A dress in a day

When we came back from Tatton a few weeks ago we had one day here before going off to the Lake District and as Ellie had bought some material for a new style of peasant dress we thought we would try and get it made in a day.

Our original aim was to make one for me that day as well and we did get the dress cut out, which is a major achievement considering I have had the fabric for about 12 years šŸ™‚ but I have cut it too big so it will need serious alteration. I have found a way to put gores in so they align perfectly though!

Ellie’s dress was a different style as it does not have any fastenings at the front which means it needs to be tight enough to fit but wide enough to be able to pull on over the head. It also has short sleeves.

We looked at a few of our manuscript books for information and there are some great manuscript illustrations available via Google including this one from the Tres Riches Heures of the Duc de Berry. I was lucky enough to pick up a copy of a book about this in a National Trust bookshop recently and it is a gorgeous collection of pictures from the early to mid 1400s. This picture is from June showing people working in the fields.

Peasant dress 1

We started by making a pattern from Ellie’s existing dress bodice and then used a sleeve pattern to draft a new sleeve which could be cut in one piece unlike most modern sleeves that are two pieces. We then made a toile of the top and fitted it before cutting out of the new fabric.

It fits Ellie really well, even if she did have to sew the front seam a few times as female shapes need adjusting for, a perfectly straight seam on the garment turned wobbly when it was put on! The colours are gorgeous together.

Here she is in the finished garment at Tewkesbury looking very lovely in our campsite before going to the market.

Ellie's new dress 9

Ellie's new dress 10

Ellie's new dress 11

Kerry was really brave and decided to wear her 15th century lady’s dress despite it being really hot and was very excited to be part of the Queen’s party walking onto the battlefield and sitting with her during the battle.

Here she is going along the crowdline with our friend Bev and below is a shot of the guys just before battle. The ladies all looked stunning and I am so pleased that she got to be part of that section of the event after all her hard work with this beautiful dress.

Tewks 2018 2

Tewks 2018 3

Tewks 2018 1

Pics from a very kind person who put loads on Facebook for us whose name I have completely forgotten to write down! Thank you it is fantastic to have these shots.

It was Symon’s, on the left , first Tewkesbury battle and he did brilliantly in the heat as it was about 27 degrees at this point which means it is so much higher once you are in full armour. The last time Shane, our other knight , came to Tewkesbury it was 35 degrees so we think he must be responsible for the very hot weather. After that event we bought a gazebo for the group as we spent most of the time that weekend trying to all fit into the tiny bit of shade under Shane’s awning!

I also took some more pictures for my research, including the Queen’s tent which looks amazing, this is the Prince’s surcoat which he wears in battle.I am always amazed by the level of detail that people put into their roles, the tent and the throne are amazing.

We also dressed up for the beer tent and I got to wear both my top hats. I do love my top hats, especially this one,Ā  and got lots of compliments on them. I am taking them to the festival that I am going to with my sister in a couple of weeks.

Tewks - Alison in hat

Plans for the weekend are making some pouches and bags out of the quilt blocks I have been stockpiling over the last few weeks and carrying on with my latest stitching from Jenny which is going well.

I have just discovered Project Runway is on Netflix so have been watching that and really enjoying seeing how all the clothes are designed. There are some very talented people there.

Hope that you have a good weekend ahead, take care and thanks for visiting.

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I had a lovely time at Ashby, the weather was very kind as we only had thunder and lightening at night, not during showtimes and were able to pack all the tents away dry:-)

I spent quite a lot of the time sitting sewing while doing the occasional chat about headresses and we also did the fashion talk again.

Ashby 2018 Ellie and me sewing

This is Ellie showing off her new gloves, decorated with goldwork. I need to get a close up of these as they are fabulous.

Ashby 2018 Ellie and me

I was very pleased that Sadie was working on her new gauntlets and that Symon was making a beautiful tooled leather scabbard for his sword.

