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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Blogging woes and and award

You know the worst part of blogging?
Maintaining. It.
Especially when you are the only one reading it. Maybe one day I'll be a super cool guru of something and someone will come along and want to see my early pages though, so I plug along. Or am trying to commit to plugging along.
That and it irks me to no end when I look at a blog that hasn't had any new content in forevah.
So let start back a bit.
This summer I made a third Roman Chiton. I prefer the Doric Chiton without a peplos fold such as shown below. My first one ever was with a peplos fold over but I was never quite happy with it. Second was a purple silk tissue, and it didn't have a fold and I liked it more. 
Me at Midge Marsh Melee, 2013
Number 3 was in some nice peach linen and I did some hastily gathered shoulder pleats for it while sitting in camp at Uprising war. Having no fibulae (yet) I permanently attached some metal belt bits that have rather large stones in the same peach shade.
I wore it with a tunica underlayer out of regular muslin, and made a palla out of some particularly lovely dark brown cotton tissue. My mom got the fabric off the clearance rack at walmart and WOOHOO. Prax made me some lovely jewelry and I feel pretty good in it.

So there we were, half of the house sitting around after dinner while grand court was going on. I was actually talking about how I'd always wanted to be one of those people they had to send a runner from court to. Not that I dislike missing court but sometimes with kids, its just not in the cards.Especially camping.  At the same time talking about this I was also explaining the joys of an Italian Zimarra. It's the perfect housecoat and just a great way to cover up a multitude of not dress/dirty sins. Such as being in an event kitchen all day. Or only being half dressed at camp. I happen to have a lovely green linen cotton one and it hangs BEAUTIFULLY.

Kneeling before their Majesties
Five minutes later and a house mate comes into camp letting us know that I'd been called into court. By their Majesties. Slight panic ensued as we all gathered clothes, shed aprons, hustled about and got ready for court. Hiked it up the the Kingdom pavillion with the kids in the wagon. They were finishing up with another member of the populace and I waited just outside the tent, chatting with some friends. The man bestie came up as they called my name, in full Fia garb and escorted me before the crown. He told me later it only made sense for someone showcasing my talents to walk beside me.
The scroll by Mistress Duchess Caryn, my Laurel
In any case, Damon and Veronique saw fit to admit to the Order of the Key Cross, the Artemisian Grant level arts and sciences award. My own beloved Laurel, Mistress Caryn created my scroll but was unable to make it (I got it at a later event).  Their Majesties said some lovely things about me, and I did tear up some.

But the best best best moment came as I was leaving court, thru the center of the pavillion amid clapping and cheers. As the roar died down some, above the hush you could hear clear as a bell, my darling darling lovely daughter Alyvia Jean yell out "YAY MOMMA!!!!!"

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Curse your buttons sir!

I hate finish work.
It's one of the reasons I still use lacing rings instead of hand bound eyelets, why I rarely have sleeves and all my hems are machine sewn. I get impatient towards the end and want to just wear my pretty new frock dammit.
This is the same reason why I rarely go back and finish something. The lovely green dress of twelfth night sits in a pile. No pearls, hem untacked, bodice undone to fix straps. The work on the sleeves ground to a halt. I love that dress, and it *almost* rivaled the taffeta V in compliments. But I haven't come back to it. Might be an emotional thing though.


I went to Pocatello a few weekends back to teach some people some simple Persian esque stuff. Nothing entirely completely accurate (see client choice). But it also resulted in some small sewing and construction method lessons.
The wife of my good friend made herself and her husband some really rather nice matchey matchey coats. For a novice seamstress she really put a lot of effort and love into these coats and hey they are really nice looking.

Along came the buttons. I got his coat at war, all assembled, just needing closures, a handful of buttons and  a 'I like your loops better'.


Thankfully wife isn't the big upset type, laughed it off, and admitted she liked my loops better (she sewed her loops out of cord). With a promise to teach her how I make mine i took button less coat and ran.

Two weeks later.
I hate these buttons.
I loathe them.
They have come off three times now. There were nine all together but he doesn't button all the way down because of his white knights belt and they just pop off anyways.

They wouldn't lay straight in a row.
They wouldn't lay in the same direction.
The spacing looked dumb.
The spacing looked worse.
Too close to the edge.
Too far from the edge.


Unhappy me.
Finally in a fit of 'WTF is the problem they are just stupid buttons' I got out my chalk and lined out a grid to get them on. A somewhat success and I was able to get buttons and loops on. Almost completely straight to appease my OCD.

And that's why I hate rogers buttons.

Finished but bad light 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The green dress saga

So remember the plan of awesome? It *sorta* happened for 12th night. I'm still working on the sleeves and fixing some stuff but it kinda happened. Here's the lay down. The first thing I did (after some ironing, gathering interlinings and the  like) was cut out my pattern ala Noelle from Adventures of a Wannabe Seamstress. Noelle always gets this awesome fit on her dresses, and has fit a lot of different body types so last spring I took a jaunt to her house and begged for a bodice pattern. She of course, in gracious fashion obliged. 
Here's where it gets kinda odd. The straps from the back. Which was working my nerves. Of all the blogs, tutorials and the like that I've poured over during my years of Italian, I have never, to my recollection, recall seeing a bodice with straps coming completely from the back. It just.. didn't make sense to me, not to have them finished and pretty, right?? RIGHT?!?!?! I mean I know she's a laurel and she has like this amazing bodice-fu that makes them all look gorgeous, and I'm sure she knows what shes doing but but but but...
But time was of the essence so I started getting that pattern cut, and meanwhile sewed some boning channels into my interlining and my felt/flannel padding. I spend a good good part of an entire day/afternoon working on it (home sick with a kiddo)and voila. I have this bodice. This AMAZINGLY well fit bodice.. forget my fatness, forget my uncertainty, I have a BODICE!! It's smooth, it fits well, the straps are amazing and OMG, look at how smooth and unwrinkled it is!!
I sew on some rings (yeah the eyelet part is something I'm gonna have to work on, cause the boning was in the way on one side, and blah blah blah blah.. I used rings.. sue me) take a few shots to send over to the Bestie Hastings because Provo is too far a drive to just "Pop in" (though we do) and TADA!!

 Next up its time to do something I've never even attempted on my own before.. Hello cartridge pleats. First problem however, is that my skirt is not as wide as preferred. I normally have at least 3 full panels of fabric to make up my skirt. Because I didn't buy this fabric, it was gifted down to me, its not as much as I would buy, couple that with the fact that it has a pattern and I try to match up as much as possible and we have wasted fabric that can't go into a skirt. So I think in the end I had like 120 inches or so of skirt. That's not all together a small figure I know.. But when your waist is in the upper 40's... it makes for a not so full skirt. Either way, I got out a marker, started making dots on my plaid flannel as a guide and started stitching.
Front, much better
Back, kinda loose
My pleats aren't as tightly packed int he back as I would prefer but still.. I DID it! I have a cartridge pleated skirt and man am I happy I did it.. I know a few things I'll change next time (like the finishing of it and more panels) but its a LOVELY way to attach a skirt and once I got going, it really was not difficult in the least bit.

Hemmed up the skirt (which is too long by about 10 full inches dammit) and this is where our saga ends for 12th night.  I wish I could tell you I had the presence of mind to have the boyfriend  ex (sigh) take pictures of me in my fabulous dress that day, but I didn't. There isn't even a good picture of me full front. What I have is this.. I wore my green zimarra over it for some reason, and ended up taking it off when I was hanging out. Can you see that hem!! Lord..

 Fast forward to the end of February and I have decided to finish the dress to wear to Coronation next weekend. I worked some on the sleeves a few times during the last month and sorta got a pattern I think would work. The best thing I can say about these sleeves is that the seam is actually in the back, so completely correct. Also, their lattern sleeves, with a CUT pane instead of strips made and attached. It took a little doing but I got the pattern made. So I took my normal sleeve pattern and put some cuts into it right where i figured I'd want the slashes, then I spread those out a bit and cut my lining and fashion fabric from that, just for a little extra in the shoulder for the splits. Is this correct? No idea. Did I do it this way because I was trying something out, you sure betcha. 
Then I started attaching some pleated sections of my silk batiste to the lining very loosely so I had enough fabric to pull thru. Truth is, I don't really care for that, and the puffs aren't as big as I'd prefer so now I'm going back and just going to baste sections in place for the slashes. 
I'd been working on pearling my trim for a bit, I had this idea of how to add it and now looking at it i think it looks okay but I'm not sure if I want to take the time to actually put it on -- since then I've actually added a few pearls to my sleeves and might just leave the trim off.. though ya never know. 

