A few weekends ago, I made the annual trip out to the Abbey Medieval Festival with my re-enactment group RIFF (Re-enacting Independently For Fun). Due to other commitments I was only able to make it for one day of the event, but I had a great time at any rate. We were set up in a bit of different spot this year than in the past, however still part of a 15th Century village set up. We didn’t get as many people stopping by as we expected mainly because we were outside of previous grounds, tucked along beside the road. I don’t think people even realised that we were there.
But we certainly tried to provide the ambience of the period. Aside from our encampment and costumes, we provided talks on dressing a 15th Century woman, dressing a 15th Century man and dressing a 15th Century soldier. I also spent a lot of my day working on various forms of women’s handiwork including fingerlooping and lucite braiding to make lacing cord for my costumes. We also put on quite the spread at lunchtime where we all provided a dish to share. My contribution was mini pies – I made pork and veal pies and apple pies. They certainly went down rather well.
And for the event, I made myself a new kirtle. My old one no longer fits thanks to cake, so I really needed a new one. And this time, I changed it up by adding short sleeves. I have always loved the short sleeve kirtle look so it was a nice change to my flat front kirtle. If you’re looking for a pattern, mine is drafted up from the Medieval Tailor’s Assistant. It is very comfortable and supportive through the bust as it is designed to be tightly laced at the underarm. And I had learnt from my previous gown and changed up the lacing direction to make it a bit easier to get on and off. Unfortunately I didn’t quite get it finished and had to resort to machine stitched eyelets, but that will be rectified in time for next year. I of course topped it off with my Burgundian robe and horned headdress. I’d love to make a new Burgundian out of a silk brocade and trimmed in fur but I just couldn’t afford the fabric this year. Maybe I can aim towards making that component for next year.