Monday, December 18, 2017

Husbeasts favor, an experiment in hair work.

"Many an ensign of red, blue, and white, many a veil
and many a sleeve 
were bestowed as tokens of love"
- Romances of Chretin de Troys,
Erec et Enid

The SCA has the delightful habit of adopting some of the more grand romantic gestures from times past into the society and making them part of our own particular culture. To my mind, one of the best of these is fighters carrying favors onto the field, typically these favors will have been made for them by their romantic partner, although not always (one of my friends has carried a favor made by a child of marker on napkin onto the lists with great pride). This practice is rooted in the tournament tradition where a lady would give her "favor" to knight on the field, and as a visible sign of her  support, she would give him an object to carry onto the field, one of her detachable sleeves, a scarf, a ribbon, could be tied around their arm, a handkerchief or similar small object could be tucked into the armor over the heart as a more private token.
A knight receives a token from a lady
Manesse Codex
The earliest mention of this seems to have been sometime in the 12th century, although the practice became more popular later, it still wasn't by any means as universal as the idea of it became when it captured the imagination of the victorians.  In fact, it's reasonably difficult to separate the fact from the fiction in this instance. Very likely it was done in real life as well as period fiction, but exactly how, and what (aside from detachable sleeves) was given is somewhat unclear.

 For SCA purposes usually a belt favor or a scarf is given as a token to the fighter you support, whether just for that day, or in a long term relationship. Belt favors can also be used to show household and other allegiances. My children, for instance, each wear a belt favor with household arms, and their animal badge on them as ID tags: so if they get lost they can be returned to sender.

For my husband's favor, I wanted to make him something really special as a token of my affection. A way of taking my love with him into the lists, even though I frequently can't be there when he fights to cheer him on. I decided on a scarf, since he doesn't always wear a belt, and I made a design with my personal heraldry: a mouse, and my favorite flower: a rose. Many of the favors I've seen are linen, but I wanted to make this super fancy, but still sturdy, so I chose a tightly woven, plain weave shot silk in blue/green. My own arms that are on their way to being registered are green, and his are blue, so that seemed appropriate (not to mention my enduring love of iridescent silks. They were much loved in his persona's period too).

With the design down, I had to decide on materials. I had read an interesting throwaway reference in my wonderful book "Elizabethan Stitches" referencing Elizabethan's couching down all sorts of things to prettify embroidery design, human hair, feathers, anything pretty, and had been super excited. I've had a great interest in fiber arts using human hair for a long time, I enjoy the symbolism of it, and I think that as a love token it's particularly meaningful. I was super excited to find that it was a period thing, not just something thought up by the victorians, and decided to do the mouse, my personal symbol (based off a nickname the husbeast gave me long ago and far away) in my own hair. Since that is a couched technique,  Idecided to make this piece a couching sampler. I had seen stems in another piece, part of a glove, worked in gilded leather couched with gold, so I decided to do that for the woody rose stems. Likewise I had seen floral elements on extent gloves filled with sort of squiggled couched threads, I chose to do that in silk for the floral elements of the design.

I used my fancy new white permanent transfer paper on this project and it worked GREAT. I really suggest it for working on dark materials.  it doesn't smudge, and it's easy to work with. I bought it for the gloves of doom, and was trialing it here.

First I cut the stem portion from the gilded leather, and couched it down, then I couched a thread along each side of it to outline it. The extant piece I had seen was likely worked over in ladder stitch, which I did not do here, because  I didn't think I could control the curve of the leather as well. I will try that another time. I tried outlining the leaves with couching, since my original intent was to use nothing but couching on the whole piece, but it was so clunky, I tore it out and went to stem stitched outlines for the leaves, which were much more pleasing. I continued to stem stitch the outlines for the rest of the piece.

