Tag Archives: SCA

Redwork Smock – things learned and changes made

I finally finished the first redwork sleeve for my smock.  After I posted it on FB, there were many questions that led to this more detailed post.  First things first, here is the first sleeve off the frame.

redwork and plaited gold braid sleeve number one

redwork and plaited gold braid sleeve number one

In the beginning this sleeve was not going to be embellished so was cut out.

  • Lesson learned:  don’t cut your piece out til you have embroidered it.  The first sleeve I had done a very small hem around 3 sides, this did not hold up so well when i was dressing the frame.
  • Lesson learned:  when drawing lines verify that your lines stay dark enough to see so you are able to follow the spacing.  As you can see the spacing is off due to lines “disappearing” during my embroidery.
  • Lesson learned: slow but steady wins the race… I learned to step away when I go frustrated with tangles or knots.  Pushing through usually meant taking out hours of work..
  • Lesson learned:  Be present.  This is a very difficult one as I am a squirrel and always want to do several things at once.  The more I immersed myself into this project the more I enjoyed the progress.

As I start the second sleeve I will try and walk through the process in more detail than was done with the first sleeve.

Remembering the difficulties I had lacing the frame with the small hem, I chose to increase the width of the hem and use two rows of running stitches with a back stitch about every 5 stitches.  This will hopefully create a more stable edge.  ( yes I forgot to take a picture)

Step number two is dressing the frame.  I am using a scroll frame as that is what I had available. The herringbone stitch is used to attach the upper and lower sleeve to the scroll frame.

Herringbone stitch

Herringbone stitch, this is the cuff end of the sleeve.

Once both upper and lower ends were secured, I was ready to start lacing the sides.  Button hole thread was the strong and easy to work with. Double strands were used where the space was larger and then decreased to a single strand as the lacing progressed up the sleeve.  I have tried various methods that do not take as much time to set up but this method seems to work the best for me.

full frame laced.

full frame laced.

And a close up of one side:

left side lacing

left side lacing

Ideally this would have been an uncut piece.  The lacing was a challenge that had to be approached carefully and slowly to create an even tension on the small hem..

Finally to start the redwork..

and the second sleeve begins

and the second sleeve begins

Part 2:  Duplicating the first sleeve pattern.  The first sleeve pattern was very much “messed up”  with the guidelines vanishing as the piece was worked on.  Working out a feasible way to create the same look with just measuring and counting threads will be an practice in patience.

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Filed under Blackwork, redwork smock

Buttons & More Buttons

As boxes are slowly being put away, the pile of unfinished projects grows.  Early in my SCA adventure I beaded a sideless surecoat with a blue cotehardie for an underdress.   That project was entered it into the GW A&S  exhibition as a “work in progress”.  Now is the time to start the finishing work.  This started with buttons….   First challenge making the cloth buttons.   I searched the web and found several sites that have great tutorials.  The one I chose to use as a base is:   Making Cloth Buttons.
First I dug and found the fabric scraps from the dress, a chalk pencil, and a spool of thread:  ( the first pictures I used black fabric so you could see the marks)   Gather your tools:
spool of thread, marking tool, scissors and fabric scrap

spool of thread, marking tool, scissors and fabric scrap

Use the spool of thread to create your circle then cut on the line.  Next, thread a needle using a long piece of thread  ( I used buttonhole thread in a contrasting color for the visual if using regular thread use a double strand)  and stitch around the circumference far enough from the raw edge that the fabric will not fray.


gathering stitches

gathering stitches

Gently pull the thread to gather the circle in.  The edges should naturally tuck in but you may need to coax them a bit.  You will end up with a flattened circle:


after gathering

after gathering

On the flattened button, repeat the above step, stitching around the folded edge.  ( I forgot to take a picture of this step)  Firmly pull and shape til you get the button.


second gathering to bring it into the button shape.

second gathering to bring it into the button shape.


