Monday, October 10, 2011

12th Night Planning

I've spent the better part of the weekend being productive for the first time in what feels like a hundred years.  It was wonderful.  I made cornhole bags (don't ask), knitting needle cases, finished some embarrassingly backed up work from over the summer, and redesigned my jewelry web site.  I've spent a huge amount of time at the sewing machine and the ironing board, and my leg does not hurt.  Hurray!  Sure, I got tired, but I lasted longer that I would have even before the surgery for we're on the right track.

Anyway, the theme for our kingdom's 12th Night is the Court of Maximilian I in 1500.  So, German.  Which sounds interesting, but not something I would be likely to wear again.  However my persona is Flemmish, so that's close enough, and I've been wanting to do this red gown forever, and it dates to 1450 so, again, close enough.  I have some red wool to make the gown out of, it's actually red shot with navy, kind of a tiny hounds-tooth, and ends up reading a really rich burgundy.  It's a little light, so I may have to line it, but I have some burgundy linen I can use for the lining.

The collar and cuffs look to have a very short pile, my guess is it's fur.  Finding a good low-pile fake fur is not going to be easy so I will probably just use velvet, hopefully in a silvery or cream color so it looks like the picture. 

I'm really *really* excited about the hat.  Especially since it isn't black.  It sort of looks like the crown might be rounded too, but that might be a trick of the veil.  I've got to decide how I want to build this thing, doing it with buckram will be easy enough but I'm not sure if that's how they were most likely made.  It could also be a felt form that's been decorated.  I doubt it's straw.  At least I know what I need to research.


  1. I believe that this particular hat is considered one of the "beehive" henins. I don't think it's round on top.

    The most convincing technique that I've ever come across for a period way to create a henin is the reed weaving method:

    The weaving seems perfectly reasonable, even though my personal attempt failed (more out of a lack of planning that anything else.) A caning supply store should have the right weight of reed.

    I personally think a stiff wool felt is also likely, but a thick enough felt for this type of application is pretty difficult to obtain in anything less than wholesale bulk these days. A modern iron-on stiffener applied to moderately heavy natural wool felt might do the trick, but I've personally never tested it.

    I totally cheated and made my henin out of plastic canvas.

  2. Hmmm...great links! The cane idea is interesting. I think that might be beyond me though, at least for now. I do however know how to work with felt for hats, it's not so bad if you use a hat blank and sizing. I know they had other hats made from shaped felt, and they had starches and glue, so that seems plausible. The truncated style doesn't need to be as substantial a structure as the full cone shape either so I think it should work.