In any case I need to fix the hem, and a small issue with the straps, and the sleeves before this Friday. We'll see how it happens. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

6 days to go...

Originally the plan for 12th night was going to be matching Andalusian coats for my boyfriend and I, with super pretty gold snake applique on them. I even ordered 20 yards of a cotton/silk blend dupioni (yeah.. um.. my boyfriend is *hard* on fabric so 100% silk made me cringe.)

Meanwhile, the lovely proto-Baroness of our Barony asked me to be a Lady in Waiting for her. Its a cool gig for a person I like, and as Khalid is a little older than before, I'm willing to serve her. Thankfully, she understood my concerns though and as such I'm a special  different  LiW ... okay I have a different sort of assignment. While I will still serve when I can at events with attending and standing court, my main duty shall be to actually serve as the Baronial Scribe. 

I love love love LOVE this job, and since it seems I'm becoming more of a scribal apprentice than a garb apprentice it will actually be a perfect vehicle to continue to improve my craft.

The pattern is my sottana, the green cord
will be the zimarra, and the velvets and
trim are going to be layered
and pearled.
Its time to start thinking about garb. Their nexcellencies are going to be doing late period (Tudor for her.. and.. late for him??), and their impressive garb is being made by the Lovely Maestra Serephina, so you just know it's gonna be full on awesome, dripping with more awesome and probably stuffed with, you guessed it, AWESOME!!!! 

My plans thusly changed. We were not specifically asked, but still dressing late period to match would help with someones investiture dream and I'm willing to help that out.
I think its going to be bias tape of
chocolate velvet, then the fawn
velveteen, then the trim.
All pearled :D

Originally I was going to make a new sottana and Veste, but changed my mind and am going for a sottana and a zimarra. I have my fabrics already and pulled them out of my stash. 

And in very Superwhy fashion (ask my kids) what do we do when we need an answer? We look in a book!! Out comes Moda a Firenze and I start tabbing pages. 

Florentine School, Eleonora of
, Bronzino
The green one, during
I want a pretty basic dress, because I have some stunning fabric, and I want a zimarra to rival my green one.

I started pouring thru the book and found MORE than enough pictures. I also got out all the sources I've had on this subject for a while. While a fitted veste is something I've wanted for a while, a looser zimarra will be easier in the short turn around I have to make this outfit. 

I do have a couple of things I want to change/add of course.. because its like.. Mine.

 Janet Arnold Pg. 111 Patterns of Fashion 1560 - 1620

  1. Short capped sleeves - sleeves, according to my book are as wide and varied as any other dress/coat in this time period. The ones I really really want are shown the best from Patterns of Fashion. 
I do want to split them and use some of that lovely gold silk in it though, so its going to be a hodge podge of sleeve ideas, then the bad around the forearm is going to be my layered trims, and scallops.. Yeah.. SCALLOPS!! (and of course the portrait that shows the scallops can't be found on google at the moment, so I'll scan my book later.

    Lucrezia di Cosimo de' Medici (detail):
    Bronzino (Agnolo di Cosimo), c. 1555-1565
    (Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence)
  1. High collar - I want a high collar.. I think they are lovely and it means YES I will have to make a new partlet (see first partlet that actually fits and works) but I think its a nice touch..  There are actually lots of examples of the high collar, and on the looser fitting zimarra as well, not just vestes.
    Alessandro Allori, Eleonora of Toledo,
    c 1572 Florence

    Probably the  most famous one is the portrait of Eleonora of Toledo by Allori. Seriously, you probably don't do late period Italian and not know this painting.

  1. More fitted thru the waist. There is one example of it being more fitted thru the waist. Not as much as a veste of course but it does have an obvious waistline which I like. The trim placement is fun as well. Though I'm starting to think its more goldwork and less trim. I'm crazy, but not *that* crazy.
    Granted its Giovanna of Austria but its still a good example of the tailoring I want and the sleeves are awesome, allbeit a little small. 

So I have a lot of art to look at. I have fabric. I even have a working pattern for both sottana and zimarra.

But I sit here an blog.

I think I'm scared.

Oh well, I only have 6 days to make this happen.

Time to get a move on.

