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! MorganDonner.com

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 ›

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Merchant Class Outfit, 1400

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

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)

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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Lazy Herjolfsnes 63

How to make a 14th century men's coat, on MorganDonner.com

A friend of mine requested a copy of a coat he already owns.  His coat is similar to the late 14th century Herjolfsnes 63 garment, although with far fewer seams, and simpler sleeve shaping (which is why I am calling it the lazy version!).  I have actually already helped him do that a couple of years ago, but this time I took pictures!  Here’s a walk-through for anyone hoping to make something similar. Read more ›

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12th Century: Fit for a King and Queen

12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com

Last September at Emprise of the Black Lion (that’s the event I made the cute horse and lion buckles for!) I was asked by the crown prince of An Tir to consider making his and his princess’s coronation gowns.  I have helped with coronation outfits before, but only in bits and pieces, never in charge of the whole shebang!  So this was an awesome experience, it was very fun and interesting going through all the garb creation steps with a ‘client’ for the first time.

They quickly decided that they wanted 12th century Sicilian-Norman outfits consisting of an over and under garment for each of them, and a veil for her Highness.   I drew up a game plan, and after a bit of back and forth for color changes and such, we had the outfit plan: Read more ›

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