Recap some Blog Posts on Clothing

Every now and then a favorite blog of mine will make a post linking several other posts into one place for readers. I decided to imitate him and make my own page of links.

Laurel’s Prize Tourney:Garb Display Report

Resource for 11th Century Byzantine Garb


Children’s Clothing for SCA Events

Clothing and Trim

This collection brings to my mind that I need to get the camera out and photograph my collection of fabrics for garb, I need to lay out the pattern I am using for my tunics, and I need to do a series on making the garb.  It is about time I get into it. Wish me good results!

I note that I also need to add a blog post with a nice Bibliography. Best References edition!

Byzantine Dress by Jennifer Ball is my favorite book discussing secular dress from the perspective of the development of fashion.

By The Emperor’s Hand by Timothy Dawson is a good book focusing on military dress and other related clothing topics.

Dress in Anglo-Saxon England by Gale R. Owen-Crocker is a fabulous reference for early period clothing. It is the best starting point as it shows how to take the basic tunic and add to it with bags and shoes and other pieces of clothing that make your kit come alive.

Laurel’s Prize Tourney: Garb Display Report

OK, it is late, but here is my report on the Laurel’s Prize Tourney.  I took lots of pictures. I tried to get the name tag and the artisan together in my images. PLEASE, if I have erred, DO comment and set me straight! After all, there were nearly 60 artisans with displays.

I shall start with a lovely dress, hats and the artisan Murienne Corbeau: murienne-corbeaudiscussing-headgear-at-laurel-prize-tourney-murienne-corbeau-and-mistress-kaitlyn    hat-with-furwig-dressed-murienne-corbeauPhotos by Anna Maleine

This is the display of Isabelle de Calais.  She was very kind and sewed my bun into place as was done in my period. It stayed so well that I had quite a time getting it taken out again!  Just shows that the ancients knew a thing or two about how to do hair. As you can see, she has some lovely pieces of clothing included in her wider display.

p1000261p1000260     Photos by Anna Maleine

Staying with the theme of clothing: Here is Masina da Ferrara. She had researched and recreated a dress. She had run into difficulties which she discussed with a Laurel who specializes in garb. The Laurel was impressed with her attention to detail and believes she is going to be someone to watch.  I thought her hair decoration was particularly lovely so I include a photo that shows it better.

p1000324p1000327p1000333         photos by Anna Maleine

That doublet was quite something! Wish I had gotten a close up.  Here is the display of Simona della Luna. Sadly, I did not get to study her display over-much, and all I can say is that her period is much later than my own. 🙂  She even had her own card!

p1000180p1000179p1000182    photos by Anna Maleine

SHOES!!  The artisan Daire de Haya, and a display of shoes. He included his mistakes as well as his successes to demonstrate the learning process. I was able to sit down with this fine gentleman and talk about his work.  I found him courteous and patient with my questions. I was able to handle some of the display and see how the pattens, those wooden things they slipped over their shoes to protect them from the mud, were hinged. My main thought was that when we get rain here, the mud is too deep for those to be of much good– so maybe that is why the Dutch had wooden shoes to completely cover their shoes?

p1000257p1000316p1000258 p1000317p1000318   Photos by Anna Maleine

I recall one or two other instances of garb which for reasons of busy crowds, I seem not to have gotten any images of them. Here is a gown by Lady Marie de Girau, whose display was mostly food, and so in another blog post. Following the gown, I have several pictures of a display, and a close up of a book, and the artisan–but missed her name. Beautiful work, and probably not in the right blog post.


Here I end my first report. Pray tell me if I have erred on names!

Resource for 11th Century Byzantine Garb

I do 10th Century, however, there are others, whose blogs I admire, who do earlier and later period Byzantine, and there is a lot to be said about knowing what came before and after my time period.  A NEW RESOURCE just became available over at Anachronistic and Impulsive: Thesis Recap: Moving Onward.

In addition to spectacular photos of the GARB she created to illustrate her thesis for her MA, she has made her dissertation, with the glory of footnotes and Bibliography, available on Etsy for $8 (USD).  It is an electronic download and prints out nicely even if you only have a black and white printer. Color could only be better.

I am all for great reference material to add to one’s collection of Byzantine documentation.

Now if only she would take everything she has done, and perhaps a tiny bit more, and create a book, with Late Roman, Early Byzantine, Middle Byzantine and Late Byzantine sections, illustrated with drawings, sketches and photographs.  She would have the definitive volume on Women’s Garb for the Roman and Byzantine persona in SCA period.

We can only hope. Meanwhile, go read the rest THERE.

Awesome Byzantine Related References

Ate with Society for Creative Anachronism friends this weekend and had marvelous conversations with wonderful people. References came up during our conversations which led to my promising links and book references to each of them.

I will begin with the blogs for Byzantine clothing I like best.

