Previously I wrote a little on the inspirations for my currently knightly character in the LARP system Fools and Heroes, Dame Ravenna Corvidae, and mentioned a few other items I had in mind to make to continue to develop her knightly kit.
Not long before the post went online my character was unceremoniously catapulted to the position of Head of her Order by the unfortunate demise of her predecessor, so I decided that it might be a suitable time to make the additional items as a form of Head of Order regalia she has adopted.
See below for how I made my Black Order Livery Collar, a crocheted snood/hair net and the additional items for Dame Ravenna Corvidae.
The Head of Order Sash
The heads of the knightly orders are required to wear a sash to denote their seniority (as stated in the refs guide) and for the Black Order this one has to be red. I had some red cloth left over from some other project and went digging through my stash box to see what else I could find. I had in mind something similar to a previous Head of Order and just have a wide band that would sit between the sword belt and the armour, similar to a minor inspiration on my character kit – Ezio Auditore di Firenze.
With this in mind I ended up with a very complicated thing sketched out on paper – with lacing up and a long falling piece that folded over the join and hid it so it could be used in armour and at banquets – but the practicalities of dressing in a field scrapped that idea.
So I toyed around with the idea of a cummerbund style item but I discarded it again when I tried to think how to make it fit around both armour and a natural waistline. The idea of trying to tie up lacing in a hurry didn’t appeal and I have no idea how these things actually work …
So I went back to the good old sash wearing traditions – pirates.
After a bit of hunting around the web, looking at tutorials for Captain Jack Sparrow’s sash, pirate belts, formal sashes, shawls tied on the hip (all just to get some ideas and some dimensions for cloth to hunt through the stash for) I stumbled across this – Tiger Lee’s Pirate Fashion – and his videos on youtube. After watching the one about putting on a Man’s sash (which gave the image I was looking for) and the difference between a man and a woman’s sash, I decided I would cease my inspiration hunting and start stash digging.
Unfortunately my stash digging was mixed – I had a piece left that was long enough to wrap around my waist and hang longer than a woman’s sash but wasn’t long enough to wrap around twice, so I ended up tying it at the side like a woman’s sash but folding it like a man’s to go under the sword belt.
Rather than cut the sash material in two and waste the material in a seam I folded the material in half and sewed up the middle, leaving the ends and centre open before rolling the new sewn seam into the middle of the sash’s width, pressing and squaring off the ends. This means you end up with a wide rectangle sash with a centre seam that can be worn on the inside to hide it. I hand-sewed up the opening with a quick slip stitch and tried it on with my newly trimmed tabard. However, something was missing.
I ended up making a cockleshell trim out of red crochet wool from my crochet stitch book and hand-sewed it onto the lower edges to give a bit of tassel effect. It helps add a bit of weight to the hanging edges and a bit of visual detail without shedding threads everywhere.
I may have to make another longer one for banquets, but I am thinking about it …
As a senior knight of the Black Order the Head of Order, Liege Knight and Order Knight are permitted to edge their tabards in red. I pulled the remains of a satin ribbon reel out of my stash (yay stash busting) and sewed it onto the long edge of my tabard to complete the upgrade to kit.
The Black Order Livery Collar
With my Tudor/Elizabethan inspired banquet gear I made the decision to not wear the Order tabard so as to show off my hard work and my character’s fashion choices. However, the Orders all carry a great deal of pride in members of their Order and in my mind the Head of Order should have a greater care in their appearance and garb. Having found plenty of examples of livery collar in Tudor/Elizabethan paintings and amongst the SCA I had been drafting a design for a similar chain for my knight. As Head of Order I decided that this would be a way of showing the Order symbol front and centre at banquets in an unusual manner. Livery Collars were originally ways to declare your loyalty to a person or household, so I had to include the Order symbol in somehow.
I had a look around Ebay for jewellery pieces that fit the idea I had in mind, and used Kaloethina’s Roman Wirework tutorial for inspiration. Building the focal point around a White Rose Apparel Black Order symbol, I ordered Red Agate cabochons to glue on the ordered picture frames and had ordered Hematite beads to sit in the celtic circles but they were a bit big when they arrived, so I ended up swapping out the hematite for some Snow Flake Obsidian beads I had used to make a bracelet (that was rarely worn). Combined with some flat circular medallions and some silver connecting pieces I sketched out a rough pattern mimicking some of the fancy collars I had seen.
I ended up stringing the whole lot together with double silver jump rings to strengthen the joints and carefully lay the collar over my shoulders. It kept falling forward when last worn, so I may end up shortening the collar by a section or two so that it rests on the back of my shirt properly and the symbol is at the correct height. Worn with my two in-character holy symbols and my earring, this finishes the collection of jewellery my character wears.
The snood/hair net
Having studied paintings and pictures (and costume dramas for the period in mind) I decided that I wanted to tuck my hair up in a series of braids with a hair net/snood at the back. Reading around the web was a little daunting for a beginner crochet-er like me, but I found a user friendly tutorial on Wild Chestnuts for a beaded snood that looked exactly what I wanted (so much so my OH was startled out of his chair by my exclamation of glee). I ended up making mine out of red crochet wool without the beads and used a larger hook than suggested as I lose track of where my stitches are at times.
I have no photos of how I ended up doing my hair with the braids and silver ribbon at the front, and red snood at the back, but the snood is a bit small and I will likely end up trying my hand at another should it frustrate me enough. For my last event however it worked (with lots and lots of pins) and didn’t fall off, so I declare this a semi-success and will move on …
For now however I have found a use for the belt pouch I made in the first belt pouch tutorial – for keeping the finer parts of my Knightly Regalia in one place!
And with that, this inspiration update concludes the look at my recent kit creations for my Black Knight Dame Ravenna Corvidae.