 With the outlines set,  I began to fill, using three strands of floss stitched down with a single strand of the same floss. Because the area was small, and because I wanted it to be snag proof, I worked the fill on a very small scale, very tightly stitched, and very small turns in the thread. Techniques like this would have been popular in period (and indeed are still popular with me!) because they would have used the expensive silk to the best advantage: hardly any of it is wasted on the back of the work.
 with the leaves filled I went onto the flower, outlined in stem stitch, and decided on some shading to highlight the petals. I drew on the shaded areas with white colored pencil, and filled them in with couching in pink silk, being careful to leave edges that I could fill in against easily with the darker color.
Then onto the dark fill, still working in the same manner. I started and finished the couched threads by pulling them through the work to the backside with a large needle and then running them through some of the stitch loops on the back, avoiding any large knots I might have to try and stitch through/around. I started and finished the couching threads with small sewing knots. The scale of the work is still very small. The silk fill was a little faster to work than opus anglicanum/split stitch, and MUCH more thread saving. I worked the dark fill of each rose petal in an evening's worth of embroidering.
 With the rose finished, I outlined the mouse in silk that matched the variegation of color in my hair. I have a bunch of cut hair from me chopping it all off after various pregnancies (when it would start falling out), which ranges from the almost brown of my roots, to sun and bleach lightened ends. I wanted to use that variegation in color to highlight the shapes with subtle shading, and so outlined the various portions of the mouse with different shades of brown, to accentuate that eventual shading.

 As soon as I started working with the hair, it was clear that it was going to be tricky, time consuming, and require lots of patience and concentration. First, it was hard to start the hair. I used the technique used with gold passing thread (shown in "elizabethan stitches), and stitched a tail down with small whip stitches to the reverse, knowing that the stitches would be covered by the fill. Even so, a gentle tug would pop the tail right out of the stitches.

Then it became instantly obvious that I wasn't going to be able to turn the hair at the ends of the rows like I could other threads (much less use it for the free form fill I had been doing!), it was simply too springy, and the loops wouldn't properly close. So I started working in linear couching, keeping the hair threaded onto a large needle, and would pop each row through the fabric at the end, then come back up for the next row, rather like working the thread saving variant of satin stitch. I was able to come up and down under the stem stitch outlines, so you can't see the starts and finishes, it just looks like the hair disappears under the outlines.

 Here's the reverse of the work showing the long tails I left starting and finishing on the ears. Since I only wanted the dark root portion of the hair, I couldn't use the whole strand. I left the tails, then stitched them down and trimmed them short once I had a few.
 in progress on the inside of one of the ears.
I ended up taking a hint from Opus Anglicanum with the mouse, and using the direction of the lines of couching to help show the shape of the creature as much as the changes in color. 

The mouse was the last of the embroidery,  all that remained was to take it off the frame, fold it in half, sew it into a tube, and turn it out as a scarf. I finished JUST in time for Husbeast to take it to Kings and Queens rapier championships with him. When he gets home I will properly top stitch all the edges to keep it flat, and finish the (currently unfinished selvedge) ends. 

I asked the husbeast to take a picture of himself wearing the favor at tournament so I could post it, and he sent me this: such a comedian.

Evidently it was sliding down his arm, so he tied it on his belt instead. I don't know if he couldn't get it tied tightly enough over the elbow by himself, or if it's just slippery. The solution will be either a small fabric loop attached to the sleeve, or a safety pin. I'm leaning towards the fabric loop on the sleeve because it will be easier for him to do that himself. 

Here's a good article about love tokens in history and the SCA

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

In Search of Armor: Kidney belt

With my gambeson done, I could start on the rigid layers of my kit, which needed to be fitted over the padded garment to avoid accidentally ending up with something that didn't fit at all.  I decided to start with my kidney belt, which will go under my tunic. I had some dilemma over how to design this item. Most of the guys who use a kidney belt sort of protection just use a straight belt. For someone with as much hip as I have, that didn't sound like a comfortable option, especially with the weight of my leg gear hanging off of it. It seemed like the best solution would be to have it extend slightly over my hips, not far enough to limit motion, but far enough to solidly seat the weight there and keep it from digging in. I immediately thought of the shape of a "waspie" corset. It seemed to me to be the ideal amount of coverage, so long as it was adapted to be snug, but not create a reduction in waist measurement.

