I have recently gotten very interested in making my own medieval clothes. I have zero talent but here are some pages showing fashionable headwear from a fun book by Sarah Thursfield called ‘The Medieval Tailor’s Assistant: Making Common Garments 1200-1500’.
A little while ago I attended Timeline Medieval Festival and as a last minute addition to my kit I made a simple open-front black wool hood. Here I am wearing it in this photo with some awesome WWII re-creationists.
It was always my intention to make this hood a lot fancier, and this week I had some time off! I started by trying my hand at some embroidery, which is something I haven’t done before but always wanted to. I figured it was better to start off simple, and this was the result. I took this to my nieces christmas carols and sat on the ground hand stitching. I got a lot of interested looks and questions. :)
Next I used the wool hood as a pattern to cut out the green linen lining. I also removed my temporary leaf fastening.
I used a sewing machine for the inner, un-seen stitching, but all of the exposed stitching is mostly hand sewn. I pinned the wool and linen together and got busy.
Hand stitching along the bottom seem of the hood:
Hand stitching along the front seem and around the face. Time-wise, all this stitching took me watching Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead and an episode of Teen Wolf ;P
Next up, cloth buttons made from the same black wool. You can see my step-by-step pictures of this process here. At this point I’m basing the design more on 14th century styles (plus I really like super long liripipes.)
And here is the mostly finished product after all of the buttons were sewed on!
I lightly sewed the button holes using my machine to get the consistent shape and spacing because the holes are all so close together. Then I went over the stitching by hand for reenforcement and aesthetics.
Aaaaand that’s about it! I’m super happy with the outcome. The hood is both warm and comfortable, but not too hot that I couldn’t wear it in summer - I specifically used thin wool and linen for this reason. The colours are mostly based on the Melbourne HMB team, but I’ll end up taking it to Bicolline as well. I’m super excited to get more into embroidery too.
Silk caftan dating to the first half of the 14th century. It’s amazing to me that it’s survived this long in such fantastic condition. Arabic with possible Chinese influences. Part of the David Collection, a museum of fine arts in Copenhagen.
While the typical Arab caftan was closed in the front, the Mongol was closed on the side with a row of tapes, which in this caftan are attached to a reinforced piece around the waist. The pattern demonstrates a mixture of Eastern and Western influences. The drop-shaped elements with stylized lions and surrounding swastika shapes point to China, while the stylized border with Kufi pseudo-calligraphy on the shoulders is an Islamic feature that has its origins in Arab tiraz textiles.
These textiles worked with gold were costly, and although a number of smaller parts of the same pattern were used to complete the caftan, an extra piece of another type nonetheless had to be used as well. Most of the gold has been lost, and the areas that were once golden are now brown.
It feels so good to get back into armour after training so hard. I wasn’t feeling the best but I just got in there and did it anyway and felt so much better for it. Besides, someone has to keep the boys in line ;)
(Sorry about the crappy quality, this was from a phone)
Today a group of my friends and I dressed up in garb and went to Hedge End Medieval Fair. There were a few small groups of re-enactors, and a couple of people demonstrating for HEMA, but honestly the best part was running around through a giant hedge maze and playing putt putt while eating ice-cream (it was a very hot day).
I lent my only other two dresses to my friends to wear (I am that go to person for kits and costumes), so I made myself a new dress out of linen, which I dyed and sewed yesterday. It was very comfy and airy.