Saturday, September 11, 2021

Monday, September 6, 2021

Happy Harvest Season

September has the warmth of the fading summer sun with a comfortable chill of Autumn begins to beckon.   All the pumpkin and apple beginning of the harvest season. I am a chai fan, so I go for that more often and apple this time of year. 

Well I despite the reopening of events for my SCA kingdom over the past two months. As of this date, I have not attended any in person events. With the delta variant infecting the immunized, keeping ones exposure to others is key. I am planning on attending an outdoor demo locally for a library on October 2nd as a small starter to socializing.

Planning my fiber arts display for the demo, I purchased a new table as my prior one is my work desk. The demo gave me good reason to reorganize my items in the basement too. All the fiber arts are mainly in one tote and one area of the basement for ease of access. 

In addition, we did get a dribble of water with the revenants of Hurricane Ida, some flash floods in the area. The only direct effect was needed to unclog the gutter to let it stop running over, which is why there was a dribble in the basement. I had to clean up under the tarp and put totes full of crafting items in that area to better monitor that corner and the edges for water. This is a rare occurrence luckily. 

In the spirit of decluttering ones life, I cleaned out 11 bags of items containing house linens, clothing, and garb related shoes over this weekend. I was able to put away floral and winter scarves in an emptied tote. Which freed up space in my room to store the camera in a better location. The other medium tote, I put away a table loom and the other all the embroidery frames. So lots of reorganizing, but still more to do. I plan on going though my garb and yard sale unwanted items. I have a few more totes to purchase. Which will allow me to reorganize my other collection of shoes and take the last craft items in waterproof storage. 

The area that had the spinning wheels was split up into a few locations. I put mats put under them to protect the floor. They are now near the sewing machines. All received cleaning. The great wheel is on the other side of the basement, although I can enjoy accessing her for use. I hope to make a better video on this for my YouTube Channel. 

Still working on embroidering a square table cloth for demos and such. Although making great progress, should be done with outlining the design this weekend. Will have lots of filling yet to do but it’s a fun and relaxing project. I hope to get back to garb creation soon, as colorful winter wool kirtles would be nice addition to the wardrobe and room would be made for them in the next months. For a while did a lot of black in my garb and it’s time to bring in color. 

So not too much news going on here, lots of stasis due to current events. Although keeping things cheerful and productive as one can. Making videos for my YouTube channel gaining subscribers slowly. Hoping you and yours a happy autumn as one can make it in these times. 

Warm wishes,


Saturday, August 14, 2021

Fashion Dolls; The Original Influencers

    Sometimes one has to have a step back and realize the driving force behind your passions. On this very blog I have discussed in length; how to make fashion dolls, where they came from, who owned them, what were fashion dolls made from, when were fashion dolls used. Missing one of the very important question... Why?  Why do you focus on this unusual niche topic? Why should someone like yourself, care about Fashion dolls?  

   The quick answer is Fashion as we know it today, would not be the power house it is without the Fashion doll. Additionally the historic styles from medieval and early renaissance clothing would not be as iconic without the influence from Fashion Dolls. That might seem a bit sweeping but lets start at the beginning. Dolls are documented from the stone age. For fashion references, dolls were used since classical through medieval times. They were written about and were dressed in fine clothing and had finely crafted miniature accessories. Fashion dolls really came into their own and transformed in the early renaissance, to convey fashion communication all over Europe. Fashion dolls also were sent to the new world to show fashions to the the many different colonies to have clothing made in the updated style. A noted export for France to the New World, fashion dolls were part of the economy in trade.  Also trade in dolls from the Netherlands to England is noted in shipping records dating back from Tudor,

 The function of the dolls were important to those in the trade of making clothing: tailors, seamstresses, milliners, shoemakers and fabric sellers all had a stake in these dolls. There was a profitable market in making the dolls, to sell the fabric, to eventually make the clothes and accessories. Direct marketing of supply and demand was important in this trade. Fashion Dolls had influence on people purchasing what the doll was wearing in full size clothing, they were a great advertisement of skill for those in the trade.  

