Medieval Fair (and Dance)

Today me and my sister visited the annual Medieval Fair in a town near by. I was there as part of the dance group doing our routine, and my sister followed as our photographer and general cheer on.

I wore my green cotehardie, and my sister borrowed my tudor Peasant outfit.

Right now I’m to tired to write a lot about the day so instead I will let the pictures speak for them self (for the most part…).





IMG_1874Unexpected on lookers.


















IMG_1928Oh, swoon – that knight looked at me…


IMG_1930What, Is God, up there?

IMG_1932Oh swoon, another knight…



Book Review – The Medieval Tailor Assistant

I thought this might be a nice opurtunity to stay a bit longer in medieval times, even though I’m itching to show you some of the other stuff I’ve been working on latley.

So lets do a review of the only medieval costuming book I own.

I bought it last autumn when I attended a medieval sewing cours, but have not used it as much as I whould have wanted – so many time periods to sew, so litle time.

But now I thougt it a good time to do a review. I would also love to here your opinions about the book  so please coment and let me know what you think.

The Medieval Tailors Assistant by Sarah Thursfield.IMG_7290

About the book:

It is a ok about basic medieval pattermaking for men and women. The book does not include sewing instructions, but do however have a couple of pages about stiches, teqnicues and fabrics used at the time.

The book is about 230 pages, and contains several different costume pieces for both men and women like: Underwear, outerwear, gowns, dubblets, hoses, headwear, childrens clothes and accessories.


It also have a diagram which shows what clothing pieces were being used during different fashions and times during the time frame caled middle ages.IMG_7293

To get your pattern yo need to make you own “basic body blocks”, draping the pttern straight on your body.IMG_7294

The draping adapts and also workies on a dressform.IMG_2348Draping my fitted body blocks.

The basic sleeve needs to be drafted “on the table”, and have instructions and picture on how to do it.IMG_7295


I like the wide range of costumes you can get out of the book. Using several different pieces of garment you can combine you own look in whatever way you like.

IMG_3287 Lots of different intrepitations of the patterns in the book.

I also like the wide range between the garments – you can make male, female, child, old, rich, pore or anyone in between. and the pages showing how to combine your outfit are great.IMG_7299

The detail pictures are great in showing how the finished piece should look.IMG_7297Love the detail of this photo.

The pattern for the sleeve is adaptable to several different models but can be a bit tricky if you are new at pattern making.IMG_7298IMG_2487Detachable tight fittig sleeves.

I think the instructions for adapting the bodice blocks are good and easy to follow, and the sketch and pattern layou helped me a lot while figuring out my design and pattern. IMG_7300

IMG_3454Short sleeved Cotihardie.

There are a wide range of headwear in the book. And I also like that they included the children, accesories and under wear chapters. IMG_7302


I think the patterndarfting are a bit to hard for a beginner or unexperienced patternmaker.

I observed several beginners trying to figur ot the draping (and had a bit trouble doing it myself). It does take some practice to get it right.

I also think the sleeve cap are a bit of. I stuggeled trying to get it right, ending up raising it about 2 cm to get it to fit in to the arm hole. I guess this is something that happends whaen the bodice and sleeve are not drawn from the same template but one draped and the other drafted on paper.


I loved the pictures in the book, my only complaint is that they were way to few. Sometimes it is hard to know how a garmnent would look like just from principle sketches or patterns, thats when you need the pictures.IMG_7301

I would have liked to get some patterns, measurments or more details on the more complex headwear in the book.IMG_7303

I needed to work a bit to get the shape I wanted on my headcloth. Even though it can be great to figur things out by ourself, sometimes you just want to know what/how to do it. IMG_3066 Faux braids and semi circular headcloth.

Would I recomend it:

I think the book is a defenetly must have if you are interested in medieval times or historic costume design.

I do however think the book is a bit hard for a beginner to use, but if you are willing to give it a try – go for it.



Medieval Fair

Two weeks ago I attended my first medieval fair.

I wore my green Cotehardie paried with the separate beige sleeves, faux braids and headcloth.


