The theme for this month is sewing! And because I've been waiting awhile for this to be finished, I'm going to share it first, even though everything else in the post will pale in comparison. Lady Alyna Morgan of Vielburgen has finished The Shirt (and yes, it deserves those capitals), a shirt which everyone who attended coronation can all agree is fit for a King:
It is "a 16th century shirt similar to one seen in the Bath Fashion Museum. It took me 3 years and has close to 1500 yards on silk thread. All hand sewn. Linen and silk thread." And if that wasn't enough, she's moved on to a new outfit, designed for a woman of lower nobility in 1560s Castille. The first accent has just been finished, an amazing external "pocket", made of silk fabric with silk thread in stem stitch with couched vintage gold wire wrapped thread around a silk core, interlined in wool and lined in green silk. Wow:
Early in June, Vrouwe Aleydis van Vilvoorden of Gotvik writes:
I finished my husband's silk tunic, which I started ten years ago, yesterday. It's hand sewn from silk twill, tied with a silk fingerloop braid and decorated with a silk tablet woven band, freshwater pearls and glass beads, silk lucet cord and brass bezants.
The result is quite amazing:
With that project finished, she's dived straight into the next, a Viking outfit, with a hand-sewn shift from blue and white striped linen, and an apron dress is now half finished.
Sewing for the family is a full-time job, and Margaret of Vielburgen has been busy. In recent months she's completed a man's Viking kirtle and pants in linen, three linen kirtles (two Eastern Viking/Rus, one continental), three smokkers (one heavily smocked, one lightly, and one fitted), and a front smocked smokker and a lower Danube style kirtle. What a fashionable turn-out they'll make at their next event!
Even I couldn't help but be inspired. I finally washed fabric that I'd bought in April and spent a weekend cutting out a dress for me and a matching one for Gwen (at her insistence):
Fortuitously, the next week I had a conference to attend, which meant plenty of time for hand-sewing!
But there's more to garb than sewing -- lacemakers, listen up! Those of you who are Facebook, there is now a new group for Drachenwald Lacemakers, started up by Lady Rachel Edwards of Trivium.
Not everyone spends their time with needle and thread. At coronation, we had access to the forge at Bolton Castle, and I spent a pleasant while pumping the bellows for Lord Alexander of Darlington, of Pont Alarch, and Lord Eldgrimr Jonsson of Flintheath forged silverware and fire pokers. You can see why blacksmiths are so burly, watching the skill and power required to manipulate hammer and bellows!
It wouldn't be right of me to not spend a moment or two making you all really, really hungry. If you've never dreamed of becoming a Laurel before now, maybe this will make you change your mind: You get to attend Laurel lunches cooked for by Baroness Magdelena Grace Vane of Turmstadt! She writes:
At Double Wars I cooked a lunch for the Laurels and after brought the food up to the Prize display. The food seemed to be a hit with both the people and the Laurels. Nothing but good compliments. I used The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi from 1570. The food stuffs included were a Breseaola, a beef roll filled with ground meat and spices, cooked on the grill. Half of them were completed on the grill and the other finished in a sauce of broth, vinegar and grape must (reduced grape juice). Roast chicken wasdone in the manner Scappi described as a treatment for turkey, that is to say, larded and pierced with cloves. Medieval chicken nuggets were on the menu as well. Simple chicken fritters with cheese and spiced with sugar and cinnamon. Finally there was a compote of dried fruit in which I used figs boiled in wine with sugar and spice, served with a dense bread. I did not make the bread ;) Everything was done over a fire with period pots.
Recipes can be found in her blog (linked in the blog roll), and I can attest to the ease and tastiness of the "chicken nuggets", since we made them a few weeks ago at home. Yum!
It's a tremendous pleasure to welcome Herrin Elysande Walters back to Knights Crossing and Drachenwald: We've missed her very much during her sojourn in Atlantia! And now that she's back, she's already contributing to the kingdom, picking up paints and pens to produce beautiful scroll blanks:
Some lucky new member of the Orden des Lindquistringes is going to get an amazing scroll!
I've reported previously on Baron Matthew Baker's project to make medieval style books. He provides an update:
I have just finished a medievally-bound copy of John Gerard's The Herball or The Generale Historie of Plantes with the 1597 text, - to go along with a Coptic-bound A Doctor's Book. And today I finished sewing-up the book blocks for both the English and French copies of the other book I'm working on, and hope to have both late-15th C.-style bindings completed, so we can show all 4 books during the A & S show at Raglan.
Not only did he make the books, he made the tools to make the books too:
I made the Piercing Frame, the Piercing Awl, and the Sewing Frame just for this project. No "wasted motion" when these books are done - since I do intend to create more medieval-style books for "handling collections for use in-camp". I might even be persuaded to create some other Titles to Special Order on a "labour-hours plus O. & P. basis".
I don't know about you, but I'm sure tempted!