My elevation ceremony

elevation - Kara

A great shot from my elevation – photo by Duchess Kara

I have posted the text of my Norse-style elevation ceremony – it can be found here.

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Back from Great Western War 2013

New laurel - Drach

Wow, what an incredible weekend! In addition to my Laurel vigil and elevation, my love was invited to join the Order of Chivalry and was knighted on the field yesterday morning 🙂

I put a lot of thought and planning into the various aspects of my elevation, and I am thrilled with how everything worked out! Over the next few days I will be posting about all the fun things I was able to work out.

Laurel ‘scroll’

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In planning my elevation, I was a little stumped on what I should do for a scroll. My ceremony (which I will post soon) is Norse-inspired and so I was hesitant have a paper scroll. I did consider a rune stone, but decided it would be a bit unwieldy to present in court 🙂

I finally settled on an embroidered wall hanging based on the Bayeux embroidery. Although that particular piece is Anglo-Saxon, there is evidence (ie from Oseberg) that wall hangings were also used in Scandinavia. The style of my ‘scroll’ is based specifically on the Bayeux example because that hanging includes text.

I asked a wonderful group of friends to help with out with this project, and I was overwhelmed by their enthusiastic agreement!

Many, many thanks to the people who made this a reality: my fiance Niccolo for drawing the design, Aldgytha and Kelsey for embroidering the borders, Svana for embroidering the first panel,

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Kissa for embroidering the second panel,

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Stazi for embroidering the third panel,

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Also I would like to send out my heartfelt thanks to Saeunn, Maeve and Taisiya for jumping in to the sewing circle of doom to finish the lettering and construction in time for the scroll to be presented at my elevation!

There are some fun touches that we included, such as the oak leaves (main charge on my device) incorporated into the borders. Also, Kelsey reworked two or the critters in the top border to represent my two mastiffs (Athena is a dark brindle – she is in the top center of the second panel, Hercules – complete with drool – is in the top left corner of the third panel). Niccolo was very excited to include the silly naked men from the original in the bottom border 🙂

Current projects

Sorry for the silence, but the last few months have been crazy. In addition to planning a wedding, at Crown Tournament I was invited to join the Order of the Laurel (the SCA’s highest award for arts). Well, of course that means I need new clothes . . .

I am planning a Birka-inspired outfit to use the wonderful brocaded tablet weaving that my honey got me at last Estrella war. The outfit will consist of a linen serk, diamond twill wool smokkr, and a silk trimmed wool caftan.

I decided to order the fabric for my vigil dress and elevation caftan from Naturtuche (www.naturtuche.de) and I highly recommend them to anyone looking for beautiful, light weight wools in color and weaves appropriate to the Viking Age. Their customer service is wonderful and their products are to die for!

 

Embroidered Italian Sleeve

Another work in progress – this will eventually be an embroidered sleeve for a 15th Century farsetto (Italian doublet) for my fiance. The design is inspired by his heraldry (the lion is his primary charge) and the Caidan populace badge.

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There is already a running joke at he will only be allowed to wear this farsetto at approved events (indoor only, not while eating, etc) as he is very hard on his clothes.

I have finished all the outlines and started the fill work. The outlines and fill work thus far are split stitch. I am planning on long-and-short stitch for the crescents and lion, the drapery on the sides will be in couched silk and gold, and the the banner at the bottom will eventually have the motto morte prima di disonore (death before dishonor) in pearls.

On a side note, I have decided that I need a better camera as mine doesn’t like photographing silk 🙂

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Fun with Google Translate

What is a poor monolingual girl to do when many of the articles she wants to read are not in English? Get them translated of course! I have a wonderful friend helping my with some Swedish articles (Thanks Whilja!!!) but there are also a few articles published in German that I would love to read.

I am currently working on translating Inga Hägg’s article “Die Tracht” from Birka II:2 Systematische Analysen ger Gräberfunde. Since I don’t speak any German, I am typing the article in to Google Translate one paragraph at a time. While the program is not perfect, I have discovered that sometimes breaking up the German compound words helps the program recognize the words. However, sometimes the English translations doesn’t make much sense. And there are some words that it just doesn’t recognize.

Do I know any German speakers that are willing to help me out with a few words and phrases?

My first Florentine outfit

I made this outfit back in the spring of 2011, but I lost weight after the bodice was patterned so it never really fit.I just recently re-worked the gamurra so I can wear it again.

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Women’s public dress in late 15th century Florence consisted of three primary layers. The first layer was a camicia, or underdress, of fine white linen, cotton, or silk; over the camicia was worn a gown (gamurra) which was cut with a fitted bodice and full skirt; the third layer was a decorative overgown, of which several types were common (Frick 162-163). I chose to make the sleeveless, tabard-like giornea.

This ensemble consists of a camicia, gamurra and giornea.  This style of outfit is depicted in many Florentine fresco images of young, marriageable – or recently married – women (224).

I used the camicia pattern from Thompson (Chemise). The camicia is white linen lawn. I chose to use larger gussets than the pattern (9” square) as my bust measurement is larger than the sample. I gathered the neckline and cuff and then attached a band of the same linen.

I chose burgundy tropical weight wool for the gamurra.  According to Frick, gamurra for everyday wear were constructed of cotton, linen or thin wool, while dressier gamurra were constructed of silk or fine wool (162). I chose this particular fabric because is an appropriate fiber for this garment and because it contrasts nicely with the brocade I chose for the giornea.

The bodice of the gamurra was patterned by Mistress Caterucia Bice da Ghiacceto. The bodice is lined in white linen and interlined with canvas supported with Rigilene.

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While the use of Rigilene is a modern method of support, it was recommended because it is fast and easy to work with (Morin). Lacing rings are seen on some illustrations of this style, including Ghirlandaio’s painting Portrait of a Woman. I decided to use lacing rings to add a decorative element to this very simple dress.

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The sleeve pattern was created by drawing the openings on to a basic sleeve block – my fiance was kind enough to assist me with drawing in the sleeve openings. It took several adjustments before we achieved the look seen in the painting. The lining was attached to the fashion fabric using whip stitch.

The skirt consists of two 60” panels which were knife pleated into the bodice. This is less full than recommended (Morin), however I underestimated how much fabric was required to construct this type of dress.

I chose the brocade fabric for the giornea because I liked the color and motif, and it fit my price range. Unfortunately the fabric is a synthetic, however I decided this was a reasonable compromise for this project.

The giornea style is based on detail from Ghirlandaio’s Visitation. To create the giornea pattern, I draped muslin over my dress form and sketched out the neck and arm holes. The giornea is bag lined with white dupioni silk, and the neckline is finished by hand using whip stitch.

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References

Frick, Carole Collier. Dressing Renaissance Florence. Johns Hopkins University Press; Baltimore, 2002.

Morin, Kerri (Mistress Caterucia Bice da Ghiacceto). Personal communication.

Thompson, Jennifer.” How to Make an Easy Italian Chemise”. http://www.festiveattyre.com/research/chemise.html