       The Fashion Doll would be dressed in such a way that a Tailor could use the reference of shape on a human form, to draft their patterns from the physical shapes created by the clothing on the doll. Translating those shapes into a pattern for full scale clothing for clients. These dolls were small items in hand and a few liberties may have been taken for the sake of scale. The most important function is visual and tactile communication though a physical object. Its easy to replicate something if you have proper reference that is three-dimensional. These Fashion dolls also could be of varying size and materials; as found per reference to life size in one source for notable marriage negotiations and lavishly dressed great babe in the Inventory of Henry VIII to name a few. Catherine De Medici, Mary Queen of Scots, Isabella d' Este all had fashion dolls in their inventories, so not a one off.  

    It is clear from the portraits of dolls, many I have shown on this blog. The clothes depicted in Pre-16th century portraits of children holding dolls were not generically dressed. The Fashion dolls clothing were regionally and class specific and were very detailed in the depictions. The portrait of Arabella Stuart age 3 comes to mind, the child is holding a highly detailed blond haired fashionably coifed hair in a courtly full red embroidered 1560's French gown with a suite of neck ruff and wrist cuffs, ever detail on show. This tells us exactly what was popular, especially to make this level of verisimilitude.  The one surviving extant Fashion doll in the Livrustkammaren Museum in Stockholm, Sweden; shows the fine attention to detail that these had in real life. She is just the one lucky survivor from the age, who knows the stunning ones lost to time.   

 The Elizabethan clothing as we know it, borrowed from many styles available during the 16th century. As seen in the list of country specific clothing in the Queen's wardrobe from Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd by Janet Arnold.  This would have not been possible with just description alone or with a woodcut or drawing. Queen Elizabeth I had received various fashion dolls as part of negotiations for several marriages, per the accompanying correspondence. Queen Elizabeth I was known for her fashion sense and would dress to the occasion when dignitaries were visiting, as per written observations in period. How you dressed as important, so you needed to be kept informed on fashion.

     Fashion Dolls are still used in fashion today to communicate and to teach just as it did in the 16th century. These are more like the 19th century dress form, a descendant of the fashion doll and milliners mannequin. Dior's Fall Collection 2020 as the runway was not accessible with the spread of Covid-19. See the link for pictures and article Dior Fall 2020. At the School of Historical Dress, 1/2 scale dress forms are used to teach pattern drafting, draping and other skills for making historic styled clothing. This is not the only fashion school that uses this method for teaching.

    In closing, 16th Century clothing would have not been as fashionably iconic if fashion communication wasn't happening from other locations. The regional clothing styles; especially the ones we know just by looking at them. Those styles would not be as easily recognizable if a Fashion Doll wasn't dressed to show off that particular style in the period. Which influenced the doll owner to have that clothing be made up into a full size version and worn. The fashion dolls influenced through their tactile communication the styles of the century, which evolved as the century marched on-wards.  Something as small as a Fashion Doll made all that happen. In their own ways are still influencing Fashion today.  

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Red Linen Garters

 So I measured my calf and behind my knee for respective lengths and made 22” inch lengths for just a small extra. Typically they are tied in place during a Tudor times. Although with my shapely calves, I needed a better method of securing these with better pressure than a knot. So I purchased some brass buckles that are the same width as the woven part which is 3/8”. 

I am pleased  with how comfortable these are to wear for a good period of time. All the while I was fussing the stays, didn’t notice my calves. So the fit for these are just fine. I made several pair from the length of weaving I purchased. I ended up with 4 pairs, so I have two for Tudor garb and two for my 18th century clothes. Nice to get finishing touches done after these many years in the SCA.

To the details,


Sunday, August 1, 2021

Elizabethan Set of Stays

So I finally took the plunge and decided to make a set of stays. Specifically 1603 stays from Patterns of Fashion, also known as Queen Elizabeth I Effigy Stays. In the past, I didn't have the confidence to make this under support garment. I learned to make shirts, petticoats, kirtles and gowns with various accessories over my 16 years with my Tudor persona. When I would get a support garment like stays or corset, purchased off the rack from a custom seamstress shop online. I just wasn't brave when I started the SCA to dive into this realm yet. My sewing journey started in the SCA so that also was a factor, was lack of knowledge on clothing making and how to fit myself. Not any more, we are making a custom fit set of stays from scratch.


