12 February 2017

Historical Sew Monthly 2017: #2 Re-make

The February challenge for this year's Historical Sew Monthly challenge is "Re-Make, Re-Use, Re-Fashion". Luckily, I had something in the works that perfectly fitted that challenge:

A 'Martebo' sack.

2 January 2017

Historical Sew Monthly 2016: #8 Pattern

Continuing in my long tradition of documenting these things rather late, here is my entry for the Historical Sew Monthly 2016, #8 (August) - Pattern. 

A toddler's cote, for 1370s Wales.

21 July 2016

Manuscript challenge: A poor woman's veil - Part 2: Construction & wearing

As I mentioned last time, I have been (very slowly!) making a lower class woman's outfit for the Manuscript Challenge. My inspiration image is from one of the many Roman de la Rose manuscripts and the veil of it is this:

Felonie, Roman de la Rose.
UC MS 1380, f. 2r.
c. 1365, France. Source.

This image isn't the best quality, but comparison with other images of lower class women from the 13th through until the 15th Centuries shows this distinctive veil with a band around the head and, often, a knot at one temple. But, how to make it...?

14 July 2016

Manuscript challenge: A poor woman's veil - Part 1: Research

As some of you may be aware, I've been aiming steadily down the social classes as my reenactment progresses. I aimed to make a lower class outfit for a while (see my Manuscript Challenge posts) and, whilst the dress is still a work in progress due to various real-life commitments, the veil has been finished for quite some time. Here's a little reminder of my inspiration piece:

Haine (Hate), Felonie and Vilanie.
Roman de la Rose, c. 1365, France.
University of Chicago Library, MS 1380, f. 2r. Source.

20 June 2016

Fingerloop braiding - a new braid

This weekend, I spent the weekend away with my wonderful reenactment group, the Cardiff Castle Garrison. I did an awful lot of distaff spinning and we also managed to conquer 3-person fingerloop braiding.

Myself (in the middle) and my two friends doing 3-person fingerloop!
Photo by A. Forster.

3 April 2016

Natural dye colourchart

It's sometimes tricky to get a good idea of the range of colours that are available from natural dyes, particularly those natural dyes used by people in medieval Europe. Hence, I've made a list of some of the colours and dyestuffs available in Europe pre-discovery of the New World. Of course, note that not all of these dyestuffs were used (or obtainable) in all European countries historically (or even today!) and the expense of these dyestuffs was also variable.

These are listed by base colour (i.e. the colour obtained from a single dye, without using naturally coloured fibre, without using a colour-modifying mordant such as iron and without overdyeing) unless explicitly stated. At the bottom is a list of mordants and modifiers and a list of natural sheep/wool colours.

Note that many links appear multiple times (as they have multiple dyes mentioned in them) and some dyestuffs appear in multiple places, as it is possible to get multiple colours from them depending on the precise techniques, modifiers and mordants used.

If you have any recommendations for links to add to this list, please do comment. I will update this list periodically.