For My Bookbinding Friends…

Back in 2010, during my visit to the Museu d’Art de Catalunya, in Barcelona, I took a large number of pictures which I never managed to post anywhere. I have the best intentions of rectifying that.  For starters,  here is a series of pics of a polychrome wood carved statue of a saint, c. 1300, by an anonymous artist, from the workshop of San Bertran de Comenge.

It is not only a beautiful sample of period art, but it has a beautiful depiction of a girdle book.  Hopefully, those of you who are into bookbinding will find this extra useful.


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Spanish Striped Sleeves

This gallery contains 6 photos.

A while ago, I tried to post these in a gallery on this page. Alas, I couldn’t figure out how to do it.  However, it is here now. These images are from the Museu d’Art de Catalunya.  They are c. … Continue reading

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16th Century Mix and Match

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while.  As you may have already noticed, I am a big fan of the 16th Century kirtle, that wonderful garment that features a boned bodice and which can be worn as underwear or outerwear.

Grey wool herringbone kirtle, with aubergine wool flannel sleeves.  Made its debut at Chalice of the Sun God VII - Outstaring the Medusa.  Must make doublet for it.  16th Century style.  October, 2010. The picture on the left shows that kirtle worn as outerwear.  The sleeves are removable or you can just wear them hanging.  If I wanted to wear this garment as underwear, I would wear an overdress on top of it.

I have also worn it with a green sleeveless doublet, which totally changes the look of the ensemble.  Alas, too late did I realize that I don’t have a picture of me wearing it with the doublet.  Suffice to say that it looks very similar to the lady on the right hand corner of the illustration of the Civitatis Orbis Terrarum, depicting people from Arras, France, below.

I will, at one point, take a picture of me with the kirtle and the wool doublet and post it here.  Maybe showing it side by side with the Arras picture. How about that?

But topping your kirtle with a doublet is not the only way to wear this garment.  You can also ditch the doublet and wear it with a coat.

In this case, I chose a short-sleeved coat: The Tudor Tailor’s English fitted gown pattern.

I must say that I loved that pattern.  It is flattering, easy to construct, and incredibly practical.  The fact that it takes less fabric than other, bulkier coats, is also a plus.  I basically used the leftover fabric that I had from the construction of a compass cloak that I had made for a friend’s Pelican ceremony.

Then again, I usually order too much fabric for all my projects, but I am quite happy when I can get two garments for the price of one.  Hooray for leftovers!

Oh, and did I mention that I lined it with assorted leftover linen from other projects?  Only the visible parts of the lining are black linen and match the outer wool.  If you look inside, it looks like the coat of many colors.  Surprise! A fine and venerable period practice.  No scrap left behind!

At any rate, another interesting feature of this type of coat is that you can either outfit it with pockets, or simply put slits instead.  Why slits?  Because you can carry a pouch underneath your coat and you simply reach it through the slit.

In this case, I decided to go for the slit.  Why?  Because I found it intriguing, and I thought it would be cool to simply pull my pouch from underneath as opposed to having a pocket.

Is it a better option? Well, that depends on what you want to do.  Both options are great.  I just thought that this one was a bit more unusual.

So I am including the three pictures below, showing what you can do with this:

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I am hoping that this illustrates the versatility of this garment, and why I am addicted to boned kirtles.

Last but not least, you can always plop a hat on your head, leave the sleeves hanging, and go for a cup of coffee with your friends at your favorite establishment, as you can see in the picture below.

See how different it looks?

And this is why I am in love with the 16th Century boned kirtle.

Mix and match baby! Mix and match!

I hope that this has inspired you to make your own boned kirtle!  What are you waiting for?  Join the club!

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Vizard Masks

Good news.  I have been meaning to update my document “Gloves and Muffs and Masks, Oh My!” for a while.  The thing is, when I wrote it back in 2005, no extant masks had been found.  Nevertheless, in 2010, a vizard mask was found walled in a building in England, and this has changed the name of the game.

Pictures and information can be found at the site of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, affiliated with the British Museum.  This means that my document desperately needs to be updated.

So why has it taken me so long?  Among other things, I could not find the original Word document of my article since my old Toshiba died, and I switched computers twice.

True, I could have recreated the PDF document back into Word, but I just didn’t have the time.  Lame excuse, I know, but I have a full time job that takes up a lot of my time and I just didn’t get around to it.

But today, lo and behold!  The document was hiding in the old Toshiba drive, which I had mounted to a slider given that the aforementioned laptop died long time ago never to be able to be booted again.  To make matters worse, it was misfiled under a folder with a name that had nothing to do with this article.  (Why do I do these things to myself?  Sigh.)

But the file that was lost has now been found, and I intend to update it as soon as I can.  Moreover, I need to a) write another document with the additional information that I have dug out in the meantime (Spanish masks anyone?); and b) make another mask given that I can no longer document the technique that I used in the old one and  that is currently part of my website.

I am so happy…

Stay tuned.

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Spanish Striped Sleeves 15th C.

Well,  I was trying to add a page with the examples of Spanish striped sleeves from pictures I took at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in Barcelona.  Alas, somehow, my program ate the page.

At any rate, I have uploaded them to my Smugmug album, so you can find them here.


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