Its time to make the thing! I took in progress photos for your enjoyment. To preface this with some information on choices with this set of stays. I opted to make corded hemp as boning instead of reed or bents as known in period. I wanted something between buckram and reed. So I chose a thicker hemp cord. This is more a proto-type garment, as I plan on making reed stays in the future. I wanted to test the pattern and fit. Along with having a wearable mock up. That could be used for pattern adjustment later on. 

Started scaling up the gridded image from Patterns of Fashion 5. I made this from two pieces of medium weight natural linen, with hemp cord sandwiched between. This is as intended to be wearable and light shaping. The vintage singer machine made fine channels and ate through the cord with ease. After the pattern were cut 2 of each 6 pieces had to be stuffed with cord.for later. Stuffing the cord into the channels, I used a needle eyed crochet hook. Worked wonderful when it was in the middle of a channel to inch it along. Although the process was rough on the hands, they ache today.  Using red cotton twill tape as binding, also some linen tape to cover over the side back seam. Also the linen tape will act as reinforcement for that side back seam as well.

So here is the stays current state. All pinned and ready for finishing by hand. On the machined sewed parts I used Gutterman's cotton thread, as it doesn't fair well in sewing machines. For the hand finishing I am using linen thread 80/3 weight in natural and red made by Burnley and Trowbridge. The medium weight linen is from a second hand fabric seller from a local shop. The cotton twill is from Joann Fabrics. The hemp cord is the largest sold at Walmart but also available in other craft stores jewelry section. The linen tape for the side back seams is from  ladydotcreates a seller on Etsy.  

I hope to update on this once its able to be worn, to show the fit, the flat measurements allow for about 2" of reduction. Hoping to get more details once I get to try it on. Well it fits and closes but it’s a tad too tight fully coded so a gap will help and spiral lacing helps too. The laces are linen lucet cord I made a few years ago. 
Do the thing, even if its scary,

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Orbit around the Sun

 So another birthday on the 15th , I worked a normal day. Although went out for dinner and did receive some gifts on the day. Which is always nice to get a little something. My Dad did get me a little cake, after all life should be sweet. 

It’s berry season so made some custard for using up the black raspberries. They are a wild cultivar of raspberries, there is a version of this kind of plant in France. My custard didn’t set properly, so had to add some thickener and rebake but seems nice. Although it smells great and has thickened up, finger crossed it sets fully. 

I am working on the blackwork embroidery at this point since it was involved with my next video. Not much else to update, since all the days are full of work.

Keeping busy,


Sunday, July 18, 2021

Tudor Shirts

 These are made from a cotton linen blend fabric, 67% linen and 33% cotton. I sewed the main side seams by hand-crank vintage machine,  the rest was sewed by hand. Total of 4 shirts out of 7 yards of fabric.  They take 6-8 hours of hand sewing to complete. So lots to keep busy improving my Tudor clothing for the Sca, as events will be starting up soon.  

Finished my bum roll I was wearing for a decade. I added twill tape to give stability and also used that for the ties as well. Made from a from cotton muslin poly stuffing and ribbon originally. Although I kept the same  base and the twist gives firmness and the ties are all connected in one continuous piece. 

Bye for now,


Saturday, July 10, 2021

Populace in Focus per Aethemearc Gazette.

My SCA Kingdom news page is called the Aethelmearc Gazette. The newest feature is called Populace in Focus, the idea is that we don't always get to know our fellow gentles at every event. This allows anyone to submit answers to preset questions and have it featured on the kingdom FB page and its own website. Its always good to get to know new people, even though I tend to be a wallflower at events. 

Plus even though events are starting up soon, its great have something to read during the week between events. Alternately if you are like me an planning for the fall to come back, when there are more indoor activities that your garb will allow you to be comfortable. 

It gives people the idea of who you are and what you do, a getting to know you sort of article. Some of the starter questions are how your started, what your persona is about and what you do for a living. Then there are more hard hitting questions that make you think, which are always nice to have to ponder a few. 

