Sunday, March 27, 2011

I miss being employed...

I haven't bought fabric in what feels like ages. (It was like last month really)  I want to buy some linen or wool to work on a 15th c german dress to go with my cute red fringe hat.  Not a huge number of people do 15th c german, though you can find it on several peoples websites.  And yes, I do realize that I'm not capitalizing german, it's conscious.  Germany didn't exist as a country until well after SCA's period, but germanic groups existed then.  So I'm trying to be more accurate.

And more unique.  I like the idea of doing something different from most people.  The group I've moved into already has someone who is "The Roman Lady,"  and although I do it better, (full of modesty I am, or full of something) it's not going to get me the little bit of notoriety that I want.  For some reason, I want to be known for something.  I'm usually a pretty quiet person, rather self-conscious for the most part, but I want to have a little local famous.  Or maybe a little internet famous.

But I don't have any fabric to do a new dress out of.  I also need to buy the fabric to do the guards and lining for my trossfrau.  I could just use something cheap from Jo-ann, but I don't have the money for that right now either.  I'd like a good wool flannel for the guards in a rusty/dusty orange and a blueish red.  They'll be fantastic with the greyed blue wool of the dress.  I've had this color combination in my head for years.  While my wifey and I were shopping at High Fashion Home in Houston, I came across a piece of trim that had those colors in it.  The trim wasn't really anything worth buying, a brocaded something that didn't really look like anything period, but it was a gorgeous color combo and it has stuck with me for years.

I'd like a blue linen for my bodice lining.  I could use the leftovers from The Boy's gambeson, if I ever get my ass in gear on that project.  I can't decide if I'm going to line the sleeves or not.  I don't think so, mostly because of the slashes in the sleeves.  I'm hoping that I'll have a job soon so I can buy some fabric when the opportunity arises.  If I can't find the time in April, I think I'll see about shopping in Portland when we go up to pick up Himself's parents when they come for a visit.  That means I have plenty of time to research where to go buy what I'm looking for.

The gambeson needs another mock up, since I didn't draft in a waist seam before.  I should really work on that sometime this week and get the patterns finished so I can move on.  The thing I never noticed before about dress diaries is the long amount of time it takes to finish something.  It's not really taking me any longer to do these projects than anything else, but because I'm trying to keep track of it, it feels like I'm taking FOREVER between steps.  Must chill.  It will be done when it will be done.

Job Interview on Friday...

Part Time Teller at Chase.  It's no where near what I want to do for a living, but it's so much better to look for a job while employed.  And I'm fine with my work being completely separate from my life, so work is at work and fun is at home.

I so want to be employed.

Please can I have this job?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Job hunting makes me cry...

That is all

I swear...

Trying to find a new job is the most ridiculously convoluted rabbit hole I've ever been down!

I find an interesting job posting on one page, that I'm already registered for.  It takes me to another job site I have to register with to read the whole description.  I have to go to the actual company's page and register with them to actually apply for the bloody thing, and I'm pretty damn certain that my five years at a fabric store don't convey anything to me about healthcare or dental insurance.

So I go to the second webpage to see what they have that the first page didn't.  And now I'm registering for yet another bloody fucking page because no one posts a job on every page, they post one job on one page, and that page posts the job on another page and so on and so forth until I want to scream and cry and run back to Houston where I know I can get my old job back even if it wasn't that good to begin with because at least then I'd be fucking employed.  And that was a drastically run on sentence.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Life is good...

Return of the Jedi is on TV and The Boy is cooking curry in the kitchen.  Life is good...

Monday, March 14, 2011

I found the Hat...

I found a website where someone has done TONS of research on 15th century german clothing and they had a huge collection of images from the Housebook Master, who has bunches of the fringed german hats I love!  And because I love it so, here's a few new images of it.  I love the image of the two lovers, the woman carries the hat in her hand.  The four images at the bottom require a little more searching for the hat, there's usually only one or so.

Things to do this week...

Work on a resume... Really, really need to find a new job.  The Boy's work is supporting us, but there isn't any fun money.  Plus we owe friends a good load of money for helping us with the move, so I need to get my butt in gear and earn some cash.  I'm going to try applying with a temp agency in town.  I'm a little scared and worried. I've never had trouble getting work before.  I've never really needed to work before, but now I need to and can't seem to find it.

But the reward is The Boy and I are going to a Punch Brothers concert on Wednesday.  Whoo-hoo Bluegrass music!  This is supposed to be our 3rd anniversary treat.  It's a little hard to say when our anniversary is, because he asked me out at Gulf Wars, and that's a whole week of romance, without an actual date in there.

