The Kirtle of DOOOOOOOOOM!

(Originally posted Sep 9, 2015)

OK… It’s not really doom-worthy, but it took a lot more adjustments than I thought it would in the end.

I was over at a Lorenzia’s place for an open house sewing day and was surprised with gifts of “door prizes!”  She had some linen that she bought and it was much darker than she thought, so she passed it on to me because I said I could probably use it for something.  That’s quite a nice gift!  It didn’t take me long to decide that I wanted to turn it into a kirtle.

I dug around for quite some time, poking around all the nooks and crannies and cupboards and boxes and buckets…and finally gave up looking for my pattern that I made earlier this summer for the Perfectly Period Feast.  I grabbed my old kirtle and drew up a new pattern based on that one, hoping that the measurements came out OK.  I laid it out and cut out the linen and sewed it together.  Then I took it in where it was extra loose and baggy, and while it still fits a bit loosely, it’s flattering and is quite comfortable.

Normally those wide scoop neck garments cause the shoulder straps to just slip down but this one didn’t.  The sleeves I made help immensely with that.  I was really surprised!  I had to make the sleeve pattern to fit the opening, which did not follow all the whoopy-sloopy patterns that you see for Elizabethan sleeve-making; they wouldn’t have fit the opening at all.  I just cut fabric like you would a t-shirt (90 degrees out from the dress), but trimmed it to fit the curve of the opening.  I can easily move and raise my arms and hug people, and it’s snug enough that it keeps the shoulder straps up, which would normally slide down *constantly* off of my slopey shoulders.  I do have to shorten the skirt in the front just a little–the fabric has stretched a little from hanging and there’s a little bit in the front that I keep stepping on.

I wore it to Crown this weekend and hoped to get a photo in it, but apparently I am elusive when it comes to photography equipment.  I always seem to be just a couple feet to the left or right of where the group shot is taken.  No idea why that is.  The only one I’ve seen so far is this one…and I’m in the shadows…and I’m not wearing the blue dress.

I did get my hubby to take a photo before I left for camping, so here it is:

He was sitting comfortably on the couch and didn’t want to get up, so you get the awkward angle and all the coats and things in the background.  I did get some feedback from a costume Laurel who said, “the kirtle looked great–especially the fit of the flare around the hips. From a distance when I saw you in the kitchen tent while I was standing at the edge of the eric, it really had the “just stepped out of a manuscript painting” feel.”

I admit it…I swooned at that comment!

Camping in cooler weather has given me cause to revisit my wardrobe and make a short list of things I need to make or remember to bring next time:

  • Hood (liripipe or other)
  • Tall socks (left my wool socks at home…dang it)
  • Sleeping cap
  • Surcoat (my grey and blue coat has gone on walkabout, but I need to make one that covers the v-neck anyway)
  • Another St. Brigitta cap (Aenor borrowed mine, and I think it fits her better!)

I also made a short list of things I want to add to my encampment, but will have to overhaul my bins and boxes to make sure it all fits and is collapsible.  Some of them include:

  • Wardrobe rack & dresser (nightstand?  Plastic drawers?)
  • Washstand and mirror
  • Kitchen stand/prep area (I have one that’s fairly modern–I have never packed it for SCA use, but I will in the future!)
  • Storage system for breakables (goblets, mugs, pitcher, etc.)  Maybe thick padded drawstring bags?
  • More rugs for the floor
  • Cloak hooks on center pole
  • Privacy curtain indoors
  • Propane oven….ooooo!  Fresh bread, pasties, meat pies…
  • Brazier.  I have one that folds up, but it’s kind of a pain in the butt, rusted, and very dirty to put away.

So I guess that’s my to-do list for the winter!