October 2009

Kevin is the equestrian marshal in charge for Castle Wars, which is in 4 weeks.  He is doing a challenge course in the morning.  The challenge course will be completed by pairs of riders, so there will be two winners.  One prize has already been purchased, but he needed a second prize.  I have a good bit of fabric that I have no plans for (one piece I have no clue where it came from) so we are making a saddle blanket.  I am in charge of cutting and pinning.  Kevin is sewing the sucker together.

Red saddle blanket

This is the saddle blanket that Kevin won. It is reversible with the opposite side being red.

It’s basically a copy of a saddle blanket that he won at Gulf Wars 3 or 4 years ago.  It will be more attractive than period, and at this point, I’m okay with that.

Fabric for saddle blanket

This is the fabric I am using. The floral is a bit more red than the pic came out.

Last night I washed and cut the fabric.  Apparently I cannot cut in a straight line at 11pm.  Oh well, it will be a bit narrower than planned, but it’ll still be fine.  It will be reversible.  Kevin will sew the center seams for each side and then we’ll straighten out the edges.  After that he will sew down the long sides (inside out) and then we’ll turn it right side out and sew the short sides together (may have to do that by hand, not sure if the machine can handle it).  I’m happy we can have the thing done in a couple of hours, tops.


I am making a wool hood for a friend.  The outer fabric is a lovely black wool that is super soft and just wonderful.  The lining will be a bronze colored silk dupioni (one direction is almost a mustard yellow, the other direction is purple…together it’s a really nice bronze).  I am still waiting to hear from T as to whether she wants the whole hood and skirt lined, or just the folded back part (so she can use the silk for other things as well), so I have some time to type up info about it.

This is my hood that I made a while back.  The hood is pieced on to the skirt, whereas it should be one piece.

This is my hood that I made a while back. The hood is pieced on to the skirt, whereas it should be one piece.

T came over for dinner Saturday night (which was nice…her mom came too and actually cleaned the kitchen!) and tried on my hood.  I love my hood.  It is a cream colored wool with a peanut butter brown (cotton) lining.  It has bag buttons made out of the same fabric a the lining.  I love to wear my hood.  It keeps me wonderfully warm and dry.  However, I had no idea what a period hood would really look like when I made it (by hand).  The skirt is actually pieced on to the hood, in 4 sections.  This makes for some funny issues with it.  The front doesn’t lay flat (too much fabric) and it doesn’t lay flat along the arms because of the seam there.  However, it’s still probably my best made thing, even if it isn’t made right.  Oh well.  And, now it has mildew all over it, so it may be doomed anyway.  Boo.

Last night I got started on the patterning for the hood.  I wanted to accomplish that before going to bed, and did for the most part.  I have been looking at 3 websites mainly for the patterning.  The hood is based on this.  The first is from The Medieval Tailor. I really like the way her finished product looks.  So, I started with the first pattern.  I only did 2 gussets, one for each shoulder (I think in the second example there might be one in the back).  I took measurements off of my hood for round about ideas of what to do.

My first attempt at the pattern.  Did not work.

My first attempt at the pattern. Did not work.

The hood from 42in from the face opening to the end of the liripipe (I think the liripipe was 2.5in wide).  The face opening was 16in long.  From face opening to neck was 5in.  Neck to end of skirt was 13in.  The back of the hood had a rounded shape and from the face opening to the largest part was 14in.  This made the actual neck opening 10in.  I inserted a slit at about the halfway point and cut a gusset.  I don’t actually remember how I sizes the gusset.  Oh well.

I tried the hood on, and it did not work.  The face opening (which is to be folded back) was way to much and the neck opening was too small to be comfortable in any way, shape or form.  On to version two.

This is the second attempt.  You can see where I moved the gusset/gore.  Better than the first pattern, but still not right.

This is the second attempt. You can see where I moved the gusset/gore. Better than the first pattern, but still not right.

I came across an article, How to be a  HOOD-lum: Medieval Hoods, that I found very useful.  I had found it before but forgotten about it.  I used her version (Cynthia’s Version) to make pattern #2.  Per her suggestion, I set the cuff at 3in.  The “box” was 12 3/4 in on each side.  The skirt was 13in long.  I placed the slit for the gusset at 4.5in from the front (and the gusset in the back)  and sewed it all together.  Still had couple of problems.  The skirt wasn’t as long as I wanted and the front wouldn’t close.  The biggest problem though is that the gussets were too far forward.  I ripped out the seams, doctored up the cut enough to test a theory, and cut a new slit about 8in from the front opening and sewed the gussets in.  They then fell on my shoulders, but the front still wouldn’t come together.

This is a workable pattern, although it still needs some tweaking.

This is a workable pattern, although it still needs some tweaking.

The comes pattern #3.  I traced the second pattern, put the slit 8in from the front seam, made the skirt 3.5in longer (for a total of 16.5in) and then curved the front of the skirt out a bit to make it wider (the top of it would close, but not the bottom.  Currently, it’s a little too big in the front, but that is workable…I just need a model to wear it so that I can figure out how much needs to come off.  I also need to round out the skirt.  Again, need a model for that.

I’m happy with how it is going so far.  As soon as I finish up the adjustments to the skirt and hear back on the lining I can get started on it.  In theory, it shouldn’t take too long.  (If you click on the pictures, it should take you to my Picasa Web Album, which has more pictures of my hood, including the sad mildew, and an example of the black wool with some stitches done that match the lining.)

I have a livejournal account and was going to use it for this, but am becoming less and less interested in posting to LJ (although I really enjoying reading other people’s post there).  I’ll still use it for personal stuff, but I think projects and baby stuff will be migrating to wordpress.

So, here goes.

I have a lot of stuff coming up, and lots of projects to do, so I shall list them out.

  1. Wool hood, a la 14th century, for a friend.  A post coming about that soon.
  2. Make my GFD.  Ben and I worked on patterning a few weekends ago.  I need to make the thing now.
  3. Make the wool dress to go over it.
  4. Make a saddle blanket (I will pattern, Kevin will do machine sewing, I will do the sewing along the opening for the girth strap).
  5. Make Kevin a wool cotehardie.
  6. Make Kevin wool hosen.
  7. Make Miriam some cold weather garb (I have wool, but may do simple flannel stuff, we’ll see how much time I have).
  8. Make food for the Rose Tourney at Castle Wars.

Prioritizing them is hard because they all need to be done for the same weekend, November 20-22.  Kevin’s stuff will probably be last, unfortunately.  Miriam doesn’t have anything warm to wear and neither do I.  Everything else is specifically for Castle Wars.   The next four weeks are going to be crazy!