fredag 6 januari 2023

Ärmelrock

I have not been writing in a while. I have been working on something for myself, something that took a little bit of time. Right before covid I finished an embroidered haube, the most complicated embroidery I have ever made, as a Golden egg-project. The society of the golden egg is a challenge household for the arts and sciences in the Kingdom of Drachenwald, within the Society for Creative Anachronism. The aim of the Society of the Golden Egg is to encourage artisans to increase their knowledge and skills through continuous challenges of at least intermediate difficulty, but which are a personal challenge to the person seeking to join the society.

It was a narrow social class that could purchase and wear this exclusive commodity. Silk or gold-embroidered dresses were generally forbidden to non-noble persons, silk-, gold- and pearlwork were restricted to the upper-classes. According to Lisa Monnas, in the book Merchants, Princes, and Painters, not only the fabric and the lavish use of gold and silver thread, but also the complicated embroideries, were an indication of status. The fabric and thread could be expensive, and so was the workmanship. As an example – the embroiderers work for making the embroidery on a set of garments for Edward VI´s coronation in England cost almost half of what the painter Holbein got as a annual salary.

And up to this point I didnt have a dress that was fancy enough for the haube that I made. So I could not, according to the laws of the time, wear it if I wanted to make a impression that was somewhat historically accurate. I needed to make a new dress..

 And now I have!

 

It was done by october 2022 and I was wearing it for Drachenwalds university so some of you have seen it. But I didnt have the chance to take proper pictures of it, and I really like to do so every time I have made a new outfit. 

"Rock" was the common name for a womens dress, with attached bodice and skirt, during the 16th century in Germany. The word ärmelrock is simply translated to dress with sleeves, a gown. Wool was the most common material in overdresses for all classes of society but the upper classes could use finer materials. The ordinance from 1536 permitted the upper classes to wear velvet, satin or other silks without any colour restrictions. The trimmings on womens skirts was also a status attribute. 

 

My dress is made of a polyester brocade and cotton velvet. It is all made by hand, every stitch in it. I used waxed undyed linen thread, backstitches and whip stitches. The pattern for the skirt consist of two squared pieces of fabric. I dont normally do that with my skirts, I want them to be more narrow at the waist and fuller at the skirt, but with the pattern on this fabric, no way, squared pieces it was. And I only had four meters of it and that made me a bit nervous, I could not buy more if I messed up. I actually bought this fabric ten years ago, or more. Some of you might recognized it... I used it as background when I first photographed the haube, two years ago. 

Look!  

And now its made into a dress, much better use, dont you think! And the look is over all more complete with a fancier dress. This is how a cap of this kind should be matched. 

I was thinking I might put some more velvet, thin stripes of it, on the sleeves. Or make cuffs. I think that would be nice. What do you think? The sleeves are a tiny bit too short in my opinion.  Or maybe its just good the way it is...

 

Im wearing the haube and schleier a bit different here too, with the embroideries showing. Its not really the right way, but I thought it looked good. The colours of the embroidery looks so much better without the schleier on top of it. The thin veil were used on top of embroideries in 16th century Germany to protect the valuable materials. Its very uncommon too see embroidered headwear in artwork without this protective layer. I can´t recall any without right now actually... 

Underneath the embroidered haube Im wearing a wulsthaube. The embroidered haube is a small cap, with sewn folds and a drawstring in the back, not a knotted or pinned veil.

I really like how the colours just shine! 


Last summer I met a talented bookmaker that made me my own girdlebook. Its a copy of a 16th century German girdlebook and I really like it. Girdlebooks were small portable books worn by aristocratic nobles as a popular accessory between the 13th and 16th centuries. It was a visible statement of social position and wealth, it should that the bearer could read. I have not written anything in mine yet, even though the maker told me to use it. I will, I promise! Its hanging by the knot underneath my belt.

Its made by Mårten Sandin, the.medieval.bookbinder on instagram. 


The necklace is made by the talented Agnes Edgren. I was lucky enough to trade it for some ceramics and it goes so well with the rest of this outfit. You find her at Annoyed.kitten on instagram.


The brusttuch, the breastcloth, Im wearing is just a loose piece of cloth that Im using until I could make a more permanent one with embroideries. But I think it worked out well for being something temporary. When I posted the first pictures of the haube on facebook two years ago there were actually a guy telling me that I had to much cleavage. So, I did obviously listen, happy now?! Some people... 

But according to the law he is actually right...I dont know if he knew that though... A decree from 1490, still valid during the 16th century, banned women from having lover necklines than two fingers wide from the base of the neck down. Most women solved this by wearing a gollar, kerchief or highnecked shirt underneath (or on top of) their dresses. The haube is from the painting Portrait of a woman by Bernhard Strigel and she is actually wearing a brusttuch, a bit higher up than I do here, and a kerchief over her shoulders together with a bigger necklace, to cover up her cleavage. Her shirt is a bit higher than mine too. Her kerchief has embroidered borders. That might be something I need to make for me too. 

Here she is, isn't she beautiful? Her shirt is also embroidered at the neckline. And her brusttuch, and her kerchief. Together with that haube. Its no longer known who she was, but depending on what she is wearing its totally safe to say that she is nobility. The painting is from 1510. The colours of her haube is also a bit moderate, but it must be somewhat like mine, when taking of the schleier, shiny and beautiful and bright.


I like that my fabric is at least similar to hers. Her fabric could actually be both satin and velvet, hard to say. But velvet with these prints are impossible to come by, so satin it is.



