A Make Nine Variant: #SCAmakenine

I am being quite random on this, and may well be biting off more than I can chew. However, this sounds fun to me!

I am deeply indebted to the spectacular Rochelle. Please see her post about the Make Nine challenge. She is also on Instagram as @makeninechallenge.

I tossed this idea out on the SCA Garb group on Facebook. I whined about my blog being too lame to start a challenge like this. However, why not? What the heck?

Join me! Repost at will! Link here!

I promise I will absolutely do my darnedest to stay on top of things.

Make Nine 2018

What do you mean, 2018 is more than half over? Details, I tell you. Details.

I put together a MakeNine2018 collage, and immediately re-thought it, and realized that there are several things left off of it.

The collage:

Only, there’s stuff I forgot:

  • The roped underskirt I’m making for my Italian Renaissance working woman dress (I am still composing posts for that project)
  • When Haberman Fabrics was closing and re-opening under new ownership, they had their amazing fabrics at half off at the closing Royal Oak location, including those in their Royalty Room. I purchased a fabric I’d eyed for years, and plan to make a really simple top to showcase the fabric. Not in my Make Nine!
  • I have no pants planned. Really? Me? I primarily wear pants. Sigh. I need to think about pants patterns. However. I have curves, so that will need some (potentially wearable) muslins. I have some good RTW jeans in my life, but they will need replacing. I’m not sure if the vaunted Ginger Jeans will work for me, or if I should try Seamwork’s new-ish jeans pattern.
  • I have this incredibly cool tunic that a co-worker picked up at a yard sale years ago because she thought it would look good on my. It really did and does, and I’ve always meant to copy it. This is now Important, because it has spontaneously spawned two (!) holes in the fabric. I tried to order a fabric that would replace it nicely, but the vendor did not have any more on hand. The search continues. It sure feels like linen in the tunic, but it may be a wonderfully textured cotton.

All in all, maybe my #MakeNine2018 is a first pass. I do like and want everything I’ve included, so I’ll leave it alone for now. Also, it’s July, soooo. Yeah.

If anyone has thoughts, please share them.

A Costuming Challenge Continued

I’ve been a nearly-complete slacker on the project for the the last two (!!) months. Oh, well. I’m human.

*Some* progress has happened. Here’s the updates I sent, edited for details and my own amusement.

Update (5/1/18)
May was unproductive. A great deal of Life and inertia set in. I’m hoping to tackle June like a linebacker! [yeah, that didn’t happen. At all.] Also, I have help!

Toni the cat does not notice her lack of thumbs. Note that she is my aforementioned linebacker.

I continued working on getting all my supplies for remaining pieces in place:

Dress: I am working on flat-patterning the bodice fitting I worked on with Dianne Stucki.

The line on the front edge is the original cut line.

This is the back, which pretty much perfect on my body. WIN!

I have notions for the dress now, too.

Roped underskirt: I worked on my roped underskirt. I’ve secured upholstery cord, a skirt to re-make into the new piece, and some ribbon to make channels. I’m oddly reluctant to get started.

Pocket: I think I’m going to use the fabric pictured for my saccoccia, unless something prettier turns up during a planned deep dive into my off-site stash.

Hankie: I’m going to use the excellent guide created by the woman known as Genoveva von Lubeck: http://germanrenaissance.net/drawn-thead-work-the-hemstitch-tutorial/

I’ve ripped and ironed a roughly 15.75” square of the lightweight linen to work on marking/thread pulling/hemstitching.

Update (6/30/18)

Apparently, Toni is not the only one who wants to help. Gracie kept me company during pattern-making.

Grace the cat knows she doesn’t have thumbs, but just DGAF.

Dress: I finished the flat pattern from the toile. The following is an illustration of a toile that misplaced itself in plain sight for, oh, 9 weeks or so.

I still sometimes forget, but I try to label all my patterns, especially traced-off/corrected patterns with person/date/piece name. When I fail to do this, I always regret it.

Roped underskirt: I worked some more on my roped underskirt.
I showed the skirt I wanted to make into my underskirt last update. I ripped it down into panels.

