Baby’s First Garb

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I’m working on my baby’s first medieval garb for an event tomorrow! She’ll certainly grow out of it before the next event we attend, but I figure I can save it for our next child. The great thing about t-dresses and t-tunics is they are exactly the same except for the length, so I can use it again even if we have a boy.

Next project: figure out which of my garb I can modify so I can nurse her without stripping down…

Happy Yarning!

More Wimple Wearing

After extolling the virtues of wimples last week, I was challenged by the author of A Quilter’s Journey (an awesome quilting blog you should go check out) to try wearing a wimple through airport security. Since I was flying out to Houston for the weekend, I thought I’d go ahead and do it.

Of course, I would’ve felt silly wearing a wimple with mundane clothes in public, so I wore full medieval garb. Here’s a picture of me just after passing through the security checkpoint (and putting my belt back on).

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They were very respectful of my fashion choices and didn’t ask me to remove the wimple, although I did get a head-patting to check if I was hiding anything besides my hair under there.

Happy Yarning!

Adventures with Linen: Long Seams

Sewing dresses by hand is all good fun until you get to the long seams.

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For my Anglo-Saxon linen underdress, I’m sewing the pieces together with a running stitch and then oversewing the seam allowances to prevent fraying.

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The shoulders and sleeves and gussets all came together pretty fast, but now I’m in the middle of sewing in the gores. Those are the tall triangles at the sides, which basically turn the dress from a long tube into something you can wear.

I’ve been watching movies to pass the time while I work on the gore seams. Lately I’ve been on a Danny Kaye kick. I watched both The Court Jester and White Christmas this week.

What do you do to keep your brain from frying on the long, boring parts of projects?

Adventures With Linen: Why Buy Thread?

I’ve been wanting to sew some medieval garb using period materials for a long time, and I’m finally doing it!

I haven’t quite nailed down my persona yet, but I’m thinking Christian Anglo-Saxon. Between AD 800 and AD 1066?

Anyway, I forked out the cash for 100% linen and 100% wool cloth. Then I went looking for linen and wool thread. Not to be found at my fabric store. I supposed I’d have to order some online.

But of course yesterday I really wanted to begin making the underdress, and I had yet to order any thread. That’s when I remembered I’d just spent all that money on linen. I had linen.

Luckily I also happened to have a drop spindle and some wax on hand…

So now I’m making my own thread.

First I take pairs of long threads from the leftover fabric.

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Then I give them a bit of twist on my drop spindle.

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(Ok, ok, it’s a tahkli. But it’s like a drop spindle.)

Then I run them across a piece of wax.

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Et voila! “Free” linen thread.

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So far I’ve hand sewn the shoulder seams and one sleeve + gusset, and the thread hasn’t broken on me. I call this a success.

When I get to the point where I need wool thread for the overdress, I think I’ll spin it from some roving I have lying around, and then dye it with the same dye I’m using on the wool cloth.

Happy Yarning!

Completed: Serpent/Eve Tabletwoven Belt

I actually finished this up before we left for Germany.

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The completed length is 98 in (2.5 m) + tassels. It is about 1.4 in (3.5 cm) wide. The thing barely fit on the loom, actually. It looks like I can’t do many more than 16 cards with medium weight yarn on my little inkle loom.

I’m thinking a long, ceinture type of belt.

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The pattern in these earthy colors is reminiscent of a serpent, and it makes me think of Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Also, I forgot how comfortable this dress is. I think I might just stay in garb for the rest of the day.

Happy Yarning!

Lucet: Turning String into Better String

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The other night, my husband decided to sew a pouch for his golden dollar coins, and I volunteered to lucet a drawstring for him.

Lucet is a simple, old technique–dating back to the Vikings at least–for making braided cord. I learned it from some of my medievalist friends in college.

All you need is a lucet. (If you’re patient, you can even do it on two of your fingers.) My handy husband made this lucet for me.

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I usually use #10 crochet cotton, but you can use any string or yarn. You start from the bottom and make a figure-eight around the prongs, then the beginning of a second figure-eight.

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Next, you bring the lower string up over the prong and let it go. Cinch the whole thing up carefully. Finish your figure-eight, going around the other prong, and pull the lower string up over the other prong. Cinch again.

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If you keep doing that, you get cord!

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Having grown up with a Strickliesel (Knitting Nancy), I find it easier to use this thing, instead of my fingers, to draw the loops up and over the prongs.

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It makes nifty square cord, good for laces, drawstrings, necklaces, and what-have-you.

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I realize this isn’t a thorough tutorial. If you want to learn more, just go Google “lucet.” Even better, find someone with a lucet in your local branch of the SCA. She (or he) would love to teach you.

Happy yarning!

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