Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A&S Century Challenge - Gold sleeves

This challenge has been a wonderful motivator to plod along and do those little jobs that are not exciting & that are easy to put off.
Today I'm spending some time on a pair of sleeves. I usually zigzag stitch the edges, but I am trying out pinking the edges with shears. I am stab stitching the seams open.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Cotton Chemise- A&S Century Challenge

I spent my time today sewing some ribbon onto the sleeves of a cotton chemise. I couldn't do much as my hands are very painful at the moment.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Embroidered Chemise Band - A&S Challenge

I got a little bit of embroidery done today. This will be a simple gathering band for a chemise. It is done in double running stitch (Holbein stitch) in DMC floss. The loose running stitch is a temporary marker to indicate a fold line.

A&S Challenge - Viking Clothing Class

On Sunday I went to an information session on Viking clothing & accessories. I also had the opportunity to do a small amount of embroidery.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Friday, May 26, 2017

A&S Century Challenge

Nothing hugely exciting has been going on with me for the last few days; I'm still sick with pleurisy and a chest infection. I finalised an embroidery design, did some hemming, and pre-washed and ironed some fabric.

I'm finding the A&S Century challenge very useful in motivating me. Previously, I did some A&S work on most days but found it difficult to get to the little jobs because if I "only" had ten minutes it often didn't seem worth it to dig the resources out or make the space to get started. The satisfaction of ticking the Challenge off the daily To Do list has meant that I am bothering with small projects in snatched segments of time- and really starting to see results. One eyelet a day is much less intimidating than twenty in a block.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A&S Century Challenge - Embroidery Design

Today I spent my time working out a non-counted embroidery design. I am quite pleased with the result but I can't share photos until it is finished.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A&S Century Challenge - hemming

Today I turned up a hem. When I'm tired and/or sick (which is most of the time!) I start slouching and  end up tripping, so hopefully this will help. It certainly is making the gown hem stand out very stiffly.

Monday, May 22, 2017

A&S Century Challenge - Seam treatments

I haven't posted for a few days because I have been quite sick with pleurisy and a chest infection, but I have tried to continue the A&S Century challenge.

Today I wasn't up for more than some very simple seam treatments.

Yesterday I helped to judge some A&S competitions.

The day before that I did some hemming and sewed some sleeve ties on.

The day before that I sewed hooks and eyes onto skirt openings.

All boring and slightly tedious jobs that are easy to put off. The Century Challenge has been great because it is encouraging me to get lots of little jobs finished - usually the ones that I tend to put off.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

A&S Century Challenge - Simple Tassels

Today I made simple little tassels to go on pouches.

The first step is to take the thread you want to use and wrap it around your fingers. I used three fingers because these tassels will be small. Four or five fingers would make bigger tassels.
I used crochet cotton for these tassels.

Take a longer piece of thread (about 25-30cm) and thread through the centre of your loops. If your thread is extremely fine, you may want to use a thicker thread in a similar colour, because this thread will become the attaching thread that secures your tassel to the project you are making it for (e.g. pouch, clothing, hat, sash etc.)

Once the thread is in the centre of your loops, tie it off securely. I do it a couple of times with a double knot at the end to make sure it is very secure.

Next, smooth the loops out and make sure they are all lying together and there are no big bulges. Take a smaller piece of thread (15-20cm approximately) and tie off the loops. The distance you tie off down from the first knot will be how big the ''head'' of the tassel will be. Continue to make sure all the threads are laying nicely and nothing has got caught up or is bulging out. I tie off and then wrap and tie off again to make sure everything is nice and tight and strongly secured.
Cut the loops.

I thread the ends of the tie off threads through a needle and thread them back under the horizontal wrapping so that they end up sticking out with all the other thread ends.

Finally trim off the ends of the threads so they are neat and the desired length. I tend to trim the edge ends a little shorter so that the tassel ''skirt'' has a slight bell shape rather than being cut straight across. This is a matter of personal preference.
If you wanted to decorate the ''head'' of the tassel, you could do it now.

