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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More fabric shopping…

… I just really need to find time to sew!

Lightweight white linen from https://www.fabric.com/

Lightweight white linen from https://www.fabric.com/

One of the online fabric stores I’ve used before sometimes has good prices on linen. I don’t often shop there if stuff is on regular price, but a while back I saw they had lightweight linen on for about $4/yard – they only had 19 yards, and I bought all 19 yards!

I think that this is the same lightweight linen I have used in the past to line my red and gold Italian gown, the black and gold brocade Italian overdress, lined the skirt to my green Italian petticoat, and made a navy Viking underdress with.  (Probably a few more things too). White linen will be even MORE versatile I bet – since I’ll be able to dye it too if I need a certain colour.

Celebration – Italian camicia

Cheeky selfie in my new linen camicia. The linen is so fine, you can see the shadows of my other garments under it.

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.

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Celebration – Gamurra (sort of…)

Completed bodice and skirt in green silk for the Italian "celebration" outfit

Completed bodice and skirt in green silk for the Italian “celebration” outfit

For Caterina’s elevation, I originally was going to do a later-period Italian Renaissance gown, but the fabrics offered just didn’t seem to lend themselves nicely to the period and my figure. I felt that the figured velvet would just be too bulky for all of the gathering and fullness in the later period fashions, and so I ended up opting to go back to the earlier Renaissance period that I’ve explored before and found flattering.

Concept sketch for the matcha-green silk dress and the teal figured velvet over dress

Concept sketch for the matcha-green silk dress and the teal figured velvet over dress

With this…. I’ve started using the 1480s tag as well for these posts, and switched from 16th Century to 15th Century. I’ll still use the Caterina’s Elevation tag however if you want to follow this specific project.

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June 2016 Historical Sew Monthly – Ottoman costume

Completed Istanbul outfit

Completed Istanbul outfit

I’ve already started posting about my Ottoman costume- and it happens to fit perfectly into the June 2016 Historical Sew Monthly challenge! Since the Ottoman costume is intended to participate in the current (SCA) Royal Progress (the King and Queen setting different locations that their personas are travelling on) it matches the theme of travel (inspired by the Royals’ travel) really well!

I started mid-May doing some of the initial research, in order to have the project done by the first weekend in June, and you can read all of the posts about the different element of this costume by clicking the Ottoman category.

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