Monday, December 10, 2007

A Little bit of Roman, and little bit Irish

It’s December, you are off to a feast in a hall in Sydney. Its been hot and humid all week, what to wear? Roman of course. In fact it seems that many ladies had similar ideas this year. The theme of the event was Elizabethan Toga Party, but quite a few people skipped the Elizabethan garb altogether and went straight to Peplos, Tunicas and Chintons. I think the fact that Blayney, a roman soldier of some notoriety, was Knighted that evening may have had an influence too.

So, my trusty green tunica-type creation was pulled out of the garb box and freshened up with new sash and palla (long, narrow wrap) in burgundy cotton. I wore my Egypto-roman style pearl earrings, the necklace I won at 4 Winds a few years ago, and a new necklace of pearls and citrine that I strung on the afternoon of the event. Apart from my left shoe coming undone repeatedly throughout the night, I was most pleased with the outfit. Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of the night; however, I intend to enter the outfit in the 12th Night A&S Competition, so there will no doubt be photos in January.

My soon-to-be new home, The Barony of Stormhold, is focussing its A&S activities on persona development in 2008. I have decided to jump on board and get a better understanding of Aine Ruadh inghean Chillin, born in Ireland in the mid-late 14th C. I have always thought she ends up in service to a great Lady of some sort, but I plan to do some research into the hierarchy and Irish nobility of the era to see whether that is a realistic life story, or simply a convenient fiction.

Projects for 2008 so far include:
Green Wool Moy Gown
Pattern and experiment with Irish leine for women (huge, baggy sleeved shirt-dress of medieval Ireland)
Research and develop my persona – lifestyle and station; hobbies and leisure activities; wardrobe.
Learn to play a few tunes on the Irish whistle
Take up archery

and not forgetting:
move house
find a new job
make new friends
keep in touch with old friends

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Shiny Things

On Sat night I received a wonderful text message saying that I was the winner of this year’s Feast of the Four Winds Outfit competition! How exciting! The annual competition, run by THL Artemisia de Queitodarzenta, aims to encourage people to think beyond the garment to the entire outfit. As noted in my last post, I had 2 entries this year: I assume it was the Irish Outfit that was the winner. Artemisia is going to send me some notes on my entry, and I may post some or all of those comments here once I have had a chance to digest them.

I intended to make a new roman tunic to wear to Yule this year, but have decided against it for a few reasons. One the fabric I bought isn’t quite right - its not long enough and I can’t make it work. Second, I have come to the conclusion that I don’t actually like the way I look in roman garb. So instead I will wear my green roman tunic (for which I received a highly commended in the Four Winds Outfit Comp a few years ago) to Yule, together with the necklace given to me by Artemisa as my highly comended prize. I may make a new wrap out of some burgundy fabric I have in my collection, that would look very festive.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ta Da

I have just sent off not 1 but 2 entries to the Feast of the Four Winds Complete Outfit Compeition. I have entered Finian's Woolen Tunic and my Moy Gown with woolen hood ensemble.

Here is a photo of me in my Moy Gown, taken by Katje at Flame Tree 07 and nicked from her flickr account (thanks lovely.

And this is my stripey woolen hood.

So proud of me.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

And yet at the same time I am

You scored as Sirius Black, You are a gifted wizard and very loyal to your allegiance. Whilst you have a big heart and care very much about those around you, you can be a little arrogant and reckless at times.

Sirius Black


Ron Weasley


Albus Dumbledore


Hermione Granger


Draco Malfoy


Remus Lupin


Harry Potter


Ginny Weasley


Lord Voldemort


Severus Snape


Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...?
created with

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Finian’s Wardrobe

Finian now has a great kilt to wear to Rowany 25. When we were in Melbourne in June we bought 5 m of green wool plaid from the lovely fabric lady at Queen Vic markets. It’s incredibly wide – about 150 cm I think. I was sure that 2.5 m would be sufficient, but Finian was sure someone told him we needed 5, so 5 we got.

