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We (as in Ellie, Kerry, Sadie and I) promised ourselves at the end of last season in September that we would not spend the winter as we usually do talking about all of the things we were going to make but meet up more regularly to make things.
So we met again this weekend at my house for a second sewing weekend. This also included a little evening out to introduce Sadie to the delights of Marsden.
I am exempt from having to make any large things as I am hostess so I feed and provide equipment and guidance if needed while the others get on with their stuff.
It was a very successful weekend with Kerry finishing two linings to go under her corset , working on a pair of cuffs for her gloves for next season and revising a dress.
Ellie and Sadie both made shifts which were nearly finished by yesterday evening apart from the hand finishing of the seams. Here Ellie is hard at work and later modelling her creation (excuse the lack of light – winter in Yorkshire!)
She has had her hair cut short which looks very lovely and donated the hair to a children’s cancer charity for making wigs for kids undergoing chemotherapy.
Sadie was using her machine for the first time and it all went very well!
Since we do so much work for English Heritage ( who have very strict guidelines on costume) we machine sew main seams then fold the seam allowance over and ‘stab stitch’ through to neaten the seams.
This also hides the overlocking on the edge of the material. I usually then oversew the seams, both to cover up the machining and to provide extra strength.
Some of the garments like shifts and hose and brais (the men’s undergarments) get a lot of wear and tear, particularly when worn under armour and this helps strengthen the seams. All hems are handstitched.
I did manage to finish a couple of things – hexis of course! Here are two of my latest Christmas ornaments using a slightly bigger hexi and making two hexi flowers which are sewn together.
The flower for the backing is plain fabric with a patterned centre square.
This is a great way of using up little scraps from my Christmas fabric stash. Some of the fabric that I am using now I have had for years and am getting to the end of it so this is a very economical method as well as being very enjoyable :-)
I am also making good progress with all of my hand-made gifts (though there will no doubt be a mad dash as usual at the end – luckily some don’t have to be finished until the 29th when I go to Spain!).
Below are the finished pincushion and needlebook. The scissor keep to finish the set is almost done, just needs the buttons and cord added.
Of course the great excitement later this week is the visit to Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show! I have set myself quite a strict budget which I intend to spend on charm packs and buttons.
There may just be some pictures of fabric in my next post :-)
Meanwhile stay happy and thanks for visiting.
Well this is unbelievably my 400th post so I thought I would celebrate by inviting you to like this post and I will pick a winner who will receive their choice of handmade small from anything they have seen on my site.
It could be a pincushion, brooch, scissor keep, needlebook, Christmas ornament, pouch, compact case, phone or kindle case etc. Please click like and then I will choose one person and contact them and ask what sort of fabric colours you would like for the gift. I will pick a winner in 2 weeks – on Sunday 5th Oct.
We have had a busy weekend sewing – Jamie, Ellie and Kerry have been here and we have been making shifts and coifs for the girls and a tabard to go over Jamie’s new armour (due next year).
This is a work in progress but you get the general idea, it is made of wool and will be lined with red linen.
It won’t have the pleat in as we were just working on length. This picture shows Jamie hard at work making the pattern for the dagging on the white part of the tabard which involved drawing round a wineglass!
Kerry had also made a new head-dress – a coronet, she is very talented and creates the most wonderful stuff out of very everyday materials and ‘found’ jewellery.
I have been making more flower brooches - the one below from a charity shop broderie anglaise skirt that I have also used for phone covers etc. and these other ones from stash fabric.
Ellie brought me a present as well – the best sort – vintage fabric, look at this beautiful lace that someone had given her to go to a good home! I think I shall add it to the things I am going to use for the bee quilt inspired cushion I mentioned a couple of posts ago.
Term starts next week and I have a submission due for my doctorate (which I have written but may need more work) so I am going to be doing very little else but work for the next few weeks.
I have saved lots of the lovely National Trust textile pictures to post about while production slows down here at Maison Ryan ;-)
Thanks as always for visiting and don’t forget to click like!
Well we had a brilliant weekend away at the Mortimer’s Cross event at Hampton Court Castle.
I knew it was going to be a fab weekend when after a very pleasant train journey spent sewing more flower brooches I ended up pitching my little tent in a field with this view and settling down to a cold cider and my last evening meal in the open air for this year. A lovely end to a busy week.
The weather was perfect and so I had a wander round the gardens on Saturday in between the two battles.
We then had a tour of the castle before tea (contemplating how we would redecorate if we bought it as it is currently up for sale at only £9 million).
This is my new friend Angela who I first met at the Caldicot event.
I would keep these fabulous light fittings, they reminded me of the William Burges designs at Cardiff Castle.
