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One major reason to join the SCA was to get to wear the pretty dresses, it is a major reason for a lot of folks. The type of clothing I think of most when you say 'the middle ages' is from the movie Ivanhoe. In Sweden this movie was shown on TV every Christmas/New Years season so I grew up watching it, and I just loved the dresses.

Fortunately for me, my Shire started arranging bi-weekly sewing meetings when I first wanted to make myself historical clothes in the spring of 2003, so I have had, and continue to have, help and support from local ladies who have been doing this for far longer than I.

I have since the fall of 2004 tried to do all sewing by hand. I do this because I realized that there is no rush for me to get items done, and I like to know that I have made a garment in as authentic a manner as possible. I have also determined to use fabrics that are as appropriate as I can afford. I realize that I may never get to the point of using actual silk brocade, but wool and linen are a must for me. And the threads I use are nearly exclusively silk sewing thread or linen bobbin lace thread.

The usual sewing circle ladies are all very nice, but through their constant good example I have been influenced into going later period, as in the 16th Century, rather than the 12th. In addition, when I spent time looking at period artwork I also discovered The Age of the Cotehardie in which women wore figure-hugging, gravity-defying, simple and gorgeous gowns, also called gothic fitted dresses (or GFD for short), which I began to want. So in the grand tradition in the SCA of not making your mind up, the clothes I make will come from all three periods: the 12th, the early 15th and the 16th Centuries.

As a helpful guide to folks who read these pages and want to get any use of the pattern etc, my measurements, whenever I take them and remember to note them down, are


A&S50 Breadth Challenge (Ongoing til A.S. 50)
(16th Century wardrobe + 15th Century wardrobe: September 2007-)
A&S 50 Challenge This Challenge was started in 2007 by an enterprising member of the SCA and ends in the year Anno Societatis 50 with the goal of having completed 50 projects. Either persona related, 50 of one thing, or 50 different things. I have opted for the breadth challenge to create 50 different things to flesh out my 15th century and 16th century wardrobes.

>> Check out my progress so far. (Latest update September 2012 - 32 items done)
Effigy Corset (On Hiatus)
(16th Century: February 2007)
Elizabeth's Effigy Corset In the hopes of being a little more practical I wanted to make a front lacing corset, and luckily there is one extant item, Queen Elizabeth's effigy corset, from which to draw inspiration.

This project is on indefinite hiatus, following disastrous results of first trying on, however, a new front lacing corset has been started, using cable ties and my old pattern. Hope remains of progress fairly soon. -- Lia, September 2007

September 2012: Well, progress did not happen. But I have now started edging the corset, it may be finished before the end of the year. We can aim high!

>> Check out the photo gallery.

Finished Projects, in reverse order of completion

Item: Green Florentine Gown (January 2008 - August 2012)
Item: Black Velvet gown (January 2012 - March 2012)
Item: Turkish Morning Gown (August 2010-October 2010)
Item: Red Petticoat (June 2008 - November 2008)
Item: Waistcoat (October 2007 - June 2008)
Outfit: Splendor Solis Kirtle (September 2007 - January 2008)
Outfit: English Fitted Gown in green wool (October 2006 - May 2007)
Item: Breeches in the Venetian style (April 2007 - May 2007)
Accessory: Open Red Wool Hood (January 2007)
Accessory: Gathered Partlet (Nov 2006)
Item: Surcote Lining Kirtle (Aug 2006 - Sept 2006 )
Item: Gothic Army Dress (Jun 2005 - Jun 2006 )
Item: Test Doublet (Nov 2004 - Jun 2006 )
Item: Surcote For My GFDs (Mar 2006 - May 2006)
Item: A Spanish Ropa (Jun 2005 - Nov 2005)
Accessory: Sture Shirt For A lady (May 2005 - Aug 2005)
Outfit: Doublet Bodice Kirtle with laced in sleeves (Apr 2005 - May 2005 )
Outfit: The Plum Wool Gothic Fitted Dress including chemise (Aug 2004 - May 2005)
Accessory: French Hood, to go with the Tudor Court gown (Nov 2004 - Jan 2005)
Accessory: White Linen Partlet (Jul 2004)
Outfit: Tudor Court Gown including blackworked smock (Dec 2003 - Jul 2004)
Outfit: Tudor Working Class outfit, including petticoat, caul and apron (Jun 2004 - Jul 2004)
Item: The Brown Bliaut (Jun 2004) - May it rest in pieces
Accessory: Black Wool Partlet (Jun 2004)
Outfit: The Blue Cotehardie and Kirtle (Nov 2003 - Dec 2003)
Item: The Red Bliaut (Jun 2003) - Decommissioned
Item: Three quarter Circle Cloak (Feb 2003) - Sold (May 2005)
Accessory: Liripipe Hood (Jan 2003)

