Monday, November 9, 2015

SCA Resume -

My Pelican - (golly that's weird to type) asked me to make up an SCA Resume. I've never seen one, but this is my best effort:

Fortune Sancte Keyne

Shire of Quintavia East Kingdom

Objective: To become a Tyger of the East. To have left a mark on the East Kingdom so that it was improved & would not be the same should I have never played in the SCA.
The Tyger of the East Badge

Event Steward:
  • Stonemarche Baronial Birthday - 2011
    • Household effort to autocrat
      • Primary liason between the site
      • Wrote up event listing, budget and proposal
      • Organized clean-up and set-up
    • Potluck event at the Kimball Jenkins Art Studios

  • Simply Allegorical - 2014       
    • Co-Autocrat with Simona bat Leon  
    • 130 person ball and feast event
    • Extremely successful event
  • Quintavia Shire Yule - 2015
    • Potluck Shire gathering
    • Gift swap organized

Assisted in the following Feasts:
  • Harper’s Retreat 2009
    • The kitchen failed around us, we lost half the stove burners and two ovens
    • Made the plum tart dessert
    • Prevented crying
  • Harper’s Retreat 2012
    • Ran the serving staff & Cooked
  • Carolingian 40th – prior to event cooking prep help
  • Harper's Retreat 2008, 2009, and more
  • Duello 2010 ran Gate with Simona bat Leon
  • Hrim Schola 2013
  • Birka 2011-2015
  • More I'm sure I'm forgetting
  • Royal:
            -Edward and Marguerite
- loaned as retainer to Artemesia with Simona bat Leon for King Daman MacMillan & Queen Veronique D'Arcy
            -Edward II and Thyra I
            -Edward III and Thyra II
            -Kenric I and Avelina I
            -Gregor and Kiena    
  • Baronial:
- Baron Juan Lazaro Ramirez Xavier and Baroness Maria Pagani
- Baron Dorio of the Oaks and Baroness Jocelyn del Espada
- Baron Rob McMinn and Baroness Emma McMinn
- Baron Colin Ursell and Baroness Nicolette Bonhomme
Note: Bianca and I retained during a very overwhelming part of their investiture, the meeting of House Runneymeade and receiving of gifts.
Service at Pennsic:
                               Pennsic East Kingdom Gate – 2008-2012, 2014
                               Herald’s Point
                                         -Coloring and Data Entry 2009-2012
                                         -Ran front of house for the afternoon Wednesday War Week 2014
                               Pennsic Hospitality Tent 2015
                                               -organized a Household shift to man the Hospitality Tent            
                       Fundraising Coordinator for Edward II and Thyra I
                       Created the Investiture Garments for Baron Dorio of the Oaks and Jocelyn del Espada

                       Created the Quintavia Defender Half-Cloaks
- Five pieced, appliqued and embroidered half cloaks

Assisted in creating the Stonemarche Server Tabards with Siobhann Floyd
Worked Security at Birka 2004-2010
Waterbearing at Sommer Draw

Chatelaine –Shire of Quintavia
7/2011 to present
Recruited several gentles AND coaxed veterans to come out and play with Quintavia
Started the stART on the Street demo (street fair of 10,000+ people)
Made the local papers twice! 

  • West Boylston Fall Festival 2011, 2012, 2014 (certain years this falls on Coronation)
  • Franklin Charter School Demo 2012, 2013, 2014 (sadly program cut)
  • stART on the Street 2013, 2014, 2015*
  • Webelos Blue and Gold 2015
  • Quintavia Open House 2014*
  • You Inc Fall Youth Demo 2014, 2015
*created this demo

  •  Award of Arms 
Andreas IV and Gabrielle II
Their Coronation - Concordia of the Snows
April 2009
Notes: As Fortune St. Tysilio
  • Seamstress to the Baroness
Barony of Stonemarche,
Notes: Creation of a Venetian gown for Baronessa Maria
Including cut velvet sleeves for Birka
  • Seamstress to the Crown
Edward and Marguerite
Edward II and Thyra I
Notes: Created the first regalia for Edward and Thyra for Tir Mara
A heraldic surcoat for her and a heraldic hood for him
  • Queen’s Esteem of Merit - Thyra II
Black Rose Ball 39
Notes: For always being willing to do whatever demo or event her Majesty asks
  • Keeper of the Light of Quintavia
Quintavia Yule 2012
Inspiring service in the Shire

