Introduction to the Challenge

This challenge is specifically set towards those that have not had the opportunity to sew a garment/object by hand. This challenge is NOT a competion, merely a place for new handsewers to document their progress and seek feedback and help, and to challenge themselves. Sewers that are experienced in hand stitching items will not be excluded, but this is meant as a chance for those with no experience in this realm to get a start.The Challenge I propose is that all persons joining the challenge pick a garment or object of textile nature, no matter how small or large, i.e. a pilgrim bag, a Coif or any type of hat, socks, flag, gloves etc., and have at least one form of documentation for its existence during the SCA time period. Acceptable forms of documentation for this project will be paintings/woodcuts/drawings with the desired object in it or a picture of the desired object.The challenge starts first of June and will end one year later. People can join the challenge at any time during this year. Those of you with handsewing experience are invited to follow the blog, and leave comments and feedback as the challenge progresses. The challenge is based in Drachenwald, but is open to all kingdoms.
If you would like to join the challenge (and the blog) please email me at to be added!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Excuses, Excuses's been a while...again! But I have good excuses!

My first excuse: My fabric took more time to arrive than I had anticipated. My second excuse: I seemed to come down with that dreaded Swine (H1N1) Flu! For anyone who has had it, it packs a punch!

However, while waiting for my fabric, and before contracting the flu, I decided I couldn't sit around and do nothing. I knew I had an event I wanted to attend on November 28th (Herne the Hunter) and I was not happy with any of my attempts at outfits thus far. As you may recall, I have only been in the SCA for a few months and have been through a LOT of education!

I had a brown dress I had made for previous events, but I wasn't happy with it. It had "princess seams" which I was told wasn't correct for my 14th Century persona by my mentor, Estela. Aside from that, it didn't fit as well as I thought it did when I first made it. So, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to try out my new fitted kirtle pattern for real. Making the kirtle by machine out of good fabric would help me work out any last minute "bugs" before using the pattern for my hand sewing project.

This turned out to be a fabulous idea. Not only did I find out that I needed to take in the seams just a little more at the sides than they had been on my "mock-up", but I also had the opportunity to learn how to sew the eyelets. I had only ever done buttonholes on machine. I have never done eyelets before, probably because they would need to be done by hand! So, I received some instruction from my mentor, Christiana, and I was on my way! Here are some pictures of my very first and second practice eyelets...I think I improved greatly on the second one!:

And here are a couple of photos of the eyelets on my new brown kirtle along with a good view of the fit. The eyelets were definitely a good thing to work on while I was sitting around trying to recover from the flu! I think I did a pretty good job!

And for the grand finale, here are my "Before" and "After" photos. The look on my face says it all...the second photo of me in my proper 14th Century brown kirtle shows much improvement, I think!

So, now I know my kirtle fits properly I am satisfied that my hand sewing project will be a success.
And I even have the fabric now, so I will be starting asap!