We’re finally in Advent, which for many is a time of preparation and waiting. It is also a time of year that people look back on what has been and look forward to what is to come. So it’s the perfect time to look towards next year, and the blog, and plot and scheme about sewing projects.
Prepare for a ramble post!
For the last few years some of the blogs I follow have got involved in the Historical Sew Monthly / Fortnightly challenge, which have led to some marvellous and inspiring garments and makes. With these in mind, and a recent recall of old content on Historical Sewing, I have decided to embark on a mad cap scheme in 2018.
Reading Jennifer Rosburgh‘s blog post on what would be required to build a dream regency wardrobe, my thoughts have turned to what would make a dream wardrobe for my current LARP character. Now I can’t afford to make lots and lots of beautiful court gowns or have them trailing around in the mud, but I can aspire to have (more) LARP appropriate attire which has some historical basis.
So it is my intention to make my Lady-Knight some new attire and document it here on the blog. My thoughts presently are to make a chemise or undergown, with a kirtle style dress, an improved version of my signature black robe, and accessories – namely a better veil and wimple and maybe even a hat (because everyone needs a hat). Right now I intend to have this attire complete for the big summer gathering, to be worn at the event if my Knight is still fighting as a Knight-of-the-Realm.
It takes a while to plan something like this, but from my own background reading and collecting over the years I’ve been making kit I have vague ideas that I hope to bring to fruition – or if not part of this project simply make anyway.
The starting place for any kit project is getting an idea of the shape you wish to have. The great thing about LARP is that we are not required to be period specific or entirely accurate (most of the time). However I am going to attempt a modicum of historical inspiration, and so I turn to a book a friend bought me for a Christmas present.
Layers form an important part of kit, which leads me to consider properly layering attire. My thoughts are that I could make a proper shift / smock / chemise to go under my gown to help mask my modern layers, to then make a supporting kirtle or overdress to go on top, followed by the robe etc. However self-drafting is something I have very little experience of, so the dreams of re-enactment style kit may be a long long way off, but I can make do with some of the tried and tested patterns I already use. For those interested in making actual historical garments I include links to tutorials and blog posts that might kick start your kit dreaming.
Supportive smock and a word of warning about length ~ supportive kirtle ~ another supportive kirtle ~ St Birgitta gown ~ and a pretty dress that would be very impractical in a field (but we’re simply dreaming … and its not quite the right period for what I have in mind *sigh*) ~ Another pretty dress to admire which is a bit more in keeping with style
The patterns that are likely to form the basis for this project are commercial patterns by Simplicity that I might tweak a bit.
The pattern on the left might look familiar to some of you as this is the pattern I used to make my Rose and Cream banquet gown and formed the basis of the summer dress I once wore as a previous character. The pattern in the middle is one I have had in my stash for awhile and I think with a few tweaks it might be a nice addition to the collection. Can anyone else picture a Lady-Knight at ease wandering the camp in something swooshy, then rolling up her sleeves to get stuck into a skirmish?
Taking inspiration from a beautiful coat made by Morgan Donner, and Couture Mayah’s beautiful Houppelande I’ve need something to pin or lace my fancy sleeves to or to sweep elegantly in on the cool summer nights. The robe currently worn is a little too long for practicality (though it does drape beautifully and trail on the floor like a train), so I think I should make an update and some adjustments to my go-to pattern – watch this space.
As always things need accessories. I made an 18th century style pocket to go with my banquet attire but its not quite big enough to tuck the various things I want to keep close at hand. So I will make a better one like Morgan Donner’s Assassin’s Creed pocket or take a leaf from Katafalk’s book and make a textile purse to hang from my belt. I also need a new veil and wimple after last summer’s heat wave – to avoid a repeat of trekking into camp and having people think I was about to pass out from heat stroke after simply getting changed in my tent (!) – but I already have the material set aside for this. Here’s a reminder of the ways to make a wimple and veil and how to wear them, courtesy of Neulakko. I’ve always admired the look of Katafalk’s gollar and buttoned liripipe hood, but these may be a bit too much for attire worn when not in armour … on second thoughts I may need to rein in my plans. The Completely Dressed Anachronist wears a gollar and hood together for her winter garb – but sadly I have no need for fancy winter kit.
But these are my thoughts and plans for a specific LARP kit project for 2018. I hope you will join me on my challenge.