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16th century, events, projects, SCA

12th Night, a New Dress, Sarah’s Laurel, and possibly more!

This past weekend was 12th Night for the SCA West Kingdom, and my super good friend Sarah received the Laurel award!  The Laurel is kind of like a lifetime achievement or master-level award in the SCA for arts & sciences; she received her’s for costuming.

Sarah asked me to be an attendant in her ceremony, so both I and Trystan decided to make outfits to coordinate with Sarah’s. Originally she was planning to do 1560s English, and I was all set to make a dress worn in a portrait by Mary I, but then she changed her mind to Florentine. I went through my image files and Moda a Firenze and found myself most inspired by this portrait, which worked perfectly because Sarah’s colors are black and white:

Trystan and I both wanted to distinguish our costumes from Sarah’s, so since she was doing a black veste (overgown) and white sottana (undergown) with sleeves that would show, we contrasted with black sleeves. Don’t ask, I overthought this!

I was super happy to be able to use fabric from my stash – a black silk duchesse satin that I bought on sale about 5 or more years ago and just hadn’t found the right project for yet.  I had promised to sell some of it to Trystan for an 18th c. costume she wants to make, but we did the math and found I had enough fabric for her and me if I made the sleeves out of another fabric.

No, I didn’t blog about the costume, because terminal laziness set in!  I am a bad, bad blogger… try to forgive!

Luckily I had two weeks off around Christmas so I set to work. Here’s a writeup and pics of the final costume, which I LOVED — I felt evil and badass, and I’m excited that I can swap out the sleeves and petticoat for a new look:

(C) Wendi Koble

Sarah’s ceremony was really wonderful and we all got verklempt!  She had a fun vigil (ie party) on Friday night, and the ceremony itself was really beautiful — the choir sung a gorgeous Italian song, there was a parade of SCAdians in 16th c. costumes, and the various people who spoke were really quite touching in their praise of Sarah and her work in the SCA. Yay!

The rest of the day was spent alternately flopping and socializing. I’ve been to two 12th nights before, and I saw even MORE pretties at this one than I have in the past, so I had a lot of fun costume-watching! The evening ended with Trystan and I at the bar creating our own SCA drinking game (don’t ask) and then a PJ party in our room with some peeps. Good times!

I didn’t take TOO many photos — mostly they are from when we were waiting around for the ceremony to start — but here they are!

1540s Florentine, 16th century, events, projects, SCA

12th Night & Florentine

It’s hard to stick with my resolution of posting 5 times a week when you let your DNS registration expire!  oops!  Back in business now.  I was going to tell you to watch Downton Abbey because the Edwardian costumes are stunning and it’s a highly entertaining series (Maggie Smith is snobby FTW!), but you’ve probably already figured that out.

Instead, I’ll bypass that and get to the 12th Night recap and final Florentine photos!  The event was fun, as per usual with SCA events, mostly for hanging out with good friends and not because the event itself offers anything of interest.  I’m sorry, but it’s true!  I’m not into court or fighting and the dealer’s room was podunk.  I’m fine with the SCA being about making your own fun, and I do, but there really isn’t too much to report beyond, “Ran around a hotel for a weekend with friends and wore costumes and saw lovely costumes.”  I did take pictures, though!

The 1540s Florentine dress went relatively smashingly.  The bodice fits now, although there are still wrinkles in the bodice — but these are “bodice moving around as I wear it” wrinkles, not “bodice layers aren’t laying smoothly” wrinkles as before.  We couldn’t get it laced closed enough to hide any of the placket, so there’s some placket action in back.  The sleeve trim looks MUCH better at the back seam, as it’s actually now a continuous spiral (yay!).  I made a new girdle that was REALLY pretty, but apparently the crimp beads that I used to end it weren’t strong enough for the weight, and it broke as I put it on.  I also made a jeweled-hair-band-thingie that I liked but really, what I want are ouches (stones in gold settings, like you see on many girdles) for a period correct look — I ended up using a lot of pearls, and I think it looks rather bridal.

1540s Florentine, 16th century, 1780s stays, 18th century, events, projects, SCA

Denial Is My Only Weapon

So I have spent most of my vacation working on my 1780s stays — my hope was to get them done enough (ie all the boning channels done and the pieces sewn together) so that I could start on my riding habit for Williamsburg.  I have SEWED and I have SEWED and I have SEWED.  Finally, I realized that wasn’t going to happen — I could probably get them done enough by the end of vacation, but what’s the point in rushing if it’s not going to get me time to work on the riding habit?

So I finally sucked it up and attacked the sewing room last night, which was in a massive explosionary state — about 3 different projects going, plus Dickens Fair packing/unpacking and costume bits not yet put away, plus it being the present wrapping room, plus it being the all purpose “crap room” while we had friends over at various points around the holidays.  Ugh!

In the midst of cleaning, I re-found my 1540s Florentine dress, which had annoying bodice wrinkles.  I had taken apart the bodice and removed the skirt, and then hung it on the back of my sewing room door for about a year.  It was now piled under a 1950s crinoline and a few other random bits.

I’m going to the SCA West Kingdom’s 12th Night this weekend, and I have been supremely un-excited about my costume options (either of my Venetian dresses, which have been worn to death, and my Gothic Fitted Dress, which I wore in England and again at an SCA event last summer).  Meh!  So I looked at the Florentine, and thought, “No, I really shouldn’t… Oh what the hell!”

So I spray basted the bejesus out of the bodice, machine sewed all the trim back on, and started fixing all the other issues that I found with it.  This may have been the most recalcitrant project EVAH:  the bodice waist was too low in back, so I raised that; the gold lace didn’t match properly at the sleeve back seam, so I fixed that; now that the bodice waist was moved, the eyelets no longer lined up (although I suspect that this may have been my first attempt at spiral lacing, because I’m not sure if they lined up properly to begin with) — fixed that by moving the back trim to cover the existing eyelets, and am in the process of making new eyelets closer to the edge and (hopefully) properly aligned.  In the midst of various try ons, I was surprised to find that the back was lacing shut without wrinkling — without boning.  I’m hoping that this isn’t some freak occurrence, because I decided to leave off the boning I’d had there before — which lets me put at least one side of the lacing holes closer to the opening.  I realized that the bodice may end up being slightly small, so I turned one side of the SB facings into tiny plackets.  I sewed down some of the trim on the baragoni (sleeve top dealibobs) where it had pulled up.

And I did all of this last night!  I had put off all of this rework because I was afraid it would take forever, but it all went spiffingly smoothly — of course, it helps that I machine sewed everything I could, realizing that this was not one of those Best Ever projects.

Now I’ve got to sew two rows of eyelets on the bodice, resew the sleeve lining to the sleeve at the wrists, and reattach the skirt to the bodice.  I know when I made it last that I sewed the skirt higher up the bodice in back to try to fix the too-low waistline issue, but I’ve raised it a bit higher (maybe .5-1″?) — technically I should let out the skirt length by that much, but I’m planning to ignore it and hoping that that won’t cause any crises.

After all this, I really want to make one of those jeweled head pieces that you see in so many Florentine portraits.  I poked through my jewelry making stash and found some possible items — but I’ll report back on how that goes after I’ve attempted it!
Edit: might help if I uploaded the pictures I took, eh?

Dickens Fair, SCA

I’ve been AWOL because I care?

Actually, because of performing at the Dickens Fair! I’ve been having a blast this year, having really hit my stride with my character. I did make a new skirt, and I posed in one Dark Garden (corset shop) window last weekend, and am doing another tomorrow morning – so I will have pictures soon! This weekend is the last, and then it’s Christmas break. While I plan to catch up on sleep and other useful things, I’m also going to get a bit of sewing done too!

I’m excited because I’m going to be going to the SCA West Kingdom 12th Night, especially because I get to hang with my costume peeps who I haven’t seen in a while. I’ll be wearing my new Venetian, and I need to let down the skirt in front as it ended up a bit too short (which means re-cartridge pleating the sucker). MAYBE I could make the partlet and girdle that I’ve planned for that outfit in time? We’ll see. Then in late February is GBACG’s Tudor Feast — I’ve decided instead of killing myself to make a Tudor dress in time, or just not going, I’m going to use this as a perfect opportunity to unpick all the trim on my Florentine so I can fix the evil bodice wrinkles. Hey, it’s 1540s! I’m hoping I can get both things done over break so I can start the new year with a fresh slate of brand new projects!

events, SCA

SCA 12th Night

Here’s a long overdue update, which if you’re on my LJ friends list you’ve already seen: pictures from SCA 12th Night. I posted these while my site was down to Flickr, and I finally got around to posting them here.

Anyway, I was quite impressed both by the number of people at this (West Kingdom) event, plus the really high caliber of costuming. So many pretty outfits! 1530s-40s Florentine and early 16th c. German seemed to be the most popular.

Best of all, I went with a great crowd of friends to celebrate Sarah’s birthday. We had a great time just hanging out and being silly, and are hatching evil plans to get more into character at future events (which totally yanks my chain).