We need to go grocery shopping for Coronet's lunch food, probably Thursday.  And Friday we'll be making pasties, prepping other stuff and packing the van for the trip.  I'm excited about this trip.  We'll have a large van-load of people headed down to Elena's Parents' house, and that makes for an awesome trip.  Most of my rides to an SCA event had two, three people at most, so this sounds like the stories older scadians tell of the early days...

And added to the To-Do List is a plain white linen undertunic for Himself.  He needs another layer under his fancy clothes, and there's some light-weight white fabric lying around, I think is either linen or a linen-cotton blend.  (Belongs to The Boy and who knows what it might be.)

Should get started on something...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Things that got accomplished today...

Banana Bread, though it might be a little gooey inside
The Boy did a loaf of regular bread for sammaches
and the beginnings of the lemon syrup that I've been meaning to do for quite some time.  (Long enough ago that that most of the lemons I'd gotten had gone moldy)

Going to the grocery store for more lemons.

This weekend is Summits Coronet Tourney.  I'm still new enough that I'm probably calling it by the wrong name, but alas, I'll fix it when I learn the proper name for it.  The Boy is in charge of putting together the lunch for some of our friends, and the current plan is for a beef and mushroom pastie, and lemonade from the syrup I'm making, and probably some other food too.

Off to the grocery store, more later.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Possible A&S entry...

I'm trying to decide if I want to do an A&S entry on hairstyling.  I'm thinking of doing something for Adiantum's upcoming Birthday Bash, more of an informal revel if I understand correctly.  The entry I'm toying about with is asking Idonia if she'd let me do her hair to match her outfit, and then enter that into the contest.

Whoops, just checked the facebook page for the event, and it appears to be an A&S championship.  Maybe I'll put off entering until something else...

Thursday, March 10, 2011


After a bit of dithering, and a little unnecessary internet searching, the two 15th cent fringed german hats are done.  Pictures soonish.

I'm sending one down to Ansteorra to my best friend, whom I miss unbearably.  She may not really need at double layer wool hat, but that isn't going to to stop her!  The hats need to washed a couple times to full them some, they're made from wool crepe which isn't really good for felting, but will felt up eventually.

Must get something accomplished today...

I think I'll work on the cute 15th century german fringed hats.  One for the best friend and one for the Etsy.

I'm still having trouble locating more images of this hat.  It seems like it ought to be relatively easy to find, since the hat is ridiculously easy make.  If it's easy, there should be tons of them right?  Right?  Not so far.  I've stolen this image from Eva's Costuming Page's A&S 50 Stash Challenge.

I need to take a picture of my hat, which is ridiculously cute, and I just have to figure out what garb to wear with it.  I'm going to have to make something, which wouldn't be so bad if I had some fabric to make it out of.

Also, I want to make some rag dolls, but I don't have any fabric that I really want to make the bodies out of, and no real money to spend on it.  I might make them out of white fabric, but I'm worried about them getting dirty, since I'd like to make some of them for largess.  We'll see how the first one turns out.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Forgot 12th century...

Mustn't forget the 12th c ladies, bliauts and long braids.  I knew there was something that would override my sweeping generalization.

So I have an inkling...

I was thinking about teaching a class.  I dislike teaching, mostly because I hate having everyone's attention on me, but there are a few subjects that I would like to see change in the area, and I'm wondering if teaching a class might help with that change.

One of the biggest things I would like to see change are all the people that do nothing/very little with their hair.  I mean come on, doesn't that unruly mop get in your way?  Pinning it up with hairsticks isn't appropriate for when and where you are wearing.  You're a married woman with five kids (or at least your persona is) why the heck aren't you wearing a veil?

So I have a subject, but no really developed ideas on what I want to talk about.  I just know that every good class has an interesting title to hook people into it.  And I've got that.  "Just Get It Off My Neck: Basic Braiding & Beyond"  I just need to figure out where to go with it from there.  I'm thinking of exploring a few different cultures that do something with braided pigtails.  I mean anyone that can braid can do braided pigtails, so where to go from there.  *sweeping generalization here* No one believes that pigtails are really period, but there are so many lovely things that can result from them that people have seen, and I can include those.  Templar style headdresses from 14th century, german stuff from the 15th and 16th centuries, Hair taping from 16th century Italy, England and France.  All of these styles start with a basic set of pigtails and are arranged and restrained in different ways to make for an exciting, dressy hairstyle.

And all of them are easy enough to do when a person has the right tools.  I can do any of these styles for myself, but I think for the purposes of the class I'll probably get a couple of volunteers.  Things tend to look nicer when I can see what I'm doing.

