Greetings all. With all that’s been happening and keeping up with the weekly tales of our heroes in Ithron and a few more personal posts I realised I have been neglectful of my “walk-through” posts. So here are some belated projects I’d like to share with you of recent kit I’ve been turning my hands to.
When I made the jacket for Tungdil last spring I fully intended to make the coat to go over it with a furred collar. My OH chose all the fabrics when we were shopping for his jacket, but we let the pile languish a while whilst other projects took priority (oops).
Using the pattern from the Hobbit inspired Dwarf costumes (Simplicity 1552) we decided to tweak the colours a little of “Thorin’s Coat” (Pattern C) to be a bit more Tungdil. My OH found a lovely brown and gold fabric which took his fancy and which went nicely with the red and gold tones he’d selected for his jacket. I insisted we go for a more muted colours for the coat so that it could be reused for nobles/merchants/knights in future, and we eventually picked up a brown cotton velvet (my favourite, but not my favourite to cut) and some grey fake fur for the collar. Fake fur needs a bit of love and care in cutting and in washing afterwards (otherwise it curls and looks a bit like a sheepskin …) but it’s not as scary as all that. For hints and tips for sewing with faux fur click here for a video prepared by Simplicity.
I followed the pattern, cutting the sleeves and front and collar facings from the same material, using a bit of fussy cutting to try and match the patterns for the sleeves and to get the most out of the material I had. If you have a patterned material you’re working with it’s best to buy a little extra to match patterns/stripes/fussy cut if needs be. I cut the base of the fur collar from the coat material for a bit of weight and to tie it into the coat itself.
The coat itself has no fastenings or closures and it generous enough to go over a belt and some gear, without looking too bulky when worn simply over the jacket (as shown). The jacket was discussed in a previous post here.
Brigit’s summer dress
Having ditched my tunic at Leedsfest due to how hot and uncomfortable I was getting given I thought I had to wear robes over the top. How wrong I was! Some fellow larpers pointed out that I could get away with having a dress in my church colour and wear a separate hood (like I already do) which suddenly opened up a huge world of possibilities for kit!
I decided to make a red polycotton version of my white underdress (Simplicity 1773) with a mind to using it as an underdress during the winter, with small round buttons down the sleeves. Given it was going to get worn alot I decided to try and ditch the need for a zip and found that with a bit of adjustment in the back seam I was able to fit the dress better. It proved to be a lovely breezy alternative to my other kit and expanded my summer gear to the point where I could afford to get sodden at Summerfest (as I did). However, it did lead to my next project to solve a problem with fit at the shoulder, something which I could change in future with widening the straps at the shoulders.
Polycotton is not an ideal material for being worn close to the body as it retains sweat rather than wicking it away, but I was lucky that I chose a lighterweight material (for the price) which means the dress as a whole is fairly breezy and doesn’t cling heavily around the body in the warmth. I would strongly advise doing material research before making something like this and opt for cottons / linens for more “intimate” layers that will be close to the body.
My first time out with my red gown I found that my shoulders kept slipping when I was engaged in combat and whilst it wasn’t too much of a problem I was forever having to hoik my shoulders back up. To stop this in future and to give myself a bit of modesty/confidence when wearing a sports bra underneath, I decided to experiment with making a shirt/partlet. It’s technically not a partlet as it has a long body to the shirt, but it could easily be lengthened into a chemise in the future when I inevertibly tinker again.
The shirt is basically a modified version of a man’s tudor shirt (Simplicity 4059) without the sleeves and using the collar variant of Pattern B, made out of some cotton lining I had left over from some other project (go stash busting!)
The shirt has had a hook and eye added, then removed when I found it kept coming undone when in combat. To allow me to open and close the neckline I have sewn an edge of loops and braided a cord out of crochet wool which can be woven through the loops as I choose. I’ve very happy with how this has turned out and have other plans to make similar additions to kit to develop Brigit’s Tudor/Elizabethan turning wardrobe.
When Brigit was made Chaplain Griffin I found myself in need of a belt sash or something quickly. I was tempted to make a tabard, but it would have changed all my kit and that wouldn’t do … so I decided it would be better to have an understated sash and leave the tabards to the Griffins. They can also keep their green trim.
Having found this tutorial aimed at making SCA Belt Favours by Morgan Donner I was immediately enchanted by the cunning little pocket on the back. Digging through my stash I found I had enough bits of black material to make a little belt sash and luckily I had a swathe of green felt from the last round of griffins I made.
