House Capuchin Shield2 Major computer woes delayed this! We finally got it back on Wednesday! It also took a little bit learning the new editing software, but I think it looks ok. Joel Reid’s write-up on that awesome 12th Night outfit starts the report, but there’s more!

The cut-up chicken

Other than that, this was all cleaning up from 12th Night and then starting in on other projects until Sunday, when we had a tasty potluck.

This weekend’s workshops should be at the usual times.

  • Tripot with beets, carrots and soup

    Herb Bunch – At Ancient Light, Saturdays, 11am-1pm

  • Sewing Time – At Ancient Light, Saturdays, 3-5pm
  • Project Day – At Ancient Light, Sundays, Noon to 6pm
  • Cheese and Wine happens irregularly, usually announced with little notice on our Facebook group.
  • The first course

    Next Potluck – 3/15, 4/19, 5/17

  • Winter Feast Date is 2/23/20, Theme German Renaissance

Here is the direct Portfolio link which has all the past Project Day reports and various projects, original here:  and new one here: and number three is here:

I asked Joel if it was ok to swipe his info in its entirety and he gave permission. This is an *amazing* gown and less than $100? Who says you’re stuck with Norse?

Joel Reid Jr. – The full process of design to patterning to construction and completion of the checkered frock of doom

So for context. Last year I was given the challenge to make a set of clothes entirely by hand and using period appropriate materials. I did that. It took WAY more time than I like to spend on projects and it cost me substantially more than I like to spend on projects for myself. But it got a lot of positive attention and feedback. But what nagged at the back of my brain was the notion that you have to have access to a significant amount of cash to make an Elizabethan frock that looks majestic and elegant. So, being that I’m in the SCA I decided to set myself the challenge to make Elizabethan on a budget. This frock had a budget of 100$ that I’d allow myself to spend on new materials and I could raid and pillage my stock of scraps and left overs to round it out.

The material I chose to work with is the colored muslin that JoAnn Fabrics sells in eleventy million colors. It averages 3$-4$/ yd. the linings and interlining for the doublet are all scraps left over from other projects. The skirt lining is one giant piece of white taffeta. The gold paint I used to execute the sun bursts and the text around the hem was already in my crafting stash as was the gold cording used to outline the sun bursts on the doublet and the heraldic roses on the skirt.

For those wondering I did not hesitate to paint the fabric as the Rainbow portrait is widely believed to feature painted rather than embroidered motifs and a recreation of the gown to be displayed with the portrait was created utilizing stamped and painted motifs.

I will probably go a bit over the 100$ limit I imposed on myself, I want to get some ribbons and findings to create decorative bows to finish the look off with, but I’m at 89.75$ right now so I’m ok with letting myself have permission to go a bit over, I purposely chose to use the very humble colored muslin that most people in the SCA use to make their first T-tunics out of in order to demonstrate that you can take that very humble fabric and through use and styling in period appropriate manners, elevate it to a fabulous level without having to break the bank to do it.

…and the other post that I commented on.

January 13 at 12:55 PM

So there have been a number of questions about the gown I wore this weekend at AnTir’s 12th Night. I will address a few of the more frequent ones here in a brief summary post. It isn’t going to cover every possible question, admittedly, but as it has been suggested by Tristin Tayla Sablerose on the ride down to 12th night, and by Charles de Bourbon and Shannon Christensen at 12th Night, and Michelle Height after……..a more detailed write up of the process of conception/planning/budgeting/construction is imperative given the project constraints I placed on myself to execute this and how I then went about meeting them. Jonnalyhn Wolfcat Prill has also requested a “boot-camp” day of teaching about processes and techniques employed in making this ensemble….so planning for that is in the very initial steps of coming together. Khalja Khorkhoi was also a strong influence on this because last year she put the thought in my head about teaching about making late period clothing more economically so it can be accessible to a wider audience of people with different spending thresholds for their SCA clothing.

