Just a Note – Off to the Middle Ages – August 17, 2015


Hi Folks!

I’m getting ready for this year’s last re-enactment. Our company, Le Lame del Conte,  will be in Sluderno, Alto Adige (Italy) from the 20th until the 25th.  I’ll be leaving sometime on Thursday, I’ll travel first by train and will meet up with the company in Trento.

Right now most of my time is being taken up with my sewing machine.  In these days I’ve made a tunic and britches for for my son Francesco, a “smock” (kind of like a heavy-duty slip) for his girl-friend Livia and a sleeveless surcoat for myself (a sort of dress that covers your main kirtle and under dress, which I finished for the most part, yesterday.   I hope to be able to cut a similar sleeveless surcoats for Livia as well before I leave (I’m waiting for measurements) … but who knows how that will go!  And I want to cut out some coifs to sew on sight.

I also want to schedule a few posts for when I’m away …

So, I’m very busy and will have trouble answering your comments or reading and commenting myself.  Please bear with me.  I will be home sometime on Monday the 25th – probably in the evening, so I don’t think I’ll be writing until the 26th.

Have a great week … and see you all when I get back.

Ciao, Bastet

If you’re interested here’s an interesting site dedicated to The History of Costume – 1100 – 1450.

Just a Note – Getting Ready for an Adventure – June 2, 2015

Today is a holiday here in Italy … way back in 1946, the Italians held a referendum and voted out the monarchy in favour of a republic, today in Italy it’s The Day of the Republic in honour of that decision.

However that has nothing to do with this post, except to establish my place in time.  The last couple of weeks have seen me sewing.  Not your everyday sort of sewing either, hand sewing!  Below I’ve put up some photos of what I put together for my trip to Padua and then Arlesega for the Medieval reenactment festival to be held this upcoming weekend.  BTW I’ll be “on the stage” this time too!  I will participate in a feast which will then be a scene of a duel (you can see in the video below an earlier reenactment with the same duel) … I’ll be sitting at the table of my “Lord” and will run away when the fighting breaks out .. but more of that later but for the meantime here’s the video-clip I promised .. the two men fighting are our Simon and Abe from the Lama del Conte:

I’m hoping to be able to write and schedule some posts before I leave.  Of course no posts can be  written the 6th and 7th or linked … we’ll be totally without internet those two days but I may be able to link the mornings of the 5th, 8th and 9th.

Below are a few photos of some of the equipment I put together recently – but before I even began to put in a stitch, I had to do a lot of research looking for patterns and photos … one of my creations is a St. Birgitta’s cap or coif … which turned out to be a bit more complicated then I’d have imagined to construct.  In fact I made it way too big (and having very short hair it looked like I had a total disaster on my hands) so I had to modify it, drastically … however in so doing the cap fits me now perfectly and I even look like I have hair under the cap!

I also made a leather rolled button for my purse which hangs from my belt (it had only strings and was difficult to use) and a  couple of open sided surcoats  that will fit over my dress protecting it and giving me something “different” to wear for the various activities … in my historical period (1400 – 1430) people wore rather shapeless clothes and being an “old lady” mine are also in sombre tones – olive-green linen dress – white linen under-dress and I have a heavy brownish woollen cape for evening use. My long belt with money pouch and purse defines my waste – now that I’ve added some holes to tighten the belt.

Here was the selfie from San Giorgio in Piano:

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I found the veil with a semi wimple pretty warm, and that was at the beginning of May (I shuddered to think what it would be like wearing it in June) it’s also rather complicated to use having to fix the thing in place with straight pins, as the ladies did back then … ergo I decided to make myself a Birgitta Coif, which I will wear in camp, donning the veil only for special occasions.  Here are some of my masterpieces (and me too!):

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Below are links to just two of the sites I consulted for ideas about medieval clothing and equipment – The most important one for me was for the cap or coif.  The Spinster Sister and Arachne’s Blog gave me a lot of info and patterns for the coif but I also looked into aprons, surcoats, embroidery stitches, leather working and oodles of other stuff.  Next month I want to try to make myself a midwife’s apron and a book cover for my electronic reader maybe something like this …

book cover

Arlesega being a rather popular Medieval event will have quite a market too .. so maybe I won’t have to do so much sewing (or I’ll find some interesting material)!