Saturday, December 29, 2012

Woodland Elf

I am a fancy elf princess, after all! (haha, couture aranel...)

This was really fun! The top and skirt were created as part of my fashion line a few months ago, and I quickly turned them into an elf costume as well. I've always associated with the elves.

The bow is my combat bow, which I use in the SCA, on those rare occasions when I actually have spare time away from Arts&Sciences and teaching and I can play combat archer for the day instead. The arrow in the photos is a target arrow - the combat ones are super bulky so they don't penetrate armour!

You can see more photos here:

Friday, December 21, 2012

Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia Day is a beloved tra­di­tion in Swe­den. The orig­i­nal Lucia was a 3rd cen­tury Ital­ian girl who wore a crown of can­dles and brought food to those who were per­se­cuted. Another leg­end says that in Varm­land, Swe­den, where my fam­ily lives, Lucia brought food to the starv­ing vil­lagers at Lake Van­ern. St. Lucia Day is Decem­ber 13, which was pre­vi­ously Win­ter Sol­stice on the old Julian cal­en­dar. On this day, the eldest daugh­ter dresses up and brings Lucia buns to her house­hold, with younger sib­lings also in pro­ces­sion. The straw goat in these images is called a jul­bock, and many peo­ple in Swe­den have these fes­tive guys at Christ­mas time.

I chose to cre­ate a mod­ern, updated ver­sion of the clas­sic Saint Lucia dress, a white gown with a red sash, this one suit­able for my own fash­ion aesthetic.

You can see more photos here:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Medieval Marketplace

We recently went to Medieval Marketplace, an SCA shopping event at a local park. We took Laura with us, so I dressed her up. She happened to fit perfectly into my old green kirtle. I made this kirtle in a rush right before Gulf Wars the year I joined the SCA and suddenly needed a week's worth of garb. Anyway, I think it fits Laura better than it fits me now!

I wore one of my newest dresses, my green and purple/pink/whatever-that-color-is-called cotehardie/kirtle, and my boyfriend wore his newest cotehardie. My frilled veil is also new, and I the coif he is wearing is fairly new as well, all made within the last year. (I just haven't edited my photos of these garments yet because I am lazy! Okay, because I am busy...)

I do wish there weren't cars and modern things in the background. I am so jealous of European SCAdians and other reenactors who live in Europe and get to go to events at real historical locations!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

American McGee's Alice

I've neglected my blog! I've been so busy!
I created this blog with the intention of posting mostly historical stuff, but the fantasy seems to creep in more and more. It IS a big part of who I am. (:

And on that note, here is a cosplay I did of American McGee's Alice from the haunting video game based on a twisted Alice in Wonderland. The model is not me this time, it's Lauren Brooks. This costume is also featured on Fairytale Vixens, as well as my own website.

And you can see more of my photos here:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Embroidered Hood

I decided it was time to make a new hood to go with my standard late 14th-early 15th c. ensembles, this time with dags. I had some neutral brown wool that was perfect to match the color scheme I like to wear. I lined the hood in linen. I put gores in my hood this time, something I had not previously done for this type of hood (only for a smaller, more fitted one). I like the gores! As a result, this hood is slightly more fitted than my previous similar hoods.

The embroidery was done by Lady Cecilia - the same lady wearing the blue dress in my previous post. I found an early 15th century example of a hood motif and drew a very similar pattern for her to embroider. Using her excellent skills, she produced the following result!

You can see more pictures of this hood here:

Monday, November 5, 2012

Blue Renaissance Dress

I made this dress for my friend, Lady Cecilia. She wore it for the first time to Great Western War, so yay, pictures! This is a pretty versatile 16th century Renaissance dress, or kirtle, worn throughout Europe. It is a single (lined) layer, worn over a chemise that she made and embroidered herself. The single layer helps the dress to be climate-appropriate for southern California summers - and springs and falls. In addition, I built some support into the bodice so Cecilia does not need to wear her corset, once again cutting down on layers and making it easy to get dressed!