                        Order of the Furison
Baronial Order– Barony of Stonemarche
Inducted: Harper’s Retreat 2012

Classes Taught:

                        Late Period Venetian Women’s Clothing
                                    Harper’s Retreat 2009
                        Pilgrim Bag
                                    Harper’s Retreat 2010
                        Quick and Dirty Viking Gown
                                    Harper’s Retreat 2011
                                    East Kingdom University 2015
                        Italian Working Class Dress/Fruitseller Dress
                                    Harper’s Retreat 2010
                        Venetian Drawers
                                    Great Northeastern War 2014
                                    Pennsic 44 2015
Rountable Classes Led:

                        SCA Bargain Shopping
                                    Harper’s Retreat 2010
                        Courtesan Persona Roundtable
                                    Pennsic 44 2015
Protege to Master Dorio of the Oaks - October 2015

Further Resources:

            EastKingdom Wiki Page:

           Pinterest: msfortune

Sunday, November 8, 2015

... has left the building

So I didn't post at all in October. I think I just made up for it.

I'm Lady Fortune, and I'm a hugger!

So, as we reviewed in this post, the Birka Queen's Challenge for 2016 is PIXAR.

My garb will be based off the following character from Toy Story 3:

It's really fitting. Scarily fitting
Lotso Huggin' Bear!

Evil Overload of cuteness
He smells like strawberries!

You see, I've had the length of fuchsia damask in my stash for a couple years and I keep passing it when sewing other projects and I realized when this was announced this is what that fabric was waiting for.

If you haven't seen Toy Story 3, it's wonderful. If you're in your late twenties early thirties you might want to watch it with a box of tissues. I saw it at the Leicester Drive-in with friends, and we all got teary. Just a minivan full of weepy late 20-somethings. Move along...

And if you HAVE seen Toy Story 3 you know the secret: Lotso is the villain. The strawberry-scented evil overlord of Sunnyside Daycare Center.

That's more like the real Lotso.
The dress style I have come to favor are the extremely low necked dresses of the Venetian region from 1515-1530 or so. Which is perfect with his white belly, it's the the low scoop front of one of those gown.

Portrait of a Married Couple - Lorenzo Lotto
c. 1523-24
The Hermiage, St Petersburg

The Seduction - Giovanni Cariani
c. 1515-1516
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg
Three Courtesans and Four Gentleman - Giovanni Cariani
c 1515
Private Collection
The dress in white here is what I'm basing my preliminary sketch on for the most part. See here for the finished product!

I'm unsure if I'll do the mallet right yet...

I've also created a strawberry shaped pouch to wear that I'm beading in tiny gold seed beads and embroidering the green leaves.

I based the pattern off of a the Strawberry Treat Box on Oh Happy Day!

It's so cute!

The pattern
I patterned out the pouch on red wool, left over from Viking Sailor Moon. A total of 5 panels.

The strawberry takes shape!
 The felt is all one piece, I just did a small whip stitch on the edges of the panels to give it some shape and body. This way the panels know where to fold when the top drawstring is closed.

The leaves!
 The leaves were drafted by trial and error. I liked the layered look of the different leaves.

What a finished panel will look like.

As we all know, I get impatient and have to see how things will look when done. I'm not 100% sold on the gold blanket stitching, but it does give some definition to the leaves.

I'm very excited for this challenge.

Tho and the dinosaur- a tale of joy and serendipity

Our gracious and wise queen Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain (KEE-lin, it's gaelic, ignore the letters they added for posterity) has issued a garb challenge for Market Day at Birka for the East Kingdom.

