Author: Karinne

Apparently I hate trains, and other adventures in remaking dresses

Next weekend I’m off to Melbourne to attend one of our Kingdom events, and I’ve been dreaming of making a court version of the wrap dress I made two years ago. Alas, it’s Sunday afternoon and I’ve just tried on the made up bodice… and the sleeves don’t work – I will not be able to fetch any pitchers. Thankfully I am now skilled enough in sleeves to know what’s wrong, but an afternoon of unpicking and re-patterning the sleeve section, and then cutting the skirt and attaching just isn’t going to get me a dress for next weekend. Instead I’m going to remove the train from my gaudete dress (click link for explanation of why ‘gaudete’), and wear it with renewed pride. If I get inspired/time I might line the cuffs with (fake) fur. This dress is generally lovely – well cut, the right colour, AMAZING wool, but the train is heavy and cumbersome and doesn’t fit how I think about this dress anymore. Also, I tend to wear this dress to tournaments and other outside-and-cold events, so an exposed white train isn’t the best design feature. Finally that green seam line bugs me and I’d rather not feel like people can see it. This will be the second dress with a tucked up train that I’m removing. Completely re-making a gown In mid-2014 a friend asked me what I was...

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Off to a bumpy start

As is often the way you announce something and then hit a bump in the road. For any of you who tried to visit the site 2 weeks ago and got an error message – we’ve fixed the problem and are now back up and running. We’ll also be a bit slower than expected on new posts for the next little while. Margaret has had an unexpected house move which is slowing up her writing. There’ll be a number of descriptions to fill in her projects page for the next few months and then the awesome collaboration material will...

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2015? 2015!

After 8 months of no updates I suppose an update is well over-due. Also, welcome to the new site! That’s the first update – sewing time turned into site creation time. I’m really excited about this new guise, with a co-author (yay!) and the ability to do more interesting things now that we’re self-hosted. For instance, I’ve worked out how to do galleries, so that’s made some of the resources more interesting, and better designed. You can see them in the updated Leiden style pages, as well as the gallery of all my projects and all of Margaret’s projects. Men’s clothing As planned in May, I did spend much of last year slowly working on an early 1500s yeoman’s ensemble for G, as seen in the picture on the left. I’m quite happy with the cut and some of the design decision, including the genius solution to the twin problem of G wanting LOTS of shoulder mobility (he does an weight lifter impression every time I ask him to test if he’s happy with a garment, as if that’s one of his usual poses…) and me cutting the armscrye too large – sleeves attached at only the top point of the shoulder! You see this in a number of artworks from this era, and they were so easy to make! It’s still a curved sleeve head, but only the top...

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One year after peerage – whereto from here?

This morning facebook kindly reminded me that it is my anniversary of joining the Order of the Laurel in Lochac, which has led to an impetus to communicate some thoughts swirling around in my head for a while – “what’s been happening” and “what now?” and “whereto for this site?”. These thoughts also coincide with the various posts around the costume blogosphere on the myth of perfection and choices around online privacy. Jen Thompson’s post alluding to not posting as much because of life struck a chord. Not that my life has been sad for the past year, more that it’s been a year of re-grouping on the historical craft front, and serious increase of career opportunity, which has led to a reduction in feeling like I had a space to discuss my thoughts as they were not specifically on-topic for this blog, or in the case of more academic explorations, would not live up to my vision of where I’d like them to be. So, then, in order: What’s been happening? In March last year I got a new role with the Department I work for, and it’s been amazing! A return to the job I want rather than the job that pays the bills and is OK. This means that the creative energy and project management energy that found an outlet through SCA activities has been absorbed into this...

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An overview of Charles V and the HRE

I firmly believe that if you want to understanding the clothing people wore in a particular time and place, then you have to understand the cultural milieu in which that clothing was worn. For the past year or so I’ve been spending a lot of time reading up on the material culture of the Low Countries and Western Europe in general at the turn of the 16th century, I’ve also been delving into the politics and dynasticism of the rulers of the Low Countries at this time – the Hapsburgs. Recently one of my favourite YouTube channels, Crash Course, released a 10 min video covering the reign of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, on the nature of his empire, his rule and some of the troubles he had in governing such a large territory. As with all Crash Course videos I highly recommend it. There’s also a video on the Spanish Empire, Silver and Runaway Inflation and one on The Renaissance, Was it a Thing? which is a question I’m grappling with right now. Finally, a costuming related question: check out the painting at 5:46 and help me identify it, as I’m intrigued by the hairstyle of the woman in the foreground. Is it an actual painting from the time, or a Victorian romantic nostalgia...

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