I'll have to see who has the right garb to help me, what kinds of headdress is necessary to finish off the look, (german hats, templar circlets, hair taping in England is the basis for securing a coif before putting on fancier headdresses) and what I actually have to say.  People tend to be rather willing to assist, and most people are willing to get their hairs did, for science! (I had to)

I think I'll stick to three styles that can be accomplished with pigtails, it gives us a starting point.  I think for the hair taping and german styles I'll start off with someone in the right garb with braided pigtails because braiding all those pigtails can take a long time.  I'll need to include the various things that belong in a braid box, and what would have been used in period.  Most people don't realize that braids can be sewn into position in order to keep them in place.  I think the templar braiding position, right up by the temples (see where the name comes from) is a much more awkward place to braid oneself, and the people that would be wearing this style are the kinds of people that would have servants.  Damn not having a slave for my hair.

I'm going to have to let this idea stew for a little while, but I'll think about it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Updates to the to-do list...

The Boy has told me that he has nothing in the way of cold weather clothing.  Yay?   So we're trying to figure out what Himself actually wants, and I feel like I'm doing dentistry on a reluctant donkey.

He tells me that he needs something that fills void A.  I ask what time/culture/garment would he like that would fill void A.  He says he doesn't know.  Eventually he will find out that I won't sew things he wants/needs unless he tells me what they are!

I have gotten out of him that he wants a fuzzy hat of some kind... but that was as far as I could get out of him.  He likes my fringed hat, and he likes the square hoods Mistress Kaitlyn does for Mongolian stuff, and he likes the six panel fur trimmed hats that I've made for a number of people, but he doesn't seem to want one more than any of the others.  I think I'll make him a square Mongolian hood because it's simple, and he already has a chupa to wear with it.

I've got to limit the amount of randomness in Himself's garb.  Not for any specific request on his behalf, but because I think that he'll find he has more to wear if he can mix and match the pieces, instead of them being a single outfit.  I've found that having four or five pieces in a given genre allows me to mix them up a bit, but I also have a large enough wardrobe that I can make decisions based on when I want to be, instead of choosing the only thing that will work with the weather/activity/etc.

Well, cold weather gear must be added to the To-Do List, we certainly have plenty of cold weather up here.

Big projects:
Cold weather garb for The Boy (whatever that means)
Figuring out what The Boy wants for new garb

Little projects:
Purple Roman
More New Habib Stuff
Stuff to fill out the Etsy shop. (  (you know, just in case someone wanted to see what's up there)

Must get something done today, other than putzing around on the internets.  Dishes and a little sewing sounds good, I think I was planning to get The Boy's gambeson transfered over to a new mock up so I can refit the waist area.  Time to get to work.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Gambeson D'oh moment...

So when I woke up this morning, (yes it's still technically morning here)  I realized that to put a seam line at the waist of the gambeson.  I think I might have considered it yesterday and dismissed it, but I really need to do it.
1) It'll help with the fitting over Himself's backside (I didn't realize he had that much!) and 2) it will give me a place to insert lacing strips without torquing the the body.

We're still discussing where or not he gets cuisses or not, he's not sure he needs them, but I think they'd make him look good.  The lacing strip in the waist isn't really necessary for his current armor needs, but he wants to make the move toward improving his kit, and this is a good way to do that without spending too terribly much money.  Eventually he'll get a nice suit of chain, when we can afford it.

So, I'll have to cut a new mock up of the body.  I usually move from the fitting to a paper pattern, but since I goofed, I think I'll try cutting from crap fabric to crap fabric.  I'm always leery of doing so, since it can twist, but I think I'll be okay in this instance, since I'll be refitting, and will have to leave huge seam allowances anyway.

Well, that's on my tomorrow pile, since today requires cleaning the kitchen and the first cooking meeting, and Himself has to run off to the lab and work with the fishes.  Well cuttlefish, but playing with squid doesn't have the same ring.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Fitting for The Boy's Gambeson...

Went okay.  I'm alway nervous about men's clothing, especially as most guys can't handle stuff that's very form fitting.  The armholes on this gambeson are going to be HUGE, but I think it's necessary for him to be able to fight in it.

So... progress is being made on Himself's Christmas present.  Since we were moving at the end of December/early January, we decided to do Christmas in February.  So I'm only a month late so far.  The goal is to get my part of his fighting kit all pretty before he decides to participate in any Coronette tourneys.

I need to get the pattern drafted, a mock up cut out and basted, and try it on again.  Eventually, crazy shaped sleeves will have to be patterned, but till then....