I made a gore pattern and laid it on the fabric to ponder:

I. HATED. IT. Too little flare, I still dislike this fabric, and and and. What the actual fuck to do?

I went web-surfing. I went back to http://www.elizabethancostume.net/farthingale/period.HTM, a faithful reproduction of Juan Alcega’s underskirt. Well, faithful enough. I’m way bigger than that lady 😊 …so I used a 60” wide denim with some stretch. As with most of my project, not HA. However, in my stash.
After I modified the pattern measurements, marked, and cut, I ended up with the following gores and centers:

I did start a mock-up of the dress with an alternative layout, but I realized I was simply messing around for the sake of going so. I will try to explain my reasoning in a future post. I am likely to get sidetracked. I hope to experiment with bias to determine if it will assist with bust support. …but not now.


A Costuming Challenge Start

I’m participating in an online costuming challenge. Technically, it’s a contest. Realistically, I have no winning-it goals. I want to have a complete outfit at the end of the contest. Here’s where you can see the contest: go here. Nose around some of the other costumers, please – there’s some amazing work there!

My plans for this challenge include four primary elements, all aiming for a late 16th century look:

  1. An underdress – in Italian, camicia. This is similar in many cultures – English outfits have chemises, for example. Essentially, body linens that will both protect you and your outer clothing from each other
  2. A roped underskirt, to give the outer layer some shape and make it more comfortable to get around in
  3. An overdress (aka, dress) with separate sleeves
  4. Accessories – in my case, I’d like to make a pocket (in Italian, this is a saccoccia), an apron, and a handkerchief. If I can, I’d like to make a pair of gloves, too.

So far, I’ve completed the camicia and had a fitting with a muslin of the dress bodice. I’ll chronicle progress. I’ll attempt lucid communication. I promise nothing.

Camicia (or “the thing under almost everything”)

Camicie are useful for protecting your clothing from you, and you from your clothing.

To make it, I purchased 3.8 oz bleached white linen from Dharma Trading. It started with a slightly stiff hand, but washed up beautifully. I am planning on washing it several more times to soften it up – this lovely sheer is the layer against my skin, so I want zero irritation.

The sponsor of the Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge, Bella Lucia de Verona of Italian Renaissance costuming site Realm of Venus, has some spectacular directions on making a camicia. There’s also a download.


I ripped and ironed, preparing the fabric to become a garment.

I labeled the various identical white pieces. I then constructed the bulk ofcamicia-pieces the garment with my serger (overlocker, for many people), reasoning that completing everything in a timely fashion might allow me to luxury of replacing elements before the end of the competition.


I tried the completed shell on, mostly to reassure myself that it was garment-shaped. It kinda is!


I always try to machine-gather. I always fail. I always end up ripping the machine stitches out and hand-stitching my gathering lines. Will I ever learn? No. I do not think I will. If this had only happened once or twice, I may have learned. Hope springs eternal that this method will work for me someday. Until then, my gathered pieces usually look like this:


I should probably stop  being impatient and use two lines of gathering stitches. Again, repetition may learn me someday. Today is not that day.

I gathered each of the four sides of the neckline individually, and tried the garment on.


I fussed with the gathers and deemed it passable. I made a neckline band. I totally went too wide with this, but I’m mumbling “done trumps perfect” to myself nearly constantly. My goal for this project is to simply finish, and I remind myself of this when I get an annoying perfectionist twitch. I pinned, then stitched the neckline to the gathered sections.



I skimmed so many time-appropriate images eyeing camicia cuff treatments! I finally realized that just pleating them into a narrow cuff would be something I could deal with wearing. It gives me the option to unbutton and roll them up to get a look like many of the extant paintings. The image below is a cropped section of Vincenzo Campi’s Kitchen (1580’s).

campi_kitchen (2)

I serged the unfinished fabric, then pleated them into cuffs. Bring on the Dance of a Thousand Pins!

I added loops and buttons that are…unfortunate. Again saying my mantra of done is better than perfect.

I clean-finished the hem with my serger, and turned it up and hemmed with my machine. It was kinda plain. I wanted pretty. I used a variegated peach embroidery thread and let my mechanical assistant sew my bottom hem trim.


With mere inches left to finish, my mechanical assistant growled and chewed up my fabric. Panicked, I cut it free as gently as possible (spoiler: it wasn’t very gentle). I laid another piece of the lovely linen over the ripped area, and re-embroidered, hoping it would conceal the repair. I used a large scrap, reasoning that I’d trim the excess off.

It looked great! I decided, as planned, to trim off the excess from the second piece. Less great, since I cut a slash into the original fabric. I think I need applique scissors. Here a picture of repairing the chunk my machine ate, then the chunk I cut out.


Sigh. Repair is virtually invisible, at least.


Finally, a camicia:

…now, I just need to continue…