I squared off the outer piece of cloth and then did my “look and see” maths, roughly estimating the amount of cloth I would be folding over to make the belt loop for most of my belts, and seeing what I had left to be the hanging pennant. Luckily I had enough, so I roughly sketched my point on with tailor’s pencil, and machine stitched the teeny green griffin onto the main part of the “shield” end before embroidering a few details in the remains of my black embroidery floss. I also guess-timated the amount of cloth I needed to make the back of the pocket by laying my books at the widest part of the point and draping the cloth ontop (not entirely scientific, but this was a “how much stuff do I have to use” project). After finding the biggest bit I trimmed it to shape, rolled and hemmed the upper edge of this pocket, and cut the lining from a piece of black satin lining I’ve had lingering around from a past project, using the front rectangle as my guide. I was lucky that I just had enough for the length, but it was a little bit narrow but with careful placement I knew it would be ok.
I then followed the tutorial to stitch it all together; trimming, pressing and turning the sash as directed, then hoped and hoped that I’d got the pocket on the right side (spoiler, I had!) and then pressed the whole lot flat.
This project took about an afternoon, and currently sits on my belt draped over my large belt pouch when I’m off adventuring.
Brigit’s cloak/hood combo
In becoming Chaplain Brigit’s kit is beginning to morph into finer items that I think are more befitting her rank and social status. I bought a gown from Having a Larp over the summer and am currently wearing it as an overdress now the weather has turned (and I am resisting the desire to go buy ALL THE FABRIC and make the overdress I have planned to go with the red dress). However, with the weather turning I am finding that I am getting cold – and I mean really cold! My lovely long red cloak is brilliant for the summer and very snuggly, but it absorbs water really easily and it can get very heavy and drags when sodden. So I decided I wanted to make a nice short capelet/cloak with some stuff I had in my stash (another stash busting project!) and make something fight friendly but warm for winter.
After searching for cape patterns online (and finding the perfect one only to find it was for a skinny person!) I gave in and hunted through my cloth stash and pulled out everything I thought might be useful. After contemplating another cape pattern I had I determined I would have to eyeball it myself and make it up on the fly. Eep …
I decided to make a circle cloak and add the hood pattern I love from Simplicity 5840 to give the cover I wanted. I also know that hood pattern works, so why fix what’s not broken, right? I ended up cutting a half circle out of the material I had of an outer and lining and cut the hood pattern twice from the same materials. I had to do a bit of cunning cutting and added in a seam along the top of the hood (normally cut on the fold) accommodate the largest pieces of cloth I had. The outer comes from from Morgan’s demonology robe and has a with a lovely rich and rough texture, and the lining is the remains of the material from the accompanying demonology waistcoat with its deep red and golden patterning for a bit of bling! I also cut a long rectangle of red fleece to stitch around the hood for a bit of warmth. I was tempted to add some fake fur as a fringe around the hood opening, but decided against it given my current track record of washing larp kit with fake fur …
I sewed in the darts on the hood lining and outer, sewed the two halves of the hoods together, and after some debate sewed the fleece strip to the outside of the lining so that it would be visible when worn. Treating it like a facing I pinned the rectangle of fleece to the outside of the lining and sewed a narrow seam along the front of the hood so it would be caught into the hood when all sewn together, then pinned the rectangle down and sewed a straight seam along the selvage edge of the fleece to secure it to the lining. I folded the lining neckline up to the seam allowance I wanted and pressed this into a crisp fold to sew over the neck seam, before sewing the outer and lining together like normal, and turned the hood and checked everything was looking ok.
I hemmed the lining sides and bottom edge (it was already shorter than the outer layer so I thought to keep it loose like a skirt lining) and sewed a fold of ribbon in at the neck midpoint to allow the cloak to be hung on a hook in future. Sewing the outer and lining together with a narrow seam at the neck I then folded the front edges over the hemmed lining and sewed it closed, tucking the raw edges inside. I rolled the bottom hem, sewed the hood outer to the cape neckline, pressed the seam up into the hood and hand sewed the lining closed over the seam.
At this point I thought about what I wanted to do with closing the hood. Given I had only cut a half circle the cape itself was a little snug when pulled closed (next time I need to put in a bit more thought and make a 3/4 or full circle cloak …) I wanted to be able to wear it closed or open with little fuss. Looking back at my Elizabethan capelet I worked on for Ravenna, I decided to braid together some crochet wool and sew some loops down the front edges to lace together the cape as loosely or tight as I wished. I sewed the braided cord into the ditch formed between the hood and cape on the outside so that it could be simply slung on and tied in place in a hurry, or laced together like planned and so far the hood has held up to the rigors of a sodden day adventuring.