Lady Syele von Heidelberg announced the challenge on the East Kingdom Facebook on October 5th:
"Greetings, people of the East! Her most royal Majesty Caoilfhionn has issued a Garb Challenge to the good gentles attending the Market Day at Birka. She desires to see the skill with needle and thread of the populace in interpreting the theme, "Characters of Pixar."
If you must, turn yourselves Inside Out in order to find the perfect Toy, Story book, or other accessory to adequately display your Incredible interpretation of the challenge. Even if it seems you might hit a creative Wall-e, or you are afraid Monsters, Inc-luding laurels, squire brothers, and apprentice siblings may scorn you, you must be Brave, keep your chin Up, and stay strong by eating nourishing Ratatouille.
Although it is a Bug's Life out there for those artisans who think taking on challenges is like Finding Nemo, those wounds inflicted by pins, needles, and shears will soon turn to sCars of pride and victory!"

Full disclosure: House Strangewayes, my household, runs the fashion show at Birka and we're stupidly fond of puns.

Most of us are choosing to go with characters from Toy Story:

Myself as 1530's Italian Lotso Huggin' Bear (I'll make a separate post)
Syele as Saxon Jessie
Jeremy (Mr. Syele) as Polish Buzz Lightyear
Elvira as Crannach Sid
Bianca as 1560s Italian Bo Peep
Erdene as Mongolian Slink
Thothreker as Viking Rex

In this post I'm going to talk about Thothreker Ogaefa, or as we call him Tho. Tho is our resident viking. He's a simple guy who chose his persona by the strict criteria of what era would allow him to wear pants.

He doesn't sew, I'm making him an outfit fit for a King... well, a Rex.

Lovable, but a bit dim.
Rex the lovable T-Rex from Toy Story

Now how do you interpret this into an outfit without it looking super-cheesy?

That's a lot of look.

Well, he needs a caftan, and a new tunic and probably some nice matching pants. Maybe, if we're ahead of shedule I'll make him a hat too.

Male croqui are weird
Sketch for Tho's Birka outfit. 
The key here is going to be finding the right fabric that says "Dinosaur" without saying "GREEN AS ALL GET OUT".

So I went fabric shopping at my favorite store the Auburn Fabric Outlet where everything is $2.99 a yard!

I scored some amazing olive and tan wool, some green matelasse* and some lighter yellow rayon for the under tunic.

*Matelasse is a term for quilted upholstery fabric, not really suited for anything other than doublets or the occasional surcoat. It is usually quite stiff. A friend once made the mistake of ordering 8 yards from a home decor fabric website because she had never heard the term and thought it was a brand name of a designer.

The green diamond matelasse, yellow rayon and olive and tan wool diamond weave

This is another lesson in colors in pictures vs natural light. The first bolt is much brighter, the rayon more yellowy and the diamond weave looks brown here but is a distinctly olive green color in person.

Same fabric, different lighting.

I'm not sure which for the caftan I'll use, I'm going to let Tho look at them. I determined Rex's stomach is really a light yellow, not a green by looking at several screenshots.

Speaking of screenshots. Through my extensive Google Image Search research I discovered:

A Pixar short where Rex the dinosaur dresses like a viking!!!!!

How much more perfect could that get?!?!?!

We're trying to convince Iulia Agricola that we need R-E-X glass beads or maybe T-H-O glass beads. I did some research on period viking men's jewelry and found that they did not do the swags of beads, but occasionally grave finds would have 1-3 beads on a cord! Iulia is still needing some convincing but here's hoping.

Stay tuned for progress on Partysaurus Tho!

Peerages and relationships, or How I Became A Protege

To keep myself sane in the game we call the SCA I long ago co-opted the tag line from Who's Line is it Anyway? "The games are made up and the points don't matter".

My goal is to make the SCA better and to grow the Society, not to be up in someone's posterior trying to get a shiny object. Really, my ultimate objective it to be a Tyger of the East - to have made the East Kingdom better by my playing and to have forever changed it for the better.

It's a play on words, because a Laurel, Knight or Pelican is a Peer. Get it? GET IT?

How did I get here?