The finished product ready for attachment.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A&S Century Challenge - Split-stitch Heraldic Patches

My hands were too sore to do much today, but I did get the final split stitch heraldic patch sewn on to the Championship cloak.
Now it can be passed on to the next Champion.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

A&S Century Challenge - Split stitch heraldic badge

I'm still sick and not to be trusted with anything remotely complicated, so finished off my heraldic split stitch patch today.'
It just needs to be sewn onto the cloak now.

Yesterday I woke up sick and had to cancel all my plans, so I worked on this project too.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Extant Redwork Unicorn Embroidery

I saw this piece posted on a Facebook embroidery group and just had to share. It is c.1588 and is embroidered in silk. I am going to make something using this as my inspiration.

Image source:

Friday, May 12, 2017

A&S Century Challenge

I've already lost track of what day I am up to in this Challenge!

Today my time was spent doing paperwork. I did a little bit of stem stitching and a little bit of scribing. I also got one of the heraldic badges sewn on to the A&S Championship cloak. I think it looks good.

Yesterday I made a pattern and cut out a couple of pouches as my fingers are a too bit sore to sew.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

New format?

Well, it is getting close to two weeks of the new format with daily updates. What do you all think? Are you sick of hearing about projects in dribs and drabs? Did you prefer a write up of a finished project, or should I continue with the new format?

100 Days of A&S - Split stitch Badge

Today I finished the split stitch badge for a friend.
In my SCA Barony, we have cloaks that the Heavy, Rapier & A&S Champions wear. They are decorated with the devices of the Champions & this is what these split stitch badges are for.

Monday, May 8, 2017

100 Days of A&S - Seam treatments and split stitch badges

Today I worked on seam finishing inside a camicia (chemise). I have three cut out and assembled to a basic level. When I have a bit of spare time (e.g. in front of the telly) I can pick one up and do a bit. I'm getting there (very) slowly.

I also did some stem stitching on another heraldic badge for a friend.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Days 8 & 9 - 100 Days of A&S (Hemming and Split Stitching)

I couldn't post yesterday, so you get two day's worth today!

Day 9
Boring old hand hemming again today.

Day 8
Spent a good part of the day adding spangles to an embroidered caul at an SCA demo, but also managed to finish off the split stitch championship patches.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Day 6 - 100 Days of A&S - Cartridge Pleating a Renaissance Skirt

Today I spent my time setting cartridge pleats. I made bigger pleats than normal, setting them at about 1cm apart. (Sometimes I do 0.5cm.) I cheated and drew the pleats up with a single thread of crochet cotton because I wanted the job to go faster. The 'proper' way to do it is to use 2 parallel rows of very strong cord/thread, and draw your pleats up. The big risk with the single crochet cotton is that it will shred and break and you will have to start all over again. Luckily, that didn't happen to me today.

Chalking out the 1cm markings

Adding the crochet cotton 'draw thread' (the smaller white thread is a tacking stitch to secure the top hem of the skirt panel during pleating and not related to the cartridge pleating process.)

Pleats ready for adjustment

The skirt panel ready to sew to the bodice. I divide my skirt into quarters and divide my bodice into quarters. Then I tack the points together and adjust the pleats evenly in each quarter section. It makes the job much easier and results in nice even pleat adjustment.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A&S 100 Challenge - Day 5 - Eyelets

Today I am tackling eyelets on an unfinished front-lacing gown. I struggle with eyelets because I have a lot of pain in my hands and fingers. I tend to put buttonholes off because they hurt so much - so I always have plenty to do.

Why does only the last eyelet ever turn out the way you want it?!

Monday, May 1, 2017

A&S 100 Challenge - Day 3 (Flat felling seams on body linens)

Flat felling seams today. My hands are protesting yesterday's fingerloop braiding experiment, so I'm keeping it simple!

This is one out of a pile of chemises/smocks waiting to be hemmed and made up.

A&S 100 Challenge - Day 2 (Finger Loop Braiding)

Today's challenge was to attempt fingerloop braiding for the first time.
It was interesting; I understand the process and the terminology much better now. I don't think my stiff, sore fingers are dexterous enough to ever be comfortable doing fingerlooping, but I will keep practicing until I can get the tension right on a simple braid.