Thursday, July 24, 2014

Period-esque License Plate Cover

I wanted to cover the very modern looking license plate on the vardo/trailer/shepherd's hut with something more medieval. I figured I'd make a banner of my heraldry and use that as a cover when the trailer is parked in camp. Not only would it be a cover, but it would also serve as it's own license plate of sorts- just in the medieval way.

First, I raided my scrap pile.  My heraldry is "Bendy sinister sable and argent, on a chief Or a pair of wings conjoined in lure gules". In other words, black and white stripes at an angle with the top part in gold/yellow and a red pair of wings.

I had black velvet and white silk for the stripy part.  The yellow is from my nephew's butterfly cape and polyester.  The red wings - which ended up looking like a very highly stylized M no matter what I did- are out of red polyester.  The backing is a jacquard left over from my Vampires in Venice dress I made last year.  

First, I pieced the silk together and sewed the yellow poly across the top.  This served as the background for the black velvet and the red wings.  I stitched down the black velvet strips by folding the sides under and just doing a normal running stitch.  The wings that look like an M were stitched using a buttonhole stitch.  

I then attached the jacquard backing and added loops out of the jacquard as well.  I closed up the top, put a dowel through the top and added some fishing line.  It's not pretty - at all.  I really wish I had the time to fix the M shaped wing but it will do.  This will look better than a license plate, at least. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Historical Food Fortnightly: Foreign Foods

4. “Foreign Foods”July 13 - July 26
Make a dish that reflects the historical idea of “foreign” - either foods with a loose connection to foreign lands, named after faraway places, or attributed to foreigners. Real connections to actual foreign countries not necessary!

What I originally planned for this challenge changed drastically when I read that the "French Style Apple Pie" I wanted to make required Pike eggs. Having no idea where to get pike eggs (um, caviar? Around here?), I thought it best to find a different recipe. That's when I stumbled upon this one:

Florentine-Style Meat in a Baking Dish: Get veal or another meat with the bone, cut it into the pieces as small as a fist, and put them into a baking dish with a little water, a beaker of wine and another of good verjuice; if you master likes, add in a few slices of onion or, should he not like onions, use parsley, the root that is along with raisins, dried prunes, and salt; cover the meat by no more than a finger of water, and set it in the oven; when it looks half done, add a few cloves, a good lot of cinnamon, pepper and a good lot of saffron let it taste of pepper; when it is half cooked, turn it over; then take it out onto a plate with the spices and sugar on top, or else leave it in the baking dish. You can do the same with fish that is, grey mullet or ells cut into pieces four fingers in width, washed well and put into a baking dish with a little oil. Note that you can make these things sweet or tart according to our master's taste.The Neapolitan Recipe Collection, Terence Scully (trans.) Circa 15th Century

I always love reading through the Neapolitan cookbook as my persona in the SCA is from Naples and my maternal family is from the traditional area for the Kingdom of Naples. Back in the 15th C, Italy wasn't unified as it is now and there were several countries battling for control over the boot by the 16th C. Spain took over the Kingdom of Naples in the early 16th C after a bit of a conflict with France - who was always vying for more control. The Turks would try to invade a few times as well in the 16th C. Basically, the entire place was a mess because everyone wanted control of the Mediterranean trade routes as well as Rome. Although that's the 16th C, the 15th C wasn't much different.

So, the Republic of Florence was a completely different country from the Kingdom of Naples at the time this cookbook was written. This makes this dish foreign. Okay, so "foreign" in the sense that Canadian Bacon is foreign to most Americans but still, these were two different sovereign countries at the time. (It's so weird! Their bacon is round and not wavy! :-p)

I used this site's redaction of the recipe as a guideline but changed it up a bit. Really, all I kept was to cook it at 350F for a total of an hour. What struck me about this recipe was the mention of doing the same thing with fish. I've created a salmon dish many times using a mix of alcohol and water (beer in this case) with herbs. I can easily see doing this Florentine dish with salmon and white wine.