I think it started with Zsof. Syele von Heidelberg, one of my household, and I had both read her rules to Peerage and had discussed them. We both decided that they made a lot of sense and we were going to try to implement them, and more importantly, we were going to try to hold each other to them.

Please go read them in depth right now if you haven't. They are that good. I'll wait. I have snacks.

Mistress Zsof's Rules for Peerage:

Rule 1: Be Discreet
Rule 2: It's Not About You
Rule 3: Don't Assume
Rule 4: Don't Swear
Rule 5: It's OK to Say No
Rule 6: Having a Bad Day? Walk Away
Rule 7: Think Before You Speak
Rule 8: My Path is Not Your Path
Rule 9: Be a Knight

In my opinion, striving to follow these rules will make you a better person, which in turn makes you a better SCAdian. And I'm all about transferable skills. Progress is slow, but it's happening.

Something I also try to keep myself to is if it comes out my highly opinionated mouth, I'm going to stand behind it. This goes hand in hand with Rules 1 & 7. It also cuts back on spreading gossip, am I expousing my opinion, or the opinion I've heard someone else express? I make it a rule that if I have a problem, I come up with at least one solution to present to the person who can solve it.

So, when before a meeting or at an event I am bad-mouthing expressing my desire for change and then I find out someone leading the meeting or class is of a different opinion I can follow up my opinion with reasons that are my own and examples. I don't like that rule or decision - here is why and how I think it should change. That way we're having a discussion instead of whining.

Example: A few years ago at a Harper's Retreat my group was assigned to a cabin that had a horror-movie level terrifying bathroom situation. Next door, there was an empty cabin that had a broken shower, a dirty bathroom, but could be lived in. The cabin on the other side of that was populated by friends, we discussed with them if we could use their showers if we changed cabins, and they agreed. So my next step was finding the autocrat. I explained what was happening, that the cabin we had been assigned to was uninhabitable, that we had checked out the empty cabin, and about our shower-sharing agreement and asked permission to move into the empty cabin. The autocrat agreed and we moved in and were happy the rest of the event.

We avoided adding an additional headache to an already stressful day for her. That's very important.

I try to get my household to work towards doing this every time we come up against an issue at an event. You identify the issue fully, you come up with at least one solution (preferably at least two), and then you go find the person in charge to work it out. And eventually, when you are the person in charge, you'll be able to better identify what potential problems may come up and have successful solutions.

Now. Let's talk about paths.

How I feel about being made to choose between Pelican and Laurel
A German woodcut depicting The Saw, published in 1474

Paths are a thing in the SCA. Don't try to tell me paths aren't a thing. They are, in my opinion, a good thing. To me a path is a goal, it's working towards making an aspect of your participation in the SCA better. I want to be a more helpful person - Pelican path. I want to have a better kit/persona/authentic meals - Laurel path. I want to win more when I fight - Chivalry/MoD track. They are not exclusive. They are not set in stone. SEE RULE 8 above.

I don't think you should have to collect all the awards in order to get there. If you're good enough to be a Laurel but don't have a Maunche, you should be a Laurel.

Now, I love sewing garb (hello... this blog), I am starting to love persona research, and I love to research portraits. That all screams Laurel-path, pursuing the arts and sciences, and becoming someone's apprentice.

Well, but I also love volunteering, making the Society better, and being a Chatelaine. That all screams Pelican-path, service, and becoming someone's protege.

One of the things I love best is teaching. And that's both.
Can't I do both?!?!

A few years go, my friend Simona bat Leon and I were contemplating our roles in the SCA, we were more than newcomers, we had a couple accomplishments under our belts, but we could use direction. Well, we're in a service household: House Strangewayes, let's think about service, and brainstorm who we would want to be proteged to if it were to happen. We hit upon Master Dorio of the Oaks. He was local, he was someone we knew fairly well, and he would be a great guide to better service.

Simona, not being as into the garb thing as I and really feeling like she was drifting, approached Dorio about becoming his protege. They came to an agreement and she became his second protege. I thought then that avenue was closed to me. Simona and I often had to work at being recognized independently. This happens when you're besties, in the same hobby, and at the time we worked together. So I didn't think at the time being proteged to the same Pelican would help either of us. (Yes Fate, I see what you did there!)

