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!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

February 2010: Kirtle Gores Complete and a New Deadline

Well that took me longer than I thought it would! I am happy to say, however, that I finally have all four gores sewn to the kirtle and now have the garment at a stage where I can try it on. So here I am, sewn into the kirtle, showing off my beautiful hand sewn gores!

Front View

Side View

I was extremely pleased with the results. After ironing the seams, the view on the outside of the garment is so much better than I thought it would be. Close-ups of the front and side views reveal that the seams are almost invisible.

Front View Close Up

Side View Close Up

With this said, my original plan for finishing the inside edges of the fabric was to fold them over and whip stitch them to the kirtle. After showing Estela my results she said that the view of the seams on the outside of the dress were so well done that I should not want to ruin the view by creating another line of stitching that would be visible on the outside of the garment. She then suggested that to finish the edges inside of the garment I should fold over each edge and whip stitch the edges without attaching them to the garment itself. According to the written material found in the kirtle pattern (14th Century Woman's Kirtle Instructions), the information on period stitches found on the last two pates of the instructions talk of the whip stitch being used for finishing raw edges. With this information I was assured that finishing the edges as such would be keeping the project in period as well as preserving the beautiful finish of the dress. Here are some photos of the seams up close on the outside as well as a view of the finished edges on the inside:

Close up view of finished gore on outside.

Close up view of finished edges on inside.
Close up view of underneath finished edge on inside.

I have not yet completed the finishing of all the seam edges so that is my next task. Once that is finished I can move onto the next step in constructing the kirtle...perhaps the sleeves.
At this point I'd like to make a modification to my goal. The First Time Hand Sewing Challenge was befun in June of 2009 to be completed in June of 2010, giving one year to complete the project. Since I did not start the actual project until November of 2009 I believe it would not be out of the question to consider my deadline to be November 2010. I would like to say I could get my entire project done by June of 2010, but I think it would be unrealistic. I'd rather extend my deadline and do a great job than keep to the original deadline and rush.
So, my deadline will now be November 2010. With this said, I'm hoping to wear my new outfit for this year's "Herne the Hunter" SCA event held in my area.