Friday, 30 September 2016


I really should have said this a while ago, but...

This blog is dormant. I'm still about, still checking regularly and if you have any comments, I'd love to hear from you. That said, I'm in the final phase of a PhD so all sewing projects and reenacting are currently on hold. One day, I hope to have a life again and bring you updates about my pink dress, musings on various reenacting/costuming topics (oh, and tell you about the awesome commission I'm sewing). However, unfortunately life comes first. *sigh*

Until then, I will live vicariously through my blog feed and occasionally pet my fabric so it doesn't get lonely...

Monday, 16 November 2015

Medieval Textiles and Clothing: Contents

I thought it might be useful to collate the list of contents for the book series Medieval Textiles and Clothing. These are available on the individual book pages at the Boydell and Brewer website. However, they are not collated anywhere (that I know of). Also, note, they are usually cheaper elsewhere, e.g. Oxbow Books, Amazon, AbeBooks, etc.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Tutorial: how to correctly reference manuscripts

I thought I might show you how to read that tangle of numbers and letters and often foreign-language words that might crop up in a book, article or blogpost that is referencing a manuscript and how to correctly generate that style of reference too. 

Monday, 7 September 2015

The Evangelical Church of Distaff Spinning (!)

Hello, everyone. Long time, no posting! How is everyone?

Recently, I've been quite focused on hand spinning with the distaff and spindle after I found the hypothesis of Cathelina di Alessandri at 15th Century Spinning. With some gorgeous reproduction spindles from Katrin Kania (reviewed here), I've learnt Cathelina's method, experimented with some alterations, spread it to my reenactment group and now we appear to be corrupting fellow reenactors and modern crafters alike at a slightly terrifying rate...

Hence, we now have a FaceBook group for spreading the idea of distaff spinning in reenactment and crafting and for coming together and sharing ideas, hints, tips, new information, etc.

You can find us at The Evangelical Church of Distaff Spinning (yes, it has a silly name ^_^).

And I'll now leave you with a fascinating image: the only image of a top-whorl spindle I know of that's from medieval Western Europe. It even looks like it might have a little hook at the top.

Woman spinning flax (?) with distaff and spindle whilst on ducking stool (?).
Rutland Psalter (British Library, Add. MS 62925), f. 86r.
England (London?), c. 1260. Source.

What about you? What have you been focusing on this season? Have you tried spinning with distaff and reproduction spindles? Have you seen any other interesting medieval spinning images?

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Tutorial: how to make perfect facings

Facings are something that can initially seem quite tricky to sew, particularly if you are a beginner. However, they can add a lot to your garment, both aesthetically and structurally. So, here’s a tutorial that’ll show you how to sew perfect facings every time.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Tutorial: how to find original images of lowerclass medieval clothing

Lower class clothing can be an absolute pain to research - for starters, there are comparatively few manuscript illustrations depicting the lower classes, particularly the more impoverished members of the merchant classes, tradespeople and peasants.

Often, it's tempting to make lower class clothing based on contemporaneous upper class clothing - by either subtracting the most expensive aspects, or simplifying things. Another idea is to assume that, due to the second hand clothing trade and a (supposed) trickle-down of fashion, lower class clothing might mimic clothing of wealthier individuals of a decade or a few decades earlier. However, both of these methods are based on potentially flawed assumptions.

So, what can one do?

Luckily, there is a wonderful resource that can help you find original manuscript images of lower class (and upper class) clothing, as well as give you a better idea of how fashion for both poor and rich progressed from the 13th-16th Centuries: The Roman de la Rose Digital Library.
So, without further ado, a tutorial for getting the most out of this resource: