Two smocked 16th C shirts for Baroness Estrid by Kaede-san.
One smocked with pink:
One with white:
You can read Kaede's documentation here.
Sign-up opened March 8, and closed March 11, with 20 participants from all over the kingdom! We look forward very much to coordinating the exchange of nifty A&S projects between the following artisans:
Viking apron and matching bag, displayed over Ellina's orange Viking dress.
An apron for a norse or rus outfit, handsewn in wool with linen thread from 900-1000 AD.
Description of the item
An apron for a Rus och Norse outfit from the Viking era, to be worn over the apron dress, from the brooches. Inspired by the aprons at the Ladoga museum (pictures 1 and 2) and Mistress Katheryn’s new Viking outfit (picture 3, with permission).
Description of the materials used
Since this item is a gift as a part of the first Drachenwald Arts & sciences exchange it had to cost less than €25. This meant going through my stash of fabric since the posament wire isn’t cheap.
I chose to make it in wool, the blue thicker wool was bought at IKEA years ago, and probably contains quite a lot polyester, but it is fluffy and warm. The red wooltwill is, probably, pure wool, also bought ages ago for a project no one has yet begun. It’s a dream to work with though.
It it’s all handsewn with waxed, unbleached linen thread, the bees wax from a fellow SCAdian.
The posaments I chose to make in the beginners tin wire thread (tin spun around a fabric core), since that is easier to work with than pure metal wire. I also spoke to lady Erid (Sofia Holmer) about where to begin since she is the posament goddess.
Description of the manufacturing process
First of all I had to decide the size of the apron. Since I don’t have a viking outfit myself (I do mostly late period), I asked around and had some of my friends to measure theirs (thanks Vicomtess Niamh and Mistress Katheryn) and measured myself to, thinking I might be similar in size to my recipient (I had her sizes in an e-mail). I then calculated the average, added a few centimers for seam allowance and decided the lentgh by measuring on me, adding extra seam allowance if the recipient wants to make it longer.
Then I felled it all around, using a simple whipstitch, folding it only once since the blue fabric is so thick. I chose the whipstitch since I know that my injured hand can take that, and it let me sew more at a time than using other stitches. The red stripes was then sewn on top, placing them in a way the felt ”right”. They were sewn on using a simple up and down stitch, I had problems with getting it as even as I would like, mostly since I was out of practice. While sewing I waxed the linen thread with beeswax to make it easier to work with.
The posaments I ended up with are a very simple braid, due to the fact that this was harder than I thought it would be. Since there is only finds from Birka, grave 520, I let my imagination and well, lack of skills, control what I ended up with, a simple carrick bend band for the lower part, and a four thread braid for the upper part (that one was my first attempt ever to work with this material, and Im pretty pleased with it even if there are a few mistakes).
If I make an apron for myself I will do the posaments in pure metal wire, after I have practiced a lot. I also need to sew more by hand to heighten my skills, but it is hard since my hand has to rest a lot even after very few stitches.
- Mistress Katheryns blog; http://textiletimetravels.org/2013/06/24/my-new-viking-dress/
- The Ladoga Museum: http://www.ladogamuseum.ru/media/DSC_5414.1.jpg, http://www.ladogamuseum.ru/media/DSC_5413.1.jpg
- Mistress Katheryn's handout: Posament, pretty knots from Birka
An Elizabethan coif with red-work:
Here is Lydia's documentation:
I chose to make an Elizabethan redwork coif for two reasons. First, it was very suitable for the persona of my recipient and second, because I had never made one previously and it was a very appealing project.
I did an online search of the Victoria & Albert Museum website for coifs for inspiration and found many. The ones I particularly liked can be seen here:
I then selected my motifs for embroidery based on those examples, plus images from the following books:
- The Schole-house for the Needle, edited by Richard Shorleyker
- Festive Elizabethan Creations, by Shirley Holdaway and Valancy Stevens
- Exploring Elizabethan Embroidery, by Dorothy Clarke and Stephanie Powell
- Elizabethan Stitches: A Guide to Historic English Needlework, by Jacqui Carey
- Elizabethan Needlework Accessories, by Sheila Marshall and Valancy Stevens
The chosen motifs included grapes, to represent the College of Saint John of Rila, my home SCA group. It also included vines, as preferred by the recipient.