So, my recipe:

1 beef steak with bone still in it
1/2 onion
1 lemon to make verjuice
1/4 red wine
1/2 cup of water
2 teaspoons parsley
1/4 cup raisins
6 or 7 dried prunes
salt to taste
6 or 7 whole cloves
a little less than a tablespoon cinnamon
same amount of pepper
1 generous pinch of saffron
maybe 1/4 cup sugar to sprinkle across the top

I cut up the meat into pieces a couple of inches wide and threw them into the cake pan.

I then cut the lemon and squeezed it to have the lemon juice. We don't have a juice made out of sour grapes readily available anymore and the closest we seem to have that works well in these medieval recipes really is lemon juice. I mixed that with some cheap merlot and water, pouring this over the meat until it was about a 1/2 inch thick. I also chopped up half an onion, put in parsley even though it was optional with the onion there, put in raisins, prunes, and salt. I then covered it all with tin foil and threw it in the oh so period correct electric oven for a half hour at 350F.

This is what it looked like when I put it in the oven. :-)  After it had been in for a half hour, I took it out to add the cloves, cinnamon, pepper, saffron, and sugar.  I also turned the meat and threw it back in for a half hour to finish cooking.

Above is what it looked like when I took it out of the oven. Very often in medieval and Renaissance recipes, they say to serve this either over bread or rice. Since I didn't feel like cooking rice....

Bread it was!  Honestly, it's pretty good.  I think it would have tasted better over rice as I don't like soggy bread.  It's a sweet dish but I think most modern palates would be okay with it.  If you like honey BBQ, this is a bit tamer than that.

The Challenge:Foreign Foods

The Date/Year and Region: 15th Century, Naples

How Did You Make It: see above

Time to Complete: a little over an hour

Total Cost: $4 for the steak, $5 for the prunes but I didn't use them all, $3 for the raisins that I still have a ton of, 50 cents for the onion that I only used half off, $6 for the wine. Everything else, I had on hand. Maybe about $8 considering a lot of the ingredients I'll use again?

How Successful Was It?: (How did it taste? How did it look? Did it turn out like you thought it would?) Pretty good, actually. I'd really like to try it with rice. What I loved about it was the smell! If you want your entire kitchen to smell divine, cook this. Cinnamon and cloves with sugar in red wine? Yes, it smelled like Thanksgiving to me. :-)

How Accurate Is It?: Okay, so....the red wine we have today is pretty much nothing like the wine they had. Ours is bitter and way way WAY too dry. There isn't much I can do about that but it reacts well to help overcome the fact we also don't have verjuice anymore. So that kind of balances that out. (verjuice being sour grape juice) The meat is grass fed so that's pretty good. Raisins and prunes have yet to change. So, despite cooking this in an electric oven and using tin foil to cover it, I'm saying this is pretty accurate. :-)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Modern Sewing

I've been doing a bit of modern sewing lately due to work and just not liking my current summer wardrobe. So first, work clothing!
Both the purple sleeveless and the aqua sleeveless knit dresses are from Simplicity 9103.  I've used this pattern a few times now (my pink knit dress, my black knit dress, and I have a long purple one with sleeves from this pattern).  It is really simple and is very easy to dress up for work (jacket and scarf!).  I took out the leftover purple knit this morning for a new shrug and realized I had enough for an entire dress instead.  I shortened the pattern by only an inch for the "A" look just due to the amount of fabric I had.  It still comes to just above the knee - making it great for pretty much anything.  The dresses always come out well (okay, so I do edit them and make the neckline higher) and they are just comfortable to wear.  Plus, no ironing.  Woohoo!

The teal shrug is from Simplicity 1961.  It takes a ridiculous amount of fabric to make but it does look almost 1920's inspired on.  Seriously, the purple knit above took about half the amount of fabric as the teal shrug.  But the shrug looks really amazing on so...

In other mundane sewing, I decided to try something I saw on pinterest.  I have a ton of old t-shirts that I love but are now clearly ten years old.  So, I decided to try and revamp them by adding a bit of contrast.  This is the first victim.

I have a lot of fairy t-shirts that I've worn since college, really. I love them. However, the cut to clothing has changed and it's starting to show how old these t-shirts are. So, time to make them look new again.

I bought a remnant of purple knit from Joanns. So far, this purple knit has been quite versatile! Not only did I use it for the inserts to this t-shirt, but it also became bias trim cuffs for a jacket I was mending. I still have some leftover and it was only a 1/2 yard to begin with. I'm thinking it might be patches for future items.

The inserts really are just triangles cut to go into the sides of the t-shirt.  Taking apart the t-shirt at the sides was interesting.  They were serged.  I do have a serger but it's evil.  My singer has a stretch function and it works perfectly fine for knits.  Just taking apart the serged edges took a while.

However, once that was done, sewing the inserts in was a breeze! This is over the purple knit dress. I might make the next inserts more diamond shaped to have more of a drape at the sides.
Still, this works.  My summer wardrobe will have a bit of a longer life now.  :-)  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Historical Sew Fortnightly #13: Under $10

The Challenge: #13, under $10
Fabric:Dupioni silk, cotton twill, canvas
Pattern: McCall's 2806 with some pretty heavy edits and additions of my own
Year: 1490's/1500's
Notions: Thread, some ribbon
How historically accurate is it? The cut is correct but it's machine sewn. Dupioni silk wasn't used although silk was.
Hours to complete: Er...7? I'm really not sure.
First worn: Pennsic, hopefully!
Total cost: $8.37 :-D

So, for those that follow me over on livejournal, you already know a bit about the cost of this dress. The pink silk is a baby pink in person. It was also curtains at one point in it's life. Specifically, Pottery Barn Kids curtains. Both curtains - a pair- were $5.90 together at the thrift store. I used one whole one for the skirt and about a third of the other curtain for the bodice and the upper gauntlet. Since each of the curtains were $2.95, the total for the silk and the cotton twill lining is $3.92. The silver trim and lower gauntlet is from a remnant at Joanns. All remnants are almost always 50% off (which is part of the reason I buy tons of them) so the silver silk piece was $4.43. The pink ribbons I used as ties for the lower gauntlet were part of a bolt I had in stash that I *think* I paid $1 for. I might have paid $5 but no more than that. It had 100 yards at some point in it's life. So, since I used about 2 yards, the price is either 2¢ or 10¢ for that. The canvas for the bodice was scrap I pieced together to get just enough for the bodice. So free on that one. All this together, either $8.37 or $8.45. Somewhere around there.

The dress is done in a similar style to those seen in paintings done by Vittore Carpaccio at the turn of the 16th century. Like this:

The pattern is one McCall's doesn't make anymore but I *love*:

However, I always edit it heavily. I don't think I even cut out the skirt pieces - ever. I used the bodice pieces for the blue gown on the pattern and that was it. I took out the darts and raised the front neckline to make it more suitable for someone who has not been a cup B since middle school. The skirt is just the curtain, cut in half, rolled and sewn at the edges, and then gathered to the front and back of the bodice. Then, I sewed the side seams. The upper gauntlet is a trapezoid pieced together from what I had of the 1/3 of the other curtain. The lower gauntlet is almost coke bottle shaped, really. It's fitted at the upper part but from the elbow down, it's meant only to cover the top of the arm. The trim at the neckline is just a bit of the silver I cut off the remnant lengthwise. I then folded the edges and tacked it down around the neckline.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Pennsic House is Period!

This is my vardo/trailer for SCA camping events.  Specifically, Pennsic.  The door is open in the picture because I was running in and out while I was painting Spikes (the seahorses) on the side.  After all, everyone needs to know it's a proper Atlantian home, right?

But how proper is it?  Well, when I started doing research, most SCAdians seem to think that these Pennsic homes go into the creative part of the Society for Creative Anachronism.  All I could find were mentions of covered wagons going back well into period but nothing on the wooden huts.  That was, until I realized it was a terminology issue.  Vardos - those beautiful 19th and early 20th century wooden wagons weren't necessarily period- but shepherd's huts are.

