Crafting Progress

My husband’s new linen tunic is mostly sewn! I’ve been sewing by hand and using “free” linen thread again, so I have to keep pausing to spin more whenever I run out.

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The band for the collar, cuffs, and hem is coming along nicely after a big hiccup during warping. I’m more than halfway through, although I’ll probably need to warp up another shorter piece after this one.

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On the writing side of things, I’ve got an idea for a new novel that’s very different from my usual fare, but I’m going to be good and stick with Featherfolk for now. Maybe I’ll go for it during NaNoWriMo or condense the idea into an entry for next year’s Mormon Lit Blitz. Or both!

We’ll see.

Happy Yarning.

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Adventures with Linen: Simple Wimple

Good Christian women cover their heads. Or at least they did in Europe for a lot of the Medieval period. Headgear is the first part of medieval garb to be neglected by “noobs,” simply because it isn’t very important in modern western culture.

I am guilty of this–also guilty of wearing renaissance-esque snoods with early period dresses. But I’m learning.

For my new garb, I made a white linen wimple.

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After spending some hours on research and coming repeatedly across the answer that “We really don’t know how wimples worked, but they looked like this,” I settled on the “circle with a hole” design for my first wimple. I was inspired by this handy page tucked away on rosieandglenn.co.uk, which made it look simple enough for everyday wear. However, in my research I read that the headband or fillet was worn under (not over) the wimple, so I made that adjustment for myself.

Of course, in my haste, I broke one of my cardinal rules of garb-making. When cutting any hole for your head, always start too small and increase the size. Oops. But it still works despite its mammoth hole.

I spun my own thread (see my earlier post about that) to sew the hems. Perhaps with future wimples I’ll do something fancier than these little rolled hems.

And with a fillet made from a piece of my serpent tablet-weave belt (from yet another earlier post), I have a wimple!

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We’ll see how it does on its maiden voyage next weekend. I shan’t be surprised if it does go sailing off my head once or twice. All in the name of science–I mean, reenactment–of course.

Happy Yarning!

Now for the Prettying

My linen underdress is finished, and my wool overdress is all put together and hemmed!

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Now for the part where I spend a few weeks on embellishments. I thought the hems, chain-stitched in white wool thread, took a long time, but I have evil plans to finish some of the long seams with Mammen cushion stitch. Here’s my practice scrap.

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I tend to take a rather liberal view of what is historically accurate to a given place and time. For instance, I’m okay with using a stitch found on a tenth-century Viking pillow for my tenth-century Anglo-Saxon dress. As a crafty person, I’m prone to trying to recreate pretty things I see, so I figure Anglo-Saxon women wouldn’t have hesitated to try out stitches they saw their neighbors wearing. Unless they were busy running for their lives at the time. Silly Vikings.

See what I mean? Rather liberal.

In addition to these seam treatments, I’ll (hopefully) eventually add tablet-woven bands or silk onto the the cuffs, neckline, and possibly hem of my overdress.

Pretty. Pretty. Pretty…time-consuming! But at the end I’ll have my first “period” garb.

Happy Yarning.

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!