Thursday, August 10, 2023

New sheer handsewn linen camica


The camica laid out on my bed at Pennsic.   It's too sheer to model as it's out of 2.5oz linen I bought from Fabric Store.   

Close up of the neckline.  I used linen thread I would run through beeswax to sew the entire camica.   Each of the edges are rolled or are wrapped in what is essentially linen bias tape.   

Close up of one of the cuffs.  I still need to add twill tape or some sort of fastener to the cuffs.  

Overall, it took me maybe three days, on and off, to sew the camica up while at Pennsic?  This included cutting out the garment and going to classes or walking around.   It really didn't take too terribly long.

The pattern is very simple.  One yard of linen for the front.  One yard of linen for the back.  30" of  the linen, cut in half for the sleeves (so the "top" of the yard is one sleeve and the "bottom" is the other).  5"ish to make squares.  I cut the bottom of the front and back to make binding for the neckline and cuffs.  Overall:  3 yards of fabric used.  

It's very lightweight and perfect for summer.   I'll probably wear it to the North Carolina Renaissance Festival in a few weeks.  :-) 


  1. Isabella, I was reading your post from 2015 about the purple color in the middle ages. I'm confused, was purple the color of the rich or it wasn't?

    1. Here is my answer in my 2018 post. Short explanation, no color was ever banned; only specific dyes were. Using a combo of dyes or just lichen, you can get a good grape purple.

    2. Interesting, buy why did purple eventually turned out to be the color of royalty? The real question is.. If it was quite prevalent to the lower-classes, as you showed, what gave them this obsession to the color? If emperors and kings were so captivated for the color, and I believe Diocletian payed a fortune for it, it'd mean the color was quite rare, right?

      And thanks for answering me, Isabella. Really like your work!

    3. Modern people confuse dyes with colors. The color purple was never banned or restricted. The dye purpur was restricted - partly due to how rare it became in the later middle ages. Purpur is well known, even today, for how well the color keeps for thousands of years. Regular plant dyes do fade where purpur didn't.