Anytime I did a search on tiny homes -which my trailer most resembles in a modern context- I would come across British and Australian articles about shepherd's huts.  Having not heard the term before, I decided to dig more deeply into what those wear and came across Shepherds' Huts & Living Vans By David Morris. Inside the book is a quote by Leonard Mascal from 1596:

in some place the Shepheard hath his cabbin going upon a wheel for to move here and there at his pleasure

A cabin on wheels? That sounds like my Pennsic house. 1596 is just inside the SCA pre-17th C guidelines, but it works. In the book, I also saw a couple of illuminations from the 15th century depicting shepherd huts. Curious, I looked for more and found quite a few now that I knew what to look for. Thank goodness for shepherds being a popular subject in the Renaissance!

Look above Eve's head to the right.  There is a small house on wheels.   I found the image at this site and only know that it's of Adam & Eve from a book of hours.  Based upon the clothing in the image, I'm guessing late 15th/early 16th century.  N'rmind.  I found the original Annunciation to the Shepherds here: MS. Rawl. liturg. f. 13   Still, it's only one image.  The book above had a couple.  Was there even more?

"The Annuciation to the Shepherds" from the Trivulizo Manuscript Book of Hours, late 15th century, by Simon Marmion (1425-1489)
Above the shepherd on the left's head is a very clear example of a shepherd's hut.   There are wheels at each of the corners and it is very much house/cabin shaped.

Early 16th C, Book of Hours  The following link is to the full page which is not work safe
 On the right, another example of a shepherd's hut.  There are wheels visible and, this time, we can even see the door.

3rd quarter 15th Century
Behind mister I have awesomely mismatched hosen, there is another Shepherd's hut.  This one has smaller wheels than we've seen previously.  So where they always house shaped?  No!

~1465 Book of Hours
I'm not sure if this is a Shephard's hut or a dog's house as that pup looks to be guarding this little two wheeled model pretty closely.

Basically, a house on wheels is perfectly period for the SCA period.  It might be late for some people but as my persona is late 15thc into the 16th C, I'm really excited about these images.

EDIT:  If anyone would like some more information, I stumbled across this article in French that gives a few more examples of Shepherd's huts, called roulotte in French.  I've also started a pinterest board regarding the Shepherd's huts in the SCA time period that should be regularly updated.  So far, 19 images!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Italian Turkish Outfit

Years ago, I did research on the Turkish Coat style as seen in Italian art. You can read the original article up on my webpage that I don't think I've updated in five years or so. :-) Although it's been a while, a lot of the research is still good and I still make the coats in the same way. I made one last year as well that I completely love.

This year, I found some scrumptious stripy linen at Joanns. It's 98% linen with 2% unknown. The unknown is the metallic fibers in the linen - which is very 16th century, although I doubt they are real metal. The colors of the linen are all very well documentable - orange, yellow, red, lavender, blue, and white. The moment I saw it, the fabric told me it wanted to be a Turkish Coat.

The Italian Turkish outfits are a bit different from the actual Ottoman outfits. Italian ladies didn't wear the chirka - or the vest like fitted jacket that went over the gomlek/chemise layer. (See for details on the Ottoman terms for clothing). There could be many reasons for this but what the portrait and extant evidence shows is the chemise and the enteri or coat was worn in Italy. At the Met, there is this chemise with a v-neck and this early 17th C coat, both Italian.

First, I cut out the body of the coat.  You can probably just make out the basic shape.  I cut out the side gores next - which I had to recut because I made them too narrow.  
Slightly blurry photo of the front of the finished coat with buttons.  I also made linen pants to go with the outfit.  The pants are a lovely melon color that looks much brighter against the orange of the coat.  They aren't cut in a period manner but work well since all anyone will see is from the knees down.  I used New Look Pattern 6139 for the general cut. I added a waistband and had the pants open in the front rather than use a drawstring or elastic. I just pleated the excess to the waistband. They fit well and are pretty comfy.
The back of the coat.  I will probably wear a blue or purple scarf around the waist mostly to break up the brightness of the color a bit. 
Side view.  These coats are so fun and really look much better on me than on the dress dummy.  This is what I plan on wearing at some point during Pennsic!