There were two bands on Saturday night including a wonderful Celidh band with an excellent fiddle player so we danced lots and stayed up far too late really ;-)
Sunday was more of the same, the weather held and the two battles that day were even better, everyone making the most of the last event.
Standing on the field with the guns going off and arrows raining down I couldn’t have been happier. Such a lovely time and an excellent way to end a very good season.
You can tell how happy I am in this picture as it looks like I am dancing with these two friends in armour. Thanks to Pat for the battle photos, he did a brilliant job as always of capturing the action for us.
This has to be my fave picture of the season, another one of Pat’s photos – a friend captioned this as ‘now we know that gunners have hearts!’
Looking forward to our first off-season kit making weekend, the Sisters Kerry and Ellie plus friend Jamie will be here.There will be linen everywhere and hopefully completed shifts at the end of it!
Meanwhile there are more brooches and Christmas ornaments to be made, what would life be without fabric and wool?
Thanks for visiting and look out for the next post which will be a very special one as it my 400th so I will be having a little giveaway!
Am having a lovely relaxing Sunday making more brooches so thought I would show you the product of my labours. Yesterday I had a busy day, housework and general fettling and a very nice (if a little damp) walk with Ted, my friend’s dog.
We went picking blackberries, I am of course better than Ted at this as he doesn’t have opposable thumbs but he is very friendly companion and I am now getting to chat with lots of the dog owners of my village!
The blackberries went into the first of this season’s crumbles with some mango and plums from my fruit and veg box delivery that I get weekly from the local deli and very delicious it is too.
Here are two more brooches. I have adapted the design to use 6 petals so that I can have different colour combinations.
This one above is made from some of the fabric I bought from the quilt shop in Hebden Bridge, the darker fabric is part of the Downton Abbey range and is the Dowager’s Paisley in Purple.
The cream one I don’t have a name for, it has a very pretty print on the background so I am making two more of these as Xmas pressies as I think they work well together. Cotton Patch has a good range of Downtown Abbey fabrics in metre lengths or fat quarters and charm packs.
This one is made with Liberty Tana Lawn in Mark Paisley, the teal and blue colourway and is the fabric that came with my brooch kit from Teazle. This online fabric site Alice Caroline has lots of Tana Lawn in different sized pieces.
Last weekend I met a very nice lady at Caldicot called Helen who makes the most gorgeous beaded jewellery. I bought these two beautiful designs from her, I think they look just as good on the back as the front and think they would look great on a medieval pouch or head-dress.
Her design company is called Bristol Beadery and she has an Etsy shop where she also sells lots of bracelets etc. Lovely ideas for presents.
I have just discovered the joys of Netflix on my laptop ( a little late I know ) but have been watching back to back episodes of my favourite Supernatural series.
I had just finished Season 8 yesterday when Netflix suggested that I might like to watch Orange is the New Black and I am now hooked, fantastic series and one I can very much relate to as every year I have trainee teachers who work in prisons.
So I will be mainly on the sofa for the rest of the day surrounded by my craft materials and essential tea of course.
My daughter Ellie has a blog about her work for the National Trust called a View from my Attic - maybe I should call mine a view from my sofa since I do spend a lot of time here crafting ;-)
A little note about links in my blog, I am not sponsored or paid in any way for the links that I put, just that lots of times people have asked me where I get things that I use so I always put links in to sources for material and patterns etc to help others find stuff.
Have a lovely rest of the weekend and thanks for visiting.
Well we had a very lovely time at Caldicot this weekend despite a start which involved a fairly damp set up and lots of traffic problems for friends due to road works and delays which meant we were still pitching tents in the rain at 10 o’clock on Friday night! But all was beautiful and sunny come Saturday morning so that meant we had a fab time.
Paul played a major role in the battle leading the English army (to victory on Saturday which was brilliant). He has not been to this event before but the character he plays in our shows, William de Bohun, once owned Caldicot Castle so he had been planning a visit and as he has all of the kit in de Bohun’s heraldry it looked great on the field.
Here are the before shots of our boys before they went to battle. James, our newest member, was de Bohun’s banner bearer and looked very good in his kit.
Jamie has decorated his helmet with painted blue and yellow squares ready for his new character for next season and was a bit worried it would get scratched but it was fine.
I finished a couple of pieces of kit for the weekend, a wool tunic for a friend and this parti-coloured chaperon to go with the new dress that Ellie has made herself. You may remember this dress from our sewing weekend in Feb.
The chaperon is fully reversible so she can have an all dark pink one if she wants. I am very glad I have finished this as I cut it out of the fabric for the original dress I made her about 4 years ago and then it got put away and forgotten about!
Here are a couple of battlefield pictures for you showing Paul and Jamie in action. Thanks to Tammy, James’ fiancé, for these as she was on the sidelines with a camera.