1-“Is it uncomfortable?” Nope. I wore that outfit for most of the day and only changed out of it because I was going to be having pasta in a marinara sauce for dinner and didn’t want to risk spillage and stains……I could have gone well into the night with it but for that concern.
2-“What does the hem text Say?”

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

It’s the litany against fear from Frank Herbert’s Dune….and while not strictly period, I think its a perfectly apt mantra for running at your creative “fears” head on and tackling them.

3-Yes it was a time consuming project, made the more so because I hit a wall regarding patience while working on the heraldic roses and walked away from the creation of the skirt yardage for about a month and a half. That being said…..had I not opted to create checkered yardage for both the doublet and skirt, this would have gone together in about a week of evening sewing sessions averaging 3-4 hours each….the actual pattern piece shapes to create this are really quite simple, i just complicated this and lengthened the time line by deciding to create it from several miles of different scale checkers

4-There is a mixture of hand sewing and machine sewing employed in the creation of this gown. Despite having created the additional construction hurdle of checkered yardage…..I was conscious of the need to keep somewhat of a lid on the amount of time the project would take because I didn’t want to get to a point where I started resenting the time it was taking to make the thing and have it end up in the “bad project pile” because I was sick of dealing with it. So I sought ways to economize the time necessary to put this together and focused the fiddley hand sewing only where it was best employed for final effect…..long running straight join seams or hems that no one was ever going to be able to see the stitching…yeah, I was TOTALLY ok with deploying the sewing machine on those.

5-there are only 5 basic stitches you need to be able to do (or have a sewing machine that can do them) to accomplish something like this
-pad stitch
-running straight stitch
-whip stitch
-button hole stitch
-back stitch

None of them are difficult…and for the ones that get done by hand, are very easy once you get a rhythm down and figure out what your optimal working thread length is to maximize your speed at stitching.

6-YOU TOO CAN DO THIS……if you have made a T-tunic, you can make this. I purposely set out to make this gown out of the most economic fabric possible and then elevate it through how I used it to look more fabulous than it originally seemed when on the bolt. I used the cheap cotton broadcloth that everyone makes their first starter T-tunics from when they join the SCA. Having set myself a 100$ budget for this outfit ( with allowed addition of scraps and materials from my stash of left over fabrics from pervious projects)…..cost was certainly one of the main reasons for opting for the humble cotton broadcloth, but there were other factors that made it my preferred choice as well. And while I did end up going over the 100$ budget point by $7.53……I still am chalking this up as a success for staying that close to the budget over all.

7-the design impetus was my coat of arms. A red Letter A, in a sunburst, on a black and white quartered ground, with a red border around that, in which there are white heraldic roses. There is a veil that will be made to accompany this frock, and on the veil will be my coat of arms so that there is a complete version of it to accompany the outfit that is a “deconstructed” version of it.

8-my intent when creating this was not to represent accurate period clothing worn by a person in the late 1500s-early years of the 1600s. Rather, much like how people in the SCA regularly make 14th and 15th century heraldic clothing that did not actually exist within those times, this is my take on how someone could interpret incorporation of their heraldry into a late period design intended for a court masque, a masquerade ball/ carnival or festival. I pulled inspiration from the super over the top period costume designs Indigo Jones was creating for masques and masquerades in the late 1590s and early 1600s. I added the component of tight budgeting because I’d gone well over my normal working budget the previous year on a suit of men’s clothes made from only period appropriate materials. While I really enjoyed the process of creation for that ensemble, I was acutely conscious of the fact that clothing like that telegraphs the implied message that for one’s work to be taken seriously and be perceived as worthwhile, one must have the cash flow that can absorb throwing around 1.5-2K in materials and I really didn’t like that implication. So I set about creating something just as fabulous, but utilizing very humble, readily accessible fabrics….but just use them in very period methods, with a very period appropriate approach to cutting and patterning and fabric use efficiency, so that while the materials might not be period, the mentality governing their use and manipulation would be.