You can see more on my website:

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween Faerie

For Halloween this year, I was almost at a loss for a costume! Aghhh, I know, I wear costumes all the time! Anyway, I found some inspiration from one of my all-time favorite faerie artists, Amy Brown. I put this fun Halloween-themed faerie costume together using elements that go with my fashion line - corset and dress, combined with Hallween faerie accessory items. I also made the hat, bat necklace, and wings.

More photos are here on my website:

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

16th Century Kirtle

This is my first non-corseted 16th century kirtle. It's probably pretty obvious by now that I make a lot of 14th and 15th c. kirtles. While I've done some 16th c in the past, this is normally the century I skip in reenacting. Well, I've recently found some 16th c. dresses I really like, so I wanted to start by making a versatile kirtle. I made it lace on the sides so it will never pose an issue with the various styles I want to do.

It's blue linen, lined in natural linen.
Please forgive my t-shirt. I just really wanted to put on the kirtle as soon as I finished sewing it! I have a couple of chemises in my closet.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Velvet Belt

I've been looking at a lot of extant 14th century belts lately. I want to do a hardcore project involving pewter casting, but I know that's going to take me a while to gather all of the supplies, and I want a belt now! So I cut a piece of black velvet, which I happened to have lying around, and fashioned it into a belt. The silver pieces are all mass-produced filigrees I had previously purchased for fashion-type jewelry projects. They are stitched on to the belt, and the gems are glued on top. There actually is now a buckle, but the photo was taken before I purchased it. So yeah, updates forthcoming on the finished belt, also worn with dresses!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Viking Male Garb

This is an outfit I made for my boyfriend. It's 10th century Viking garb, and the pieces are: a tunic (pretty basic, but all machine stitches are hidden inside and the cut is period) in orange linen, leg wraps (aka winingas) in wool, and a linen coif. He already had the pants. The trim on the tunic and coif is card woven. I finally found a use for some of the trim I've made over the past couple years!

More pictures here:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Indian Garb

This is an Indian outfit I made several years ago, I believe in 2008. It's based on late 16th century images. I've worn it only once before because I had made it for summer and then it ended up being really cold! Then it got pushed to the back of my closet and forgotten. I just wore it this weekend to our local archery and thrown weapons competition, partially because it was hot and partially because I wanted photos.

The choli and skirt are made of patterned silk, and then there is also an underskirt. This could also be worn with a sari on top, I just like to show off my fancy fabric! ;p

More photos are here:

Friday, September 14, 2012

Evidence and Skepticism

An article was recently pointed out to me. It discusses skepticism vs. cynicism with scientific facts, but when I read it, I immediately thought of historical costume research. I was already just on this topic yesterday in my own head. With the explosion of the internet and the surge of blogging, pinning, tweeting, etc, I have come upon many instances where people will say "that is not period" when I, personally, have seen evidence that proves such an item IS period. This sometimes even happens with those of immense status in the SCA, unfortunately, as much as I would like to believe all such people are like those I most admire, open minded and reasonable/logical.

This article discusses the importance of having actual evidence, or proof, that something exists or does not exist. We can use critical thinking to extrapolate ideas from limited evidence, which is often what we must do in costume research. However, we cannot say for certain that something exists unless we observe that it does. Similarly, we cannot say that something does not exist unless we prove that it does not. The latter can be quite difficult in historical costuming, which is why I often will say things like "I don't have evidence for this," not "it definitely did not exist." (Think about those Lengberg bras, for example, a discovery that changed a lot of our ideas!) Admittedly, I have become much more careful in the way I word things now that I teach classes.

Having a background in scientific research, this type of thought process and assertion of evidence is something I had to start learning in college. I realize that this is new for some, but it still bothers me that so many people will just make wild assumptions based on very limited research. Go out and do the work to see if you're right, people! Or just say that you haven't seen it in your own research. That's fine. No one expects you to be totally schooled on every detail of all history. Plus, you can always ask someone for direction if you find they know more about a specific era than you do.