The group went for a photo shoot round the castle later and took some very good pictures. Here is one of Paul and Jamie at the top of the castle tower.
Ellie and I had a day out after the event as we stayed over on the way back to tick another couple of Trust properties off our list which I will post about later.
An excellent weekend all round.Now for a nice quiet week working on my doctorate with a bit of crafting and walking in between :-) Lovely stuff!
Hope you are looking forward to a nice week ahead, thanks for visiting.
We are very lucky and we get to camp in some amazing places, castles and historic venues and this weekend we had an event at Peveril Castle in the Peak District. The views were amazing and well worth the very long climb (with tents and lots of kit!) to the top of the hill.
Due to the nature of the site we only took modern tents rather than authentic as we had to take the tents down each morning as well. The picture below shows Mark and Shane climbing up on Saturday morning with their kit, it was a long steep hill!
But this picture just sums up everything I love about re-enactment, breakfast (bacon butties of course!) in the sunshine outside the tent.
The weather was brilliant – despite my fears that this might be a very wet weekend, it was actually a little too hot on the Saturday, we girls were ok in the shade down by the entrance to the castle doing our head dress talks but the boys were sweltering at the top and did a brilliant job of running the events in that heat.
Thanks to Wendy, Kevin, Philip and Daniel for these pictures that they posted to our group Facebook site.
Luke had a new cotehardie to show off – he looks brilliant and I love this picture.
I also really love this one of the girls looking at the view.
Here are Luke and Jamie doing a dagger display.
This is the arena from the top of the castle.
And here am I with Luke’s very impressive horned helm.
We were all so tired that after a trip down to a pub at the bottom of the hill for a very nice meal Saturday evening we only had a little sit round the campfire before bed.
A really excellent weekend and a great way to finish the Swords of Mercia events for this year. The Sisters still have a few events left before the tents go away for winter :-(
Ellie is now here for a week’s holiday so we may do some days out later in the week, we do have a trip planned to a textile museum en route to moving Jake into a new flat in Middlesbrough.
Hope you have all had a good weekend and thanks for visiting.
Apologies for the lack of posts recently. A very hot and relaxing holiday in Spain followed by one of the best Tewkesbury weekends ever means that blogging time has been severely curtailed.
Anyway here I am with some costume stuff to share and battle pictures courtesy of Pat Patrick who does such a fab job at all events.
Firstly here are the fruits of the sewing weekend we had in Feb. You may remember this being cut out, well it turned into the outfit below that Kerry on the right is wearing.
The one that Ellie wears is a dress Kerry made some years ago. Apologies for the very non-authentic background, my Photoshop skills are not good enough to replace it!
They looked splendid walking round the market in the morning, even though it was very hot they made a sterling effort to look cool and elegant.
We had our newest member Sadie with us and she really enjoyed the battle. We spent a lot of time pointing out to her all the exciting bits, literally as Pat has captured!
You can just see us at the back of these photos – Sadie in green, Ellie in burgundy. me in blue and Kerry in brown, pointing out where our boys are fighting.
Even though it was really hot all day there was quite a rainstorm during the battle but the boys in armour never felt a thing! Here is the King and his retinue – look at that goldwork!
A very excellent time and can’t wait for more events. Now on with some further kit making, in the week before Tewkesbury I managed to make a shirt and brais and mend some hose and an arming jack, now on with an arming waistcoat and then I am going to make some kit for me!
Take care and thanks for visiting.
Hope that you have been enjoying the fantastic weather we have had this week in the UK, I was very glad that the high temperatures we had last week during the working part continued for the fun bit that was Tatton Medieval Festival.
I love this show, it is one of my all time faves for so many reasons, the venue is beautiful and only one hour from home and it is small enough to be friendly and be able to see everyone to say hello but large enough to have a nice market and beer tent and battle – essentials for a good re-enactment weekend ;-)
I bought some new mugs from Jim the potter, am saving the rest of my spends for the big market at Tewkesbury where a new belt and pouch are on the list.
We took my latest tent for its first outing, this is a new (bargain) that I bought at the end of last season.
I seem to buy new tents in response to extreme weather, the first (new to me) tent last year was after the icy hail storm at Rufford so we had somewhere to all shelter and this one was in response to the 38 degrees at Tewkesbury so we have some shade!
It worked very well, it is a great size tent for just me and Ellie as there is plenty of space for kit and room to stand up and get dressed in. And at only £40 almost brand new it was a great find – it had to be repaired due to a broken zip after it was first bought so Outdoor World were selling it cheap.
It was a really lovely weekend and not only that thanks to Jamie and Sam I have lots of photos to show you as Jamie very kindly posed for some costume pictures and Sam took lots of the battle.