Take your needle and stitch across the opening using the gathering as a guide.. and Viola you have a button..   Leave a long tail  so that attaching to the garment will be easier.


Finished blue buttons wrapped around a thread  winder with one button started

Finished blue buttons wrapped around a thread winder with one button started

buttons drawn for cuffs..

30 buttons drawn for cuffs..

Making fabric buttons was easy and they match the dress.  Give them a try and see what you think.  The cost of pewter buttons for a cotehardie can be very high as you need sooooooooo many.  This is a great alternative and is also period.  Have fun!!




Filed under SCA

A World in Transformation

The Past 7 months have been a whirlwind of change.   As the saying goes :

“When one door closes, another door opens; but we so often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”  ― Alexander Graham Bell
For a couple of months I looked at the doors closing as an ending, my life frozen in place.  As the days and weeks passed i began to see all the open doors.  Stepping through takes courage, or the ability to just run and jump, but once you step over the threshold the world brightens.  
I am now in my very own home!!  Yes, I said mine not rented!!!  And, it has acorns and oak leaves in the wrought iron used on the front  patio and by windows. This house has an added addition of a “craft/sewing room”  that will stay that way.  Great windows with lots of natural light.  Plenty of space for all the toys and a very large closet.. 
My helper cats are loving actually having carpeting in the bedrooms instead of concrete.  I have a full kitchen ( all the drawers are there, there is a fridge and dishwasher, and most  no more bugs!!)  There is something great about owning..         
As the process to purchase moved forward I continued to embroider and sew.   Now that the boxes are mostly unpacked and the settling is finished I have time to refocus on my creative side.  In the next couple of weeks I will be posting those adventures.   
As time continues to move forward and more doors open it is my hope to inspire others to create.. Remember as doors close, turn around, there are others that have opened!

Now for a couple sneak peaks of  the coming postings:


wpid-20141020_135824-kdcollage.jpg wpid-20141020_134837-kdcollage.jpg



Filed under SCA

Sneak Peeks of Surprise Gifts..

Yes, I have been busy unfortunately my projects have been gifts.. This becomes a problem when trying to keep a blog updated.  Can’t let the surprise out.. but want to share what I am doing..  So here are a couple sneak peaks with the help of my assistants.
tired kitties after an evening of embroidery

tired kitties after an evening of embroidery

So as I sit and embroider I always have a helper or two.  🙂  here are the two sneak peeks..

sneak peak 1

sneak peek 1

and sneak peek 2


sneak peak 2

sneak peek 2

These are my most recent projects and are completed .  They will be posted after they have been  presented.  🙂

Hope everyone has had a productive month.  Many of my friends just attended GW ( an SCA war held in Mississippi)  I wish them all a safe journey home with tales of their adventures.  Time to plan for next year..

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Filed under Embroidery, German Brickstitch

New Year – New Project

As the new year has started so has the list of projects..  We all have them..  My first project is to do a device on the back of a Furisodo..  As the device has many details it was a challenge to transfer the pattern to the already completed piece of clothing.  Using tracing paper I traced over the device and made three separate sheets. design printed transfering for opposite position
After completing the tracing the three pieces the placement on the clothing was next.  After some trial and error the placement was finalized and in went the pins to hold the patterns in place.
  dragon traced and placed on furisodo  
To transfer the pattern buttonhole thread seems to give a good line and is easy to pull out after you have embroidered. Center outlined
   one dragon almost done  
The design is done in silver thread with a chain stitch.  The completed back took around 20 hours.  
finished furisodo
The first project of the year completed!!!  🙂   Hmm now what to do next…. 

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Filed under Embroidery, SCA

Cup Cover Finished

It was done a few days ago however, with the holidays have not had time to sit down to up load the pictures.  It is a 10 inch square which is perfect for my chalice but a tad big for my mug.. 
finished cup cover

finished cup cover

middle of cup cover

Middle of cup cover

As this cup cover evolved, so did the design.  At first, there was only going to be blackwork on the top.  This changed as the hem was put in.  It needed the corners… Also the acorns that I had on hand did not have the weight that I needed.  Pulling out my jewelry making supplies and foraging resulted in the finished corners.
Supplies needed for corner weights

Supplies needed for corner weights

Finished corner pieces

Finished corner pieces

The acorns were attached securely and reinforced.

close up of corner

close up of corner

This is now in my basket ready for the next event..

