I am very new to the SCA, having only been a member for a few months. I heard about this wonderful challenge and thought it would be a perfect project for me.
To give you a little background, I have been sewing by machine for about 20 years, but I do not consider myself a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination. I started off using mundane clothing patterns years ago but alas I became bored and moved on to more crafty projects. These crafty projects lead me into what has been my major pastime for a number of years...fabric art. Specifically I have created many quilted fabric art wall hangings. They are all my own designs and I have enjoyed making them immensely. Although I have had lots of sewing experience I must point out that I have no formal training. In fact, I have always been rather independant in my sewing by trying things out on my own and doing what works for me rather than following rules. I must also point out that I have done all this almost exclusively by machine sewing. I would avoid hand sewing anything (for lack of a better term) like the plague!
So, why this challenge and why now?
Well, of course once I joined the SCA I realized that I would have to sew my own clothing to wear. I always thought I hated sewing clothing and I gave up doing that a long time ago. But once I started sewing some medieval clothing and learning about it I found I started to enjoy it. The clothing itself is art and it is feeding my creativity in a way I haven't felt for a long time. SO, when I heard about the First-time Handsewing Challenge I knew it would be perfect for me! What better way to immerse myself in the art of sewing a medieval garment than to make it all by hand myself? And being someone who believes herself to be a hater of hand sewing, this is a challenge I cannot pass up!
What to sew?
As soon as I decided I would join this challenge I knew exactly what I would make. When I was first doing some research on what time period my persona would represent I saw a picture of an illumination that I fell in love with. It is one of the plates from the Codex Manesse, an illuminated manuscript from the 14th Century. I think the outfit that the lady in the picture is wearing is beautiful. I will post a photo of it with this entry.
Now, as I said I am rather new to the SCA and am still learning, but this is my plan for this First-time Handsewing Challenge: My goal is to recreate the lady's gown and surcoat in the chosen plate depicted from the Codex Manesse illuminated manuscript as authentically as possible.
I hope you all don't mind me joining the challenge a little late...I've been rather busy over the summer and did not get around to contacting anyone about it until now! I HAVE been working on this project, but since I haven't yet begun doing the hand sewing itself I decided joining late was better than never!
Looking forward to more posts!