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!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Beginning of April 2010: Eyelets, a Hem and a Finished Product!

And on April 1st 2010 after 4 months of hand sewing I finally completed the first piece in my quest! The green kirtle is complete!
In a flurry of activity this past week I was able to get much done. First came the eyelets. Using the same techniques that I learned to complete the eyelets on the brown kirtle I made months ago I proceeded to sew 18 eyelets onto my new green kirtle. When it came to the choice of thread, the fabric store did not offer much. I had a choice between polyester buttonhole twist or cotton quilting thread. Although the buttonhole twist would be heavier I did not want to tarnish the finish of my kirtle with polyester so I purchased the quilting thread, hoping I could double it up for thickness. As it happens, though, I was spending an evening with my mentors, Estela and Cristiana. Once they knew my intentions there was a furtive search in their stash of sewing materials and lo and behold, a spool of 100% linen thread, nice and heavy, and in the perfect colour was found! We waxed it up and I began my eyelets!

Below is a photo of the 18 completed eyelets:

The next and final job was the hem. And the hem was the purpose of my evening with Estela and Cristiana. After a rather unsuccessful attempt at measuring up the hem myself at home I realized I would need help. So that evening I tried on the kirtle and thankfully had Estela trim around the bottom of the dress while I stood with it on. A perfect way to measure up a hem! The next day I proceeded to press up the hem. Estela had given me a wonderful tip in easing the fullness of the hem and it worked beautifully. I pressed up the edge about a 1/4 of an inch, then ran a loose running stitch around the edge. I could then pull up the thread to ease in the fullness as I pressed down the hem. A little trim here and a little adjusting there and I had a hem marked up.
Below are two photos, the first showing how the hem is gathered with the running stitch and the second showing how nicely it presses down:

And on the evening of April the 1st I hand stitched that hem, using a nice even and close together running stitch and with that the kirtle was complete!

Below I would like to present to you the finished product in front, side and back views!

Now to start all over again and begin the construction of the red surcoat!

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