Tuesday, March 27, 2012

One of THOSE days....

Having a bit of an 'off night.' I've already done the binge-eat and feel-sorry-for-self act so how about a blog post with Awesome Things in it?

First off, have some hunting gown! (ignore the lack of boots/hosen)

This has been one of the singularly most pleasant things I've ever made. It's based on Maximilian I's grubby gray hunting clothes that he wore a great deal. He even received international ambassadors dressed like this.

I've wanted to make it for a good two and a half years now and have had the gray wool for the same amount of time. Starting with the waffenrok pattern from Reconstructing History, I changed the top around to match Max's, adding longer sleeves and modifying it to get the grown-on collar. The collar was a bit of a guess but albeit an educated one. In the Teuerdank woodcuts, where this outfit crops up A LOT, we see Max's travelling companion, Ernhold, wearing a similar gown but minus the hood. He's got the grown-on collar there and given the lack of front opening on Max's rig, I figured his was the same.

Also, pleat math? Totally for chumps!! Instead of agonizing for hours over 1/8ths of inches, I just pinned each side to the front and back how I wanted it, gathered the excess into roughly even box pleats, and tweaked them until they were roughly even on the outside. The pleats don't hang as perfectly as they do in the woodcut but, HEY, it's a freaking woodcut....

It's gray wool... something - not heavy enough for a melton nor light enough for a flannel - and lined with tan linen. Wish I could say I hand-sewed this puppy but alas, that would be a fib. But that's how it came together in one day! It's comfy as all get out too. Still trying to decide if I want to make the totally derpy hunter's cap too. MAYBE.

Second, how about some helmet crest?

LIES, I hear you cry. That's not a helmet crest! That's a pair of leather sunglasses without the eye-holes cut out. Okay, fine. It's PART of the helmet crest. Dean, one of our multi-talented, sword-fighting chaps, also does a bit of metal work and I commissioned him to do a nice crest ring for the top of my helm, into which I can stuff ostrich feathers to my heart's content and get blown off in the first stiff breeze (as happened to the Duke of Wellington. Trufax!). Anyways, this is just the leather band for the ring. "Halt Mass" means "Restrain yourself," which my room-mate found terrifically funny. It was Maximilian's personal motto but is also readibly applicable to someone prone to losing their shit sporadically and epically (such as maybe the person writing this blog...).

Next step is to get it dyed, weather it just a bit to have it look more 'metal-ish,' and paint the raised bits with some snazzy gold.

Third, how about some arming doublet?

This turned up in a previous post and it's seriously saving my arse for jousting. The armour I've borrowed until I get my own together is quite big on me but the three layers of wool padding here sorted things out quite nicely. I put it together with this superbly excellent tutorial. It's entirely hand-sewn (not much for options when there's three layers of wool...) and took upwards of fifty or sixty hours. Got the buckles from - great selection, decently priced, speedy shipping. What's not to love? The shoes came from Historic Enterprises. I got the leather for my new boots in the post yesterday and it is BEYOND perfect, so I'll start those this weekend.

Fourthly, how about some standard?

We're supposed to have standards for this tournament in Texas and well, heck, wouldn't you believe it if I went and did something related to Maximilian? Yeah, I totally did. Still don't know what's going on the shield in the center but I absolutely had to go with the double-headed eagle. The material is a poly-spandex blend (+10 for historical accuracy!!!) but it had a nice, tight weave and a smooth surface to take the paint. The paint, yeah.... the paint is "Tulip Fabric Paint," 100% acrylic and 100% farby but I'll be damned if I'm stitching that bitch on there. Painting is bad enough. This is only one side - each side takes about twelve hours - but I've got the outline started on the other already.

Lastly, have some hussar.

Ever seen a movie called The Duellists? No? SEE IT NOW. It's one of Ridley Scott's very first and while the acting leaves a bit to be desired, the costumes GUUUHHH. The history GUUHHHHH. Thewholesenseofgettingatasteofthetimeperiod GUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAHGGH.

Seriously. Do see it. If not for the reasons above, at least for the good Dr. Jacquin, who is pretty much Marius, incarnate. I may or may not have screamed and flapped my arms a bit.

All of that aside, looks like the next big era is going to be the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. Never been much for the Napoleonic Era but there's just something about hussars..... And since I have a leggy, gray gelding who needs a job, why not make something ridiculously appropriate? More details on all of THAT later...

In other news, read the Flashman books. Just... do it.


PS This is surely the longest post yet....

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