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Right, let’s kick off the rejuvination of larp updates by showing a few of the sewing/making projects I’ve got myself into over last 6 months. Most of it has been for my previous and current characters, but I’ve had a few requests for kit and accessories over the months, which are shown below.

Crowan Devotee Robes

The big project I was working on for Rowan, which made it’s debut at Leedsfest, was a version of my Monster robe to show Rowan’s deeper devotion to the Crowan faith. Rowan was a high ranking Sister Devotee, on the cusp of becoming a professional devotee, and I thought that her kit needed more red. So, I added more red …

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Using a pattern I have used is one I have used to make my original Monster robe when I started playing Fools and Heroes. I adapted the pattern to fit it closer to my sides should the robe be worn without armour, originally thinking it would make a good Crowan Priest should Rowan become one. The front and sides are laced to allow it to expand to accomodate armour, and the sleeves can be worn as and when they are needed. The hood detaches from the collar, allowing the garment to be versatile. On evenings at fests I wore the whole thing with sleeves and the hood to keep warm, but at Leedsfest I wore it beneath my armour. The photos below show it in action at the fest, without armour as it had to go into “repair” with the npc blacksmiths.

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(photos by Jen Sharp, 2013)

At Leedsfest Rowan was appointed as Huntsmaster, the head of the Foresters. Having already added the Hunters horn to her armband, the horn was crowned and edged, and a third stripe was added to her shoulder. Lord A384 found a cap badge with a crowned hunters horn at one of the Tynemouth market which was a perfect addition to the sash as a mark of rank.

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In preparation for Summerfest, Rowan conducted research into the land and language of Serumma, planning an trip to try and secure the aid and friendship of it’s Crown Prince. Now, things didn’t quite go as planned, but the referee was kind enough to give me a wealth of information – including a map of the country and information on the land’s knightly order, “the Knights of the Storm”. Rowan’s herald training could not be ignored, so she compiled a spotters guide just in case she met with the knights or had to identify the Crown Prince from a gathering.

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But, Rowan met her end in the fight against Von Raven. Her sash returned to the Foresters, her prayer book and scarf was given to the Crowan shrine and her personal belongings were gifted to her closest friends. The notes were sent to the Kirk Leigh library (and hopefully helped the current characters in their ventures into the country).

And so …

Sidhean Character Kit

I’m now playing a priestess of Sidhe, which has a specific set of guidelines on kit. Priests must wear robes, hood and prayer scarf to be able to do rituals – so people carry robes in a bag, some people wear them all the time, it all depends on your preference. I decided that I would incorporate robes into Miriam’s kit as it was in keeping with the character. Because of the “path” I have chosen as the character, I won’t need to be able to hold a shield or wear obvious metal armour, which allowed me to play around with layering lots of cloth. I also considered adventuring in the winter and how I would layer up ooc and ic kit.

caris  caris prioress

Using the TV series “World without End” and my own experiences of ecclesiastical garb, I pulled together something simple that would suit the task. Luckily I was able to source a range of grey cloth to create each piece, creating a blend of colours that fit with the required parameters. The bonus of finding a rich satin grey for my banquet robes was unexpected and I am very pleased with the range of “simple” but rich kit I now possess as Miriam. After all, she is a Lady.

Let me talk you through what I’ve got:-

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The under-robe is one I bought from Having a Larp at the first Nerd East event I went to. Over this is a slim “stone” grey tabard, laced at the sides, with a darker grey prayer scarf (based on an ecclesiastical stole) tucked into the belt. This prayer scarf is embroidered with a set of scales and a sword – she is from a “griffin” family, but it also represents the symbolism of “blind” justice, which I would like her to demonstrate. The scales sit on the right hand side, the sword on the left, like the statues that can be seen outside justice courts – see below:

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I couple this with my dark leather hood, also a Having a Larp purchase, over that goes the darker grey “robe”, which is styled after the ecclesiastical chasuble. I also have a satchel tucked under this robe, fingerless gloves and a few accessories: belt pouches, celther heraldry sash, prayer beads, glasses and my ribbon of prepared prayers. I also commissioned a Celther signet ring from a friend – 3D printed sterling silver, which can also be used to actually imprint on wax. Miriam also carries several embroidered and lace trimmed handkerchiefs that I had to make once I found a fantastic tutorial online.

