SCA event before Pennsic. Didn't realize how much I could change my finances by staying home a few months, it was really needed as well. Though the downside is not getting to see friends or be social. So these topics have been on my mind.

Lots of exciting things on the horizon and looking forward to the future,


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Weaving Life Lately

On a personal note things have been changing in my life which has affected my production of goods for many of my upcoming projects. They are still in process though its just going to be at a much slower pace. I have been working and focusing on finances as keeping my current address is paramount in making things. So that has stolen some production time as of late. Paying all the bills to get things caught up from last years unemployment has been a daunting task.

Though not to be down trodden in the world of money, I have been discovering the world of weaving. I just learned how to thread my 4 heddle loom to make a simple tabby weave. I am working on two ply mixed yarn to weave out a very interesting fabric. Not sure this is going to be made into at this point but very excited. Though my uncanny color matching skill do not go unpracticed as over the memorial day weekend matched these up to figure out a new project. Sleeves, Elizabethan sleeves in fact.  I also been figuring out various sleeve patterns to make Elizabethan tie on sleeves for gentry wear outfits for sometime. So working out the length and scope on these smaller projects. More of a good test of proper handwork.

 The silk fashion doll is coming along slowly and working on the many levels to that one project. Though spreading my focus keeps me from getting grim on one project. Hope to have more to post soon in the meantime, staying focused on the dream

Ever so busy,

Lady Marrin

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Doll, Diadem, and Style

Well been asked to use all my skills wrapped into one to create this...
This is a 16th fashion doll from Livrustkammaren, royal armory museum in Stockholm, Sweden. Its of the few surviving actual fashion dolls from the 16th century. Making a reproduction of this project, will envelope all my silks in needle arts to recreate. Sewing, embroidery, needle lace, beading, jewelry making, wire work, hair styling, and loads of patience. I have my supplies gathered and started on this right away.

I have created the diadem, that is the beaded tiara like item sewn on the top of the natural human hair wig. These decoration were sewn in for special occasions as seen in period portraiture.The wig is styled in the traditional hair style of the 16th century. I  refer to it as the rolled Elizabethan hair style, though its popularity is seen from 1550 on wards in Europe and Britain. Consisted of a wad of fabric or hair as the foundation to wrap the front sections and secure to make two distinct roll on the front of the head, creating the heart shaped feature with the face.

Looking forward to working on more elements in this project as well as the learning that will happen along the way.

Best wishes,


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Loom and Shoes

I have created much on my small loom now limited by the width of the sheds looking to see what I can create with a wider one. Though I noticed beyound 10" to 15" inches they do not have as much mobility for me to take on a trip or to an event. Larger looms are still portable yet would take up a trunk of a car or small suv. Small enough before being deemed at castle loom which is inmoble and takes up a whole bedroom. A dream but not a practical reality for my retirement in the distant future.

I did make a purchase of a loom with many heddles this time and independent stand to sit in the corner when set up. Its twice the width of the small one. I plan on getting broad cloth to make a winder for my sheds to keep the warp from tangling on each other. This one I intend on making finer weaves and maybe could make fine enough fabric to produce my own wool for a project. An eventual goal in the sca future.

This is a 22" table loom with stand. I am planning on using the stand feature since this would take up about half of my dining room table. This Kyra Table Loom has a 22 inch weaving width, four harnesses and five reeds. The reeds are in good shape. There is a 16.25 inch wide/20 dent reed, a 15 inch/12 dent carbon reed, a 16.25 inch/10 dent carbon reed, a 16.25 inch/18 dent stainless reed and a 16 inch/5 dent carbon reed. The loom is made of cherry with metal harnesses and the harnesses fold down to make transport very simple. There is normal wear and tear as seen in the images, but no major damage. The loom has a rising shed and is equipped with a stand. Everything is very easily disassembled and folded for compact travel. There are two stick shuttles and three small bobbin shuttles that go with this loom. I had a double shuttle 15" wide and many bobbins large and small so have plenty to change pattern back and forth. It takes a 3 hours to set up the small one I am sure its going to take as long or longer to work out the heddles and reeds to get it just right. I will have to see if there are instructions on how this works.