Ashby 2018 Sadie 1

I took some pictures as I want to use them in my doctoral research. All the people in my group are so clever. Symon is making another beautiful hand tooled scabbard.

Ashby Simon Leatherwork 1

Ashby Simon Leatherwork 2

Ashby Simon Leatherwork 3

I handed over the finished circlet to Kate, she was very pleased with it and it fits! I made it in a similar design to Ellie’s but a little simpler.It is made of black velvet over a stiffened hessian (buckram) band.

Kate's headress 2

Kate's headress 1

Kate's headress 3

Most of the fabric came from stock though not all mine butĀ  between us we managed to sort it. Stitching through buckram makes your fingers sore but it looks lovely.The brass findings were from Etsy here.

A very lovely weekend in the company, as always, of very talented and fun people.Our next event is not for a few weeks now so am hopefully going to get some quality time in the sewing room over the next two weekends, I have been working on another Liberty quilt block so will hopefully get chance to finish that this weekend.

Hope you have a nice rest of the week and will catch up with you soon. Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

 

 

600 years in a weekend

We have had a lovely time doing two events this weekend. Firstly it was a multi-period event at Thoresby Hall in Nottinghamshire. This beautiful Victorian house is now a hotel but we were able to go into the grounds.

I especially loved the gates and we had a picnic lunch in that gorgeous turret seating area looking out from the lawn,we do get to see some stunning places!

Thoresby 3

There were lots of different groups there from the Romans to World War 2 plus some American Civil War so we had great fun admiring all of the different costumes. I particularly loved this WWW1 tent with all the textiles and authentic magazines.

Ellie would really like to do WWW2 as well as medieval so was interested in talking to those groups. The funny thing was virtually everyone we talked to also did medieval as well.

I finished making a new linen veil the night before, great to stop my neck being burnt as it was very hot.

Thoresby Veil 1

Thoresby Veil 2

I took these shots of Ellie on stairs up to the formal gardens, I love the light in these.

Thoresby Ellie 1

Thoresby Ellie 2

Thoresby Ellie 3

Sunday we spent at Clumber Park – a little time travel 600 years into the future to 1918 for our WWW1 land girls stint rather then 1318 and the court of Edward the 2nd. I will post about that in a couple of days.

I am having a very quiet week this week in preparation for another weekend event coming up, at the lovely Ashby Castle, making the headress for Kate and doing lots of marking.

Hope you have a nice week planned, take care and thanks for visiting.

Enter the (baby) dragon

We have had a lovely weekend at Bolsover Castle for our St George’s Day show. It was so nice to see everyone again and we have some new members in the group so it was great getting to know them and they did brilliantly in the show.

We did not camp, by order of the management i.e. Ellie and I was glad that we didn’t as I am still not 100% fit and it was very wet Saturday night. However we stayed on Saturday for the group meal in the very convenient pub they have built right next to the castle so got to spend time with everyone.

This show is always a bit different as we have dragons! Not one but two and there are some great comedy moments. We start off in the morning telling the children that the Dragon Knight has brought his dragons and build it up to the bit in the show where the cutest little baby dragon appears, ably played by one of our new members Daniel this year. Photos from Lee’s photography who very kindly posted them to our Facebook group page.

Baby Dragon 2

Of course St George cannot kill the baby dragon as he is so cute and he joins the knights fighting against the Dragon Knight.

Baby Dragon1

Meanwhile the Dragon Knight captures the Princess, played by Ellie and then later in part two the large evil dragon, played by Jamie comes in.

Dragon at Bolsover

A lot of the children are quite scared by this one and Jamie does a great roar. The dragon attacks the Dragon Knight only to be finally vanquished by the screams of the children.

Dragon 2

St George rescues the Princess, if he doesn’t forget, and then we have lots of children wanting to have their pictures taken with the dragons or knights.

Bolsover - St George and Ellie

Our dragons do a great job, it is not easy wearing these costumes on a warm day where you can’t see or walk without an escort as your feet have a tendency to come loose!That is what I love about re-enactment, people are so willing to do the daftest things for the sake of the show and everyone has a great sense of humour, even after 15 years the jokes still make me laugh!