I set about making a pattern. Drafting from my block, I made a basic short, 8 panel corset pattern, fastening on either side of a center front panel to allow adjustments in waist size. I cut it out in some canvas, and fitted it, taking tucks where it needed to be reduced. Once the fit was comfortable, I transferred the alterations to the patterns, and then double checked the final waist measurement of the mockup against my own. It was exactly the same, so I reduced the front panel a little further to allow room for lacing.

you will note that I have both the number and
an arrow on every one of these patterns. Corset
patterns can be ambiguous as to which way is
up. Using an arrow means you won't put
them together wrong. it's worth the time
I had originally planned to just cut the panels directly out of heavy leather, then lace them together. After further thought I decide that this was inadvisable. People who make corsets become aware, quickly, that leather, although beautifully stiff, and not needing extensive boning, stretches and distorts under pressure. Particularly if it has moisture and heat. Strapped to the body of a hot sweaty fighter seems like the perfect situation for leather to stretch totally out of shape, particularly given mumblety mumblety pounds of leg harness hanging from it. So I decided that a better option would be to rivet the leather plates directly to a fabric base, a fabric base made of something not terribly stretchy, but still comfortable and breathable. The corsetierre in me immediately suggested coutil as the best option. Although this belt wouldn't experience the pressure exerted on my corsets, it does share some of same attributes. As a bonus, I still had some good quality german coutil lying around, so I fished it out and traced the pattern.

How to manage the seams was the next question. When I make corsets I prefer to use an elaborate folded seam system that eliminates bulk and creates a boning channel. This wasn't going to NEED boning channels, and the origami element of that seemed tedious and unnecessary. I could likewise just put the seams to the outside, and hope the riveted leather plates would cover them. That seemed like leaving too much to chance though. if the seams worked free and poked out between the plates it would be unsightly and it wouldn't wear well.  I finally decided on a partial lining to cover the seams as being easy, attractive, and practical. Seam binding would have worked too, but I still had some of the skull fabric from my gauntlets lying around and wanted to use it, and it wouldn't have shown to advantage cut into small strips for seam binding.

Once I got it all together I wrapped it around me and bent back and forth a couple times. This set a wrinkle at the waist, which marks the spot for me to sew in a waist tape, a further precaution against stretching out of shape. Probably overkill, but a 10 minute investment now guards against a total re-do six months down the road.

Waist tape on, I bound all the edges with bias tape. Bright red and black are the colors of  the household I fight with, so it seemed like a good choice. Plus I like the red with the silver skulls. The belt was now ready to have the armory bits riveted to the outside of it.

To do this I first folded back the seam allowance on all my pattern pieces, and traced them onto leather with the tip of my awl. I cut them out carefully with an exacto knife, and rounded off any sharp corners a bit. Then I punched even holes along the vertical edges for rivets. Now  I had to decide whether I was going to water shape them or not. I didn't want the belt to be rigid, like my gauntlet backs, or even as hard as my hot water hardened rerebraces, but it was instantly obvious that the pieces over my hips and the center back would HAVE to be shaped. I decided in the end to wear it for a while and see if heat and sweat would be enough to shape it, or if it needed to be sprayed with water and cinched down to take a better shape.

The remainder of the construction was annoying and time consuming, but not difficult. I lined up the leather panels with the corresponding fabric panels, making a hole with my tailors awl, I inserted a small pop rivet, and riveted on the leather onto the fabric. Then I mounted d-rings and straps to the front. I also punched holes for laces to point my current set of legs on. I'd like to eventually buckle the legs rather than tie them, but these aren't' my final legs (and I'm not even sure what I"m going to do for final legs yet) so  I decided pointing them on was the easiest method for now.

