June 2015

Considering starting the blog back up ?

Sunday, 14 September 2008

New progress

Ok i actually did this stuff last weekend, but havn't had time to upload the pictures which i will do now.

This is what i am doing, just a piece of cloth where i am practicing embroidery techniques patterns and designs. It is not meant to be displayed. i might eventually do one that will be. Here is a close up of a "leaf" done in detatched buttonhole stitch. with directions from this site.

Here is the flower and bud i also did. You can't see that the green part of the bud was supposed to have little "points going up the pink section. I didn't do that part of it to well. will have to try again.

Want to try some little critters as well like a caterpillar

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Here is the progress so far on the flower. The stitch really makes the petals stick out which is cool. Just need to do the center and think i will do french knots at the end of the gold lines coming away from the flower. They are a gold thread done in 4 stitches of chain stitch.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008


Well here is the progress i made last night playing with new stitches. Getting out of the very medieval split stitch and playing round with new stitches is interesting that is for sure. Elmsley Rose has offered to give me some pointers. Have a squizz at her sight by the way...

The fishbone stitch is easier than i expected and doesn't look to hard to totally muck up. Have a lokk at the following video tutorial that is on the Needle'nThread website. I find them very easy to understand (once i do this switch over for being left handed...)
As you can see i tried to do a filling stitch in the flower petals. It has highlighted the fact that a) i havn't done the stitch before, b) was doing the stitch by memory and c) that the petals are not the same size. Hopefully with all of them done this will ballance out a bit and look more normal. With have a hunt around and see what other stitches would be good for these sort of flowers.
They also just posted a link to an online book about embroidery.... here is the link i must check it out properly

Monday, 1 September 2008

Learning new stitches

This is the first time i have tried whip stitching....
I'm teaching myself new stitches and new patterns at the moment. Rather than starting any new projects. Having see some of the wonderful work on (the enbroiderer's story) and also the work of Elmsley Rose I think i shall focus on playing with stitches and designs before playing with anything new. Up till recently i have mostly been doing split stitch needle painting type work. I would love to try some of the later types of embroidery shown on those sites.

if anyone has any good site rcommendations, i'd love to hear them

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

A pink Cioppa

My new pink cioppa by Cathelina

What does a sick reenactor do two days before a major event when she realises she doesn't have clothes that are warm enough?
Makes another dress, thats what!

This dress has a bodice that does up with two hidden hooks and eyes (will replace with a nice clasp when I buy one) and a split front skirt

The skirt is eight trapezoid pannels sewn straight edge to slanty all the way around

The skirt is knife pleated to the bodice
This dress is very warm!
This dress is also nice and comfy!
The arm is partially sewn on and I have full movement!

I LOVE my new pink Cioppa

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

First shots of my dress

Hey all these are the photos i have of my dress "in action" others comming but these are from Cathalina.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Update on my dress

I need to raise the skirt seam a little higher to this point or maybe another 3 cm again.

The inside of the dress

General progress

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Just a quick update on that brown dress

So History Alive was on a few weekends ago and I got my first chance to wear my brown dress for two days in a row. It is always good to get that chance, as many times comfort issues aren't noticed when you wear something for a few hours, but are when you wear itfor an extended time.

Fortunatly, everything was relativly comfy (a hard thing when drafting your ownbodices) though I did spend most of the weekend with my skirts tied up as what is a good length for walking is too long for working and bending in mud.

The sleeves worked really well, though the curve at the top was a tad too large (thats ok, just a look thing, it doesn't affect the fit at all) and I will attach a second tie on point (again, just a look thing).

The main problem was the armholes, they were too far back (when drafting the size on the back of the bodice should have been smaller and they should have been larger on the front). As you can see they gape a bit at the back, and by the endofthe secondday they were startingto cut in at the front. There's nothing I can really do on the brown dress to fix this problem (save loosing more weight). I can enlargen the front of the armhole a tad but honestly I think I'll just leave it.