After only a few relatively hassle free hours, and Finian only having to lie on the floor to check fit once, 2.5 m of the lovely wool has now become a great kilt. We opted for fairly wide pleats for aesthetic reasons. I hope that he will wear it with the baggy sleeved leine style shirt I made him a few years ago using a commercial pattern, but knowing Finian, he will opt for a more form fitting shirt or tunic. I have hemmed the other 2.5 m to be used as a mantle for now until we decide to use it for something else. Next on my shopping list is one of those lovely circle cloak pins.

Finian’s stripy woollen tunic is also in one piece. He wore it to Rowany Baroinial Sucession – photos to follow. I ended up finishing the seams by hand, but I intend to go back over them with the machine now that it’s repaired and working as well as ever. I also have to finish the hem, cuffs and neck.

There is loads of the stripy wool left. I used some of it to make myself a hood, but the rest will join my fabric miscellany until inspiration strikes.

This week, while continuing the remodelling of the burgundy dress I learnt a valuable lesson: don’t snack and stich lest you drop your salsa on your sewing. Luckily the offending dip landed on the lining and not the outer layer of the bodice, and has left only the faintest of marks. I am sure it will come out when I wash the completed garment. I am aiming to wear the remodelled dress to Rowany 25 and thereafter start work on the Moy Gown 2.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Dementors Beware!

What Form Would Your Patronus Take? (With 10 Excellent Results & Pictures)

Your Patronus would be an Otter!
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Link to Moy Gown article

If you scroll down through this article you will come to the painting "The Birth of the Virgin Mary" by the Workshop of Michael Pacher (Austrian, d. 1498), to which I refered in my post the other day.

The Plan (Revised Edition)

I made some progress yesterday with Finian’s tunic. It’s not quite at the one-piece stage, but I did get to fit it to him, and after a little bit of tweaking I think it’s looking quite good. The side gores are sewn in, the sleeves and underarm gorse are pinned in and the neckline has been cut out. He is quite set on his wide sleeves – he wants to put his hands inside the opposite sleeve in true Jedi style. For warmth, of course. I hope to have it all put together by the end of the week so it can hang in the bathroom for a week before I hem it.

I washed my wool yesterday and have struck a small hurdle – it’s not right for the Moy Gown Mark II. In my mind it was a lovely, buttery yellow medium weight wool blend. In reality its more like a beigey tan colour and quite light. It will make a wonderful underdress to something, and in summer I might wear it without a top layer. But for an event in winter, not quite right.

Having accepted that I am not going to buy any suitable wool in the next week or so, I have resigned myself to the fact I won’t have a new frock for Baronial change over. I do however have loads of the stripy wool left over from Sam’s tunic. I did consider making myself a tabard with side lacings to wear over one of my older frock, but I don’t want to look too matchy matchy. So I have decided to make myself a hood out of the wool, lined with left over burgundy from the cotehardie inspired, recently renovated frock. After making a pattern last night, I have cut out the wool and will cut out the lining tonight. Hopefully it will be together this week too.

I would like a new under dress for the Moy Mark I with nicer sleeves, in a slightly heavier cotton. We will see how the brain and the budget are doing after the Melbourne trip next week. Otherwise I might just go with 2 layers of underdress for warmth, the hood and a mantle on top.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Moy Gown Mark II

So, what will Belle wear to the Ball? Well, the Baronial change over anyway.

As the Moy gown was such a success I have decided to make a long sleeved version with a higher neckline. The advantages of this include that I only have to re-pattern the front panel to get the new neck line right, and fiddle about with the sleeves a little.

So, here is my ‘inspiration’ picture of gowns very similar in style to the Moy gown…. Or at least it would be if the link to her page was working. Hmm, will have ot get back to you with the picture. Moy Mark I was based on the lady on the right, with the short sleeves. I made the neckline lower as that is how the extant article appears to have been made. This time I am aiming for something more like the lady on the left.

