14th century fashion

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.


A beautifully detailed dress, which was inspired by the 14th Century.

The dress and model will seem familiar to people who are fans of Anne O’Brien books and Catherine of Valois as the model is the woman on the cover of the book ‘The Forbidden Queen’, which is a fictional take on Queen Catherine’s life.

The photographs were taken by Richard Jenkins who also took the pictures of the beautiful gable hood here


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)

This outfit is definitely going on the ‘things to wear that make me feel like a beautiful, happy princess’ list. I shall now proceed to make more pretty medieval dresses.


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.

P.S. Flower-crowns makes me so happy! Thank you @forgedinfoamtemperedlikesteel ! <3

Don’t mind me over here having a dance party to Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte Overture because the 1380s commission is DONE. Holy jeez. One doublet, two shirts, two underwear, one pair of hosen, and one chaperon later….

The 14th century aka Could We Get Some More Buttons Over Here Pls. (Just ignore the funky Witch’s Guard pants on there. Couldn’t be bothered taking them off the dress-form…)

And now, for the first time in… oh… a number of months, I can work on my own stuff without feeling guilty. Awww yiss.


Chaucer at the court of Edward III by Ford Madox Brown
Madox Brown studied in Belgium and was influenced by the German Nazarene painters in Rome before his first liaison with Pre-Raphaelitism. Working with pure colors and clear contours on a dazzling white ground, and carefully composing his subjects from well-lit life, Brown achieved a sense of pageantry in this scene. Note the different styles of 14th century clothing. An extensive cleaning has revealed the the original paintwork. Brown began the composition in Rome, but the final canvas was begun in London in 1847, and completed in 1851. Rosetti posed as Chaucer and others of the Pre-Raphaelite group  posed for various people in the picture.


Plugging away on the 1380s minor nobleman’s commission. Yeah, I know, still. But at least the chaperon is done! My client has a fairly long and narrow head so I kept the roll fairly narrow rather than the huge ones you see in portraits of guys like Philip the Good. I love the effect of the long liripipe and the floppy gorget.

ALSO! For all you creative types, I absolutely recommend Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities. Even if you’re not a del Toro fan (and I have no clue why you wouldn’t be…), it gives great insight to the creative process. Including pages from his notebooks, screencaps, behind-the-scenes shots, and all sorts of hella good stuff.


This morning’s entertainment is brought to you by the 14th century. Nearing the end of the 1380s commission - the pourpoint just needs its buttons and button-holes. Simple? Not quite.

The original would have had domed wood buttons covered with fabric. I had thought that a few button-cover kits would do the trick here but they look SUPER-anachronistic there in the second image, compared to the domed buttons. Like, hells no.

So here we go, covering these things manually, as it were. It’s slow but steady. To power up, I’m wearing my Costume Designer’s Guild t-shirt from SDCC ‘12. SKILLZ.

In other news, there’s a little Con to the south of us this coming weekend. Trying to decide if I should wear Korra or bust out Vidal plus mandrake root. DECISIONS. Would like to make Korra’s parka finally….