Living History. On Saturday gone, I attended a living history event out at the Baden Powell Scout Grounds at Samford. It was set for the 15th Century. A few members from my re-enactment group headed on out to spend the day (including our newest little member - only 7 weeks old). It was a really lovely day. We mingled with other groups doing the same period, sat down to dinners and feasts and learnt crafts. I in fact learnt to do one of the many different styles of finger-looping. A very practical past time to make your own cording for gowns, and something that I am going to look into in the future for doing different patterns. I think a book purchase might be in order - I really learn best by getting hands on and trying. And let's face it, practice makes perfect.
It's the first that I have really delved into making historically accurate medieval costumes. In the past, all of my medieval gowns have been based on an element of fantasy or a sketch that I have seen somewhere. In the past I have tried the rectangles and squares methods all over the internet but I just seem to end up looking very frumpy. The designs just don't work well for my figure. So, this time, I bought a book. "The Medieval Tailor's Assistant". And I cannot recommend it enough! It was time-consuming and a little awkward to do up my own pattern block as described in the front of the book, but it was well worth it as you can tell from my costume. In the past, if I don't wear modern undergarments with my medieval gowns, I tend to look very flat-chested. The 15th Century Kirtle however, actually fits and provides a lot of support. Especially the one that I made - the flat-front kirtle. It actually has a piece of canvas in the front section to help provide support and by lacing it up tightly, it give a very nice bust-line. Of course, mine was made from bright green linen. (I am always one to head for the bright colours). I also whipped up a houpeland to wear over the top in the evening when it gets a little cooler. Mine is just made of two layers of blue linen in different shades. The collar and cuffs both fold back to show the contrast colour. And it is reversible. Meaning that I can wear it as either the light blue or the dark blue as the bulk colour. It's just that bit more versatile. I think though, if I am doing more 15th Century re-enactment in winter, I am going to need something a bit warmer than linen - maybe I need some wool.