Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hemming of Body Linens

Today I am hemming body linens again. My furry helper is ill & this sort of sewing is quite soothing. No idea what day I am at now in the second round of the century challenge.

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Sewing the enclosed seam flat.

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Tacking down the edge of the partlet prior to pinning the second fold into place. Although it seems like extra work, I do it this way because I have a lot of issues with my hands and it hurts to sew. Any extra, uneccessary fabric manipulation just means unnecessary pain.

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Sick little buddy

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Purple Tie-on Italian Sleeves

Last week's realisation that I had lost the sleeves I wanted to wear to LPD prompted a frantic scurry about to find the basket of sleeves I cut out late last year to work on in my "leisure time". Luckily a purple pair was partly done and just needed edge finishing, hemming and eyelets. I got them done in time for the event but also found a couple more pairs that were partly done. So my project for the next few days will be working on those.

Here are the purple pair in-progress and completed. The black satin ribbon had already been sewn on and the seams sewn open. I whipped around the top edge of the sleeve to stop the lining rolling out. Then the purple fabric was hemmed. Then I hemmed the black lining seperately and added the eyelets.

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The eyelets partially done:
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Friday, September 8, 2017

Girl's Italian Gown

Today I finished the girl's Italian gown that I have been working on. It is a gift for a little friend's birthday this weekend, so I just scraped it in in time. It is cotton broadcloth with commercially produced pink gimp braid. The Birthday Girl loves pink, but her mum hates the colour. So this dress  is a compromise. It has cap sleeves with fabric puffs, because the Birthday Girl usually wears only a chemise underneath. It has a couple of tucks in the hem to allow for growth, which also helps to hold the hem out. It is a size 8 so that she will get (hopefully) at least two or three years worth of wear out of it.

This is the third or fourth gown that I have finished this year - I really must try to blog some dress diaries soon. Hopefully I can get some nice shots of the recipient wearing the dress.

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Hemming and skirt tucks

Today I am working on finishing a project for a little friend's birthday. The task is hemming and adding tucks to a skirt.
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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A&S bell stringing

I've been busy with projects for other people in preparation for a big SCA event that is coming up, so no pictures to show until after the event.

A boring but necessary task today: stringing A&S competition award bells for my barony.

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Herbal oil and Vinegar Workshop

I have continued with the A&S Century Challenge; it is a habit now, and also I have so much still to do.
This weekend I was privileged to attend a short but interesting workshop on making medieval oils and vinegars. It all smelt lovely and was a lot of fun.
Image may contain: plant and indoor Mint and clove mouthwash and rosemary vinegar
Image may contain: plant, table and indoor A range of vinegars and sauces including mustard sauce

Saturday, August 12, 2017

A&S Century Challenge - Heraldic Device

Day 105- I think! I finished this device for a friend. It will join the other registered devices on the Device banner. Ground fabric and sword are wool felt which has been whip stitched down and embroidered over. Embroidery is in split, chain and satin stitch.

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My SCA Barony records the devices of members on a banner. They are recorded in order of registration under the devices of the Baron and Baroness at the time. It is a lovely way to record the populace, a great hall decoration, and can be used as a prop in a fun 'guess the heraldry' game.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

A&S Century Challenge - Secret Scribey Projects

I've been working on projects for other people and doing scribal work, so no photos. I do have a picture of my special helper. :-)

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Friday, July 28, 2017

A&S Century Challenge - Embroidery Design

After doing quite a bit of scribal work yesterday, I took a break today by working on some non-counted embroidery designs.
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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Embroidered Napkin - A&S Century Challenge

I took a break from secret scribal stuff & works for other people and finished off an embroidered cloth. The motif is embroidered in split stitch with two strands of DMC cotton floss.
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Thursday, June 29, 2017


I haven't posted for a while because I haven't been well. After the pleurisy I developed costochondritis and now I have a chest infection, sinus infection, salivary gland infection and a cold! So I'm not really feeling like doing anything much. I am keeping up with the A&S Century Challenge buy doing my ten minutes minimum a day - mostly working on the huge pile of Unfinished sewing and embroidery objects (UFOs).

