Allegory of the Dagged Dress


Several years ago, I was taking a class about 14th and 15th century clothing.  During the class, the teacher brought out her own dresses and gowns, showing how she made them, including lots of nifty modern shortcuts.  One of her dresses was a neat shorter dress, about mid-thigh in length, and meant to be worn over one of the floor length gowns.  She mentioned while showing it that it was based off of a period image, but she had a feeling that it wasn’t really all that historically accurate as normal everyday wear.  I don’t remember much else about the short dress, but I found it an interesting idea!  I have seen it crop up on a couple other medieval reenactors since then, which helped keep it fresh in my mind. Read more ›

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Mystery Skirt Tuck

mystery tuck

Have you ever experienced the phenomenon where you learn a new word, and suddenly it seems like you see it everywhere?  Apparently this is a cognitive bias called Frequency Illusion, and it happens to me all the time when browsing medieval paintings.  One day you see a cool picture of a dude carrying some wares on a stick over his shoulder, then next day you see three more, and realize you need to make new Pinterest board.  Or a friend shares a neat hat they made, and you soon realize that there’s tons of period depictions of them, you just never noticed until now.

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Tutorial: Supportive Kirtle


Want to make a pretty and supportive kirtle for your reenactment needs? Look no further, I have what you need here!

(Actually, please do further, multiple sources for information is totally a thing.)

My first step for any project is to go look up what the original version looked like.  In this instance, I wanted a close fitting, long sleeved gown, from somewhere in the 1300 to 1500 range.  That is a huge span of time, so lets start narrowing it down by looking at pictures from those dates. Read more ›

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Antwerpen’ Around


This outfit is based on the information gathering I did for the Antwerp Women’s Dress post.  My dress is a little on the later end with it’s conical stiff bodice shape, so I’d put the date around 1575.

This post is really low on dress-diary content, as I can’t seem to find my process photos.  Instead, it will be a ‘Hey, look at this thing I made!’ post.  Cool?  Cool. Read more ›

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Mrs. Frizzle and the Dress Diary


I hope folks don’t mind this break from my usual historical clothing!  I don’t make very many modern dresses.  I think that this is because if I want a cute dress for daily life, I can buy it for far less effort and money than it would take for me to create the same dress myself.  Occasionally I make exception if I can’t find the particular cute dress I need.  Last Halloween, I needed a special dress that I couldn’t find anywhere!

If you are not familiar with The Magic School Bus, it is a fun educational show from the 90’s.  The main character is a teacher with fantastic dresses that fit the theme of whatever she is teaching that episode.  I needed to make a dress like hers for a TV show themed Halloween party.

Morgan Donner's Mrs. Frizzle style dress! Check out the detailed tutorial/dress diary!

I particularly like the ‘objects strewn randomly about’ quality some of her dresses have.  I went to a few local fabric stores, and the closest I could find was this beaker fabric below. Read more ›

Posted in Clothes, Post-16th Century Tagged with: , ,

Merchant Class Outfit, 1400

morgandonner overgown blue

Soon my friends will be putting together a display for an early 15th century Tailorshop, and my husband and I are helping.  My usual late 16th century Italian clothing just won’t do at all.  Time for new outfits!

We are aiming for 1390-1410 so I started gathering images from that time (yay Pinterest!), and quickly started seeing things I wanted to implement.  Things I might like to have: Read more ›

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Sailor Moon in the 16th Century

morgandonner sailor moon010 (683x1024)

Sailor Moon!  Such a glorious show from my childhood!  If you are not familiar with this fun and cute anime, you can watch the first season on Hulu, or Youtube, but the quick summary is that you have five school girls who can transform into superheros with various powers.  They fight bad guys, find romance, and generally enjoy being best friends.  Good stuff!

EDIT: The internet has found my post and appears to be happily nomming away!  Exciting!  However, this keeps coming up so I’ll note it here: I am not doing ‘Sailor Moon if she had been born in the 16th century in Japan’.  I love researching Italian clothing around 1550-1600, and thought it would be fun to make a new outfit with an inspirational theme!  This is decidedly not what 16th century Japanese fashion looked like, although it would be super cool if someone else did that!

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Fromage and Friends, a Handmade Card Deck (Part 2)

Fromage and Friends, a Handmade Card Deck.  This deck is based off of 16th century playing cards, is completely original in design, and is entirely hand carved and pressed, and painted.  Made by Jenny Craig ( and Morgan Donner.  Story and process post at

Here’s the second half of the deck making process!  For the first half, go back to Part 1.

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Fromage and Friends, a Handmade Card Deck (Part 1)


It all started about nine months ago.  I was playing card games with friends at an SCA event and turned to my friend Jenny to ask her “Hey, wouldn’t it be fun if we made our own card deck?”

We both sort of noncommittally murmured “Yeah, sure, maybe someday.” and then when on with our day.  But that tiny conversation planted a seed.  When we saw each other occasionally over the next few weeks, we would put out ideas:


“I wonder what sort of suits we could use…”


“It would be sort of fun to have some of our friends as the court cards….”

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A Paper Crown


One of my fab friends, Jenny, does traditional printing of all sorts, along with book making and pewter work.  Check out her Etsy shop if you have a second: Notta Pixie Press.  She has been helping me learn a new thing: lino and woodcut printing!

The Wood-engraver by Jost Amman, 1568.

The Wood-engraver by Jost Amman, 1568.

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