In the above picture the skirt looks funny because it is tied up, and in the bottom picture it is wrinkly because its been tied up all day!

All in all, it is a pretty good dress. The only alterations I'll make to this one is adding another sleeve lacing point. My next pair of sleeves I'll make with less of a shoulder curve. My next dress (when dad can finally spare half a day and the petrol to take me to get fabric) will be a little different. I'll alter the armholes and I might make it so that it laces fully closed (they did both). Of the colours I am dying I am hoping to get a madder-looking orange, and if so I might make it slightly shorter for when I am working on muddy days to save having to tie up the skirts (which is rather unattractive). How often I'll be at an event with mud like HA, I don't know (I sat down and my chair sank inches and I almost fell off), but its good to have a dress I can wear in the mud anyway.

What I would also like to do is order some wool from overseas and make a dress. Having seen a real wool (I mean light weight wool as opposed to the blanket weight stuff you used to be able to get here before us reenactors bought the last of the wool) dress I know what the overseas reenactors mean when they say it falls really nicley- it does. I just don't think I can justify the cost right now though-not when I have dye for three dresses that will work on linen and silk but not on wool.

Hopefully Iwill have photos of my giornea soon to post, my construction of that has been halted however as I am making my mum a dress, not a real dress, just a costume so I have to learn how to do a few things like faking layers (she won't wear a shift or anything as she thinks an extra layer will make her colder. Yeah, thats what she says- shes just being stupid but now I have to figure out how to sew in extra fabric to cover the parts that will show (lacing gaps etc). That will take longer than it would if I gave her the pieces to make a shift and had her sew it on the machine. (time isanother factor in her not wanting a shift, we are short on time so it would be better to waste my time doing something that will take longer than it would take her to do it properly, so we better use up as much time as we can as we are short on it) Yeah, makes no sense, I am still trying to get the truth out of her and failing. At least its just a disposdable dress, not one she wants to wear again so all this stupidness will do is eat more into time I don't want to spare- not with having to do another full outfit for abbey too. As you can see I don't like wasting my time on crappy 'midgeeevilish' costumes and quite frankly I don't know how to make them. As far as modern crap goes I am not a good sewer as I don't know how to do modern sewing. I can just sew clothing from the 15th and 16th centuries and thats all. Which is why it anoys me when mum lies to people and goes and tells them I am a good sewer and can help them with their modern stuff when I can't.

ARGH. ok, rant over.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Dammn That is a Sexy Photo

Ok well here is the progress on Chris's Jacket for Abbey. I hate sleaves.... you have no idea how i HATE sleaves. Especially when you have no pattern, or a finished jacket to copy.
The lower sleaves need to be tighter, but that is because i havn't pinned them in this photo.

Here are the photos of my dress progress...

Skirt is not attached to the bodice yet, which hasn't been hemmed yet either. In the bottom picture you can't see the shap of the bodice as the bottom part is tucked under the skirt when it got caught on the pins.

Florentine Dress Website

An interesting site. A little after our time, but interesting none the less

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Still Here...Just Busy

Hey everyone, I'm still here, i have just been pretty busy the last few weeks. I am anticipating an increase in posts over the next few weeks with Abbey comming up and things but for the moment i am flat out with work.

Hoping that i will be back posting soon. Just have nothing much to show :-)

Sunday, 18 May 2008

General Update

Hey all, sorry i havn't posted new pictures over the weekend but i have been a little busy with work and cleaning up the house. I had every intention of doing some sewing but, alas, i have not.

New work is going well, and i'm looking forward to going to work tomorrow so i guess that is a good thing.

Anyway better be off and finish cooking dinner which is a delicious Thai Green Curry with Pork, peppercorns and Potatos. cooked in coconut milk and it do die for. yummy. we even have desert tonight.

talk to you all soon

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Medieval Quilting Update

Well i had a go at quilting some medieval designs to see how it would turn out.

here are the results:

This is about 2 1/2 hours work, including transfering the design to the fabric. By the way Childrens colouring books are perfect for this kind of work :-)

It is not finished yet, i still have a bit of detailing on the figure before i start the next two.