(Btw. the whole point of really blogging this is so I can *hopefully* enter it as a Realm of Venus Showcase. It'll be my first one ever so we'll see how this all goes.. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Challenges or how Maysun likes to goad us into doing stuffs..

Me, alllll me.
I'm a procrastinator..

No really I am.
As evidenced by this blog (which is woefully just not written in enough) I have a hard time following thru on stuff. Call it what you want, but I call it I'm lazy. 

I wish I could tell you its something else like babies, work, babies, boyfriend, babies, video games, babies or even just... the babies. But truthfully I spend oodles of time sitting here doing this.. surfing facebook, dicking around with my phone or just watching aimless hours of not really good TV.

I usually lament about this very thing in marathon FB chats with Hastings  and Andrea. Generally its the same thing with them (though I swear to Gawd Hastings has craft/fabric magic in spades).

The biggest problem is my motivation. So after another chat with Andrea, where we complained about lack of motivation and lack of branching out, VOILA!! Her Maysun's challenges were born. 

The rules were simple, on the first of every month she would issue a challenge. You participated or you didn't. Sometimes you had to have documentation.. some you didn't. I made a loose goal to attempt every month and so far, I've only missed 2.

This writing is going to be about my Maysun challenges.

May’12 – Head Frosting Challenge
Create a head covering from time time period and country of your choice. Please provide basic documentation (a picture or description from the time).

I give you the Lyvy hood o'doom. I even blogged about it, including process/progress pictures and some documentation. I was actually pretty happy with the hood, not that I'm viking, but she looked effin' stinking CUTE wearing it. Once we get it on her, she doesn't like taking it off.

Also, I entered the construction and embroidery into our Baronies Arts and Sciences competition and received ... outstanding? Whatever the highest rank is.. on both. I'm pretty happy with it and love the fact that my daughter loves it..

The fact that the runes say "Be careful, my daddy carries a big sword" just makes it even better for me!

My queen size rope bed, complete with
brother testing it.

June’12 – Enchantment in Your Encampment
Improve your encampment in any way you want. Chair coverings, cooler covers, a shade tent. Anything you can think of to make your encampment look more correct.

So I love my camp bed. It worked SO well. Just being off the ground was a HUGE success to my comfort level. Even when I stumbled back to bed all groggy and drunk and didn't get much sleep, what I did get was restful and complete. This one piece of camping equipment is SO worth it..
Now, truthfully I'm going to make a second one, a BETTER one, and I think that one is going to be a slat bed. :D 

Oh.. and I made two easy ups as well.. 
I learned a bunch from them as well.. Like the canvas drop cloths aren't bad, but I'll probably just fork over the money for sunforger at some point.. 

Add caption

July’12 – Paint it Good Now!
Create an awards scroll or scroll blank for the kingdom, your Barony, or a non-awards scroll to display in your home or encampment.

Matching A's. More contemporary
but the micography is fun.
Okay this one was super duper easy for me to achieve. Why you ask? Because I was the lucky (see "sucker") Scribe to serve their (then) Majesties, Sean and Nissa as their Royal Scribe. All jesting aside it was an honor and I learned SO much doing it. 

August: Underthere! Underwear!

I made strophium, or the Greek/Roman version of a bra/breast binding. I haven't taken pictures of my own yet, but I did show Maysun when I wore it to coronation.. Funny enough I made it because I needed something that was more period, that I could wear under my Roman, that would allow me to breast feed Khalid easier.

And its SOOOO damn comfortable!!

September: When a fiber comes along, you must weave it!

This was kind of a cheat challenge for me. All I did was finish lucet in kingdom colors for award cords. I got a pack of the pre-cut wrapped threads from Mistress Casamira months and months back and finished mine pretty quick. Aelia Sophia, however, HATED lucet and gave back my spare lucet and her unfinished bag. 
So, easy peasy.. another one in the bag.

October: Unweave My Heart.
 Your challenge is to create an item using cutwork, pullwork, or any other method you can think of that creates an effect by removing sections of fabric. 

This is one of 2 that I didn't participate in.. not sure why, since I've always wanted to do some drawnwork, and I used to be one of 5 people skilled in Hardanger in the state of Utah. 

November:Tasty Treats. 
You must make any food or drink you choose from a SCA period recipe. Please provide basic documentation, including the recipe, time period, and country.