Shakedown cruise proved that the concept is GREAT. Very comfortable, good protection. My leg armor stayed put beautifully, and the weight was much more comfortably supported than by belt or pourpoint. The heat and sweat did adequately shape the panels, so I don't think further shaping will be necessary. On the down side, the sythentic strapping I used in the d-rings is slippery when it's sweaty, and so the belt doesn't stay cinched. Also evidently my pop rivets can't get enough purchase through the strapping to be secure long  term, and I did lose a strap. I also found I didn't really need d-rings for adjustment on both sides, since really it was most comfortable completely closed. I ended up attaching one edge permenantly, and using cotton strappping and D-rings on the other side. If it continues to slip out while I fight,  I can always go to buckles.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Dress Houpelande for a Companion to the House

Although my persona is 10th century viking, my Household that I am in the process of trying to join, is 15th century german. So if we show us as a household in dress, it's ALL the Houpelande's and Dags and shiny boots (If you're a guy). As a female fighting household member (when and if I make it that far) the uniform is less clear, but it's still very much 15th century. As a companion to the house (I have expressed interest in joining, but the house hasn't expressed interest in me yet. a sort of pre probationary period lasting at least 6 months) I wear a black tabard when I fight. For full dress, it's a bit complicated. If I was a guy, I would make myself a nicer black tabard and still wear the tabard. As a female, it looks dumb, and it's not appropriate for any period to wear a tabard belted over my clothes. With Fall crown tourney coming up, and several of the guys in the house throwing their hats in the ring (two of them with a good chance of winning) All of us coming to cheer have been requested to show up in full house formal dress. I decided that me in my viking undergown with my tabard belted over it and my bare feet LIKELY wasn't what they had in mind, although it's the strictest interpretation of the rules. But the rules were designed for male garb, not female. I decided, after consultation with the other fighting female household member, to wear a female houpeland in unrelieved black (like my tabard) this provides a nice continuity of look between the male house members and the female, while still maintaining distinct gender for those who wish to.

both figures here wear houplandes
Boccaccio "Livre des cleres et Noble Femmes"
ca 1404 
It's really a very simple garment; almost exactly the same as the male version. Other than a few deviations in collar style, the only obvious difference between the two garments is that,  while the men's came in numerous lengths (from just past the crotch to floor length), Women's Houpelande were limited to floor length (or super exorbitantly long so you had to carry it.) It's one of the few times in history that I can think of where male and female clothing were almost exactly the same, which is interesting (excepting the way back when when people basically wore tunics and long tunics.)

As previously mentioned, there are several variations of the neckline for the women's Houpelande, Since the idea is a uniform look (pardon the pun), we chose the high neck to match the style that the men wear. Likewise you can do almost anything with the dags: we chose the crenelated style used by the men's current dress garment.

There is, as usual, argument about the best way to create this garment. A lot of the plausible research suggests for the very opulent style: essentially a full circle of fabric with a neck hole and slits cut for setting the sleeves. This produces an incredible garment, but is also a LOT of fabric. It also doesn't entirely provide for the very fitted drop shoulder look seen in a number of the illustrations I perused. I didn't fall too far down that rabbit hole.  I wanted a garment that would look and hang like the period garment, not necessarily an exact reproduction. In some cases, the two are the same thing: you can't get the period look and hang without the proper construction. in my case I thought i could probably manage by drafting off a block.

church of santa maria, piano italy.
Another source of debate is the lining of the gown. While it seems obvious from even a quick perusal of period images that the gowns were lined fully (every turned back hem shows a different color) I have seen it asserted that they were exclusively lined in fur. While there are certainly a large number of them lined in fur, probably even the majority, there are plenty of illustrations that show a non furry lining. I will not be lining with fur, because many times when I will have occasion to wear this it may be 90 degrees outside, and i do not wish to melt.

Life of the virgin, the birth of Mary, detail
ca 1470
Houpelande's were an over gown. they were worn over the fitted kirtle of the 14th century (indeed they were fashionable over the end of the 14th century and the beginning of the 15th.) Frequently the undergown was made of some sort of fabulously opulent material, which would then show at cuffs and hem. It's also possible that it could have been fitted with a wide trim around the hem of the fabulous material and pin on sleeves. Certainly a short sleeved kirtle with pin on sleeves was known. Later images, particularly several by van der weyden show this short sleeved gown appearing next to a woman in a houpeland, possibly as it's own sort of overgown,  while some other images seem to show it as a sort of undress. My own kirtle has pinned sleeves and may later be outfitted with a contrast hem. this is easy and practical for me, providing more combinations of outfits with less effort. Although I cannot assert that it is absolutely correct without much more research, I feel like I can call it plausible.
 (If you wish to go further down this rabbit hole than I did, a quick google search for "women's 15th century houpelande illumination" will yield many hours of fun.)