Anachronistic and Impulsive: Anna’s Rome: A View of Ancient Rome and Byzantium in the Current Middle Ages

This is an absolutely awesome garb blog by a member of the SCA (a Maunche) who has just completed her dissertation on Byzantine Garb.  Her focus in her garb is just past my period, but she also does Ancient Roman, and knows her stuff.  I can say that because I have read so much that I know that she knows her stuff.  So, for Roman or Byzantine, this is the blog I send friends to read.

Then there is the blog by another knowledgeable lady of the SCA. She is an EARLY period Byzantine, so her persona and work tend to pre-date my period of Byzantine, but again, I send friends to this blog because she knows her stuff. Even more fun, she goes beyond garb into arts and sciences.

Konstantia Kaloethina

Konstantia Kaloethina is a Herald in the SCA, and makes jewelry. Really pretty jewelry that she generously describes and shares about on this blog.

Both of the above blogs are my favorite garb and etc. Blogs for Byzantine. I read them as soon as they post!  You can also find both these ladies on Facebook where they share a page they call BYZANTEAM.  I prefer the page BYZANTINE ARMY because the scholars there are amazing at sharing references (academic papers)  I would never find on my own, which I print out to read later, and am filling notebooks with, so I don’t lose them. They also are wonderful at locating the artwork and images for everything imaginable. I get more general clothing information from BYZANTINE ARMY,  than I do from Byzanteam.

I think I have shared these two blogs before on my blog. But I wanted to put them in the same post.

A Third website I like is better for male garb than female, is LEVANTIA.  This web site is general, and not as deep as I would like. His books are better than his web site. Still, he has interesting ideas, and strongly held opinions based on years of re-creating the culture for demonstrations and SCA.  His is one of those blogs that fits my short list of those I send people.

Lastly, there is this blog: 10th Century Byzantine.  I write here. I need to write more, to have greater discipline and to spend more time sharing my findings so others can benefit. But I like my blog, and its focus.  Someday I hope people will recommend mine with the same zeal I recommend the two blogs above–but I am not there yet. 🙂

These are where I start. Have fun!



I have a number of blogs I enjoy. If you were looking to make a warm covering to wear for Byzantine, this lady’s work on her dissertation spills over into her SCA play and she shares– cool person! Here is the link to her cloak post, which is just the first as she promises more detail later. 🙂

The Importance of Mantles in Middle Byzantine Fashion

Her research gives three types of mantles/cloaks. The half circle that is long(foot to floor), the half circle that is calf length, and the really fancy expensive one(details to come later). What fun! THREE options!

Her focus is 11th Century. As that grew out of the 10th century, if you are careful, you can use that information to help you understand the cloaks of 10th century. Clothing changed, but slowly, and while it is problematic to reach backwards, if you put it with everything you find for 10th century and before, you can see the arc of development and the later helps to clarify the former.

Be sure to bookmark her blog, ESPECIALLY if you are doing 11th century Byzantine. 🙂

Have fun and God bless!

Sable Sparrow for Garbing a Child

A friend, Lady Dianna as she is known in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), was awarded an Ansteorran award for garbing a child. MY child to be exact. My child seeks to learn to do Rapier fighting in the SCA and so needed garb appropriate to that late period activity. Lady Dianna Blakely dove right in and created this garb:Version 3IMG_2193

Two pair trousers, vest, doublet, hat, tabard, shirt, and a fighting cloak not shown. Also not shown, gloves, hood, and gorget!  She is working to add one more shirt to round out the wardrobe.  She made each item carefully to allow for changes in height and breadth.  THIS is a top flight example of garbing a child.

The Sable Sparrow is an award given for a one time service that is above and beyond. I would say this was a very beautiful example of a well deserved award!

The garb is late period because rapier (fencing) is a late period activity. In the 10th century the fighters would have been Chivalric in nature (in the SCA these are the medieval knights with the heavy armor) and dressed very differently, but that is one of the wonderful qualities of the SCA. A family does not all have to dress alike.


Also, the Tabard clearly informs the educated SCAdian to which group this child is attached and to whom you return them if they are found where they ought not to be.

And that, dear readers, is an example of children’s garb.

My gratitude to the good Lady Dianna!

Children’s Clothing for SCA Events

Children’s Clothing for playing in the modern middle ages, AKA the Society for Creative Anachronism(SCA), is an ongoing problem. The other day as I explored the Ansteorran web page, seeking information, I ran across this excellent article: Children’s Costumes at SCA Events by Ælflæd of Duckford (the author’s SCA name).

The article is good, with pictures, patterns mentioned, and other useful and practical ideas about clothing children for events. She did a far better job than would I!

So, while my basic kids garb, influenced by the Metropolitan Museum where their online pages have two extant items (child’s hooded tunic, Child’s dress, similar to adult) that suit my period, is easily done with a t-shirt, linen, and a bit of trim; practical and simple to make but not all that varied in design, this author wrote on all sorts of fun options, with photos of her own children fully garbed.

