All posts tagged: medieval

A 'St Birgitta's Cap' thedreamstress.com

A St Birgitta’s Cap

There’s a slightly funny story to this post. I finished my St Birgitta’s cap back at the end of January, photographed it, and wrote most of my post. And then my Costume History students at Toi Whakaari picked their topics for their first research paper, and I remembered that I’d given them a picture of a St Birgitta’s cap as a research option – and it had been chosen. Ooops… So obviously I couldn’t publish a blog post (even a fairly lightweight one using only the most obvious basic internet references) about making a St Birgitta’s cap until the student had turned in their paper. But the paper was submitted this afternoon, so here’s the blog post! (and I haven’t read the paper yet, so I’m not cheating off it either…). I’d always put St Birgitta’s caps in the ‘too hard and time consuming’ basket, but then Hvitr made one and wore it to our 2019 Historical Sew & Eat Retreat. Now, Hvitr is infinitely more patient and precise than me, and makes notoriously crazy …

May detail, Cycle of frescos of the twelve labors of the months, Trento (Italy), Castello del Buonconsiglio (Bishops Castle), Torre del'Aquila (Tower of the eagle), otherwise unknown Master Wenceslas of Bohemia, after 1397

The Historical Sew Monthly 2018: Inspiration for Challenge #5: Specific to a Time of Day or Year

The Historical Sew Monthly 2018 is well underway now, and it’s my duty and honour to write the inspiration post for our fifth challenge of the year: Specific to a Time (of Day or Year). I was slightly panicked when I realised this theme would fall to me.  I’m not at all an expert at pre-1700s fashions, and this is a challenge that’s particularly tricky before the 19th century (ish), when specific garments for different times of day became common.  But with help from my awesome co-moderators, I’ve found examples from a range of eras – enjoy! In chronological order: This ca. 1400 cycle of frescos of the months from the Castello del Buonconsiglio in Trento, Italy, provides a wonderful look at late Medieval fashions by season, with warm layers for winter snowfights: Flowing garments for spring romance (note the love-knots on the gentleman’s tunic): And sunhats and light shirts (and sandals!) for harvest labours.  The sunhats do double duty for this challenge, being both daytime, and summer, specific: Elizabethan costume plates also show wonderful …

At last, a first layer to my medieval ensemble (HSM 2017 Challenge #1)

I’ve been terribly backwards with my medieval sewing, making the gown, veil, belt and circlet, but not a proper shift (the nettle shift doesn’t really count). It was so easy to skip the shift when I could  get away with using one of my 18th c shifts, but the problem with using 18th c shifts is that they have 3/4 length sleeves, which get caught beneath the long medieval sleeves, and make a horribly bulky line on your arm. So a medieval shift was a must, and I’ve actually been working on one for over a year, doing bits of hand-sewing whenever I had a plane ride or a lecture to attend.  This shift didn’t make either long trip to the US, as it had too little left to do to, and would have ended up done, and useless weight in my luggage, far too soon. But it did get finished over New Years, though when I tried it on in preparation for the Levin Medieval Market, the neckline was a bit high, so I …