Leather ornament made at Borealis Yule 2018
If you’ve seen my Instagram feed, you’ve already seen some of the results of some of the recent workshops I took through the SCA group I’m a part of.
For one of the November Fight Practices, the current Queen, Kora Kendal came down and taught a preview of her workshop on how to make a 14th century sleeveless chemise. This was based on her research for a project she did to compete in Kingdom A&S a few years ago.
Cheeky selfie in my new linen camicia. The linen is so fine, you can see the shadows of my other garments under it.
I originally intended to make an Italian camicia to go with my Italian costume, but ended up running out of time so did a makeshift version in cotton instead.
I opted to FINALLY finish the Italian camicia (shift, underdress, chemise) that I started a year and a half ago for the costume I was making for the elevation of Caterina to the Order of the Laurel. I had intended to do this entirely by hand, but after doing four of the shortest seams by hand, I was frustrated with how long it took, so I decided to switch to the invisible/interior stitching done by machine. All of the seams are finished with a French seam, which I hope will suitably support the thin gauze fabric.
The camicia is the layer worn closest to the skin – a chemise, smock or shift. Like it’s counter-part in other parts of the world, it was worn for a few reasons – it was made of more washable fabric (or at least not fabrics embellished by metals, etc) so could be washed more frequently than the gowns which would be more challenging (or possibly not washed at all). It protected the skin from the outer gowns, but mostly protected the gowns from the sweat and oils of the skin.
For the most part, this garment was unseen – but in the era I’m looking at, it was shown peeking out from the neckline, cuffs, and at the opening of the gown in the front.