miriam's accessories celther handkerchief

Miriam also covers her head like a respectful woman should – after all I modelled her kit after that of Caris as a nun in “World without End”. Now that she’s a Mother (a senior social rank within the church), I have added a wimple and veil to her kit, all pinned to a St Birgitta’s cap. I intend to make a grey cloak modelled on a cope should Miriam make High Mother.

st birgittas cap miriam wimple

Her banquet kit is simply a smarter tabard in dark grey satin with ribbon ties and trim, a “nicer” under robe and all her priestly equipment tucked away in a satchel. I stumbled across the satin at the market and couldn’t believe a) the price and b) that there was this beautiful dark grey satin for sale! Rather than making it plain, I trimmed the collar and the edge of the piece over the shoulders with silver ribbon to make it look more like a noble’s banquet kit. My intention is to have Miriam be a noble rather than a priest at banquets, but have my priestly stuff to hand just in case – it’s not that I don’t trust my referees at IC parties … but you never know …

miriam banquet

Miriam, being a priestess, is able to conduct rituals when properly attired. Because, in character, Miriam is a scholar and a student of the written word, I have decided that she would have time to illuminate her work, so I have made a set of cloth scrolls for her. These are made using artist’s canvas, marked up with permanent markers, cut in half and stuck back together with masking tape. This means I can simply tear along this seam when the scroll is torn during the ritual, but I don’t have to redo all the inking when I make the next one.

ritual bless weapon ritual all heal ritual commune
(Ritual of Bless Weapon, All Heal, Commune with Dead)

Other projects:

– Knightly Kit

I have been requested to make tabards for two of the knightly orders in Fools and Heroes, which have been designed to be reversible – with the plain side for the Squire and Errant, and the order symbol in felt on the other side. Below are the tabards for the Griffin and Templar Orders, though I intend to do a Black Order tabard in future.

The Griffin tabard is designed to be laced at the side, and has flaps over the shoulders as requested by the client.

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The Templar tabard has the shoulder flap but is stitched at the side, longer than my usual tabards to emulate the tabard worn by James Purefoy in “Ironclad”.

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I also made a shield cover for this client once he made Errant. The shield cover is elasticated on the back to make it easier to pull on and off at events and for washing.

templar shield

– Prayer scarfs and other sundries

I have made a number of smaller accessories and prayer scarves over the past year, improving my techniques and styles at the requests of friends and as gifts for others. Below is a selection of my work:

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Office of County Affairs armband – laced at the back; Braided twist of ribbon Rowan gave to certain friends; Rowan’s belt sash.

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Kharachian prayer scarf – red cloth, black lining and embroidered skulls at the bottom and the centre of the back of the neck.

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Warwick prayer scarf

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Rolborian Isle of Ilse monastic sash. Purple and black felt to be slipped onto the belt.

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Berwickshire Medium Infantry belt sash to match the shield stitched onto the priest’s coat as the Chaplain to the unity. Designed to fold over the belt rather than to be slipped onto the belt. The layering of the stick and sword have a specific meaning.

phoenix feather sidhe's favour
Phoenix feather made using shades of red, orange and yellow with a “religious in nature” ribbon.

Sidhean knightly favour – white satin ribbon, thread and silver beads.

bonnet

Pilgrim bonnet requested by someone starting a halfling alchemist. I managed to find a helpful tutorial online and decided to attempt to make it one evening. It’s already been tested in light rain and held up surprisingly well, and is apparently very cozy on a cold winter’s night.

tralda holy symbols

Traldan holy symbols – I’ve been making a few bits and bobs for branch kit to help restock out holy symbol collection. I found these bits at Hobbycraft and took advantage of some holiday time to make these over Christmas.

tudor doublet

Tudor doublet for my OH’s current character. It’s currently banquet kit, but could be used for a variety of purposes as npcs or other characters. The sleeves detach from the main doublet and are “split” to show the shirt beneath with button details. I used a Simplicity pattern I bought a while ago to make another doublet for monster kit, and will probably use it again to make a black doublet for my planned banquet kit for my Black Knight.

That about sums it up for my current and recent craft projects. I hope to have a few more things to show as the year progresses if my current clients are agreeable. Stay tuned for proper Larp updates!

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