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: