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Category: Sewing

Elizabethan Elen

Elizabethan Elen

Quick picture of me in some (very old) Elizabethan middle-class gear for a photo-op. I love it, but I want to remake it with better construction and drafting.



Handmade trims for Nick’s fighting and court doublets.

Sewing handmade trim onto doublets for Edmund.

And thread-covered buttons for the latter. Now to have it all done by Queen’s, on May eleventh. Why do I do this to myself?

Thread covered buttons for a new court doublet.



I finally made a dress for Bebe’s (as yet unnamed) doll. I had a scrap of linen that had a border embroidery pattern and it suited this perfectly. I hand stitched the hems and did a buttonhole stitched key-hole neckline. I didn’t want to mess around with a facing that small.

Dress for Bebe's doll.

I ended up taking the dress in a bit at the waist (she was swimming in it), and I made a braided belt to go with it. I also added more strands or yarn at the hairline, and stitched down the hair along the scalp a little bit, so it lays better for the braids. She’s totally adorable now.

And the dress on the (as yet unnamed) doll. I ended up taking in the sides so she wouldn't be swimming in it.

Scattered Embroidery News

Scattered Embroidery News

I finished my smocked apron! It’s fantastically beautiful, and I love it. It’s really a perfect low-effort, high-impact object. It’s made of weaver’s cloth and DMC floss, so I’m not overly precious about getting it messy. It only took a yard, so the materials aren’t expensive. I made it in less than a week, working on it in the evenings, so the time investment isn’t very large either. And the smocking was totally easy. I’m seriously considering making some more to give out as largesse.

Finished smocked apron.

I went to the Austin Stitchery Guild’s event, Stitchin’ Happy, with a friend. I got this adorably macabre needle keeper there. I totally want to make my own now; it’s terribly useful.

Picked up a needle keeper at a needlework show on Sunday.

And I started work on a new pretty project. It’s the latest in my attempt to give all the Queens of Ansteorra a pretty cup-cover.

New portable embroidery project.


Cloth Dolly

Cloth Dolly

One of my favorite things to do is to make sure that the Bebe has enough toys for our SCA events. And by that, I mean toys that can pass as period. They don’t actually have to be what kids in the 1380s would have played with, but I try to stay away from plastic as much as I can. And since my little girlie girl is going through an all-baby-all-the-time phase, I thought I’d make her a cloth dolly.

Beginnings of a medieval doll for the Bebe.

The body is made of a peach linen napkin I found at Goodwill (6 of them for $2.50: score!); the pattern was made by a friend. I machines sewed all the seams (and wasn’t that fiddly?) but sewed the stuffing holes by hand. I stuffed her with poly-fill, because I wanted the doll to be easily washable. I know how hard my kid is on her toys.

Finished face.

Turns out I embroidered the face too big. Oh, well.  Now she just needs clothes.

She looks better with hair.

Blue Cotehardie

Blue Cotehardie

Guess who can make a cotehardie in ten days or less. That’s right: me!

February 12: Making a toile of the bodice. Haven’t done this in a while, after all.

Haven't don't this in a while. Mocking up a cotehardie.

February 13: Cutting out the fabric. Yes, that would be me marking on the right side of the fabric. Some days you just make stupid mistakes.

Bebe's asleep; it's obviously time to cut out a cotehardie.

February 18: Machine sewing is finished. Trying it on for fit. It’s a little looser than my other dresses because I wanted to be able to layer it over a long-sleeved cote.

Preliminary sewing on the new cote is finished.

February 20: So close to being done with the buttonholes. They’re sewn with black thread because all of the navy embroidery thread I had was too saturated.

Almost done with the buttonholes.

February 20: Buttonholes finished. Checking the overlap for button placement.

Measuring overlap for button placement.

February 21: All done except for the skirt hem. Which I will sew at 11:30 the night before the event, thus making a mortal enemy of my poor, long-suffering downstairs neighbor.

Finished except for the hem.

February 23: At the Tourney! I love this dress; it’s so comfy.

At the event, in my new dress.

And a better shot of the dress on my. Photo credit: Ledona McGowan


Sable Thistle

Sable Thistle

Yesterday was the Tourney of the Smitten Heart, down in San Antonio. The Baron and Baroness played the part of Lord Lust and Lady Love, and they held contests to see which was mightier. I went sans Bebe and husband, and with no real responsibilities, other than to make sure a couple of A&S entries got set up. It was a lot of fun, even if I was twitching for the first hour or so, thinking I was not doing something that I should have been doing.

Then came court. They announced the winners of the contests, and determined which was mightier (it was a tie), and then started handing out the non-tourney-specific awards. And they called my name. Turns out, Their Majesties decided to give me a Sable Thistle in Knitting. As my Baroness put it, if I were to put it on a CV or resume, it would be a regional recognition. Which is pretty fantastic. I admit to being floored; I had no idea it was coming.




(Photo credits: Elisava Iliescue)




(Photo credits: Amata d’Arezzo)

New Garb for Poppet!

New Garb for Poppet!

The answer to yesterday’s question is “nothing.” There’s nothing cuter than a baby sleeping. Unless it’s two babies sleeping. Together. In garb.

Poppet outgrew her last garb, the green with pink trim between the last event and this one. Originally, before I started taking hallucinogenic drugs, I thought maybe I could make us all new garb by Candlemas. Yeah, that was the first thing to drop off the to-do list. But Poppet really, really needed some new clothes, so I pulled out some fabric I’ve been saving up and went to town.

Bebe's new garb.

The underdress is a simple t-tunic cut all in one piece because I’m lazy and would rather deal with just one seam down the side than have to fiddle with separate sleeves and an under-arm gore on a 2T sized dress. And honestly, Her clothes take up so little fabric any way, that it’s not so much of a waste of fabric. It’s a subtle white and tan and brown stripe, all on the cool side. The fabric is rayon, I think. Maybe polyester. It’s light and breathes well, though, and aside from a pretty subtle sheen, looks like a cotton fabric. The hems and facing are sewn down in a decorative red running stitch.

Bebe IN her new garb.

The outer apron dress is a rough-weave 100% wool that I’ve had in my stash approximately forever. It’s a little (a lot) scratchy for next-to-the-skin wear, but as an outer layer, it’s perfect. Even though it’s a little heavy for Austin (certainly a medium weight), Poppet ran around in it all day with no signs of being too warm. It just goes to show that wool is magical. It’s trimmed at the top with a line of white chain stitch to hide the machine stitching. I don’t usually bother on her clothes (and didn’t along the bottom), but it was really noticeable and jarring at the top.

Candlemas 2013

The straps are some tablet-woven trim I’ve also had forever. I attached it to the back in such a way that when she outgrows the dress, I can reclaim the trim to use on something else. The whole outfit is still just a little big, but I’m hoping that means I’ll get four or five events out of it. As it gets hotter, I’ll leave off the apron dress and just let her run around in the belted tunic instead.

Candlemas 2013