I might need fancier shoes...Im wearing peasant shoes! But I know just the right man for that too, my shoe-maker Erik Dalekarl. There are so many talented people in the SCA and Im fortunate enough to be able to call some of all these talented people my friends. 

And finally, my photographer Anders. As always, thank you. All the photographs here are taken by Anders Ragnarsson.





fredag 30 september 2022

VÄV- the sewing fighting-event

Two weeks ago I attended an event, VÄV, in Gyllengran, the sca-group I was a part of before moving down to join Aros. Just because I lived up there for a while I know the beautiful people up there. And seeing them again made me realize how much I miss them. So I wont write that much about this event, just showing a bunch of lovely people. 

Me and Torfin

Den jävligt väna Gele (Sorry for the Swedish).


VÄV stands for Våld är Vackert, meaning violence is beautiful. The point is that the event is focused on fighting. But a lot of people, myself included is just there for the company and we sit sewing and drinking and eating the whole day while the others are fighting.



 
Branna beautiful in red.


..and dont forget the coffee...



 
I brought a 16th century German blackwork embroidery. It was for a collar. A lot of embroideries on me this event, both on my gollar and my hairnet. Both of them comes from different painting of Katharina von Bora, the wife of Martin Luther.

 
Torfin och Ingrid



 
Beatrix and Gele - you cant not love them..







 
The best people in the world. 
The sca-family.


 Love you!

tisdag 16 augusti 2022

Medievalweek in Visby

It has been a couple of days now, sense I got home from medievalweek in Visby. According to me, the best event during the year. As usual I dont take as much pictures as I would want, but I will show you the ones I did take, and some I have borrowed from friends. 

Me and friends stayed at the medieval camp, 1,5 km outside Visby. The medieval part of camp, together with the mundane camp, contained almost 800 people during the week. It was a lot of tents! I had my own as usual but I got spoiled staying with people who brings kitchen, benches and a lot of stuff that makes a camp complete. Last year I only had my bed in my tent but this year I also had a table. It was so nice to be able to stand up preparing meals and doing stuff. 

This picture is taken during Saturday evening. I had just arrived after traveling for 9 hours, put up camp and changed cloths. I was so happy and so tired. But getting met by the most beautiful people in the world makes it worth everything. This is also the first time I wore the hairnet with the embroidered band I made for myself. Its inspired by a painting of Catherine von Bora, the wife of Martin Luther. 

And this is my tent, my home for the week. I dont have any pictures from the inside but I dont think I would show them even if I did, it was a bit messy in there...my tent anyway. And O was sneaking into the picture, he is one of the fantastic autocrats for the campsite and they all did a great job. 

I got a little sheering up by mintu pear before going to town that first evening!

There were a lot of just hanging out, both in camp and at the market. One place to always come back to is at Hans-Gunnars place at the market. There are always people you know there.  

This is Hans-Gunnar. The go-to for medieval shoes and good company.

And here are the good company!




 
Due to the medievalweek being such a long event there is always room for some hanging around, some sewing, some good times doing nothing in camp. 

Helvig and Kat both have hairnets i have made so I needed to take pictures.

And suddenly they were three!

I took my little frame with me to be able to do some sprangwork. Its small so you cant do bigger things. I made some golden ribbons in silk for the award The golden ribbon, its for service here in Nordmark. 

Im wearing my undergarments for the 16th century german peasant outfit. Its a hemd in undyed linen and an underdress in undyed wool. Very comfy when its warm. And the typical headwear for german 16th century women of course. I did also start working on a new underdress for the same social class. I really like wearing it since I made my first outfit back in may. 

We had a sewingmeeting in camp, with cockies!

My frame is standing on the table, really easy to bring and to work with. 

There also were some cooking in camp. Here Basse is making dinner for us. I have no idea of what day it was. All the days comes together to one long good memory.
 

And some more hanging out. 
Arngrim were celebrating his birthday by learning how to sabre.


God morning Kat!





And finally, after talking about it and planing for a year, a collaboration between three craftsmen is out. A limited edition handmade 16th century eating-kit is put together. Knives by Rasmus Rasmussen, spoons by Riku Pasanen and bowls by me. They will be avaible by the holiday season.

Im so excited by this! Its such an honour to be making this together with these both fine gentlemen.


I was also selling some of my ceramics in camp.
 

But the best, all my friends that I havent seen for a while.
 
 
In the picture below Im wearing my little fancier garb. Still 16th century Germany of course. My embroidered cap with spangles around the forehead, a brocade vest. It was really warm during the day but in the evenings you could wear some more, fancier clothing. And Kat had her embroidered golden brusttuch. A really impressive project! I need to make one of those too.



And here Im wearing 16th century peasant garb again. With a pair of trossfrau-socks. My ordinary woolen ones were to hot. And a strawhat, that is normally not worn together with a stechline, the german headwear. But with bangs I dont want to wear it the way its seen in paintings, just the hat and braids. I might need to figure something out. This was also a bit to hot but I soaked the veil in water and it worked a bit better.

 A quick video from camp from Friday evening. 

In the video Im wearing my golden egg-project, the embroidered cap from the painting Portrait of a woman by Bernhard Strigel from 1510-15. Its such a joy to be able to wear it out in public now when it has been approved. It looks so good in the sun!

I will end this post with this amazing picture that Kat took. Its from one of our tours too the market, we were walking back home again. Visby is such a great place, everywhere you look there is a good opportunity to take great photos. We both wear 16th century clothing, but Helwig is wearing English and Im wearing German. Me in red, her in blue.