The weater was terrible, the rain had been goning on for days, turning the gras and gravel at the fair to a muddy brown mess. Everywere you looked people wore capes or umbrellas.IMG_8204Some stylish gentlemen.

As it was my firs time, I tried to take it all in and got very exited walking around amongst the stals, taking picures.

There was food…IMG_8193

…Horses and knights…IMG_8195

…Great music… IMG_8199

…More music…IMG_8209

…Familys living in the camp…IMG_8191

…Friends resting on a bench…IMG_8211

…a girl gambeling using a mouse to earn some coins…IMG_8208

And of course lots of stalls with costuming wares. Like:


…clothing and headwear….IMG_8201

..leather items like bags, and wrist bands…IMG_8202

…more leather and fur items…IMG_8206

…Childrens items (helmets, swords and shirts)…IMG_8200

I also found this strange set. A boar posed as a sign.IMG_8203

I did stop longer at some boths then other, and one I found especialy interesting was the both from “Svarta kattens handelshus“.

They sold juwelry and knifes…IMG_8212

… lovely woll fabric…IMG_8213

…and nice linnen fabric…IMG_8214

…medieval patterns…IMG_8215

…linnen thread, ribbons and yarn…IMG_8216

…and some realy soft furs.IMG_8217Sadly I’ve forgot to bring my purse. Or perhaps it was a good thing, since I surley would have spent a lot more then I should have, if I had had my purse.

Anyhow, I did’nt go to the fair to shop.

But to dance…IMG_8190Some of the members of the historical dance group.

We did some of our dancing in the mudd.IMG_8221

IMG_8230The weater and location made the few on-lookers even fewer,

So we took our line and danced ourself onto the jousting arena. IMG_8232

Where we got company from the jesters who tried to get the wet public in good mood before the knights arrived.IMG_8249

Then it was time for the high point of the day – the jousting.IMG_8245The knights saluting the audience.

IMG_8254Full speed ahead.

IMG_8243It was realy fun to wach the talented knights and horses performing there tricks.

But the best thing must have been when the “mystery knight” rode out, picked a lady from the audiense and propsed. To think he arranged the performance and dressed as a knight to porpose in a way he knew his medivel loving girlfriend would realy appreciate. IMG_8255She sad yes.

When I got home I was cold, wet, and muddy literary up to my knees.IMG_8259Natural agenig of my costume.

Medieval dress in a day

Ok, I must admit it did take me a bit longer then one day. But if I would have had one whole day (morning to evening) and not 3 short evenings to make it, I’m sure I would have finished to.

With less then one week left to the Medieval Feast my sister decided she wanted to go to. So we started bouncing dress ideas (while being at work/school) and decided the style of the dress on thuesday, while bying fabric.

Even though the dress was to be made by machine, with only the eyelets worked by hand, I’ve been to busy sewing to take any “in progress photos”. Sorry…

But I do have finished photos, and this is how it turned out.


Made out of burgundy and brown cotton twill.

The eyelets on the front and sleeves are all worked by hand, and closes with a syntetic cord.


My sister really liked the dress and looked totaly great in it.

The day after the party we went to the cathedral near by to take some pictures.















My Green Medieval dress – photos

The day after the Medieval Feast me and my sister went outside to shoot some pictures of our dresses. And since the medieval clothes feels and looks best in religous and grand settings, we walked the 500m to the city Chatehdral.

I wore my new green dress, the whimple, the braids and velvet cape.

IMG_3684This beautiful “Mary and child” statue sits right outside the museum.


The Chathedral of Linköping is a beautiful building finished in the 1490s, and restorated and added to since.IMG_3343







IMG_3663Not exactly the right footwear…





IMG_3546But what happened here?

I do think the Gothic building style come into fashion a bit sudden…

Medieval Feast

Yesterday (nov 9th) It was finaly time for the medieval feast, arranged by my dancing company. And as this was to be my first medievel event I’ve planed and prepered my dress for weeks.

I wore my new Green Cotehardie with the Outerwear Sleeves and a new pair of white tippets.


On my head I wore my new whimple and faux braids. (read more here)  IMG_3081IMG_3107And I actually managed to ge them to look like I wanted.

