October Sewing Projects

At the beginning of October, a friend of ours was "given a writ" ordering her to present herself at an event in November and discuss bein inducted into the SCA's Order fo the Laurel. This is the highest award for arts and sciences in the SCA, and a real honor. It's also a real obligation. You are expected to sit vigil on the day of the event, taking advice from members of the order and other worthies. You are expected to have a reception for those people. You are expected to wear your best fancy outfit to court when you present yourself to the King and Queen. Your friends are expected to present you with your regalia. It's a Big Deal. You're also not supposed to do all of this yourself. You need to have friends to help you get ready, prepare, and preent all the different parts of this.

The honor of making her big fancy outfit and Laurel "cloak" fell to me and Sharon. Other people chipped in and bought most of the fabric, and some other people (notably Duchess Morgen of Rye and Baroness Cecily of Whitehaven) helped out with subsidiary tasks, but we organized and executed the overall project.

The big fancy outfit was a recreation of the "Woman of the upper warrior class in ceremonial dress, with uchikake outer-garment" outfit in the Japan Costume Museum. Here's a picture of how it came out.

The outermost "uchikake" layer is silk brocade, lined with silk twill that Sharon dyed that wonderful golden shade of yellow. The middle "aida-gi" layer is a great figured silk. The lower "kosode" layer is a cotton print with some nice leaves and dragonflies (those insects being Roxanne's totem). She supplied her own base layer "juban" garment.

In this picture from court, Roxanne has received her laurel 'cloak', which is actually more of a padded uchikake. The outer shell is a plum-colored linen. The garment is lined in fine cotton, and padded for warmth. The back is decorated with a Laurel wreath made from 55 separate leaves made from fabric donated by her friends.

Each leaf was ironed to fusible interfacing, cut out, and individually stiched to the shell before the padding and lining were sewn in. The crowd reaction when this garment was displayed was supremely gratifying.

Anyway, that was most of October and the beginning of November. We were really tickled to be asked to help out in this way, and to make our friend look so good for the Kingdom. I got to learn some new techniques like applique and padding, practice making lined garments, and get some experience making women's garments.

2012.11.19 at 12:00am EST