In the meantime here is the progress on the viking shoes . The loops go on the outside and would have some form of fiture to tie them closed. Using fiber fill to show what they look like better but when both are done will look different with a foot and lining inside. Though I am excited to see how they wear and the differences, I do run around in stocking or barefoot alot so this shouldn't be too much of  a stretch for me in the sensation. Will be much more flexible than a modern shoe more like a slipper with no firm hard sole. Well more things to do and explore.

Fearless creating,


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Weaving Dragons

Wool warp with same wider lofty weft
produces a similar but not exact scale
like effect though worked for twin
dragon babies ( see below)
Been away a little longer than I wanted though weaving is been a big part of my journey.  Though not been making scarves with the outcomes of my weaving projects. Here be dragons!
As I was weaving I notices some of honeycomb scale-like weaves that can be with wider weft versus narrow warp. So the fabrics look like this.
fabric on loom made into Chinese
 dragon(see below) narrow warp wide
 weft making scale like texture
   My first project was nice neat and tight with same width warp and weft which does make a tighter woven fabric over all. I learned that the varying thickness does make a difference in fabric behavior, therefore able to better understand how fabric works in varying scenarios. When dealing with warp weft, tension, and fiber content make the character of the fabric. Which will dedicates the better applications it can be applied compared to others.
Chinese style wurm creature. Made from handwoven fabric, wool and acrylic stuffing, polymer clay, aluminium foil, glass beads, feathers hot glue, acrylic paint, and acrylic sealer with huge dose of imagination. Need to find a name for my 7ft creature of the deep.
Fur scarf turned into magical
sea cat-dragon creature
Twin Aztec Quetzalcoatl wurm creatures. Made from handwoven fabric, wool and acrylic stuffing, polymer clay, aluminium foil, glass beads, feathers hot glue, acrylic paint, and acrylic sealer with huge dose of imagination
I have done some dragons for fun made out of  faux-fur scarves from Target but this gave the the idea for the woven ones. Though this gives me ideas for toys. What did the period animal toys look like and what materials would they have been made from. Another topic for a class possibly?  I have been working on the pattern for the Tudor gown bodices still and working out how the fabric lays. Need to get these done for the upcoming spring events.

The weaving has helped me take into consideration the way I need to lay my fabric and also layer the inside to make a solid foundation for the topic silk to lay correctly. I have fabric to work on it if it doesn't work out but prefer to get it right the first time if possible.

Fur scarf turned into magical
butterfly dragon creature
 In the meantime as I finish drafting patterns and mock ups, finishing my Viking turn shoes. Started them at Stelonwald schola event near Pittsburgh and its time to get them done.  So Finished the left and now working on the right after the assembly is complete I plan on making my own wool felt to line the bottoms on the inside of the shoe. I am not sure how I want to complete closures for them yet but looking at my options and would be the most period correct.

Working in ideas for more toy based research and youth based games and ideas. Looking at my options to get things rolling again with other chancellor minor related activities on many levels. So lots on the plate but nothing new on that. Have some alterations and repair requests too.



Friday, January 1, 2016


Went through my yarn stash with the help of Vincent. Was able to look at what is left and plan according for future weaving projects. Now have to figure which one to work on next.  Bought new heddles for finer thicknesses of yarn. Thought looking for pattern ideas and something to make besides scarves.

Working on the pattern for the Tudor gowns to get the bodice just right. Making a mock up to work the pattern and finish adjustments. Make sure it's smooth before add silk on top layer. Looking forward to working on getting it just right. Worth taking my time to get it as well as I can make it. Buttons are almost done and will be sewn on the dress with respective loops. Found some more fabric to make more buttons in black. Have discovered a better method and plan on coming the two in a future post. I made 16 for the green wool Greenland gown. Not sure about the garment the black buttons will grace.

One a work note, have a new aerial plants for work and a creative dream catcher to decorate my desk.  The holiday garland will go back and be replaced by hearts for Valentine's Day. So things to brighten my work environment with cheerful and festive decor.

Received my letter from Laurel my name passed so offically Marrin O'Kealy

Lots to do in 2016,




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