Jamie is wearing his very smart tunic showing the dagging on the sleeves, dagging was extra material to show how rich you were and was often lobed like this or oak leaf-shaped. He is also wearing his black hood or chaperon over the topic of the tunic and a bicocket hat. The tunic was made by Jackie from Cloak’d and Dagger’d.
As we were taking these pictures along came another very well dressed gent in later period costume (don’t know his real name but he was playing De Massey in the battle).
He is wearing a more fitted doublet with puffed sleeves and the later version of the chaperon when it evolved into a hat, complete with dagging and liripipe or tail. This style of outfit is around mid 1400s whereas Jamie’s is mid 1300s.
Here are the battle pics, love the one of Ellie in the smoke and the last couple that Jamie has put some filters on.
We are off to Spain this weekend – yippee more sun! Have loads more photos to post from various things which I may get chance to do before I go if not will have to have a serious blog update when I get back!
Have fun and thanks for visiting.
Hello there, we have just got back from a lovely (if wet as always) weekend at Ashby de la Zouche Castle where we were doing a show. Over a 1000 people braved the weather this Bank Holiday to come and see us which was very nice of them.
At least it was sunny on Saturday even if Sunday afternoon and packing the tents was a bit wet and cold :-(
The boys in the group have been working really hard all winter on their new kit so I thought you might like to see some pictures of them in their finery.
Luke has adapted his outfit to include chains that hold his horned great helm and his swords so that he can hang the helm from his back as he fights (he wears another smaller helm underneath to fight in).
You can see the chains here on this picture of him and our newest member Jamie and again on a picture taken at the last show of all of our knights on the steps of Bolsover Castle. Thanks to Jamie for these next two photos.
This picture below was also taken at Bolsover and you can see more clearly the helmet that Mark our Dragon Knight was wearing for that show which had a St George’s day theme.
Paul in the blue is a wonderful artist and his costume has such detail on it, his belt has stamped and painted lions and the surcoat and shield are all hand painted.
Shane has got a lovely new helmet for this season (yes it does look a bit like a lemon squeezer!) and some new armour – this picture was taken by one of the visitors as I didn’t get chance to get close-ups due to the inclement weather but he has new arm and leg armour in a blue tint and a new armoured surcoat with plates inside it.
They were all looking very splendid and I was very proud of them ;-)
We have a packed summer ahead of us which is brilliant. This weekend we are off to Somerset for an event followed by our week visiting National Trust properties and then another two events to finish off June.
I am really looking forward to the months ahead, my teaching finished last week (just some large piles of marking to come) and my lovely group bought me some gift vouchers for a local wool shop which I am really looking forward to spending!
Just about to make up the first of my (no doubt many) Little Cotton Rabbits elephants and have lots and lots of projects planned for summer – going to make the most of the newly sorted craft room.
Take care and thanks for visiting.
Hello again, I hope that you have all had a good week.
I have been enjoying another weekend at home and our first at home BBQ of the year, my last weekend here for two weeks as I have shows then a holiday with my friend Kerry!
Last year we took the opportunity to travel round some of the National Trust properties down South after one of our shows and are doing the same again this year going to visit some places in Somerset, Dorset and Devon.
I am so happy that the season has started again, the joys of cooking bacon butties for breakfast outside the tent and meeting lots of lovely people – it is a great way to spend a weekend. Look at this lovely tent owned by one of our friends – wouldn’t you love to camp in this?
The theme of the first show this year was crime and punishment as it was in Sherwood Forest the home of Robin Hood and his band of merry men. We had another great weekend with really lovely weather so lots of people came to see us. It was just a small event with about 8 groups but there was plenty to see in the living history camps.
It was also a very significant first because Ellie came up in Kim and we drove all the way to re-enactment in the car! She did really well as we went on the motorway and she was not at all fazed (even when there was a big lorry trying to come into the lane). I am really proud of her and it was very lovely being driven all the way there (and back as well by my brilliant friend Kerry).
Because of having all this transport we were able to take the medieval tent and some stuff for the display which was a real luxury, am very happy in any tent but to have my medieval one is very special ;-)
We were camped with some friends who were doing weapons and armour talks all weekend and we did our usual headdress and embroidery talks which was a nice complement to their display.
This picture shows the camp after the battle with the boys’ arming jacks and paraphernalia everywhere!
And we had the great excitement of a new recruit to the group at her first event. And not just a new recruit for the main group this is our new sister for our little watercarrying group. Here is Sadie all dressed up and ready to go for her first show.
Sadie works with Ellie at Hardwick and has been sword training for a while but decided she would like to join us as well and she really enjoyed herself, she will be coming to many of our future shows as well.
So here’s to many more sunny weekends to come – don’t really mind it raining during the week as long as it always dries up by Friday ;-)
Thanks for visiting and see you in a couple of weeks.