We had good weather as well, only one short bit of rain during show times and I even got a little bit pink on Saturday. We have our next event in three weeks time, Kerry is coming up this weekend so that we can sort out some veil cutting and I am going to start making a headdress for Kate one of our newer members.

Bolsover - Kate and Kerry

 

She has been in kit since last year but this was her first event at one of our shows and she has a beautiful green woolen dress. She borrowed Ellie’s circletĀ  and liked it so I am planning to make her one like that with black velvet, pearls and gold embellishments.

The surcoat I made last year is still going strong though I am planning to add a cross to the back in time for next year. Simon played St George this year and here we are in the tournament.

Nun and St George at Bolsover

We did a fashion talk at this show which is a new part of the event, started last year and had a good reaction from the crowd so this year I talked about the different varieties of ladies’ and men’s garments and got the group to show off their outfits.People are always amazed that we make so much of our kit and love looking at the clothes and asking us how we made things and how long they take.

A really nice start to the season and I am looking forward to the next few shows. I have also managed to finish off some of the things that I have been working on so have a pouch and a basket to show you when I can take some pictures in good light. Thankfully I am now coming home in daylight which is great so will get those sorted soon.

I am planning a few more of the scrappy churn dash blocks as they got good feedback from the girls at Wool and Wine last night and the great news is that Sarah has got confirmation that she has a stall at Yarndale again this year so the pouch and bag production will have a home!

Hope that you all have a good rest of the week, take care, thanks for visiting and see you soon.

 

A perfect day!

This weekend was my wonderful friend Kerry’s wedding and we had the most perfect day. Despite huge weather issues in the UK that meant lots of public transport was not running and roads were shut so some people did not manage to make the wedding and me stupidly getting flu last week we made it to the beautiful medieval church they had chosen for the most perfect ceremony and then reception in a nearby manorial barn.

Kerry wedding 1

We ended up staying in a lovely hotel on the Friday night as well as we were not sure about driving from Ellie’s Saturday morning so that gave a nice relaxed start to the occasion and meant that at least we were only a short drive away on the day.

Kerry wedding 2

Everything was wonderful with such attention to detail. Kerry and Dave have planned this wedding so well and had put such a huge amount of effort into everything, from the scrolls with the history of the barn on at the tables and wedding favours which were medieval spice packets, everything was perfect.

Kerry wedding 4

The very best thing was seeing her so happy though, they both really enjoyed their day which is how it should be and it was just brilliant to see how relaxed and happy she looked. She made her own dress which was just stunning and most of our re-enactment friends came in kit as well.Photo above and below courtesy of Silke.

Kerry wedding 3

The cake was a masterpiece, made by another re-enactor friend Eloise, it is a page from the Gutenberg Bible , apologies as the barn was a bit dark so it is not the best picture but you can tell how amazing it is.

Kerry wedding 8

I am so, so pleased everything went well, Kerry and Dave deserve the very best of happiness. I first met Kerry in the pouring rain outside a castle about 15 years ago when she offered to help me pitch the tent so we could get the kids out of the rain and dry. We started spending lots more time together about 10 years ago when we began travelling to the bigger shows together and since then we have been best buddies and partners in crime.

Kerry wedding 5

She is one of the kindest people on the planet, more than a friend, a second Mum and best friend to Ellie as well as me. She is always there if I need her and I have lost count of the number of times she has driven me to and from events insisting I can’t go by train, gone and got things that we needed at shows last minute and just generally been wonderful. I don’t know what the last 10 years would have been like without her, we have had so much fun together, supported each other through some tough times and to have a day like Saturday where she smiled and laughed all day was just wonderful.

Kerry wedding 6

CongratulationsĀ  lovely couple, enjoy your honeymoon in Iceland! It may well be warmer than here šŸ™‚

Kerry wedding 7

Take care everyone and thanks for visiting, see you at the weekend for small update though not much else been happening here apart from festivities!