Also, as in my dating life, I want to be asked, I don't want to be the one asking. It doesn't mean approaching someone is bad, just my preference. Yes, this is a lot like dating. You have to know the person well, be comfortable with them, and trust them to not abuse the relationship and hold up their end of the bargain.

Fast forward to this latest Pennsic. There are rumblings in my camp. All of a sudden many people are asking me about my thoughts on the paths and if I wanted to be an apprentice OR a protege and who I'd want. I love my friends, but you are subtle as bricks. So the fourth time I had this conversation was with Dorio, who was our camp master and is now also Baron Stonemarche, and he asks me if I would consider being his protege and not to tell him then, but a few weeks after at Harper's Retreat.

So, what else could I do but research?

I started by reading about other people's experiences. I read Protege Life, Ceara of the Midrealm's blog. Her journey is a lot newer than mine, which has helped me look at my experiences from a different angle.

I investigated other kingdoms. Master Hirsh from the West has very firm ideas on Peerage as an "honor and a responsibility, but it is not an award!" I read a great quote about protege belts on Master Hirsch's notes on

"When I give out a squire's belt (or an apprentice's, as the case may be), I tell everyone present that it is not a badge of rank, it is a symbol of the standards by which this person wishes to be judged, and an invitation to judge them by those standards.
This makes it a burden, not an award."
-- Sir Andras Salamandra

I spent a long time thinking about the decision, and really not talking to anyone about it. I didn't want to feel like I was choosing one path over another, I wanted both and I still want both. So I further talked with Dorio about this, he agreed to also try to match-make me with a Laurel, and support my creative pursuits, even if that meant breaking our relationship one day.
I also determined that Pelican or Laurel, I didn't want to be associated with one if they wouldn't be supportive of my efforts in the other.
So come Harper's Retreat we came to an agreement that I was a Protege-to-be, and at East Kingdom Coronation we solidified the relationship.
It was informal. No ceremony. No oath. Just a question and an answer. I received a beautiful book, a token and a quest to find a yellow belt alternative that I liked that would be distinctive. (Ha ha, that's what this post was supposed to be about, my quest for a yellow belt that fits with my persona) My new friend Catalina Doro happened to be there because we were nerding out about early 1500s Venetian gowns, which was awesome. As well as Bianca and Simona of my Household and Lady Anastasia of the Oaks, Dorio's wife, and an extremely talented narrow worker.
I've had more than one person express surprise over my not apprenticing. I feel I've just gotten a little bit further down this path first, and I'll get there eventually on the Laurel path.
Time will tell.


Friday, November 6, 2015

Social Media and Memes

In September our gracious and beautiful Queen Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain (KEE-lin) started an "I am the East" meme.

You were supposed to post what labels you have, your name and I am the East.

Mischief Maker didn't fit in the title area
 Well, that seemed kinda boring to me. And I'm a bit of a rule breaker. (Tell no one!)

So then I created some more I liked a LOT more.

From the Courtesan Social
The picture is from the Courtesan Social at Pennsic

Then I thought - why not involve others?

Anna, Frosty, and Myself while Palio Contrada Captains
Or my household?

When you're an alterdamen, your heads stick together
Clockwise: Myself, Lysken die Waeyer, Simona bat Leon, Elinor Strangeways now Iulia, and Syele von Heidelberg
Or showcase pictures of really fun projects?

Lady Bianca Anguissola, Becca, Myself, Jacquemine van Bel, and Lady Cecily Windham

Or showcase REALLY old pictures of yourself?

Back Row: Myself, Simona bat Leon, Lysken die Waeyer, That-guy-we-don't-talk-about
Front row: Syele von Heidelberg, Iulia Agricola, and Leurona Winterborne
This was my second piece of garb ever.

From my first Birka ever. That chemise was 100% silk dupioni and I beaded the sleeves too. I have it in pieces in my attic. Someday Crannach gown, someday...

