Timey-Wimey Garb Project



One of the things that first attracted me to the SCA were all the lovely ensembles that people wore from various time periods, regions, and cultures. I’ve never settled into a persona-persona, because I haven’t wanted to nail myself to any one time period or place. If I did that, I couldn’t play with all the fun toys, right? In an attempt to broaden my horizons, learn more about the various cultures, time periods, and regions represented in our game, I’ve decided to challenge myself to what I can only call an Epic Timey-Wimey Garb Project. The main goal of the project is to create one complete outfit for each of the eleven centuries that the SCA period spans. For this, I’m using the “6th through the 16th” rule.  Like any project, there are additional goals as well:

  • Create one outfit for each century between and including the 6th and 16th;
  • Create a corresponding outfit for a linen doll;
  • Read at least one book on the history/culture of the region/period/group associated with each ensemble;
  • Write a small article overview of both the history/culture and the process used to construct the garment; and
  • Attempt to be as “skin-out” and complete as possible, keeping in mind modern comforts – this includes underclothes (as opposed to underwear), outerwear, and accessories exclusive to each ensemble.

Why the Doll?

First of all, why not? Dolls are fun! Second of all, I really enjoy making tiny garb for linen dolls. It’s a great way to map out a piece of garb, since you’re fitting it to a vague human shape as opposed to an actual one. This is especially useful when making garb with multiple layers and components, as it helps you see just how it all stacks together.  For example – this late period gown (which I think is Venetian – it was modeled after an outfit worn by the doll’s recipient):

Late period doll
Late period (Venetian?) doll for Duchess Lusche.

If I had draft a pattern of this gown for myself, having done it on a smaller scale would definitely help me, being spatially challenged, to see how the pieces fit together.

 So What’s the Plan?

Here’s a list of what I plan to do – and a slideshow with examples either from period or reconstructions.  As these projects are worked on, I’ll add pages and links. Whee!

  •  6th – Frankish (Arnegunde)
  • 7th – Persian
  • 8th – Tang Dynasty (China)
  • 9th – Anglo-Saxon
  • 10th – Western Scandinavia (Viking)
  • 11th – Byzantine
  • 12th – Bliaut
  • 13th – Spanish (Christian)
  • 14th – Taymouth Hours (Cotte)
  • 15th – Burgundian
  • 16th – Ottoman

But Wait! You got Such-and-Such Wrong!

Eep! My bad! Please let me know if you notice me making some sort of error in interpretation/judgement. I have never claimed to know everything, and everyone is capable of misreading/misinterpreting a source. There are people out there who have personas/extensive experience/knowledge of these periods, and it’s my plan to reach out to them when I need help with my research.  But if you’ve stumbled upon my little corner of the web and notice something amiss, let me know!


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