Just under the wire…

•September 25, 2016 • Leave a Comment

For posting a minimum of once a week. I haven’t done much, been busy with work, but it did do a wing for a photo tutorial for next years class. I needed step by step piccies


I need to do another next weekend, slightly different technique, and I want to do a third as an experiment.

I promise to try an be a bit more exciting next week, honest.

getting back to my fantasy life

•September 12, 2016 • 10 Comments

After all the costume I had to make over summer I’d been really looking forward to getting back to the second Luttrell fantasy. The trouble is I’ve really been dragging my heels this week, I think last night it was just because I was tired after storytelling at Guisborough forest festival (fresh air always makes me sleepy), but partly I think it’s because I left this first section halfway through, so now I feel like I have to tidy up before I can get on with a fun new bit.

But I have done the detailing on purple baby dragon at least


I did think last week that maybe instead of doing this I should get on with my opus piece for class. On reflection though, I realised I’m too tired for silk after work, especially Autumn term which is my busiest, so I decided I’m going to do it over the Christmas holiday like I did with the two lovers purse panels. That way I can do day by day progress pics, which I quite enjoy. I don’t really care if nobody else likes the day by days, you can just not read over Christmas if you don’t want to, but I like them because I can scroll down and it’s like an old fashioned flick book you used to get when you were a kid.

I’m also trying to be disciplined, and spend forty five minutes every evening doing some silversmithing because I have stuff I want to do for Nottingham. JOhn liked the collar of my new dress so much he wants a gemstone edgeing on his good cloak, so I started tonight and got one whole gem done (normally I can do more in 45 minutes, but I had to find all my tools before I could start). I also want to finally finish this bowl. I tried to put the base on it last summer, but my concentration slipped and I melted part of it, so I’ve filed out the mess and I’m going to try and repair it – wish me luck!


Norman frock

•September 6, 2016 • 28 Comments

I promise I will try and get a picture of it on me at some point, but for now you’ll have to make do with the dummy.

I apologise for not taking the pic in bright sunshine ( there isn’t any) because several people commented on how the silk glows in the sun. Jack green actually came over and told me off for standing in the shade!

Comments overheard from the public seem to say they had no doubt I was either a queen or princess. Queen is always complementary, but it’s nice to know I can still pass for pwetty pwincesss at my age!


Its started to wrinkle nicely round the waist, which is sort of what it’s meant to do.

the front panel is maybe six inches shorter than the rest of the dress, so that it falls exactly to my toes. I can walk easily without tripping over the dress, but it still has a good bit of swooshy trailiness to the back and sides without being ungainly.

the bias strip of claret silk around the hem is perhaps not entirely authentic, but I have enough practical experience to know that some careless sod will inevitably stand on the hem. The dark silk is tough as old boots, whereas the brocade is quite light and floaty, so putting something tough and replaceable round the hem seemed prudent. It should also add a little wieght in case the dress gets a bit frisky on a windy day.


I ended up finishing the neckline with just single strands of gold twist because I was starting to run out – I need to order more, and soon.


Rather than cutting out the sides of the dress, I opted to make it baggy enough to put on, with the sides gathered in by a tape made from scrap fabric. This allows necessary support for the very full skirts, and because the silk is quite thin it really doesn’t add any bulk at all ( this wouldn’t work with wool).

I did manage to add a few more loops than I needed though, so I’m going to try and pick a few out by Nottingham.


Gratuitous shot of swirly gorgeousness.

Weekend royalty

•September 1, 2016 • 2 Comments

I didn’t get a shot of my new dress, I’ll try and do so soon. I did get told off more than once for not standing in the sun, though, apparently the dress glows in sunlight.

the only new thing were the zodiac hanging and the painting on the throne. I didn’t paint it. I tried to paint it and cocked it up most royaly, so Gareth painted it for me.


We had new guards. Not the most talkative but very good at standing still for hours on end


Shiny squeals of joy

•August 31, 2016 • 9 Comments

A parcel arrived from sartor. We got rather a lot of this one because we need to disguise the trailer as a four poster bed ( john has to build the frame before I can get to work). On thier website it looked bright orange, but in reality it’s quite a subtle salmon pink


And this one is for me, and in the flesh it’s far more glorious than the web pic suggested. It’s sogdian, c7th, and I don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet- it’s so rare for sartor to do an early pattern in silk rather than blasted rayon that I thought I’d just grab some whilst I could.


Maybe I could make the Byzantine empress outfit that I lusted after as a child?

King bling

•August 25, 2016 • 4 Comments

Pair of new brooches to fasten johns cloak. Plus more rings becauses I don’t think he’ll be happy until he has at least three on each finger.


To be honest some of the stones could do with more burnishing, but because I’ve had to set them at Gareth’s I’ve had nothing to brace against, so I’ll have to give them some remedial attention when I get home.

i am officially all pearled out now – pearls on my dress, pearls on johns tunic, pearls on hair wotsits and pearls on these. I’m going pearl cold turkey for at least a month.

Fake plaits

•August 24, 2016 • 8 Comments

I spent Monday morning at the grubby end of Sheffield, hanging around waiting for the nice plater to whack some gold on a few things for me.

things including hair wotsits ( if there’s a proper name for them I have no clue what it is) which a set the stones on, pearled up, and attached to fake braids this morning


Because the hair is quite fake looking I decided on wrapping it instead of just a straightforward plait. I think these May end up being a trail run for something better after I’ve learnt what goes wrong with these – not something I particularly relish the idea of because making tubes is a pig of a job, and making tapered tube is a whole herd of pigs.

they are quite long, like knee length long, which is how my dream princess’s fantasy hair has always looked in my imagination. However, I think in practice these things are quickly going to annoy me.

hopefully the silk brocade dress will be done tomorrow. I’ve got as far as trying it on for the first time. It’s now known as the noisy dress, because Gareth could hear it swishing two rooms away.