If doesn't look very exciting in the pictures but i think it prooves to me that i should be able to manage something on a larger scale.

(Excuse that thread that has blown over the top of the fabric.)

All this is, is a cotton cover over 3 layers of thin wool cloth. (i do realise this would need to change)

Now i know that this kind of quilting is achievable by myself, i need to look in to the types of materials that i can use.

1. I want to make it a "good" item

2. Something that will last for a while (ie materials need to be washable/strong/colourfast)

3. The design needs to be well though out. I think i will comission my partner to do the drawing of the quilt as he is by far the more "Technical" drawer out of the two of us Not sure what i want yet. Was thinking about a story that runs around the outside band of the quilt, with a larger "image" in the center of the quilt, or perhaps like the Tristan Quilt, several larger images 4 or 9 perhaps.


Colour: it seems strange to me NOT to be using lots of colour for this. I need to think out what colours i do want to use. The tristan quilt is very monotone, reminiscent of some cream "French" quilts that i have seen.

construction: I need to find a way of doing this that best represents the Medieval way, but this may need to compromise with modern methods/skills/cost/use....

Size: A Queen size quilt covered all the way sounds awesome....achievable, hmm, perhaps not, but i don't particularily want to break it up with other fabric/nonembroidery areas or a geometric pattern in between the story ... Perhaps i may have to do a pillow or something instead.

Mathematically i have done about 30cm2, i would need 30000 cm 2 to cover ever inch of the quilt, say, perhaps i only cover about half (leaving room for gaps between stories and things so say 14000cm2 maybe because the designs are bigger and less room between stitch lines i would need 10000cm2. (minimum) that is still about 300 times the amount that i have already done, so it would take about 600 hours??? Not including all the drawing and marking that would go on it. That seems like quite a bit to me. But then again i guess it would...hmmm.....Bring out the professional embroiderers working 12 hours a day. If i had about 6 of them... working all week..... we might be in business :-)

Monday, 12 May 2008

The Tristan Quilt c. 1400 Sicily

(image thanks to the V &A Museum) see this link for more details:

I was rather excited and perhaps a little shocked to find a reference to a medieval textile created in "quilting style" I don't 100% say it is a Medieval quilt as i guess we don't quite know what it was used for originally. But how fantastic would it be to own a quilt like this.

I discovered that there is a project to copy this quilt.

(photo from above website thanks to the V&A Museum)

Fascinating i think but now how was it done??

Anyone tried to do this kind of work ?? PLEASE send me a message would love to know what you did. Or do you KNOW ANYTHING about this, let me know. I have never done quilting before, but a quilt like that would look fantastic on my bed!

(photo credit and information: )

This is a study in progress i think, but underneath are a set of links that have information on the quilt or comments from people who have seen this quilt. (good information) (scroll down a short way)
Quotes form the V&A Website:

The Tristan quilt (bed cover) was made around 1400. Linen fabric has been quilted and padded with wool wadding with outlines in brown and white linen thread. It was made in Sicily, Italy and is 122 inches in length with a width of 106 inches.The legend of Tristan and Isolde was a favoured narrative in the Middle Ages and appears in many forms in literature and the decorative arts. The story represented here on a quilted linen coverlet, in fourteen scenes, is that of the oppression of Cornwall by King Languis of Ireland and his champion the Morold, and the battle of Sir Tristan with the latter on behalf of his uncle King Mark. Although in subtle shades, the large scale designs are very clear and the quilt must have looked particularly impressive by candlelight, with lively scenes of battles, ships and castles.More images of the quilt are available via Collections Online.Museum Number 1391-1904

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Embroidered Pouch

Here are the pictures of the pouch another day on... and yes i was supposed to be making a dress, but i got a bit bored after 4 hours of endless seams.