For my own recreation, I started from my recently drafted body block, dropped the shoulder, and slashed and spread it from just above the bust point.

The first fitting was promising, but needed a few further alterations. There was more fullness than I wanted under the arm, so I re-adjusted some of my spreading. Also there was a problem with the sleeve. I had placed the seams at the center top and bottom of the seam, rather than at the front as in my husband's hanging sleeve. and made the shortest part of the sleeve also parallel with the shoulder point. That turned out to not work out as well in practice. The short part of the sleeve ended up being at the back of the wrist, and an awkward fold over the hand. I moved the seam to the front of the arm, as in my husband's hanging sleeve, and moved the short part of the sleeve to match. This solved that particular problem.

The obviously problem with this patterning method is that it makes a pattern piece wider than the fabric. This is only a problem to the modern sensibility though. In period, many fabrics were woven on much narrower looms than our modern machine looms, so fabric was frequently seamed together before being cut out. I just did the same here. Laid it out, added a piece where it was needed, then cut. Then I laid the cut piece out on the lining, and cut that out.

I made the sleeves as a unit first, since they had the dags and I wanted to get them out of the way. I used my patented cheater dag technique to save fabric and make sturdier joins. Which meant first making a whole pile of dags....

and then catching them in the seam between sleeve and lining, turning, pressing, and top stitching. Oh my sleeves!

Although it seems most likely that the original garments (particularly the fur lined ones) were sack lined, I ended up flat lining my gown, because the outer fabric was too drapey for the pattern. The flat lining gave it some support. I pad stitched the collar to a piece of felt, and sewed that in, and then attached the sleeves. The final step was to have my long suffering mother pin the hem (and it was a vast amount of pinning) and help me get it cut straight. Which was a challenge with the slithery fabric. I would like to take this moment to state that this is why I'm becoming a natural and period fibers snob. linen or light weight wool would have been SO much easier to work with (I didn't have a bolt of either of them lying around though.) Finally I installed a very wide hem facing of a nondescript grey "faux wool" I had lying about, to protect the white lining from dirt.

I had a little fabric left over and a lot of curiosity about the full circle method of construction, so I made Kitten a tiny black houpelande with fur lined sleeves using that method. It turned out well, but, as I suspected, it doesn't have the snugness across the back and in the shoulders that you see in some of the illuminations. I suspect that were I working with a full fur lining, I would prefer this method. Kitten's has a fur lined sleeve, and the upper chest is lined with medium weight wool for warmth.

Over all, I count it a success. I ended up using one of my viking under gowns with pinned on sleeves. Hopefully I will be able to upgrade that to a proper undergown with a contrast hem before I wear the Houpelande again. I ended up having to adjust the sleeve cap after I had already made the sleeves, so the sleeves are JUST long enough with the dags. I will lengthen them a little in the next iteration of the gown. It was comfortable, classic, and I was able to layer enough to be warm (and think I can layer down enough to be moderately cool as well)

With the hat and veil added to it, I Really felt like I looked like I had stepped out of an illumination, which was fun.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

15th century Heart shaped Hennin

In order to match my in progress houpelande, I needed some sort of period headwear. Now the 15th century is notable for many things, amoung them the sheer volume of truly EPIC headgear. From things that look like a lampshade inverted over the head, to the large number of different varieties of hennin, to some truly incredible pinned and shaped veils, the 15th century has the fabulous and faintly ridiculous to the modern eye headgear competition won. In fact, sifting through it to find something that I could wear and not feel totally ridiculous was difficult. The sheer size of many of the pieces is daunting, even allowing for artistic licence. My personal favorites are images from the beautiful fresco work of the nine worthies and the nine worthy women by Giacamo Jaquerio.

after a lot of looking at pictures, and sending pictures to friends and laughing over them. I decided that I had two options: I could go with matronly and demure, with a folded and pinned veil, something like this one from Van der Weyden. It would require some sort of basic supports, but I likely had all the moving parts for from my 14th century wimple/veil/false braids combo. This would be low key, which, as I'm going to be a companion for one of the consorts at the east kingdom crown tournament when I wear this ensemble for the first time, would be suitable. It's also appropriate for my age and also my sort of station in life. By medieval standards, I am a matron.