Finished 16th Century Projects

The Black Wool Partlet

16th Century
Black wool, linen-lined, partlet
Jun 2004

Working Class Tudor

16th Century England
Front view
Jun 2004 - Jul 2004
Diary - Pictures

The Tudor Court Gown

Early-Mid 16th Century England
Full Frontal Frock
Dec 2003 - Jul 2004
Diary - Pictures

The White Linen Partlet

16th Century
The new linen partlet with modest collar
Jul 2004

French Hood

16th Century England
The finished hood
Nov 2004 - Jan 2005

Doublet Bodice Kirtle

16th Century England
The dress finished, from the front
Apr 2005 - May 2005
Diary - Pictures

A Sture Fhirt For A Lady

16th Century Sweden
My shirt
May 2005 - Aug 2005

The Spanish Ropa

16th Century Spain
Spanish Ropa
Jun 2005 - Nov 2005

The Test Doublet

16th Century England
Finished doublet - nearly
Nov 2004 - Jun 2006

Linen Kirtle

16th Century England
Finished kirtle
Aug 2006 - Sept 2006

Gathered Partlet

16th Century England
Gathered Partlet
Nov 2006


16th Century
A Pair of Breeches
Apr 2007 - May 2007

English Fitted Gown

16th Century England
Finished gown, worn at Double Wars XXI 2008
Oct 2006 - May 2007

Splendor Solis Kirtle

1530s Germany
Slashed bodice, side
Sep 2007 - Jan 2008
Diary - Pictures


1600 England
Waistcoat finished
Oct 2007 - Jun 2008

Red Petticoat

15th C England
My Best Red Petticoat finished
Jun 2008 - Nov 2008

Turkish Morning Gown

1570s-80s Spain
The Turkish Morning Gown
Aug 2010 - Oct 2010

Green Florentine Dream

1560s Florence
The Green Florentine Dream Gown
Jan 2008 - Aug 2012

Black Velvet Gown

1560s England
Black velvet gown
Jan 2012 - Mar 2012

Finished 15th Century Projects

The Liripipe Hood

14th Century
Liripipe hood
Jan 2003

Blue Cotehardie and Kirtle

Early 15th Century France
A cotehardie and kirtle outfit
Nov 2003 - Dec 2003
Diary - Pictures

Plum Gothic Fitted Dress

1410 France
The finished dress
Aug 2004 - May 2005
Diary - Pictures

A Surcote For My GFDs

1410 France
1410 surcote
Mar 2006 - May 2006

Gothic Army Dress

15th Century England
Gothic Army Dress
Jun 2005 - Jun 2006

Open Red Wool Hood

15th Century
Finished open hood
Jan 2007

Finished 12th Century Projects

The 3/4 Circle Cloak

Feb 2003

The Red Dress

12th Century France
The red dress
Jun 2003 - Diary

The Brown Bliaut

12th Century France
The Ugly Bliaut
Jun 2004

Note that the cards with a grey background are outfits I no longer have.

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