Anyway, check it out if you're interested! It made me think a bit.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Buttonholes and Finger Loop Braiding

So that red linen kirtle... I decided to go a bit more hardcore with the historical accuracy. I had done the buttonholes and eyelets by machine, thinking no one would see them on an underdress, but clearly this is going to be worn alone sometimes, so I have been ripping out all the machine stitches and re-doing them by hand.

Also, I learned finger loop braiding! I taught myself from some basic internet diagrams, and it's pretty simple. My first cord ended up being just barely long enough to fit through the eyelets on this kirtle, so it shall be used here!

So what did I do with the old lacing string? I could have thrown it out or saved it for a yet undetermined future project, but the cat claimed it as his new toy instead.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Red Linen Kirtle

This will eventually be an underdress for a couple of other gowns, but it also works as a single layer dress! This is a red linen kirtle, early 15th century. I'm also wearing velvet tippets here and a white linen veil.

More photos on my site:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cotehardie Commission

I did this 14th century gown / cotehardie as a custom commission for a client. This is all linen, red and black parti-colored with long sleeves and gold colored buttons. It's my favorite 4-panel cotehardie with gores, and I really like these colors!

Monday, August 27, 2012

New German Dress

I started this dress about 5 years ago and then never got around to finishing it until just now. It's first half of 16th century, German - or Swiss. It can be categorized with kampfrau or tossfrau garb. The dress is made entirely of linen, and the hat is actually a wool structure underneath (just because I had a scrap of wool handy!) with a linen veil tied around it.

More pictures coming soon!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sideless Surcote

I recently made my first sideless surcote. This is patterned velvet with a skirt of black silk/rayon blend. It was pretty simple to make, and I would love to do more in the future. This style is based on late 14th century French sources.
In these pictures, I am wearing my surcote over a brocade/jacquard kirtle, with a horned veil headdress, all of which I also made, of course!

More pictures here:
And you can see the kirtle here:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Green Summer Cotte

I made a very lightweight 14th century cotte for my boyfriend for summertime. This is single layer linen. It's pretty simple, the most painstaking aspect being the fit, which I've already worked on with him in the past. This one is slightly less fitted than some of his other cotehardies/cottes, in consideration of warm summer weather.
He is also wearing tights I made for him, along with a black linen embroidered coif.

You can see more images here:

Monday, August 6, 2012

Green Silk Bliaut

A couple years ago, I made this bliaut, a 12th century court gown. I used emerald green raw silk, which I love! The lining is pink silk, and the trim was chosen to be period-esque. The undergown is also made with period construction, all rectangles and triangles, and the brooch is one I found in the fabric district at some point. This is one of my fancy outfits, and I feel so pretty when I wear it!

You can see more photos here:

Friday, August 3, 2012

Black Houppelande

A while ago, I made this 15th century houppelande for my boyfriend. I recently took new photos when he wore it with his fancy bejeweled chain. It is made of black dupioni silk and fully lined.

You can see more photos, including his original Yule garland decor, here:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

15th Century Bra

A remarkable clothing find was recently released to the public and showed us images of a bra found at Lengberg Castle in East Tryol, Austria. The bra has been dated to the 15th century and completely changes our perception of the history of underwear.

I already made one! I also made some matching panties to go with it. The garments are made of linen and are embellished with lace, as close to period needle lace as I had on hand.

I have more pictures on my website:
And here is an article on the bra:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

FAE Magazine Feature

My steampunk faerie made it into FAE Magazine! I am so excited! FAE is a UK-based faerie magazine. It is also sold in select stores in the US, or you can purchase a copy at their website:

AND...Jocelyne and I took a photo of us with the magazine, and we are now the cover photo for FAE's facebook page!

Here are the photos of our spread!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Steampunk Faerie

My friend and model/muse Jocelyne got to be my steampunk faerie! I am into the fantasy side of steampunk, and though I'm normally into bright jewel tone colors, I wanted to try something more muted this time.
I made the wings out of copper wire, organza, and resin coating.
The model is Jocelyne Watts. The costume, photos, and makeup were all done by me.

You can see more photos here: