New veil & my very late entry into the Historical Sew Monthly January challenge

I’ve gotten a lot of wear out of the veil I made to go with my Byzantine outfit in January 2016, but I noticed that it had stained lightly with wet, freshly dyed hair… so when I was washing fabric for the fourth version of my horned hennin, I decided to wash up enough linen to cut a new veil as well.

Marking linen for a half-circle veil. This linen is not as sheer or light as my previous veil.

Marking linen for a half-circle veil.

Based on Fabrics-Store’s linen, I’d estimate this around 3-4 oz/yd, though I bought it from a different seller who doesn’t note the weight of the fabric. My previous veil used 2.8 oz/yd linen from Fabrics-Store.

I folded the fabric in half, and marked out 71cm from the centre in an arch to make a quarter-circle on the fold – to make a new half-circle veil (the shape I find attractive and versatile).

My previous veil was entirely hand-hemmed… but I didn’t really feel like spending that kind of time on this one. I ended up doing a stitch, turn and press, turn and press and stitch on it by machine instead.

I did add the same embroidered “L” to one of the corners like I did on my last veil though…

The result is a heavier veil than the other one I have – I think it will work well for styles where I wear it under another hat (like my Byzantine costume) but I don’t think it works well on the soft collapsible horned hennins that I made. So… for that – I’ll be making another 2.8 oz white linen veil instead!

 

The Challenge: January 2020Timetravelling Garments: Create an item that works for more than one historical era, or that can be used for both historical costuming, and modern wear. It could be an apron that could do 1770s or 1860s in a pinch, a shift that can work under many decades of fashion, or a historical cape you also wear everyday, etc.

I am getting to the 2020 Historical Sew Monthly challenges EXTREMELY late, but this project suits this theme, so I’m calling it good. I’ll be able to wear this veil through several different costume projects – my Byzantine and 15th Century costumes specifically.

Material: 100% linen

Pattern: 1/2 circle, marked directly on fabric

Year: generic medieval – suitable for my 11-15th century costuming

Notions: thread

How historically accurate is it? The shape seems to suit many paintings and illuminations. The construction is entirely by sewing machine.

Hours to complete: About 10 minutes to cut, another 45 to hem and embroider.

First worn: not yet

Total cost: The linen was on a great sale for $4.95/yard (USA site plus shipping)  and this veil took just under a meters, but the leftover bits from the half-circle being cut out went into making my fourth version of a horned hennin.

More dyeing with indigo

Silk dyed with madder and indigo

Silk dyed with madder and indigo

In my earlier post about Dyeing with Indigo, I showed off some of the photos and videos of the handspun wool yarn dyeing and the results. Now I’ll show off fabric instead!

Our hostess had some resist block-printed silk to test out (mostly testing out the historically-informed resist rather than the dye itself) while one guest brought a strip of cotton to dye for a trim, another brought some silk from a salvaged wedding dress, while I brought some linen, as did another guest.

As I mentioned in an earlier post about the madder pot, I started my linen in the madder vat, but didn’t like the pale coral colour, so I popped it into the indigo vat.

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Processing Hemp Fibre

At Avacal September Crown event in early September I took a class on how to process hemp for fibre. The same techniques work for flax (linen) and nettle. The class was taught by Mistress Kataryna Tkach (her SCA name), who in her mundane life works with legal, licenced hemp for scientific study. Luckily, she has access to the “waste” plant material for fibre production and experimentation!

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Medieval Suspended Spinning using Distaffs

Master spinner demonstrates how to dress a medieval-style cone distaff with flax (linen)

Dressing a cone-shaped distaff with flax

While at Avacal September Crown (a SCA event) I took a class on using a distaff for suspended spinning. I didn’t quite get the idea behind suspended spinning (it kind of made my hand hurt pretty quickly) but I did enjoy using the distaff to control the fibre for spinning.

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