What do I put my stuff in?

I’ve been obsessed with totes and bags for ages. I have an entire pinterest board ( my pinterest ) ( my pinterest page dedicated to totes) dedicated to nothing but tote-bags! In the SCA, at least in Gleann Abhann, I don’t see much of a practical bag in use, other than the “man-bag” that many a dude will carry court time refreshments in.

Bags are so useful! The bags I’m talking about are the kind with long thick straps that you can throw over your shoulder and carry a ton of stuff = modern day bo-ho bag. But are they period?

It’s a side adventure, but I want to start looking at useful period bags made of cloth. If you have any pics, post them in the comments. Between all of our combined skills and knowledge, we can bring the bag back to the Middle Ages!!


I’ll start. Found this guy in the “Triumph of Death” by the 16th century Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder. It makes sense. If you are running for your life from a bunch of bloodthirsty skeletons, you really need something practical to stick your stuff in.

To me, I see a nice cloth satchel, almost a “messenger bag,” ​with both and adjustable strap and a buckle flap. How awesome is this?!?!

Off to make some art.

Happy sewing!


Holidays can really suck the life out of you.  They aren’t always bad, but they are time consuming.  And getting sick afterwards seems to be standard for the last few years.  But I’m back!

The only major project I’ve been working on is a tunic for my oldest daughter’s guy. It was a Christmas present that I thought would not take me that long to make. 3 or 4 years ago, I could have whipped it out in an afternoon.  It’s not that my sewing has gotten slower, but that I insist on doing more by hand.  I would die a little inside if I had to machine sew a gusset into a tunic. Then, of course, I couldn’t make it without some embroidery.  As simple as the pattern was, it still took time.  All-in-all, about 35 to 40 hours worth of work went into it.

It’s time to reevaluate the projects I’m in currently and the ones I need to start soon.

  1. Pleatwork apron needs work so that I can re-enter it into A&S.  Since I missed Winter Wonders this weekend, I don’t know when the next Regional A&S will be.
  2. Finish my blackwork needle case.  Working on this little bugger has taught me that really detailed blackwork is a long, long, long term project.  Looks like that Elizabethan coif may be my Kingdom A&S entry for 2014.
  3. Hubby needs a new under-tunic and hosen. Heavy fighting really gives garb a much shorter lifespan. Now that he has chain-mail, its life will be a little less. Any future fighting tunics will be either very simple or all machine sewn.  He looks damn good on the fighting field, but it breaks my heart a little to see my tunic getting beat upon.
  4. Hubby also needs a gambeson.  Partly that’s to give his nice blue tunic a little longer of a life.  It’s good for padding too.
  5. I want a total of three nice everyday use dresses. Dresses that are wash and wear, will hide the dirt and, if it gets a little dinged up, will still look good.  One for cold weather and two for hot weather.   I’m trying really hard not to obsess on them being 100% period.   My red and black corduroy cotte is a good cold weather one. That leaves me making 2 hot weather cottes.
    1. Side laced cotte
    2. 4 paneled cotte
  6. I want a total of 3 court outfits. I have 2: my Flemish and my green and blue cotte. The dress I’m going to make will probably be my A&S entry for Kingdom.   I’m thinking of a 4 paneled cotte that’s complete with the underclothing that goes with it.  Costume review? Maybe. Or maybe static costume.
  7. Tudor peasant outfit for my 14 y.o.
  8. Early period outfit for my 16 y.o.
  9. Make sure all the kids have enough clothes for Gulf Wars.
  10. Work on polishing the hand-outs for a couple of classes I want to teach at GW.

My list is growing every  minute. I better get to work!

Side-Laced Cotte Project

Missed going to an event yesterday due to a mild case of accidental self-inflicted food poisoning. Turns out that I cooked that chicken 2 weeks ago and not 1 week ago. I used to wonder why food contaminated with bacteria wasn’t safe to eat after being cooked properly. Heat does kill the bacteria, after all. Turns out that it is not only the bacteria that gives you problems. Bacteria can both excrete toxins and produce them upon death. Killing them won’t make the food any safer to eat. The bacteria may be gone, but it’s still toxic. In fact some bacterial based diseases, like Lyme disease, can cause more pain during the cure than during the illness because it produces toxins as the antibiotics kill it.

All of that summed up, staying home with accidental self-inflicted food poisoning isn’t fun. And I missed teaching my class on patterning a simple coif. Staying in bed all day, watching tv shows on Netflix did give me the time to organize my research files. Also staring at the dress I was going to wear, my bi-colored cotehardie, still hanging on the back of the bedroom door, made me realize that I need more garb and that it doesn’t necessarily need to be all hand sewn to look nice.

What’s my new dress going to be? A solid colored cotte, laced on the sides rather than the front, and with short sleeves and tippets. I’m going to make false chemise sleeves and neckline so that when it’s over 100 degrees here in the summer, I’ll be in a cool one layer of linen. That light green linen I have will have to be dyed – I’m not making another dress of that color. I’m thinking dark green or dark blue would be nice.

I’m looking at the styles from the late 1400’s. I like the look of the 15th Century cotehardie.

The fabric is atrocious, but I like the style.

This one will be based on the four-paneled design rather than the 8-gore one. Now on to the research!