Monday, July 7, 2014

New Limited Time but Fabulous Product Alert!

Back before the corn allergy, I remember not liking Vanilla flavored Pepsi/Coke very much.  It tasted like toothpaste to me and I couldn't understand why people liked it.  Of course, I also thought diet Pepsi/Coke tasted like pure bitter acid.

However, this is delicious.  It tastes like cream soda almost.  I *love* it.  You can easily taste the vanilla but it does have some citrus acid in it to give it that bit of lemon/lime kick. 

I was so excited when I heard that Pepsi was going to do Wild Cherry and Vanilla Pepsi with real sugar this summer.  I can't have the wild cherry, unfortunately (stupid cherry/berry allergy!) but Vanilla is completely on the table.  I've bought one case to try and I'm going to get a bunch more before Pennsic. 

Pepsi, thank you!  Not only can I drink Sierra Mist no matter where I go (it's always sugar based), and the throwback Pepsi, but now I can see if this Vanilla Pepsi is an option too.  PLEASE keep these around.  I'd love to see what this tastes like with gingerbread at Christmas.  :-)

To other corn allergy sufferers, I know those with the most severe kind might still have issues because of the caramel coloring.  I have no idea if it is corn based or not but I haven't have a reaction.  My corn allergy is mild compared to the other food allergies I have so I don't always have a reaction if it's a very small amount.  (Like if it says 2% or less of dextrose, a corn based product, I can have the recommended serving without any issues.)  So, please, double check. 

Now back to your regularly scheduled Pennsic madness...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Shower Tent for Pennsic!

First, I should explain. Pennsic, for those that don't know, is a medieval and renaissance festival in which 10,000+ people descend on this one, small, Pennsylvania town for two weeks out of the year. For those two weeks, Pennsic literally becomes it's own city - complete with a post office, restaurants, plenty of shopping, and a transportation system. It's my favorite event and there is something for everyone - all you need is garb.

Because I'm going to be taking up residence, again, at Pennsic, I need to have a place to sleep, cook, and bathe. The trailer works for sleeping and cooking. However, it doesn't have a shower area. So, I have to make a shower tent.

Normally, the group I camp with has all the necessary infrastructure to include a day shade, shower tent, and kitchen tent. This year, the baron and baroness of my household aren't coming. Also, the infrastructure is a bit old. So, new stuff!

To make a shower tent, I first had to figure out what style I wanted. For those on my LJ account, you know I was hemming and hawing at this for a couple of weeks. I couldn't decided whether to buy a shower tent or make a shower tent to start with. I found two that were under $60 but one wasn't period looking and the other, it turns out, has see-thru material based on the reviews. So making my own shower tent it is!

Now, which materials to use? For a while I liked the idea of using PVC pipes to make a nice frame and just cover it. The problem would be cutting said PVC pipes correctly and having the entire thing put together in a way that it stores easily and, preferably, flat.

I also saw the hula hoop shower tents which can be nice looking but didn't seem very sturdy to me. I needed something that could hold some weight for the solar shower bag but would also give me plenty of room to wash my hair. That's when I saw this:

It's from Better Homes & Gardens and I realized that, out in the shed, I still had the old papasan I was planning on throwing away. The papasan is older than I am. I think. I know it was at least 20 years old when I inherited it in college so it's had a very long life for a papasan chair. Rather than make a hula hoop shower tent, I could reuse the old papasan - which would easily hold the solar shower's weight. Even better, this means I don't have to spend any money! The material for the shower tent was already in the stash from making a tent years ago and now I wouldn't have to make a frame either. Woohoo!