The fabric is pure linen and the embroidery is done in scarlet silk from the Handweaver’s Studio in London. All stitching is done by hand. The stiches used for the embroidery are stem, chain, and speckle. All of these stiches and materials were used in the extant coifs. The biggest problem I had was deciding on the size of the coif and the assembly methods. A number of the coifs on the museum site have been unstitched and are displayed flat, so it was easy to see the correct shape. I made a muslin based on that shape and fitted it to my head, with my hair in a bun. I seem to have an average head size, so hopefully it will fit the recipient. I made the decision to line my coif, so that the embroidery was less likely to be dislodged when the coif was worn. Several of the extant examples note that they had lining, although I suspect it was sewn in with a whipstitch at the edge, rather than the bag method I used. I have no information for either method, so I went with the one I felt looked better. I also could not find directions for the loops for the drawstring at the base of the coif, so I improvised based on the V&A photos.
If I were to make another coif, I would make the embroidery denser. Many of the examples looked crowded to the modern eye, so I spaced my embroidery a bit further apart. In hindsight, it would have been better to follow the originals more closely. I would also like to add some spangles, but they were simply not available here in Bulgaria during the construction process.
A wax tablet with stylus in leather case:
Bone needles and leather case:
Painted boxes (there were four) with a design evocative of her arms:
Documentation will be added here when available.
14th C Byzantine/Bulgarian earrings for Lady Tamara by Baroness Estrid
Baroness Estrid writes:
I was so very lucky to get Lady Tamara of Thamesreach as my Drachenwald A&S Recipient. the information I received about was in short as follows: "Lady Tamara is the widow of a Bulgarian wine merchant from the town of Melnik, born in 1201 CE. After the loss of her husband at sea, she began took the reins of the export business and travels regularly to Thessaloniki to send shipments of wine around the known world. She occasionally travels with a cargo personally and has visited the Venetian port of Dubrovnik to confirm trade agreements."
I knew very little about either era or area, so I really had to start with doing my research from the very basics. It took me a while to decide what to do, as I first wanted to make something outside my comfort zone and NOT do jewelry, but after much searching I suddenly came upon a great article called Middle and Late Byzantine Jewellery from Thessaloniki and its Region" by Anastassios C. Antonaras, and in this article was a picture of a gilded bronze earring from the 13th century, found in Thessaloniki. The fit with Lady Tamara was so good, I couldn't ignore it.
I decided to make a pair of earrings inspired by the Thessaloniki earring, but as I decided to use materials I had at hand, I choose to make them out of sterling silver. In the article the author describes the earring as "having a composite, filigree bead", which made me think that my initial hunch of how to make them was right, which was to make the vertical ornament/bead from stacked filigree sterling silver beads (which I'd bought ready made) soldered together.
I also made the two side spiral beads by winding silver wire around a thin round mandrel, thus producing a silver spiral, and then winding the spiral one more time around the mandrel and after that cut out little spiral beads which I then soldered onto the silver wire that forms the hoop. As I used the materials I had at hand, the wire for the spiral beads were of a little too heavy gauge, so the wire beads became a little too large, and my earrings did not end up with the exact same proportions as the originals.
The originals are made from gilded bronze, and my intention was to electroplate the silver earrings to give them a nice gold finish. But, even though I now own an electroplating kit, I didn't manage to master the process in time, so to not miss the deadline, I decided that the earrings would have to stay their original sterling silver color.
I'm quite pleased with how the earrings turned out. Even with the shortcomings described above, I feel they have a nice shape and proportion and they look nice when worn. I hope to get to see Lady Tamara wear them one day.
Embroidered pouch, hand-made naalbinding needles, hand-spun wool, and a leather pouch for Fru Þora Sumarliðadotter by Herrin Ellina dicta Vintdenwürvel.
An amazing embroidered hussif for Lady Rachel Edwards by Fleurie de Lyra.
Each petal of the hussif has a different design embroidered on it:
It has already been put to use:
Fleurie's documentation is available here.