Sunday, July 26, 2009

False Start. Redo. Chirka!

After some extensive trial & error...mostly error...I put together the ziri qaba. And hated it. I threw it aside for now...I may be able to salvage it for a later over-layer, but I'm going to back-burner it for now.

Out of frustration and in need of more inspiration, I did some more research and came across a great site. It's owned by my former Apprentice-Sister--listed to the left under "Agnes Cresewyke". She has a series of photographs of the layers of her Turkish garments and I decided this is what I want to make. First, I have to start with the chirka!

I also referred to Laurellen's site, The Renaissance Tailor, and found her notes on Eastern European clothing. I got some new muslin (used up that other bolt), and started fresh. With some minor modifications on the side gores and armpit gussets, I think I've got a winner!

Changes I will still make from this mock-up:

  • I will need to cut the pieces 5" longer front and back--one of the side gores is the length it should be--the front and back panels were too short. It should end just above the knee.

  • I also need to add width the front gores for extra skirty fullness.

  • I will probably add another gore in the center back for MORE fullness across the tooshie.

  • Sleeves can be a little shorter--it should be just above the elbow.

I pulled out some heavy weight linen and some medium weight cotton...though I'm thinking that the linen is *too* heavy. Maybe I'll just use the muslin after all for this first go-around.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hammer Time!

Today it was a day to make my salwar--Hammer pants!

They're pretty simple. First, I measured from my waist, over my bum to the floor while bent over. This is the way they suggest doing the measurement on this site. That's the length.

The width, according to the directions, should be 45" wide, right off the bolt. The first pair I made for Kelly seemed WAAAY too big, so I reduced it by 10"--so each piece is 35" wide, folded in half.

Then you measure down 13" on the long side, and 15" over on the short side. Mark those two points, draw a line, and cut. Then you flippy-floppy the cut piece for gores--the 90 degree angle should be at the crotch side.

Sew the gussets onto either side of each leg, then fold right sides together for each leg and sew down the triangular gussets to the ankle. Then turn one leg right-side out, insert into the other, line up the seams and sew the crotch together. Make a casing for the waistband, put in a drawstring or elastic, and PRESTO!

Hey, do these Salwar make my butt look big?

The next challenge is this coat. I did a bunch of measuring, doodled the cutting layout, measured some more, scratched my head, mumbled curses under my breath, and eventually started cutting...into muslin of course! I have all the pieces cut out and will make a prototype tomorrow.

Between the two pairs of salwar, the pirihan and the ziri qaba, I went through half of a bolt of muslin in two days.

If all goes well, I'll take the muslin ziri qaba apart, note all the measurements, and use those parts as a pattern on the chocolate stripe fabric. HL Donwenna wrote from Afghanistan and offered to find me a scarf to go with it. I'm thinking yellow--like a butterscotch gold.

Then I'll need to find a dozen buttons or so for the front of this garment.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Costumer's Guild Challenge Part I

Part one of the Middle Eastern garb ... the 'kamis' or 'pirihan', aka Chemise, aka Shirt! This is the dress that will be worn under the other layers. It's supposed to be a lighter weight cotton fabric; more sheer than what I used, but this muslin is what I had on hand and what I usually use for testing out patterns. Clearly, I haven't finished the seams and the middle section was cut several inches too long--whoops. This isn't intended to go to the floor, but that's how I measured it. I'll have to trim it back then measure the actual length so I can cut it correctly next time. Very interesting construction--all rectangles except the bits trimmed off the ends of the sleeves, which are sewn into the tops of the sleeves by the armpits. Creative...

I copied this from an extant 14th century Persian pirihan. While it's beautifully preserved, the neckline is unfinished, so I am unsure how to proceed with finishing mine. Sir John Chardin, b. 1643, travelled to the Middle East and wrote extensively on his observations of clothing and textiles, said that this type of undergarment would have been "open to the navel" on women, but closed with a little button at the hollow of the neck. I suppose that would make for very easy & convenient breast feeding.

I just noticed, however, how freaking long the sleeves are on the extant piece. Weird.

Well, we'll just say mine is "working wear".

Next will be the Salwar (baggy pants). I found a great pattern for it from someone in the East Kingdom. I'll have to measure my now hobbling hubby and see if I can't make a pair of pants that he won't rip to shreds. Then I'll try myself.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Costumer's Guild Challenges

I have achieved Junior and Senior Student in the Costumer's Guild, and now am inspired to complete the next level: Journeyman!

This is a much more arduous journey, man... :) "...designed to demonstrate a broad knowledge of costuming within the SCA period."

If you aren't familiar with the challenges, this level requires the entrant to create 10 pieces in a wide variety of cultures and time periods. Simply put, you must make ten items, at least two in each of these four categories:

  • Teaching/writing
  • Garments
  • Accessories
  • Other (such as service, classes taken, etc.)

That totals 8 items, so the last two can be in any of the four categories.

Within those categories, the subjects have to be from different time periods and cultures to show a breadth of knowledge. You cannot enter more than two items in the same culture or time period.