OR I could do something fun and ridiculous. I was drawn to this more moderate heart shaped hennin and folded veil, also from the fresco of the 9 worthies. I say more moderate as compared to the really obnoxious examples. like another from the same fresco. Now THAT is some hat!

While  have nothing against personifying myself as demure and retiring with my headwear (and in fact do go out properly wimpled and veiled whenever I do 14th century. which is rare but does happen) the chance to do something so (the adjective I keep coming back to is "ridiculous") completely over the top is rare. and it just looked like a good deal of fun, if I could get past people staring at me.

In the end I made my decision spontaneously on a day when I felt terrible, but still had to supervise the horde. I just needed something funny and cheerful to work on by hand while I sat propped upright at the table. And thus the heart shaped hennin was born.

Construction wise, I haven't heard of any surviving headdresses, so all we have are pictures and written accounts to go on. I've seen the heart shaped hennin reproduced a number of ways. A lot of them I find unlikely and some of them I think look wrong (personal opinion. not based on irrefutably concrete evidence or exhaustive research.) So I made it up as I went along, picking the method that seemed most likely to me, and extrapolated most from earlier headdresses: under the logical assumption that it's more likely that people would adapt a known form than create something brand new. (not that it never happens. but typically fashion proceeds one step at a time not in grand leaps.)
I started with a sort of elongated semi pointy caul shape to cover my ear and the side of my head. I first patterned it out of cardboard, and when the shape seemed reasonable, cut and sewed it out of heavy duty needlepoint foundation. Yes, the proper thing to do would be to use buckram. But I had this, and wanted to see if it would do in a pinch.
I made two of the caul pieces, and then set them aside to make essentailly a closely fitted coif of the same foundation material. first shaping it with a single center seam, and then tightening it in over the ears with a pair of darts.  With that solid, I attached the side pieces to it with pins. To be sure that the shape was right, I used a tea towel as a stunt double for the eventual padded roll adornment. So far so good. (I then proceeded to send pictures to all my friends that needed something to laugh about.)

With the shape set, it was time to start building the actual hat. First it all had to be padded with layers of batting to both finish out the shape, and to disguise sharp seam edges. I used the batting that I keep on the roll here, which is Quilters Dream angel. It was nice for this because it's dense and fairly firm rather than just super fluffy. It's also fairly easy to stretch to shape and tack down.

 I used multiple layers places where it need needed a softer, rounder shape: over the ears of the caul parts, and along the center ridge seam of the coif part.

 Then a single layer over everything. I paid particular attention to basting and butting the seams in the joins so that there wasn't any overlap. this kept the crease between wings and head shape and neat. I was also sure to pull the outside over the tip of the wings and baste it on the inside so that any lumps would be hidden by the padded roll.

 The last step on the base was to wire the edges. this ensures that the cap or hat or whatever millinery you are making maintains the shape of it's edges. In this case it's particularly important because it keeps the edges of the cauls tight to your face. Typically one would use Millinery or florist's wire. This is copper ground wire, because it's easy to shape, sturdy, and (this is a repetitive refrain of mine) I already had it lying about. I tacked the wire in place to be sure the bends were right, then used blanket stitch to attach it all the way around the edge. Usually I've whip stitched, but for this application i liked the way blanket stitch held the wire better: it made a sort of casing.