So, to start, I measured along the seat edge of the papasan and found it was 144".  That meant that the walls needed to be around 154" in order for the front to overlap.  I also wanted to add in some extra for the seam allowance as I was hiding the raw edges of the material in the seams.  I'd roll one edge, stitch it down and then roll it over again, but this time, encasing the other raw edge.  It's sort of like a flat fled but I'm not sewing it down flat.  I guess it's more like a french seam that way.  

Anyway, the walls!   There is a total of nine panels.  Each panel was cut out at 20" across the top and 40" across the bottom except for the door flap which was half that.  

The walls, lying flat, took up pretty much my entire front lawn.  I used the selvage for the bottom hem so that I wouldn't have to hem the entire thing.  I don't think I could take that. 

The roof, the first time I tried it on the papasan, needed work.  I cut out the bottom hem too narrow and the top hem was way too big.   I ended up adding a gore (See below) and pleating the top a bit.  I'm not concerned about rain because it's a shower tent.  Still, I want it to be able to withstand some weathering.
The gore!  It's just scraps but it worked.  I also wanted the shower tent to look somewhat medieval.  It is Pennsic after all.  This mean adding some sort of contrasting band around the bottom edge of the roof, similar to the tents in this plate from the mid 16th Century.  Notice that the tent on the far right side has a curved top, like this will be and the tent on the far left has only the contrasting band. 
I also added a bit of bias tape to the top of the roof to keep the pleats in place.  It's in the same green.  The green is rather translucent as I learned my first Pennsic, unfortunately.  I had made my tent out of it!  Later, that tent got turned into an interior while the outside became some lovely sunbrella fabric I picked up for $1 a yard.  
The tent finished!   I added loops to some of the panel joints to help stake it properly to the ground.  This will help when it's a bit windy from the tent flying up.  I'm going to probably use the solar powered candles you see in the picture around the tent.  This will be nice to illuminate where it is at night but also have a semi period look since they are candles!
The front entrance.  I put the tent up a bit crooked since this was the lowest reasonable branch I could tie the tent too.  The only other ones are very high up in my backyard.  
Me inside the shower tent.  The red you see is some vintage hem tape I used to encase the raw edges where the roof and the walls meet. 
Another picture of the front of the tent.  It's quite roomy inside - much more than I originally thought.  I'm sure I'll get tons of use out of it and the papasan and keep going on for at least another decade or so.  :-)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Chair Cushion Covers

I bought a pair of wooden folding chairs for $6.90 each at the local thrift store.  They are both in great condition.  I wanted something I could put outside at Pennsic and not cry if it got damaged.   Pennsic is known for many things - including sudden downpours and flooding.  I'm not leaving my super expensive, period correct, Savonarola chairs outside without extreme supervision.  However, I do want to leave something out for guests that is comfortable.  Normally, my encampment had four or five Viking chairs out.  Since it's just me for the main encampment (there is a branch of our group camping right next door), I thought a bench might be nice.  However, when I saw the folding chairs, I realized that might be a better idea.

Now, the folding chairs are comfortable but I thought some cushions might be nice.   I bought a 4 pack of very plain beige chair cushions from Wally World (ie, Walmart) for about $8 USD.  At home, I had some left over fabric from my SIL's Renaissance Fair gown I made her a couple of years ago.  It's a simple floral damask that isn't period but the color looks really nice and the pattern isn't discernible right away.  So, I doubled the cushions and made slip covers for them out of the mint green damask.

 The slip covers themselves are really simple.  It's one big rectangle, folded over, and sewn at the sides.  On the back opening, I hemmed it to prevent fraying.  I also added the small flap which is just another rectangle, folded over, but sewn shut and attached to the bigger bag at the center back.  The small flap gets tucked under the cushions to help hold the cover in place.

Oh.  And I added pink tassles.  Because, although this isn't period correct, all medieval cushions appear to have tassles.  Therefore, since this is for a medieval event, I needed to add tassles to make it look more medieval ish.
 See?  Pink tassles.  They are just some left over acrylic yarn I used to make a couple of monkey fists that got covered in more pink yarn.  I then sewed them to the corners.  It's not period looking but it's not blatantly modern either -which is good.  If a true medieval/renaissance person came up and saw the chair, they'd instantly recognize that it's a wooden chair.  There wouldn't be any questions about what the heck it's made out of.  Actually, there is a 16th C Italian chair that is similar to this style but I'd have to make a back cover too.