So here is a link to the article.Populace in Focus THL Marrin O'Kealy  

If you are a person from Aethelmearc who would like to participate in this getting to know you feature, please follow the link at the end of the article.

Always fun when more people play,


Monday, July 5, 2021

Marie the Mannequin

 In other news, I finished my sized dress form that fits my curviness. I had some of the parts saved from other items around the house. A bird cage base, an acme vintage dress form base and wheel disc for roll ability. DYI the inner cover made of cotton muslin and ploy fiber stuffing. Finished by purchasing a Fabulous Fit System to finish off firmer body shapes and has a stretchy cover. The black of the stand and the black of the cover were not intentional but it works nicely to have a monochrome look. So I followed suit with the linen stuffed mannequin arms. This time the stuffing is made from cotton batting cut into tiny pieces and also so other scrap fabrics that also were in small pieces. The ends are gathered and sewn shut at the wrist. I did add some of the black fabric around the neck and arm holes to finish the monochromatic look its held in by friction I may sew it closed eventually. I am leaving my options open. 

Marie looks spiffy, I added a wooden knob to hide a threaded metal rod that goes down the middle for support.  So it looks more finished and much nicer than the thrifted small dress form that wasn’t my size and wasn’t being used. Now Marie will be my go to gal for my size clothing and garb.

The final step was to make stuffed linen mannequin arms to match the black outer covering. These are made of a medium weight black linen stuffed with cotton batting and linen scraps. With flaps at the shoulders to pin to the body of the dress form. I made sure to take my inner and outer arm measurements. I found a general pattern online for similar kind of mannequin arms. I am happy how they turned out and excited to get to my first project with Marie.

Stay Tune for more Craft Goodness, 


Monday, June 28, 2021

Upping My Game

Well this happened this weekend. Received a bonus for my full-time job, and thought the boost could help me raise my YouTube film quality. I have been debating a camera purchase for at least a year. 

My iPhone 8 however mighty, does have issues with heating up on long downloads, although it’s never overheated. When one picks up their phone and feels it’s warm in it’s case, you know it’s time to make some decisions for replacement. Additionally questing ones use of your cellphone for more than the Internet and phone capabilities.

I had several cameras in mind for this planned purchase; all were canon brand. I just had to make choices about my expectations, budget, and availability in person to purchase. I hate buying technology online if I can help it. Although with the invention of many people sewing it in store and buying elsewhere, availability in person is a real probem. I also have to make decisions on which camera accessories to get now and others to hold off on for later. 

The Rebel T100 is the first camera in the Rebel series from Canon, so it’s not brand new technology so to speak. With it being 8 versions back from the current model, it was quite affordable for a DSLR camera. This camera besides still photography, does allow filming too. Since it’s more like a a hybrid of traditional and digital, I was able to buy some accessories to fit. The accessories for now are magnification filters for upclose filming, a hood to focus light, cables for connecting to my computer, a foot with threaded screw for attaching to my tripod, a rode mic for on the hot foot of the camera for better sound, and extra memory cards. 

On the list of possibilities in the future; are a horizontal boom for filming, umbrella lights with stands, adapter rings for other sizes of lenses; not sure if I will get these as I am buying to the size of the current lens. An external display screen, access mount for my tripod to name a few. So will let those live in my watch list for more months to see if they are needed or not. 

So here is to happy filming, cheers!




Tudor Q and A

What is a Tudorosity?

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

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

Most people ask my why I make the Tudor garb ?

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

How did you get started in this interesting hobby?

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

What is my favorite outfit and why?

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

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

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

How long does it take to make a gown?

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

Do you make renaissance clothing for sale or custom orders?

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

How long have you been making these elaborate costumes?

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

Lady Willoughby

Lady Willoughby

Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose

Peach Elizabethan Noble

Peach Elizabethan Noble

Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose

Mauve Waistcoat Elizabethan Gown

Mauve Waistcoat Elizabethan Gown

O’Kealy Heraldry

O’Kealy Heraldry