I made a very simple soft camp cheese that was DELICIOUS! 

I used half vinegar and half lemon to make my cheese and would do it again, just probably not wring it out so much. I wanted it to be more on the creamy-ness of cream cheese.

I also made honey coated walnuts. Both were pretty simple and fun to make.

The last challange for December, is to make a kids period toy. I don't think I'll actually finish this one either, but ya never know, I still have a few days to try.

How am I going to continue this momentum in 2013? Hastings blogged about The Dreamstress Historical Sew Fortnightly.  26 themed challenges and you can pick and choose what you want to participate in.  There's a bonus challenge starting now.  #0 is to start simple with a due date of New Year's Eve.  Make something quick or something you've done before.

So on this bandwagon I'm jumping. Hopefully it'll help me stay motivated to get things done.. 
I might actually follow thru with my list of things to do..

I'll start that list tomorrow :D

Monday, December 24, 2012

Diapering and not the baby kind..

I'll probably write more at some point..
But here is some more since the fabulous Sun in Splendor scroll sorta got me all going..
Cheval  D'or

Golden Pillar

Award of Arms
Versal for a Golden Maple leaf

Saturday, September 1, 2012


So here I was, all set to actually maintain my blog and was getting geared up for court season here in Artemisia, and I finally was able to make it into the Dr.

See I'd been having some tummy issues for a bit and wasn't quite sure what was going on.. This was the note I wrote in FB about it.

This would be the easiest place to do some explaining.After Alyvia was born I developed some severe cervical dysplasia, I had to have a few treatments for it to help stave off complications and possible cervical cancer. They told me that some of the symptoms following up might mimic pregnancy and if I was worried I could take a home test -- I've taken 4 home tests and each of them were negative.

I started getting a little poofy in the tummy area (Yeah I know I'm chubby but this was different) about 3 months or so ago, but I had just taken a test and it was negative so I figured I was just being lazy. 
because of the dysplasia I was taking my oral birth control religiously, like as in I set an alarm on my phone so I would take it the exact same time every day. 
I have never missed a period, I have had no typical pregnancy symptoms. No morning sickness, no tender breasts nothing. No crazy cravings that stayed -- except the ice thing
About 6 or so weeks ago, out of the blue I felt... a flutter.. and this was different from all the "gas pressure" I'd been feeling before. I had just chalked it up to normal tummy stuff I'd been dealing with since having Lyvy and wasn't concerned. Then it happened again.. and again.. and again and again and again.. So I made an appointment with my Dr and took another at home test.. negative.. Still, I was starting to get this "pooch"  at the top of my stomach and it made me nervous.First appointment was cancelled because Dr had emergency delivery -- this was also around the time of the record high temps that caused babies to just drop so it wasn't a big deal.
Then my second appointment got cancelled.
and I started calling and not getting return calls.
and it went on and on and on.. I even tried getting a hold of my family practioner but can't see her until after September 18!!

So I got a few friends to suggest some places and finally settled on a midwife at Circle of Life in South Ogden. My appointment was today at 4. Went in, filed out my paperwork. There as some confusion about when my last period was and then the midwife came in to see me. 
We did a papsmear (oh joy oh joy) since I was due, and then she decided to do a vaginal ultrasound (still thinking I wasn't along very far) and when she had issues with my cervix and pelvis, she decided to do a normal ultrasound.

and the head measured 39 weeks. Leg measures 39 weeks. Baby has hair.. baby is 39 weeks ALONG.. baby has strong steady heartbeat, looks to be in good shape and OMG did I mention 39 weeks?!?!?!?! Even the midwife was shocked. 
We did some bloodwork, and a 20 minute stress test. Took my blood pressure again and it came down. 
Currently I am dilated to a 3 and effaced 70%. My official due date is August 25, IF i make it that long though the midwife isn't sure I'll even make it to this weekend. I am going to work tomorrow to start my paperwork, and then we'll just take it from there..Both Ty and I are in shock, but hey.. at least this was the quickest easiest pregnancy ever.

That was August 14. I went in for a perinatal ultrasound on the morning of the 16, and ended up being induced that afternoon.

 Thyran Khalid was born on August 16, 2 days after I found out I was pregnant, at 10:45 p.m. 7lbs12oz 19.5 inches.