23 October 2017

Are we free? Some thoughts...

Isabella Pitcher at Prior Attire wrote an interesting post on her blog recently, entitled 'Are we free? The struggles of a professional interpreter...'. Whilst I often don't entirely agree with her opinions, on this account she has an excellent point. The issue of artists, musicians, writers and craftspeople being chronically undervalued and frequently requested to work for free or (groan) for 'exposure' is well documented. Heck, there are whole twitter feeds dedicated to it, a Huffington Post article about how to avoid doing it and, of course, lots of comics lambasting it.

This isn't even an issue just with 'professional interpreters'. I participate in a re-enactment group that has a high level of authenticity and research. As a group, we charge for the majority of events to hire us. Yep, even though we are hobbyists. Our group still has costs that need to be covered (petrol and insurance, to name but a few!) and we are still, for the most part, highly skilled and knowledgeable individuals with high-quality costumes and equipment, not just Jo(sephine) Bloggs off the street plonked into a synthetic pretty princess gown from Ebay.

That said, one thing I think Isabella has missed in her (quite justified) rant against being asked to work for free is that there are sometimes reasonable reasons why you might choose to do this. (Note: choose. People assuming you will work for free, particularly when emailing you at your business email, are just obnoxious.)

So here, a handy dandy guide to how not to be an arse when attempting to book historical interpreters (professional or otherwise).

6 May 2017

Historical Sew Monthly 2017: #4 Circles, Squares and Rectangles

I'm obviously on a roll this year - this is my second challenge completed for the year, and we're not even half-way through! Erm, which probably says more about my usual rate of sewing than one cares to...

Anyway, I'm really glad to finish this challenge as a proper women's purse is something I've been missing for the past 10.5 years of re-enactment. It's amazing how much it improves my outfit!


12 February 2017

Historical Sew Monthly 2017: #2 Re-make

The February challenge for this year's Historical Sew Monthly challenge is "Re-Make, Re-Use, Re-Fashion". Luckily, I had something in the works that perfectly fitted that challenge:

A 'Martebo' sack.

2 January 2017

Historical Sew Monthly 2016: #8 Pattern

Continuing in my long tradition of documenting these things rather late, here is my entry for the Historical Sew Monthly 2016, #8 (August) - Pattern. 

A toddler's cote, for 1370s Wales.

21 July 2016

Manuscript challenge: A poor woman's veil - Part 2: Construction & wearing

As I mentioned last time, I have been (very slowly!) making a lower class woman's outfit for the Manuscript Challenge. My inspiration image is from one of the many Roman de la Rose manuscripts and the veil of it is this:

Felonie, Roman de la Rose.
UC MS 1380, f. 2r.
c. 1365, France. Source.

This image isn't the best quality, but comparison with other images of lower class women from the 13th through until the 15th Centuries shows this distinctive veil with a band around the head and, often, a knot at one temple. But, how to make it...?

14 July 2016

Manuscript challenge: A poor woman's veil - Part 1: Research

As some of you may be aware, I've been aiming steadily down the social classes as my reenactment progresses. I aimed to make a lower class outfit for a while (see my Manuscript Challenge posts) and, whilst the dress is still a work in progress due to various real-life commitments, the veil has been finished for quite some time. Here's a little reminder of my inspiration piece:

Haine (Hate), Felonie and Vilanie.
Roman de la Rose, c. 1365, France.
University of Chicago Library, MS 1380, f. 2r. Source.