So the list of projects grows ever longer.  I'm going to have to write things down here so I can remember what's on the list.

Big projects:
Figuring out what The Boy wants for new garb

Little projects:
Purple Roman
New Habib Stuff

Emmm.... I'll figure out more projects to add to the list later.  We all know this can't be the entirety of my project list.

Loving Blogger so far...

Adding in pictures has been remarkably easy.

Yesterday Idonia and I had a sewing day.  It was rather productive on my side.  She draped me for a Gothic Fitted Dress, which seems to be all the rage here in Adiantum.  I'd just made a ridiculously cute hat from 15th century Germany, and it's the right dress style to go with the hat.  I drafted the pattern, then sewed a second fitting mock up.  After that, I worked on a pair of shalwar for The Boy, since Habib is making an appearance at Egils in a few months.  Then we tweaked the neckline to make a pattern for the Trossfrau.

We came back to my house where The Boy was making us a tasty, tasty dinner, and went out to hang with friends later.  All in all, a good day.

I'm still working on how to reinforce the bodice of the dress.  At the moment, I've decided on interlining the bodice with canvas and no corded corset.  After the whole thing is finished, if I think it needs more support in order to smooth out wrinkles, I can always add a corset later.

Trossfrau part 2

Feb 17th

So I never did finish talking about what’s going on in the outfit I want.  I’m pretty sure I want the dress to be squared-necked, open in the front, closed with hooks and eyes, and to have the usual guards at the neckline.

I’m not 100% sure of what I want the skirt guards to look like.  Part of me is leaning towards the ever popular stripes of some sort around the bottom, part of me likes the “no frills” no stripes look of the girl above, and part of me wants to go for the triangles similar to the skirt right next to the woman with The Jacket.  I’m kind of liking the triangles the most right now, especially since I’ve never seen them before and they would go far in my “quest to be slightly more unique”™.  The main body of the dress would be in this dusty, cadet blue wool that I have plenty of from High Fashion Fabrics that my lovely ex-roomie bought me for my birthday years ago.  I want to do the guards in some combination of red and orange, but a darker, more burnt orange, and a slightly blue-red.  Depends on what I can find out there in the great wide world.

I’m not crazy fond of that particular hat, simply because it’s so plain, but a few feathers could spruce it up, and it’s a wonderful look at the top of a hat.  I’m tempted to make a variety of hats to wear with this look, but it’s one of those things that’ll wait till the inspiration hits to see what kind of hat(s) there will be.  At the very least I want a caul of some kind to keep the hair in check.  And a wide brimmed red something to keep the sun off.  And something with lots of feathers… and something small and cute… and maybe one of those wulsthulbes… and maybe… and maybe… and maybe….

(I like hats, can ya tell?)

I’d love a pair of wide-mouthed shoes to go with this outfit.  I don’t really care for the ones that are slashed, but want a pair that are wide and plain, with an ankle tie or buckle to keep them on.  Most of the styles I’ve found on the internet run around $70 or more, so I’m kind of hoping that I can find someone that can teach me how to make them, or is willing to barter for them.  To go along with these fantastic shoes, I want to make linen or wool hose, and I really want to try to make a vertically striped one for those awesome mix and match moments.

As far as other accessories go, I’ll need to find a belt, a pouch, and I would love a square canteen like that.  Has anyone seen that?

Part of me wants a high-necked smock, and part thinks the low is more appropriate.  Time to go count the smocks… Back soon….

So I’m counting smocks, and I’m willing to co-mingle rich and the not-so-rich, but I’m only counting secular woodcuts, not religious images.


I found someone wearing a jacket AND a high-neck smock, I could do it if I wanted.  (p. 237)  Second image of someone wearing both (p. 1388)  Third image of both (p. 1543)

So my rough counting has revealed that high necked smocks appear more often than low necked, but some form of separate neck and chest covering.  I decided to mostly stick to lower class, but I came to this decision part of the way through volume 1, so it’s not completely accurate, but it’s good enough.  I still can’t decide whether or not I want the higher neckline or not.  I want to try smocking, but I can always try it on an apron.  I think I want a lower neckline, simply because I want the opportunity to display the vast tracks of land.  I can always come back later and make a high-necked smock later, but I think the lower neckline works better on younger women, and I want to make the most of being in my twenties while I still have a few years of it left.