 You're welcome internets. There you go. That's as close to secret garb shame as I come.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Quintavia Defender Cloaks

I live in a Shire.

Specifically the Shire of Quintavia in the Central Region of the East Kingdom in the Society for Creative Anachronism.

We're a freakin' huge Shire. We have over 175 paid members within our borders. We cover the entire center of Massachusetts, and we are surrounded by baronies. 
The towns and cities which are encompassed by the Shire of Quintavia SCA Inc
The Shire of Quintavia, SCA East Kingdom

But we are not a barony. We don't have the Baron and Baroness to have Champions but our people are no less worthy of tournaments and accolates for their skill, so it was decided in 2014 we would have Defenders. So we had a little tourney event in July and I volunteered to make the regalia. 

And because I can't do things small I made half circle cloaks in thirds with the chevrons in green and white like our heraldry with appliqued on in gold wool felt crossed symbols of that aspect of Defense.

Shire of Quintavia SCA Inc Heraldry
Quintavia's Heraldry

Which was all well and good but we were doing five: one each for Archery, Arts and Sciences, Fencing, Heavy List, and Thrown Weapons.

I got the outer skins done by the event but not the lining for the event, showed off the half progress and got swept up into the summer event season. Then in late August 2014 we had a fencing competition so I finished out the fencing one (after Pennsic in the midst of moving to at that time I didn't know where too...) and then the person who won left before it could be presented.

So I packed them up in a box and put them in storage. Then this year I took them out for the small task of lining and adding cords and realized somehow they had gotten damp and the white was hopelessly mildewed and the felt applique were ruined as well....

There are no tears in sewing!

So two weeks before the event I got to basically remake them. I am very proud that all my points line up. That is a skill I learned from my dear departed Great Aunt Mary and quilting.

Unfortunately this year the event was opposite Palio di Stonemarche and I had obligations to Contrada Ferrari so I couldn't go to the much bigger now St Jean Baptiste Tourney and day event.

So I finished up the new outer skins, embroidered the symbols and packed them off to my friend Rachel's house to be lined and have ties put in. I've never actually seen the finished ones. But here are the pictures I took of them in progress:

Look at those points! So well lined up!
The Archery Quintavia Defender Half Cloak


The Arts and Sciences Defender Half Cloak

The Heavy List Quintavia Defender Half Cloak
The Thrown Weapons Quintavia Half Cloak

I am very proud of the design and hope to someday win back the right to wear the Arts and Sciences cloak. We shall see...

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

More Pelicans! A Hood for his most excellent Excellency Xavier

This time I created a hood for Master Juan Lazaro Ramirez Xavier- former Baron of Stonemarche and my SCA big brother.

Xavier, as he's known, with his beautiful wife Maria were brought before the king at Great Northeastern War and given writs to contemplate joining the Order of the Pelican.

I would not be in the SCA without Xavier.

My household, House Strangewayes, would not exist without Xavier.

It was Xavier and Maria's wedding that a young Mistress Iulia Agricola (formerly Elinor Strangewayes) attended which hooked her, then her childhood friend Simona, and then Simona's work friend me on the SCA. And it's been encouragement and support for us and a legion of other newcomers that he and Maria undertook during their decade as Baron and Baroness Stonemarche.

You know those posts I have about Palio? Palio is his idea. His baby. They also established the newcomer tour at Birka. They first introduced me to Sir Kyppen's YouTube videos on being a chatelaine by holding a class about these videos at Harper's Retreat.

So needless to say we wanted to give back. Stonemarche is the home of our hearts, and a huge reason for that is Xavier and Maria's work as Baron and Baronessa.

So on to the project! He wanted a hood, as he overheats easily, instead of a full cloak and cap of maintenance. We also had a two week window due to Pennsic. So I sent him a sketch of what I was thinking:

Red linen hood, with gold silk lining and red jewels and embroidered pelicans.

how hard can it be?
A simple hood with red cabochons for the blood drops around the hem and two embroidered pelican roundels

We made a few modifications, he was worried that the red jewels would not stand out against the red linen so he suggested gold balls behind the jewels as gold balls are part of his heraldry.