Early Week – Unpacking and putting away was most of Monday and Tuesday, and not all of that is done, even yet. The computer crashed in the middle of Monday afternoon, just after that report got published….

Cookery – Other than potluck cookery (see below) a dill soup got made from the whey and a couple more of the cheeses were finished. The Keeper Cookies for the feast got started this week.

Sewing – Some embroidery happened. Just Anja for the workshop.

Herb Bunch – Had a busy and longer than usual workshop on Saturday. We spent the first hour bagging and preparing herbs, (basil, oak moss, bay, spruce needles, yarrow flowers)

Next we started in on potting some starts and re-potting ready plants. We went on until well past 1:30 until we ran out of pots and potting soil.

At that point we took a “tour of the garden” and talked about a field trip to see Marian’s bamboo.

Project Day 

The chicken was roasting by 10am and I made a chicken/barley/mushroom soup, and both carrots and beets in butter sauce to go with it. We started our potluck with a nibbles tray that had garlic butter, tvarog, clotted cream and fig and honey jam, plus 4 kinds of pickles and bread. After the chickens were done and served I picked the carcasses over and made that into another broth.

I was also “wrassling” with an embroidered piece that I started a long while back that I never finished because the embroidery was off (I miscounted). I’m going to finish it, anyway, but I’m trying to work out the finishing stitch that I used. I *must* have it listed in one of my books, somewhere, and I’m going to have to hunt because I can’t seem to work it out.

Potluck – Loren and I were pretty tired by the time it came around to eating. He actually fell asleep with his first course in his lap!

The first course

Potluck Menu

1st course

  • garlic butter
  • tvarog
  • clotted cream
  • fig and honey jam
  • bread
  • pickled chickpea
  • pickled red beans
  • carrot and onion pickles
  • dilly beans
The cut-up chicken


  • Chicken roasted with Salsa Fina
  • Chicken/barley/mushroom soup (recipe below)
  • Carrots in butter sauce
  • Beets in butter sauce

Last course

  • Comfits
  • Fresh fruit (grapes)

After the chickens were done and served I picked the carcasses over and made that into another broth and while that was cooking, set up the care packages.


Quick Chicken and Mushroom soup

  • 2 cups Chicken Broth (made in this case from the giblets and necks of the chickens, plus some salt)
  • Chopped chicken bits (liver, heart, and bits of meat from the necks) (optional)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup barley
  • 1 large can mushrooms
  1. Strain the broth, first, if you made your own. Discard most of the giblets. Pick the accessible meat from the necks…. or just ignore this and toss all of it….
  2. Measure the broth.
  3. Taste to see whether it needs salt.
  4. Chop onion and add.
  5. Add barley and simmer until barley is soft.
  6. Drain mushrooms and add to soup.
  7. Add spices if you wish, but this had none.

Music – AncientFM this week….  


Anja, Loren, Susanne, Herbs Bunch (3), James (v), Sash (v), Isabeau (v), Coleman (v), Louisa (v)

divider black grey greek key

Largesse Item Count – (includes gifts, prizes, auction items, etc.)

  • ASXLVII = 24
  • ASXLVIII = 88
  • ASXLIX = 794
  • ASL = 2138
  • ASLI = 731
  • ASLII = 304
  • ASLIII – 146
  • ASLIV – 185 plus 2 puppets, 3 hippocras mix, 20 powder fort packets, 5 tiny bobs, lucet cords, 25 pouches for block-printing, 1 medium pouch, 4 small pouches, 12 bookmarkers, 18 unfinished pincushions, 1 sewing kit (except for bone needle), varnished stuff (124)

Total as a Household = 4016 handed off

moving writing pen motifIn ministerio autem Somnium! Anja, graeca doctrina servus to House Capuchin
Page Created 1/21/20 & published 1/22/20 (C)M. Bartlett
Last updated 1/22/20