The feast started with some mingel, walking around and talking to the other guests (and I’ve forgot to grab my camera, bummer).

Then we all sat down to dine. IMG_3139

Me and my sister.IMG_3153

The food was really cool, and well planed – and must have taken forever to prepare…

We got: Boiled eggs in a bowl made of bread, with a bird made of butter sitting on topp.  IMG_3120

Salmon served with hearbs on enormous plates.IMG_3136

Soup made of peas, serwed in desposabe “wooden” plates, and fruit stuffed with meat.IMG_3130

Chees, fruit-cream and peaches with nuts.IMG_3192


And wine pored from a guilded tower into animal-shaped wine-jugs. IMG_3202

But wait a minute, Im sure I’ve forgot something…

Oh yes! A grilled pig served whole, with a chicken “knight”on top. IMG_3177

Omg, look at that little chicken rinding the pig! IMG_3168

He actually wears a helmet, shield and sword.IMG_3182

My amusment faded fast when they started to cut it up…IMG_3187Yuk…

After dinner it was time for some dancing.IMG_3270



In a dancing break I grabbed my sister and some friends and we snaped some quick photos in the basment.

My sister in a dress I finished just hours befor the feast.IMG_3218

And a friend from my dancgroup, who also made her outfit herself. IMG_3227

The mandetory “Ugly-shoot”IMG_3235

Then I got he whole “sewing group” togheter for some photos.IMG_3306 During the autumn we have all taken a medieval sewing class, held by the “medieval all-knowing” Karin (front left). It’s been so much fun learning authenticity, and to watch everybodys cloths coming togheter. (Even though I’ve heard we have a few cheeters in the group, bying theire clothes…)

Doing the “14th century everyday pose”.IMG_3287

And the mandetory “Jump shoot”.IMG_3335

I’ve had so much fun at the feast – eating, dancing and meeting new interesting people.

But most of all I liked wearing and feeling pretty in my dress and braids. Looks like there will be some medieval fairs to get o this summer…

Medieval hair styling

When figuring out the style of my new medieval costume, I also needed to think about hairstyles and headwear. And since my own cropped hair wouldn’t do for any historical hairstyling what so ever, I needed something to cover it up.

I started to seearch for sutable headwear on the internet, but was constantly drawn back to my original inspirational picture:

medieval4The girl is wearing her hair in tails coild at the ears, and some sort of whimple on the head.

And it looks like this girl is wearing the same hairstyle, but without the headcloth.medieval3I also found this picture in “The Medieval Tailors Assistance”, showing the same hairstyle.

hårstil flätor

So my next step was to by a wig.

I wanted a long-haired wig, in a colour that would be axcepted as and look simular to mine.

serpentine-rodbrun-peru-1I found this (extremly sexified) wig on the internet for 150 Sek (15 USD). Exept for the bangs, it looked perfect.

But these cheep wigs have a way of being horrible and ugly in real life, so you never know until you tryed it on.


IMG_2825Turns out it’s GREAT!

The colour and lenght is perfect, and the pretty curls held their shape really well.IMG_2805

But I knew I could not use it as it where because of the bangs, and the heat stroke I would get by wearing a syntetic wig.

So I cut some of the sections of, and collected them into ponytails using smal rubber band, and then made them into braids.IMG_3033


Then it was time to do the headcloth.

I cut stripes of fabric and sewed a simple headband – on to which I will pin the braided hair and whimple.IMG_3053

It ties in the back with dubble ribbon.IMG_3046

Then I draped the braids on the headband. IMG_3063And secured them by sewing them to the cloth.


I then cut and hemmed the cresent shaped whimple, and draped it on top of the braids, securing it by pinning it to the headband behind the ears.


Now I just need to get it to look this good tomorrow – and hopefuly stay that way all night…

A Masquerade cape

As the HSF Challenge 22 Masquerade drew closer, I knew I wanted to make something I could use togheter with more than one costume.

I had also noticed a big hole in my costuming closet – outerwear.