I have currently left the four squares in what will be the middle of the back of the pouch, but i don't quite know what to do with them. Anyone have any suggestions??
Was thinking about either little sead pearls, or twisting the blue and a gold thread together and doing another star? or something quite different.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

I can't get the photos to come out with quite the right colour, but i assure you, that it is beautiful :-)

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Progress on my first embroidered pouch

Here is the first picture of the back of the pouch. It is a gold silk back ground and the threads are a beautiful green silk. The colours are not quite the same in the pictures. I have done this in Stem Stitch. I intend on embroidering a small star, or put a pearl in each of the little squares.
I STILL havn't finished the front, but i have done a little more. Not far to go.

Please remember this was my first embroidered pouch project, if fact one of my first ever embroidery projects.

Coin purse

Here is my little coin pouch, i HAVE proper lacing for it but it is IN something else for the moment. I have just noticed looking at the picture that it looks like there are loose threads hanging off it. There isn't, it's just scrap bits of thread. The lining of this is red silk. outside wool with small brass medalion and pearls.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

That brown dress again

Just some photos from the group photo shoot. These are my photos of the dress at its mist finished, not all the skirt seams are sewn closed (one near the back was completly open except for 1 inch at the top, the front one I almost finished while I was wearing the dress on the way to the park, you can see in the first photo where it is open at the bottom) I didn't know about the photo shoot till a couple of hours before, so it was a bit rushed.

The trim is half sewn onvery neatly on both sides, half roughly sewn on on one side, so I need to sew the second half more neatly before I actually wear it. I also need to make the (brown) sleeves, I have started patterning them.

This is probably the main dress I will be wearing at HA and Abbey. I prefer the skirt of my blue one, but this bodice is more comfy. If I have time I'll make a new bodice for my blue one (have pleanty of that fabric left) exactly the same as this one, but I'll try to elimanate those front wrinkles. If not, wrinkles at that point are period, I have seen them on a dress, a brown dress no doubt! Another reason for wearing this one a lot is every other lady in the group has a blue or blue toned dress. We are the smurfs.

Monday, 5 May 2008

The Progress

Ok well here are the results of my efforts over the last two days:
top photo = Chris's doublet in the "about to swear and put in the sleaves stage..."
Bottom photos = my bodice for my Italien dress. (excuse the top stitching it is a pattern only also why i'm using non period fabric...)
next step is to lace it and see how it is fitting...

Friday, 2 May 2008

The Fabric

Well here is the Fabric that his royal worship wants his new doublet made out of. Personally i'm not sure it will quite work. It's a heavy fabric and i am concerned that the puffy sleaves of a doublet might now work with the fabric. quess i shall just have to try and see.

i'm trying to figure out if the doublet (of about the 1495 mark) can have sleaves a different colour, or even have no sleaves so the puffy sleaves can be the white shirt on underneath???

Here is the back and front of the fabric

here is just the front. The colour is a little more apricot that in the pictures though. its very heavy.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Right, Need to make this dress..

WEll the time has come i can't put off making clothes for abbey any longer...

Will have to start with my bodice pattern that my sister made for me... problem 1, i don't have any linen to make the dress.

1. Can i use silk to make the dress??

2. that means i'll have to make another one out of linen for cooking

3. I have some really nice blue fabric to go over the gold silk, so i have to make that too...

4. i need to make a couple of chemises...

5. I need to make/buy/ borrow / a doublet or other mens apparel for Chris

6. He WANTS new hose

7. He WANTS a new cloak (full circle with embroidery)

8. He WANTS a pouch made like one of mine...

9. I DONT want to do all that....

Think i will start with a mock up of the bodice pattern out of the lining that i have.
Then figure out the cutting pattern for the skirt, not sure which way is best though.

Monday, 21 April 2008

The "Finished" band

Well as you can see i have finished the "band"
Now i just have to decide what i am going to do with it. It was only a tester to see how it would turn out, But it don't want to "waste" it by not using on something.
Any Suggestions???