I didn't know Peter then, I knew his wife a little, but I knew of his reputation in the archery community as a teacher and master of his craft. Since then, Peter has become my friend and I was reminded of that overcast Saturday as I sat this past year in my encampment finishing a dress for another Pelican-to-be.
|Mistress Deirdre de Planchette with their Majesties Omega and Etheldreda
Great Northeastern War 2015
Let me tell you about Deirdre. Lady Deirdre de Planchette was the Exchequer of the Barony of Stonemarche for a LOOOOOOOOONG time. Which means she's been the person getting the 2,000 SCAdian cats who attend Birka swiftly, accurately, and efficiently through gate each year. (The folks from Pennsic Troll came up to Stonemarche and modeled Pennsic's system after hers)
And you never see her. She sits in the back room counting, sorting paperwork, making sure everything one else has breaks and has everything they need. Not to mention being responsible for the funds it takes to run such an event, and all the other events held in Stonemarche.
She has given to the Society in more ways, fostering newcomers, fostering the arts, and never seeking attention to herself, just doing and doing well.
So when the call went out from her daughter to help out with Deirdre's vigil and Pelican ceremony my household wanted to help. So Simona bat Leon and I volunteered to make her dress.
Deirdre's colors are blue and red so a bliaut was born: baby blue summer weight wool with red silk dupioni lined sleeves, red silk neckline yoke and trim. Lady Anastasia of the Oaks made the most gorgeous red and white silk trim for the dress and belt. (I kept petting it, it was so soft).
A quietly elegant dress for a quietly elegant lady.
I used a variation on this bliaut pattern by Adrienne Dandy. The pattern is simple but striking and I wanted the fabric to speak for itself.
We cut the fabric out on the Camelot Common House pool table (I'm sure that's why they got that thing, for fabric cutting). The edges are all serged inside and the lower sleeve is entirely lined in the red silk.
|Full length shot of the dress with my lovely assistant Simona bat Leon
|A shot of the silk trim being applied
|Simona and the sleeve - what ironing! And she's a serging machine!
At some point I will do a keyhole neckline tutorial. Today is not that day, I'm sorry darlings.
|The silk facing applied to the neckhole
|Handsewing down the neckline facing
|Adding a little hint of embroidery around the edges to pull in the red and white of the trim
Simona and I presented the dress to Deirdre during her vigil during Saturday of the war. (Once we were done hemming it in camp...)
The evening court (there were like 5 courts at the three day war) they inducted her as a Pelican. The bycocket was made by her daughter Kiaya based on Agnolo Gaddi's fresco of the Legend of the True Cross in the Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence circa 1380. It's her first bycocket!
|You have to look hard for her - for a while I was calling her "St Helena Not Appearing in this Fresco"
|Deirdre and Baroness Megan Laine, first Baroness Stonemarche
|You may now greet your order - shot of the back of the dress
The scroll was a happy accident - it features what looks like the dress - but no one had seen it yet! The choice for light blue wool was made very late in the game due to fabric availablity. Mistress Eleanore did a fabulous job on it.
|Illumination by Lady Eleanore MacCarthaigh
Oh, and while we were in court - two rapscallions named Juan Lazaro Ramirez Xavier and Maria Pagani were given writs to go on vigil for inclusion in the Order of the Pelican themselves... so guess who got to make more Pelican regalia? Simona and I!
But that's for another post tentatively titled - Love is Appliqueing Circles