So, step 1 is to re-pattern the front panel.
Step 2 is to wash the wool blend fabric I bought for this dress over a year ago (and hope I still like it).
Step 3 cut, pin together and check fit. This lady: (see the Moy Gown entry) likes a slightly more snug fit, but I like the way mine hangs away from the body. Still, snugger might be warmer… will see how it feel in the pinning stage.
Steps 4 – 6 sew sew sew.
Step 7 accessorise
Step 8 Look beautiful!

3 weeks until Baronial Changeover

The Invest/Devest of the Rowany B&B is on 16 June. Note to self - I should book..

The plan is that Finian and I will each have a new garment for the event. Finian will have a new woollen tunic. He greatly admired one he saw at Festival. It is a T-tunic with gores, snug but not fitted, made of wool and worn with pants, possibly with those cross-hatching ties up the legs. The week after Festival I was op shopping and I happened across many metres of fabric that may have been wool. The colours are earthy browns, olives and tans, and the pattern is striped. I thought it would suit Finian’s new garb vision, and at $5 seemed bargain. When I got it home and washed it, that familiar wet dog scent confirmed it is at least partly wool. Score!

I have measured the now remarkably lithe Finian (he has lost about 7 or 8 kg since Xmas) and drew up a pattern. Feeling brave I cut it straight form the wool rather than make a fabric pattern. It more or less fitted him – I had made the body too long, but a quick hoick and re-pin fixed that. The gores give shape and movement but don’t look too feminine or bulky. The sleeves look too long to my eye (wrist length) but that’s what he wanted. I would have gone with elbow length and layered it over a long sleeved cotton tunic/shirt, but I figure we can always shorten the sleeves later if he wants to.

Poor Finian suffered a minor injury when I tried to peel the tunic off him and an ill-placed pin snagged his ear! Ouch! I don’t think he’s forgiven me yet.

So this weekend’s tasks include getting the Tunic to the one-piece stage, if not completed.

Becasue it's Friday

I will update you on my sewing progress soon, I promise. In the meantime:

Your Lucky Underwear is Blue

You are caring and extroverted. You've made relationships your number one focus, and your lucky blue underwear can bring some balance to them.
You thrive in one-on-one situations. You are a good listener and a natural born therapist.

Sometimes you let the concerns of others become too important in your life, leading to stress and worry.
If you want more balance, put on your blue underpants. They'll help you take care of yourself first.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

More Meme

This Is My Life, Rated
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

I think my financial score is so high beause my wonderful husband is terrific at maintining our budget and I always know exactly how much I can splurge on eating out, going for coffe or buying shoes. So really, it's his high score not mine.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Life explosion

I know that there are entries outstanding re my birthday and Festival; however, the broken hearted KT/Derek is a jerk situation has taken over my spare brain space. (See KT Bell’s blog for more).

So for now further blog entries are on hold.

Gifts of chocolate and/or machetes much appreciated.

Monday, March 26, 2007

NZ Trip on hold

Oh, in case I didn’t tell people, we can’t go to Midwinter Coronation any more. :( Sam and I both encountered difficulties when it came to getting our leave approved, so we have decided (after much deliberation) to give it a miss. We will try for Cantebury Faire next Feb instead. On the up side, we might be able to go to May Crown now as a sort of consolation prize.

Slight miscalculation

Oh dear. I have realised this morning that of the (now) 9 evenings remaining before I go to Festival I am out on 5 of them, and fairly busy this weekend too. And yesterday I thought it might be a good idea to make Sam and I each a hood for keeping sun/rain/cold out. Eeeek, hope I can find enough time to at least hem and affix closures to my 2 frocks, otherwise I will be a site to behold.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Don't panic - 10 days til Festival

Wow, what a productive weekend. In additional to the plentiful going out and socialising, I also got a reasonable amount of sewing done. First cab off the rank was the red wool roman cloak for Maximus to keep him protected from the elements at Festival. I had cut and pinned it last weekend so it just a matter of a few straight stitches, then cutting and attaching the hood. The cloak is now all in one piece and is hanging in the bathroom so it can ‘drop’ before I hem it. It’s looks really impressive, like there was a lot more involved than sewing 3 panels together.