Pennsic gave me a chance to shop for materials. The gold silk which was too heavy to line the hood was perfect for the gold silk Pelican giornea which Lady Simona bat Leon was making for Maria from the lovely new fabric and notions vendor in Poison Pen Press's old spot. Booth 63 I believe. Instead I got the silk at home at Sewfisticated and Xavier ordered the red linen from
The things that make this hood are the jewels, which I got at Cabochons on Bow Street #19. Run by the amazing (Mistress, Countess, all around awesomeness) Arastorm the Golden and her daughters Willow and Kat. They had not just teardrop jewels, but I could pick from red faceted jewels or red cabochons! They came with the fittings and Willow gave me a crash course in sewing them on. Plus, they are from Stonemarche!


I copied a hood that he already had which was made based on Cynthia Virtue's hood pattern. The one he had the buttons were sewn on the very edge and the buttonholes handsewn through both layers.

I basically cut the same shapes for the outside as the lining. On the lining squared off the back of the hood instead of making a tail. The only thing that wasn't fully lined was the liripipe (the long tail) which we measured at 41" long on him, to give just the right amount of drape when the tail is tucked into his belt. So I cut a 4 1/2 inch wide by 42" strip for the liripipe. More on the liripipe later.

The hardest part of this were the appliques. The thing that made the hood though, were the appliques.

I first cut out a template out of a folder for the heavier paper weight the finished size of my circles. I then cut out ten circles with a quarter of an inch seam allowance around the edges. I then proceeded to use ALL THE STEAM! I wet down the circle, placed the template in the center and folded up the steam allowance carefully and ironed it down around the edges. (Pictures forthcoming) I take this technique from quilting circles.

The first one I serged around in red, but there were two difficulties in that. First, serging tiny circles is a maddening task, and second, the serging didn't do what I wanted it to, which was give me an even guide to hand sew against. Instead, it betrayed me and showed in an ugly manner around the ironed edge. So I banished that circle and cut a new one.

One little, two little, three little circles... Balls!
The finished ironed silk circles
Then I added the findings, snussled the jewels into them, and played around more with placement.
More spaced out. Less work. I felt it didn't look right.

More circles! This is the right look!
Then I got to hand sew around the wee little balls.
Here are the mistakes I made doing this:
  1. I should have sewed the gores in first, but I was intimidated to do that, so I procrastinated.
  2. I didn't use silk pins so I then had the smooth out the silk from the fat quilter's pins I used.
  3. I agreed to applique circles in the first place.
Finished sewing on the circle! Now to embellish
How it looked from the back... at first.

The finished applique
After the stitching around it, I did a back stitch in gold and whipped around it in white.

Due to the different fabrics they sort of "puffed" when I finished them. So I put a circle of red wool felt (left over from Viking Sailor Moon) behind it to keep the convex shape and give more of a "ball" look to the appliques.

A note on the motivational cocktail:
It's a motivational cocktail! A Fortune must while sewing!
Syele von Heidelberg made me an awesome boozy milkshake from vanilla ice cream, cocoa and cookie butter from Trader Joe's and vodka! And it had a cool straw!

I sew (on a deadline) better when a little buzzed, it gets me over some of my hesitations and have Brilliant Ideas (tm)! (I once came back tipsy from a Halloween party, drafted and made a Venetian gown and wore it to Crown Tourney the next morning. I looked FABULOUS)

In this case I had a Brilliant Idea (tm) about the liripipe. Xavier, for all his noble qualities also has a great sense of fun and whimsy. So I was determined to hid the squeaker from a squeaky toy in the tip of the liripipe.

Which of course meant I got to go to Wal-Mart and look like a lunatic squeaking various items in the pet toy aisle to find the right pitch of squeak.

Turns out - squeaky toys are harder to open than you'd think.

The way my mother's 8 lbs Malte-Poo goes through them I figured no problem, this thing will give up it's squeaker easy. NOPE. I had to eventually stab it to death.