Last year a panel in my sewing area flooded quite badly and filled a stash cupboard with dirty water and I didn't realise straight away because it came through an access panel and through the back of the cupboard. Naturally it was the cupboard that had my long-hoarded ''special'' fabrics like silk in it. As you would know by now, my budget for fabric is low so I was absolutely devastated when this happened. I had a beautiful piece of figured silk velvet from Sartor that was a gift from friends that was ruined, and the whole event made me so despondent that it put me off dealing with the issue for a long time. The leak was fixed and fabrics washed, but I never really got things packed away the way they had previously been.

This has been something I have been trying to remedy lately. I can't do much at a time but I have been trying to sort everything out and tidy things up. I still have a pile of washed fabric to iron (a job I hate!) but at least things are looking a bit more tidy. My Sartor silk has lost it's pattern, but I can probably still use it for a pair of (much less dramatic looking sleeves.) Needless to say, I will probably procrastinate about tackling that ironing for quite some time to come!

While tidying and sorting, I found three very old unfinished chemises. They are made up in a Ren-Faire style pattern with fitted sleeves and no gussets and so not ideal (or historically accurate), but they need fairly minimal work to make them wearable. Given my deplorable lack of finished undergarments at the moment, I counted that find as a win. I also found some bits and bobs that I will need for upcoming projects, so I was very happy with that too. Maybe the old saying about hard work being it's own reward is true!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A&S Century Challenge - Simple Smock

Today I finally finished doing the seams on my ex-quilt cover, cheap test-run smock. I cut the neckline a bit wide so had to put in a couple of little pleats (which I would probably do again anyway as it sits nicely & is comfortable).
I ended up sewing the hem on the machine. I will re-do it by hand, but I need to wear it on the weekend and won't get time before then. The second hand quilt cover is nice soft fabric and feels cosy. I'm pleased with how neat the felled seams look, and I will definitely put the time and trouble in to do this again on future garments. I suspect that it will prolong the life of the garment too.

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

A&S Challenge - Seam Treatments and a New Sash

Lots of seam treatments this week, plus I sewed up a new sash. The sash is a simple (very long) rectangle, hemmed at both ends. I toyed with the idea of adding tassels to this one as it is longer than my others, but I decided that I will get more use out of it as it is. I am not usually a fan of orange (the camera has not reproduced the colour faithfully) but I think it will look good against a black gown. I got the fabric quite cheap at a thrift store, so I am pretty happy with this find. I still have enough for an underskirt or kirtle.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A&S Century Challenge - Seam finishing

Since my last post I have been doing boring (but relaxing) seam finishing. I am still unwell and have even had a day in hospital so this relaxed handsewing suits my energy levels at the moment.
I've also done a little bit of scroll painting.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

A&S Century Challenge - Seam Treatments

More hemming & seam treatments today.
I used to hate this sort of work, but now I really like it & find it relaxing.
Which is probably great, because I think I have about a million more hours worth to go.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A&S Century Challenge - Hand finishing smocks

Two smock drafts (slightly different styles) cut out and partly sewn by machine. I need to find the time to hand finish them, so that will probably keep me busy (at least) for the next several days. Illness is making me slow and sluggish at the moment.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A&S Century Challenge - Budget Sixteenth Century Undergarments

I'm still sick, so everything lately has been extra challenging.

On Saturday I went to a scribes meeting and learnt about gilding manuscripts and made a start on a new scroll.

I had an inspiring & productive A&S/training on Sunday, and came home feeling exhausted (but motivated). Lots of follow up stuff to do after that one, including paperwork.

Yesterday I faffed around adapting patterns for a little while; a task I always find challenging.

Today I grabbed a couple of minutes to cut out a test run fitted smock from an old cotton quilt cover. I have always made Italian style camicias, but sometimes they can be a little bulky for more fitted styles of late period clothing. I'm always nervous when cutting fabric, but I'm not worried today because I got this quilt cover at the op shop for $3. I should get 2 undergarments from it.

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I'm looking at making a modified version of (g) - smock with simple hemmed neck and sleeve.
Image from The Tudor Tailor, reproduced at

Friday, June 2, 2017

A&S Century Challenge - Purple Sash

A quick & easy project for today; I whipped up a new purple sash (which for some reason looks blue in the photos). It is just a long rectangular tube hemmed at the ends, very handy for changing the look of an outfit.

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This type of sash goes well with the style of Italian clothing that I like to wear.

Portrait of A Woman with a Book of Music by Bacchiacca
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