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December 17, 2013 · 1:24 pm

Sneak peak at cup cover….

One corner finished.  Here is a sneak peak on the project.  
sneak peak of progress


December 8, 2013 · 5:56 am

Carry Along Project

Looking at the pile of project ideas there was an empty bag  to filll with a project.  This bag is always filled with small projects to  work on in the odd free moments of my day.  The next step in my smock is working on the sleeves that are larger pieces so it will not work as a Carry Along Project.   Cup covers have always been something lacking in my basket.. Hmmm   guess this would be a good start.. Finding a pattern was easy..

pattern for cup cover 12.2013

As you can see ACORNS…  Then, while digging in the stash that has accumulated, several linen napkins tumbled out of the the pile.  Perfect!!!!   Silk, what colors are hanging out in the basket… purple and green.. the evening gets better and better.. off to start.. cleaning can wait til tomorrow.. 
Here is a sneak peak of the colors!!!
purple and green progress here is the project:  Linen napkin, purple and green silk over 2 threads.. 

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Filed under Blackwork

Looking back

A couple of years ago I started to do a sideless surcoat.  I used fabric that was in my stash and started beading.. The fabric was white with a diamond pattern that was perfect to embellish.  Being from the Kingdom of Trimaris  blue and silver beads would be perfect.  It never occurred to me that this would turn into a year long project.  The pieces traveled with me everywhere, even at the airport where an audience gathered and asked questions.  It was amazing that one of the question/statements from an older lady was “Women in America still hand sew?”.
full view sideless surcoat front

Full view sideless surcoat Front. ( fur pinned on)


This is a full front view.  The beads are from neck to floor and the fur is a 2″ width pinned on.   The over dress is lined in cotton and the bottom band is of linen (blue to carry on the Theme of Trimaris colors).






                Here you see a picture of the lower back of the gown.  The beading is done with the outline of  a V to avoid sitting on any beads.  The upper back is also lacking beads for the same reason.  This would not have occurred if I had not sat on one of the beaded pieces and decided this was not a good feeling.  It also would put more wear and tear on those beads.. And after the time it took to do this it would be unlikely that it would be repaired quickly.. 🙂

sideless surcoat back


 Now to give you some close ups of the beading itself… 



beading close-up  blue seed bead with 4 silver beads clustered around

beading close-up blue seed bead with 4 silver beads clustered around

lower back of dress showing V

lower back of dress showing V 

This post has been inspired because this dress was recently pulled out of the closet and worn with the blue cotehardie under-dress..  “wow”  I really need to finish this off correctly.  As I took out the rings lacing on the cotehardie (pics to follow) i was amazed how much I have learned and how many mistakes I made.  As the tedious job of taking apart all the hand stitches thoughts of how could I have entered this in GW open competition as a work in progress….   Though the comments were encouraging and getting both yellow and white bead made me happy now that I have moved forward it is obvious how much growing has occurred in two years.  
Now comes the “refurbishment”  of this ensemble..   The Triskels need to be added to the blue band, eyelets need to be handsewn down the back of the cotehardie, and the fur needs to be applied differently.  So with fur flying and seam ripper in action lets see what happens….  




Filed under SCA

finished corset

The Corset is finished.  I am truly glad I did a prototype first as there are things I will do different for my silk one.  It was a great learning experience and I will post a more complete description in the following weeks.  but here is the  final product.Finished corset on dress form back view finished corset side view finished corset on dress form


So many small fixes to do to the pattern but all in all for my first totally hand sewn one i am happy.

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Filed under Corset, SCA