Here is the back of the chair.  The flap is just tucked in under the cushions.  I'm using the original ties to tie the cushions to the chair.  It's quite comfy and the covers are very washable.  Yay!

Now back to more Pennsic prep....

Mid 16th Century Dress Almost Done

 I've been hand sewing this dress mainly because I started it in the car.  :-)  I needed something to keep me occupied while sitting in the passenger seat in traffic.  Sewing the bodice worked out perfectly.  
The front point is a bit off but I doubt it will be noticeable one I wear a proper girdle with the dress.  I tried to fix it but it just ended up looking much worse.  The skirt is actually quite full, it's just hard to show that on the dress dummy without proper under garments...or hips.  I think it measures out at 118" around. 

This is an inside shot before I sewed down the lining to the skirt.

This shot is to show how I sewed the trim on.  Rather than sewing down one side and the up the other, I simply crossed the needle beneath the trim and fabric to the other side of the trim, made a small stitch, and then crossed back.  This way, the trim was secure on both sides and I only had to go over it once. 

I'll make sleeves eventually.  The style of the dress was inspired by this portrait:
Turns out, the portrait dress is actually green and the trim is gold.  o_0?   However, I love the style.   The only reason I'm not making the sleeves now is that I have three more outfits that need to be done by July 25th and I can easily sew sleeves, if need be, at Pennsic itself.  :-)

1930's Slip

I realized at 4 am that I no longer had my nice purply pink cotton underdress and had given that away. This meant I didn't have an underdress for the super sheer 1930's dress I just made. I needed a slip. And fast.

I thought on all the material I had and originally thought the purple/blue/orange shot silk I had would work - but it was way too heavy. Although the silk was already in a slip form (it had been a t-tunic with angel sleeves 10 years ago. The angel sleeves were taken off two weeks ago. The trim was recycled. The sleeves to the t-tunic were taken off. Really, it would have meant I sewed up the armscye but it's June. The material was originally meant to be worn in December).

My second choice was some pink linen but I thought about 1930's slips and none of the ones I thought of were out of any linen/cotton type material. They were all...silky. So, I ended up using my white silk charmeuse I had in the stash pile.

Next problem, figure out how to make a slip in less that two hours. Luckily, I came across this pattern which is super simple. The directions are very clear and the slip really came out well. The only issue I had is that if you make it the exact way it looks in the illustration, it will fit a size 20. I ended up without the top half squares. It was still a bit big but not as bad.

And beneath the dress...

The dress itself still needs some work but it looked okay together.  :-)

Thursday, July 3, 2014


For the Historical Food Fortnight #3, the challenge is "Today in History". I've been playing with a couple of ideas:

One, do a food in honor of St Thomas More - one of the few brave men to stand up to Henry VIII. He died (or, rather, was excuted) on July 6, 1535. I'd attempt to cook a food from a cookbook that existed during St Thomas More's lifetime - ie, a food that he might have actually eaten. He was born in 1478 so any late 15th/early 16th c English cookbooks would be up for grabs...I think there are three or four. (Anything 1450's to 1535 would be up for grabs as food doesn't change terribly quickly, unlike fashion. So, it's probable that recipes in a mid 15th C cookbook were still being used well into St Thomas' lifetime. My Mom still uses recipes from an old 1930's cookbook we have!)

Two, take the "Today in History" a bit different and do a "fishe day" recipe. Fridays - up until the 20th C- meant fish for Catholics. It wasn't just a Lent thing. In the medieval and Renaissance cookbooks I've read, fish day recipes are actually different from Lenten recipes. You can use eggs and dairy on fish days. So, the plan would be to take the theme and make what my ancestors probably ate on any given Friday.

Since I can't decide between the two, you get to help! :-) Any preference?