I would like to do some knitting using ancient Islamic patterns, make some Viking clothes (both early period women's and 12-13th c. men's), a Mongolian jacket and pants, some weaving -- either inkle (two-shed weaving) and/or card weaving, hat making, and a couple new pieces for my Flemish gear, like a lightweight partlet, a jacket, and other accessories. That should give me plenty of pieces to complete the Journeyman level in the Costumer's Guild. I only hope that I will be happy with the way they come out. My deadline to complete them is January--or next July. I think I'll decide by December whether or not to delay it until Summer.

So far, the items I have completed are:

Socks, British Isles, 1550-1559 - complete with fingerloop braided garters.

Tunic, Scandinavia, 1200-1399
*I may end up doing another tunic start to finish--they sew up pretty quickly and I can be sure to take the time to finish the seams, etc.

Monday, July 13, 2009


In an effort to keep track of my SCA accomplishments, I have created this resume. Some dates are estimates, as this was rebuilt using my memories and back issues of newsletters.

OP Listing
Elewys Cuylter of Finchingfield - Highest Award: Goutte de Sang Branch: Aquaterra
  • Acacia (Shittimwoode) 3-Apr-1993 AS 27
  • Award of Arms 16-Jul-1994 AS 29
  • Goutte de Sang 19-Apr-1997 AS 31
  • Lector Ithra 18-Apr-1998 AS 32
  • Bunny's Crook (Shittimwoode) 24-Apr-1999 AS 33
  • Golden Acacia (Shittimwoode) 20-Apr-2002 AS 36
  • Red Flame 9-Apr-2005 AS 39
  • Silver Dolphin (Aquaterra) 20-Sep-2008 AS 43

  • Senior Apprentice to Mistress Ariel de Courtneay, OL, 1996 - present
  • Officer oath taken with Their Excellencies, Hauk & Rosamund, Aquaterra, January 2009

Offices Held
  • Seneschale - College of Wisdom's Keep - 1990-91
  • Chatelaine - Shittimwoode 1991-1994
  • Gold Key - Shittimwoode 1991-92
  • Registrar for Ithras in Shittimwoode - 1994? (98 for sure) - Jan 2005
  • Chronicler - Shittimwoode Sep 94 - Summer 97
  • Stock Clerk - Shittimwoode Nov 98-Jan 99
  • Exchequer - Shittimwoode Apr 99 - Feb/Mar 2002
  • Farspeaker Publisher - Dec 1997, Jan 99, oct 2000, 2001
  • Tir Righ Census Administrator, Shire of Shittimwoode, Feb 2001
  • Tir Righ/Northern Principality sub-committee; calendar committee, 2001
  • Shittimwoode Baronial bid committee 2001
  • Chancellor-in-Training for Ithra in Shittimwoode (Lions Gate Campus) - 2001 - 2005
  • Chancellor of Ithra - Borderlands campus (16 sessions) - Jan 2005 - present
  • Arts & Science Minister - Barony of Aquaterra - Feb 2008 - present

  • Town Faire II - College of Wisdom's Keep - September 1989
  • Sir Edward's Tourney - Shire of Shittimwoode - early 90s
  • Crown Council - Shire of Shittimwoode - during the reign of Jarl Hwolf & Countess Louisa, Fall 1995
  • Sixteen Ithra sessions as Chancellor of Ithra, Borderlands Campus (2005-2009)

  • Make Yourself a Bog Coat - 4 cr. - 9.10.05 at Medieval Village Ithra II
  • Bog Coat Construction - 1 cr. - 3.22.08 at Shittimwoode Spring Ithra
  • Making a Bocksten Bog Style Tunic - 2 cr. - 4.5.08 at Aquaterra Spring Ithra
  • Beginner's Knitting - 2 cr. - 4.25.09 at Sir Edward's Tourney Ithra
  • Bobbin Lace - Shire level class - July 22, 1996
  • Hat Making - Shire level class - Nov 19, 1998

  • Newcomer's/Open House/Costuming nights - hosted - several years in and around 1995
  • Hosted Shire garage sales (1993 at Cherrywood, 1995 at Valencia, 1999 at Rusley)
  • Hosted Planning Meetings - including, but not limited to, Oct 98, Oct 2000
Organizational Events
  • Iron Needle - Banner War 08, Good Yule 09, Boar's Hunt 09
  • Demonstrations at Ursulmas 09
  • Contests - Boar's Hunt 08, 09; Ursulmas 09; Good Yule 09;

  • Made a canvas tent - 1996 (30 Year Celebration) used for three seasons
  • Author of "The Wilde Hare", a column in the Bunny Tales, the Shittimwoode newsletter (1994-1997)
  • Entered Northern Region's first Arts Championship "tourney" - 1997 (didn't win, but didn't come in last either)
  • Ursulmas costume contest abt. 1998 - Man's Wool Surcoat - and won!
  • Calligraphy entered in Ursulmas A&S contest abt. 1998 - and won!
  • Entered Ursulmas A&S contest 2009 - placed in the middle somewhere

Donations to Largesse

  • Bobbin lace - 1996 - ultimately given to King & Queen of Drachenwald, who, by coincidence, were old friends Garrick and Talitha from Shittimwoode.
  • Elizabethan coif - 1999?
  • Inkle Loom trim in An Tir colors (abt. 5 1/2 yds.) - 2008