I didn’t have anything to wear when traveling to my upcoming costume events. I needed something that would keep me warm yet not mess up the dress worn underneath. It would also need to work both with my medieval dress and an upcoming 1850s gown.

So when reading the challenge recuirement I noticed Lemomoni mention “cape”, and knew it would be perfect.

A pretty medieval cape…121_large

And some Victorian.



After searcing a bit on the internet, comparing the medieval cape to the victorian one, I decided to make a short cape with a fur-trimed hood. It would not be strictly historical, but it would serve my purpose for a multi-functional garment.

I bought some brown velvet and a piece of brown faux furr.


I draped and drafted a “quic and dirty” pattern, and started to cut the pieces.



I sewed the cape together, tucked the seams and attached the hood. I marked the lenght, and cut and hemmed the cape.


Then it was time for the fur. I cut stripes and sewed them on the front edges of the cape and hood. Then I sewed a hook and eye for closure at the neck.









Just the facts:

Challenge: 22 – Masquerade

What: A short cape

Year: 1300-1900 (sort of)

Pattern: None, drafted my own.

Fabric: 1 m brown velvet and 0.2 m faux furr.

Notions: Thread and hook and eye.

How historical accurate: Not much, but I think the look of it will suffice for several periods.

Time: 8 hours

Cost: 100 Sek (11USD)

First worn: On the 9th of november, at a Medieval fiest.

A Green Medieval Cote

My entry for the HSF challenge 21: Green, is a medieval dress called a Cotiehardie. Its a outer gown which is ment to be worn over a kirtle and a chemise.

medieval4My inspiration pic.

I used the “Medieval Tailor’s Assistant” as a guide, and did my patten from the basic pattern block, and toile I’ve previously made from the book.


IMG_2766I used a thick green woolen fabric, and cut and basted the dress together for a fitting.


I needed to adjust the sleeve and neck a bit. So I took it apart and made the alterations.

IMG_2738Then I started the time consuming task of working about 30 button-holes.

IMG_2740I’ve already compleated the buttons in advance and sewed them on the outer edge of the right front piece.

IMG_2745I’ve used some cotton leftover as facing in the neck and as a buttonhole stand.

Then I sewed the rest of the dress together – did the gores, side seams and sewed on the sleeves.








Just the facts:

Challenge: 21 – Green

What: A medieval cotehardie.

Year: 1350 -1400.

Pattern: Drafted my own based on the “Cotehardie” pattern from “The Medieval Tailor’s Assistant”.

Fabric: 3m of green wool and some cotton scraps.

Notions: Thread and buttonhole thread.

How historical accurate: Pretty good. The dress is compleatly hand sewn, with historical methodes. I do however think the fabric is a bit thick for this type of dress. 7/10

Time: About 30 hours

Cost: 400 sek (44 Usd)

First worn: Not yet, but will be on the Medieval dinner party my dance group is hosting on 9th of nov.

Medieval inspiration

I had such dificulties deciding on what style of medieval dress I would make for the feast in november. Serching the internet I came up with two different choises.

1. The simple, yet elegant 14th century kirtle and cotehartie.

This style semed like the most usefull as it could be used during both medieval markets and events. It would be pretty easy to make and the style is what most re-enactments wear.

Altough usefull, it did not seem like such a rich and luxurius garnment for a grand feast.

Lets have a look:



Untitled-01 (1)


images (2)





images (1)


tumblr_mevzsgDkIF1qfg4oyo7_1280Some of the more luxurius headresses worn to this type of dress.

My other option was…

2. The 15th century gown, with its high waist and big collar.

I’ve have always loved this style of dress, and long wanted to make one, even tough the high waist seam often look better on petit women.

This dress is all about lux, with its emelished belt and fur at the collar. But would it work for lesser events such as markets, or would it look costumy and “pretty princessy”.

hämta (1)







dscf0093 (1)


tumblr_mevzsgDkIF1qfg4oyo8_1280I totaly adore the crazy headdresses worn during this period, even tough I’m not sure I would feel comfortable wearing one.

Sercing the web for proper re-enactment clothing I found this picture.

happy-leprous-women-18178718Two happy Leoprous women. Mabye something to make for next time…