Next project was the burgundy dress that is supposed to be a cotehardie. I made it for 1st Coronation and have worn it maybe once or twice since, I was never really happy with it, and it serves me right for trying to do it all myself instead of asking for help with the trick bits. Having come to the realisation that I don’t have time to make a new dress for festival (which is now literally 2 weeks away), and feeling anxious that I don’t have enough to wear, I decided that a remodel was in order.

I have unpicked the sleeves to the elbow, cut off the 2 ½ inches excess length, and was thinking about putting on buttons or lacings to close them again. However, when I put it on it it’s unpicked state, I quite liked the effect of the sleeves hanging open – sort of like over grown tippets. So now I think I will leave it this way.

It looks little bit like the pale blue dress to the left of this picture, taken from

The description is “ 1338-44, French. From the Romance of Alexander; fol 138rLeft to right: 1) dark blue long-sleeved undergown, buttoned sleeves. Paler blue short-sleeved overgown with fichets and tippets. “

Next to address the overall fit and comfort. The front never fitted properly – I think I put the curve in the wrong place. And the back lacings were just impractical. So I unpicked the front seams to about navel level, and plan to fit lacing rings so that the dress laces up the front (meaning I can dress myself). Once I had opened up the front seams I then sewed up the back seam, relegating my beautiful ribbon loops for lacing to the inside back seam. I still know they are there, even if no-one else will see them. So all that is left is to finish the front opening with the lacing rings. I will re-shape the neckline at the same time. The current neckline is a bit high and awkward to wear. I have come to the conclusion that, unless I am wearing a tabard or surcoat, I look better in a lower cut dress. High cut dresses with no top layer tend to hide my shape and make me look too sack like – hardly the elegant lady about Festival look I am going for. Rather than cutting it and re-stitching it, I think I might just fold the excess fabric under and tack it down.

I have also cut and ½ sewn a basic smock/chemise for under the Moy, which is still waiting to be hemmed. The smock is cut from a white sheet bought at an op-shop, which means that is has been washed a number of times and is pre-softened and snuggley.

I am SO looking forward to Festival.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Moy Gown Update

If I have done this properly you should be able to see a photo of Sam and I at 12th Night back in January. I am wearing my Moy Gown. At that stage it was pinned together in front, unhemmed and the bias strips around the neck and front opening were pressed but not stitched down. [And my hair looks rubbish, but you can't have everything]

In the last few weeks I have stitched down the bias strips, marked up where the buttons will go on the front and sewn the first of 8 buttons in place. I have also stitched down the excess fabric behind the tip of one of the gores by way of reinforcing. I will do the other 3 eventually also.

What’s left: sew on 7 buttons; construct and sew on 8 button loops; stitch down the reinforcing on 3 gores; hem.

I then need to figure out what will go under the dress. In this photo I am wearing an old cheesecloth chemise I made for festival years ago. When I decided to wear the Moy to 12th night I didn’t have enough time to make a new chemise so I re-cut the neckline of the cheesecloth to suit this gown (the neckline had been quite high before). I was quite pleased with my ingenuity, but as a long term solution it’s just not quite right. Some of the literature suggests that an Irish Leinte (also known as a saffron shirt) is appropriate, but I printed out a few more articles last week to read which might have different views. I will keep you posted.

Monday, January 29, 2007

TWO Blogs?!?!?

Yes, well, clearly I am far more susceptible to peer pressure and bandwidth envy than I thought. I created this blog some months ago and quickly lost interest. Then KT created her blog on Yahoo and it looked so cool I wanted one too. Now there are a few people around with 2 separate blogs – one for general life stuff and one for specific projects or activities. And KT has discovered one can feed an outside blog through the Yahoo site – very nifty.

So, here it is, my SCA/sewing/looking pretty blog.

Now all I have to do is:
1. Remember to bring the disks with the photos to upload (or whatever it is); and
2. Keep making things in which to look pretty!