So now that I’ve decided that, it’s time to get someone to help me draft a pattern.  I’m debating the idea of doing the sleeves in a raglan style, but I think that’s really only necessary if you want the “falling off the shoulders” look that’s rather common with the high-necked smocks, but doesn’t appear to be as common on the low necked.  I think I’ll pattern in a shoulder strap and run the guards over the shoulder strap and perhaps over the sleeve if necessary.  I think the guard on the bodice needs to be about 2” wide, which is an aesthetic choice based on the size of the guards in the images.  I want to do the guards around a square neckline in both front and back, although there are a few images of V-neck backs, and rounded scoop-necks.  Although these two styles would be a step on the “quest to be slightly more unique”™, I’m more fond of the square necked styles and that’s why I choose it.

I think Idonia will pattern me if I can find time to ask her.  Getting the pattern made is the next step.  After the dress is patterned I can make the smock, and then work on The Jacket can begin.  I’ve already got the blue wool for the dress, and the white linen for the shift.  I’m hoping to find a pretty silk brocade, but would be willing to settle for something cheaper if the pattern and colors are right.

Trossfrau redux...

I'm going to just copy paste the text from my saved copy of my diary in individual posts, similar to how they were originally written, including the day I wrote them, so it doesn't appear as though I'm so awesome to have come up with all this in the last few minutes.

Feb 16th

I’m starting to do a little research on my Trossfrau.  So this all started after the move to Oregon; I decided that I wanted a new project, and to make a dress that was more complicated than my usual Romans.  You know, almost anything?  So I stared trolling through the links I’d saved to my bookmarks.

At first I was lusting after the Flemish working women’s, but soon realized everyone had a version.  In my “quest to be slightly more unique”™.  I choose to go Landsknecht.  Yeah I know Flemish and German are crazy different.  But there were fewer of them, they offer much more customizing options, and I already had a huge chunk of fabric to make one.  Though technically, it was intended for a Cranach, but let’s be realistic, I’m never going to make one of those.

The Curious Frau’s website had introduced me to the Trossfrau, and I’m eager to get going.  I fell in love with this jacket.  I mean, L-O-V-E.  I’ve started looking for fabrics to make it from, and I haven’t really decided how to make the dress underneath it yet.  Or the smock under that yet either.

All in good time.

So my goals with this dress (besides just making it):
1) Some degree of authenticity,
2) Some serious effort to write a Dress Diary (starting now)
3) To do well in the An Tir Costuming Contest 2012

That’s right; I want to enter a contest.  Me, who shies away from even looking at the entries, I want to entry one of the highest level contests in my Kingdom.  SMRT folks, I am so smart.

So let’s break down what’s going on in this outfit, and where I want to deviate from the original.  I love, love, LOVE that jacket.  It’s one of the few motives I have for making a Trossfrau (the other is German Hats!).  I want that jacket, in some bright color if I can find a nice brocade for it.  Probably in either red or orange and gold, should I be able to find something not too crazy expensive and with a nice pattern.

From looking at other images from the same book, The German Single-Leaf Woodcut: 1500-1550, the cuff isn’t on the jacket, but on the sleeve of the dress underneath the jacket.  I’m loving this simple style of sleeves, only a little bit of slashing at the elbows and the decorative cuff that’s left open at the hand.  I think I want to incorporate this sleeve and cuff into my dress, even though the cuff on the woman with the jacket is clearly not split.

I can’t decide if the line on the forearm indicates that the sleeve is split and has some form of closure, or if the artist is just documenting seam placement like is shown on the side of the bodice.  I’m wishing for an opening since I would love to be able to open the sleeves and roll them up like in this image.

So APPARENTLY LJ won't allow to me to put up any more photos without difficulty. So we'll go to bed tonight, and deal with it some other time.

Tomorrow I want to dig through Vols. 1, 3 and 4 of the German Woodcuts in more depth, and decide whether or not I should do the high-necked smock with this outfit, or if I should do the vast tracks of land approach. I'm thinking I should do the tracts of land, since I haven't seen any high necked smocks on anyone wearing an over garment of any kind. Usually they have one or the other, high-necked underwear or partlet/gollar/jacket. Also, in my flipping through the books, the high-necked smocks seem to be mostly on older or wealthy ladies, not poor, young things. But that is for another night.

So I've decided to switch from LiveJournal...

I've found that most all of the blogs I'd been coming across lately on my internet research have been on Blogger. So I think I'd like to try it, and see how it differs from LJ.  Here's to a first hand experiment in blogging, something I consistently fail at.

I'm really hoping that keeping a dress diary for my Trossfrau dress will encourage me to A) blog more, B) work on the bloody thing, and C) join the illustrious ranks of those who have come before me and I worship for their time and dedication.  In the next update, I'll go through and post the few things I've already written, and the new never-before-read recent changes!