So, in addition to Children’s Costumes at SCA Events, you can dive into the many options at Stefan’s Florilegium.

Go, follow the links, and enjoy!



What I Do For Fun.. Society for Creative Anachronism: King’s College 2015

It is HOT, so I am heading off to the INDOOR summer Society for Creative Anachronism events here in Ansteorra, the premier of which is KINGS COLLEGE.  Why am I excited to attend this event? Well, try out the CLASS SCHEDULE. For how little it costs me, an event like this packs a huge punch; *details at the bottom of the article.

Now, what is your interest?

There is an entire day of classes about ARCHERY.

There are TWO tracks (or more if you count the class on playing music for dancing) for DANCE.  There is an entire track on CORALE for Renaissance music too. Carnatic Music from southern India gives a completely different experience.

FIBER ARTS: There are classes on embroidery, patterning a Persian coat, Barding for your dog (what does a well dressed dog wear in the middle ages?), hand sewing, Viking and early Medieval stitch types and the problem of finishing edges, seams and necklines, setting up an Inkle loom, simple T-tunics, How to make a St. Birgitta’s Cap, Skirt pleating for Renaissance skirts, and an introduction to Smocking.

GAMERS: there is a class about making and playing period games! Viking games anyone?

Calligraphy and Illumination: entire all day tracks of classes in this most lovely of arts.  Classes cover historical ideals of colors, for they combined colors differently than do we today.

HISTORY: punishments and methods of execution during the period covered by the SCA.

FOOD: 14th century England: foods eaten by both royalty and the common people. Middle Eastern: hummus; spices used in Middle Eastern Cooking, storing fruit and some recipes for Ottoman cuisine.

FENCING: the art of the rapier, several classes to develop your skills.

HEAVY FIGHTING: you know, knights in armor with heavy weapons and helmets.

And this does NOT include everything.


I am eagerly awaiting the day. Next Year I shall teach a class!

*CONSIDERING ATTENDING? You will need a basic pre-16th century garment to wear; a basic T-tunic works and if you check out your local SCA group, the Gold Key, Hospitaler or Chatelain will have loaner tunics.

There is a gate fee, and a $5 add on if you are not a member of the SCA, but once that is paid to the troll at the gate, you are welcome to select classes at will. SOME classes have fees to cover the hand outs or material costs, but others have no charge at all. Arrive Early to sign up for the most popular classes before they fill up. Carry one and five dollar bills in your money pouch to cover those class fees. Most classes have no fee at all.



Pearls are a major component in really fancy Byzantine clothing. The wealthier you were, the more bling– more pearls, more gold, more brocades.  An outer tunic to wear to be seen might begin with a silk brocade, then be embellished with gold thread, embroidery to add dimension and details to the already incredible brocade and then finally pearls would be sewn onto the clothing to make it really pop!

Add jewelry of gold with enameling and colorful stones and more pearls, and WOW!

Also, a civil servant might be paid in fabric, by the pound.  So while the homes of the wealthy were hardly fancier than the smaller homes of the less wealthy, the real difference was found in the clothing worn.

What you wore really did tell everyone who you were, and dictated how you were treated.

And I just purchased a hundred strands of tiny pearls. D grade, white, and roughly 3mm.  It was a good sale and as cheap as they could be had.  D grade is fairly poor quality, but still better than plastic!

So, I need to get on the ball and turn that brocade into a tunic so I can start embellishing as soon as it arrives.  I have some nice metallic gold thread to use too.  My goal is one tunic that is heavy as all get out, blinged out to the max, to be worn only in cool places where it will not get dirty, LOL!

Bit by bit the stuff comes together, now must make time to do the work– that will take a LONG time.

Have GOT to do pictures.

Meanwhile, this has nothing at all to do with pearls…


Oh FUN! A doll ideal for period clothing

I wanted a fashion doll for my kids to enjoy but wanted a healthy, intelligent looking doll. Facebook to the rescue, someone posted about a new company called Lammily.  This led to my purchase of two. I can hardly wait until they get here!  I need the doll in hand so I can begin to create medieval clothing for the doll.

I learned some of my early sewing skills by making clothing (very badly done) for my Barbie doll. But nothing really fits the body of a Barbie.  It just will not look right!  But this new doll, I can easily see this one allowing for exploration of various periods of garb at much lower cost than doing clothing full scale for myself.

The truth is, I like exercising my urge to make garb for a doll, and then only when I decide I really really want something like that for myself do I put in the effort to make it for myself.

Sort of the same reason why I like making garb for my children. Less fabric, and I can work out the shapes I need to cut to copy something from a museum photo, all at less cost to myself.

The result is a kid with garb, a doll with garb, and I had fun.

Isn’t that what this hobby is all about?