More medieval fashion

Thankfully the trapped nerve is getting better but slight complications have left me with numb fingers and a lot of pain in my right arm so have only managed a completely pathetic twenty stitches on a Christmas ornament in the whole of this week so there is literally nothing to see here.

Am trying to learn to sew left handed andĀ  the good news is that I have managed to do a huge amount of work prep for the next few weeks so if normal service is restored finger wise I will have time to sew!

I have lots of things that I have not had chance to show you so while productivity is low will keep you amused with some other lovely stuff.

At our last show at Caldicot we once again did a fashion talk and thanks to various photographer friends have some great shots to share with you. Kerry has been doing so much sewing recently, as well as working on her wedding gown and she had not one but two new outfits that weekend.

Her new peasant dress is made from some fabric that I bought cheaply many years ago and decided I didn’t like and donated it to her in the hope that she could dye it or find some other use and she created this gorgeous dress from it.

Caldicot - Kerry Peasant dress 1

Her new veil and wimple looks stunning as well.

Caldicot - Kerry Peasant dress 2

We did a talk on fashion in various different periods so she brought her new 15th century dress and henin head dress as well. Thanks to Silke for this photo of her and Ellie sitting on the castle walls.

Caldicot -Ellie and Kerry

Here they are with Lady Louisa in her fur trimmed sideless surcoat and beautiful ruffled veil as well.

Caldicot - fashion show 1

 

I love this picture by Silke as well of everyone from the Falchion’s group lined up waiting to go off to the battle.I love my crazy medieval friends and am missing everyone now that the season has ended!

Caldicot - Falchions

We have a sewing weekend coming up where Kerry and I will be working on more wedding outfits, very exciting!

Hope that you are all having a nice weekend, I was teaching today and my group were very sweet about my incapacity and told me to rest up tomorrow which is exactly what I intend to do. Fingers crossed, (in a very gentle way!), I may be able to spend some time in the craft room šŸ™‚

Take care and thanks for visiting.

The prayers were answered!

We had a great time at our last event at Caldicot last weekend and were lucky enough to have good weather, a bit of rain on Fri afternoon during set up and during the battle on Saturday but the guys were in armour so couldn’t feel it ;-). This picture below is of the castle encampment taken by our lovely friend Pat on Saturday.

Caldicot castle camp 2017

It did rain really heavily Saturday night, we were in the beer tent at that point luckily so were just listening to the thunderous noise the deluge made on the roof of the tent! However all was well during the day time and so I got chance to photograph the camp as well.

Caldicot camp 3

Caldicot camp 4

I made a new friend, the Lady Louise above, who also makes head dresses as you can see and gave us some great tips on how to make a heart shaped hennin and came and joined us for our costume talk on Sunday.

Caldicot camp 5

Caldicot camp 7

It was a great last event, I got four more interviews done for my doctorate, two with some of the Plymouth Medieval Group who did a fab dance display for us on the Sunday.Their costumes are so gorgeous.

Caldicot dance 1

Caldicot dance 2

Caldicot dance 3

There were lots of groups there and the battles went really well, Ellie and I marshalled again which we really enjoyed. Here I am with my big marshalling stick.

Caldicot battle marshal 1

I have had a good start to Ā term, 52 new students this year so lots of names to try and learn! Bit of a setback when I broke the toilet Tuesday morning, (bottle falling from shelf smashed the side). It has been mended but was very expensive and I now need new bathroom flooring at some point šŸ˜¦

Have been looking after Ted this weekend while Sharon is at Yarndale so have not had time to work on the jacket but have made a couple more pouches for Mum to give to her fundraising events.

There will be very little crafting this coming week as it is the start of teaching but Ellie and I are planning a visit to Harewood House next weekend to see costumes from the Victoria TV series.Very exciting!

Will be back in a week or so with some pictures from that. Thanks as always for visiting.