Brilliant Idea (tm)
Squeaky squeaky murder

Back to assembly!

I have done these hoods before - but every time I get intimidated by the gores, look up Alysaundre's Perfectly Pointed Gore Technique and wonder why I get intimidated by the gores. They came out perfectly, no having to rip out and try again on any of the four gores.

I stitched the long liripipe strip to the outer hood, folded everything and ironed it, sketched a half moon shape at the tip and stitched up the liripipe and down the center back.

I stitched the tip of the back of the hood together, left a generous 6 inch space and then stitched down the back of the neck as well. I then matched them both up and stitcked around the edge of the hood and around the cape edge. This uses a lot of pins, but worked out really well. Then I pulled it right side out through the slit and sewed that up by hand. Now it's more ironing, because linen NEEDS to be ironed and silk takes so beautifully to an iron.

It came to the night before and I sewed on the buttons which I'd found at a local Jo-Ann's which looked like period metal buttons. The young lady at the checkout also let me use every coupon they had going so it cost me about $5 for $20 worth of buttons. I stitched them to the edge of the fabric about every inch, tightening to ever 3/4 of an inch around the curve of the neck.

The intention was to do handsewn buttonholes through the fabric. But... that looked terrible and I was doing it on site the date of the event. For some reason the silk and linen did not want to cooperate and it looked like a small rodent had chewed a hold through the garb.

So I changed tactics. I had three hours, and I had seen a technique for turkish garb making thick thread loops and doing a buttonhole stitch around it. This site calls it the buttonhole bar stitch.
From Sarah's Hand Embroidery Tutorials
Instead of doing it here in the middle of the fabric I did it on the very edge with red embroidery floss and when done correctly the loops don't even twist!

I was able to get the loops done in plenty of time for court and they looked fabulous!

The below photos are from Lady Estefania del Bosque who did a magnificent job photographing the day.

I LOVE Marias face here
Her Majesty places the hood around his shoulders

Xavier, His Majesty Omega, and Her Majesty Ethedreda

Xavier, Maria (and her gorgeous gold giornea), His Majesty Omega and her Majesty Etheldreda
Master Juan Lazaro Ramirez Xavier
Here you can see the one handbound buttonhole I managed to finish. The Pelican embroidery did not make it to the event, but will be added later.

I didn't tell him ahead of time about the squeaker. I told a couple other people, but not him. So after he was done with court some rapscallion squeaked him. It was huge hit.

More about the event:

It was a beautiful day at King's and Queen's Equestrian.

Inspired by Pennsic my cohort Lady Bianca Anguisola and I made a big effort to have as much of a period pavilion as possible.

Isn't she just lovely folks?
We borrowed the tent from a friend of Simona's and brought our wood tables, wood benches and period servingware. We served a simple but period lunch and had some great fellowship.

And aside from the vigils we were the place to be
It helps to have a war kitten!
Zeus (the cat) and Munchkin (the dog) were great entertainment

Lady Este offered to do a photoshoot with us so... we couldn't resist.

Some of House Strangewayes: Lady Lysken die Waeyer, Lady Cecily Wyndham, Lady Elvira Ballesteros, Myself- Lady Fortune St Keyne, and Lady Bianca Anguisola

Things quickly escalated...

Drama Queens

The Hills are Alliiiiiiiiiiive!!!!!!!!


As you can see, my household are a super serious bunch.
My dress is based off several portraits in the 1520s made for Pennsic out of some wonderfully soft lurex striped fabric from Jo-Ann's and the lower sleeves are out of velvet. The camicia is from my Birka dress for the Queen's Celestial Challenge - which reminds me I need to do a post on that dress. Bianca has a 1550s back side lace gown and her dramatic walking veil. Elvira is in a 1530s gown which is scandelously under dressed without sleeves (the hussy!). Cecilly is in a similar dress out of gold key because she wanted to be in on the Italian flavor of the day and Lysken, who has to be different, is in a Roman outfit, while technically still Italian from several hundred years in the past.
A wonderful day all the way around!