With the base done, I started covering everything in fabric by draping a long strip of bias cut black cloth (the same from my gown) over the coif portion of the hennin. Bias allowed me to pull it tight to shape along the top, only taking in a small dart at the center back. I basted it to the batting where it will go under the sides, and carefully basted it into the joins between the wings and coif. 
then the inside of the wings. I was originally going to cut the pattern piece out and then sew it like a slip cover, but because of the added padding, and because the draping on the center part went so well, I decided to just drape bias cut pieces of fabric over the wings as well. This portion got photographed and sent to all my friends as well, since it looked like I had a giant bat perched on my head..... I was everyone's comedic relief while I was working on this thing (including my own!)

 it looked a good deal less like an errant bat once I'd trimmed the fabric, gathered it, and whip stitched it down to the padding.

It was also at this point that I decided the tall points of the cauls were a bit less sturdy than they needed to be to hold up to decorating and padded rolls and whatnot. They tended to want to collapse in on themselves when I was stitching them, and I was afraid that they might get accidentally crushed and be hard to re form once the hat was lined. So I packed a little poly fill into the tops just to firm them up a little. That solved the problem and they held up beautifully to all the rest of the decorating.
with the major construction of the form done, it was time to finish off the inside of the cap with a lining. I made the lining like a coif, with a single curved back seam, then basted it into the inside. Because the foundation of the hennin has numerous shaping darts, I had to slightly gather the lining into it. For this reason I used a very thin cotton muslin, that wouldn't be awkardly bulky. I carefully turned and whip stitched the lining down to the brow portion of the cap, then bound off the rest of it with some matching linen bias tape I had lying around from another project. 
 Next project was covering the cauls. I had a plan for a scrap of burgundy or dark fuchsia (somewhere in the middle. very pretty) velvet I had. Unfortunately it had been in the bottom of a bin and was quite crushed. A good steaming and brushing with a stiff bristled brush sorted everything out though.
 I cut the cauls using the pattern from the foundation, plus a little extra to allow for padding. I decorated them with beads and gold ribbon and braid in a lattice pattern. Because by this point I had challenged myself to make the whole hat with nothing but what I had on hand, I ended up making different design choices than I usually would, but I think the final effect is very pleasing.
 With the cauls made, I mounted them on the side pieces. The grand plan is to make it so that I can switch the side pieces without completely deconstructing the whole hat. So the decoration was mounted to the velvet, then the velvet pinned in place and whip stitched down to the form. I covered the stitching with some gold braid, then trimmed the edge with trim I made by braiding gold cord with faux pearl strand.

 With the hat itself finished, I turned to the padded roll. I made the base by wrapping strips of batting around a bent wire (ground wire again, because it's easier to shape than coathanger wire). Instead of wrapping it around a straight wire and then bending it into the characteristic V shape, I butted the batting at the front and back, and then cut it at an appropriate angle and whip stitched the ends together. This eliminated some of the possibly bulk and wrinkling.

 After checking the roll for size, I proceeded to cover it with some grey acetate faux silk from my stash. First whip stitching the fabric to the bottom of the roll, then wrapping it, turning the edge under, pinning it, and using small stitches to sew it down. With both sides sewn down, I angled the ends and carefully sewed them. angling the ends was important because it avoided a big bunch of ugly wrinkles right in the V of the roll. With the roll done, the final step was to bend it to shape and carefully baste it to the side pieces of the hat.

 and done! I'm still deciding on how to pin the veil and how much decoration to put on the roll. The small dangly things (called bezants) are period but I'm not sure if I love them. it seems to depend on how I want to pin my veil. Since this is just a stunt veil made of a piece of bridal tulle (the organza for the veil proper is on order.) I've decided to wait till I have the final veil done to decide how I'm going to pin it and if I want the bezants or not. I like them with the veil pinned this way.
But I dislike them with it pinned this way, with the "butterfly" in the center. Both are period methods of veil arrangement taken from images. but I'm not sure which I'l like more.

The other thing to take notice of is how much further down my forehead the front of my headdress is than the period images. I took it as far up to my hairline as I could without having hair sticking out (and I have a moderately high forehead) but it's still lower than period images. During this time period a high forehead was considered a sign of beauty and intelligence, so women would pluck their foreheads much like we now pluck our eyebrows. Since I am not going to pluck my forehead, I am left with a slightly off representation of the period look.

Pictures of the full ensemble will be coming once I finish up my Houpelande and get the proper veil finished.