We went yesterday to the ruins at Lesnes Abbey Woods, which are only a few miles from where we live, to get some shots of the new clothes from Lady Malina, the scabbard from Stephen “Stitch” Pole, the harness from Martin Bevan, and the pole axe from Josef Dawes. My thinking was to get a ton of shots, under my control, in relative leisure before the season started and time ran out.
Malina has made two doublets, two pairs of hose, and a short gown for me, all of which are excellent. The intention is to have a pair of hose and a doublet which are a bit more down-market for regular knocking around in, and a set which are higher class. Unfortunately there’s a problem with the new green doublet which needs to be sorted out before I can wear it, so I only got shots with the lower class yellow one. Despite appearances in these shots, the hose are not black, but quite definitely blue and somewhat lighter in colour.
I’m not super happy with how I look in just the doublet, as it’s revealing to my embarrassment that I really (really) need to lose weight. Despite that, the hose and doublet are an outstandingly good fit, and very comfortable. Sitting in them when they are fully pointed is not a problem (in fact I wore them in the car), which is always a good indication that the fit is correct.
The shoes are something of an interim pair – I made them years ago in Australia and treat them like medieval sandshoes. They remain very comfortable and robust, and are likely to survive many more years, however I’ve got a longer pair of boots for fancy wear, and have some ankle boots on order for wearing with harness.
The gown feels great, and I will take great delight in swanning about in it (Fabulous, Darling). We are being a little cunning with it as well – the sumptuary laws are being skirted by using rabbit fur, so I can pretend to be well above my station without actually breaking the law.
Stitch has done a great job of the scabbard and belt, to house the longsword from Lixa Rebellum. I gave him licence to use good fittings and mounts, and freedom to splash out with little brief other than “fancy, but not too fancy for my station.” He’s nailed it in my opinion, which will let me fulfill my role as “over-dressed tart”. Note that I will only be wearing it with the gown, generally, as it’s way too nice to take onto the field while wearing harness. Additionally I have a (sharp) rondel dagger from Tod’s Stuff that should be on this belt, and I am definitely not taking that on the field.
There are a small number of things I need to do with this soft kit in addition to losing 5kg, but between these pieces and the other kit Malina has made I’m finally fairly satisfied that I am on the right track:
- additional ankle shoes, which are on the way;
- the glue on the scabbard chape has given up, and I need to reglue it to prevent it falling off;
- pattens. I do have one pair of pattens I made some time back for a particular pair of poulaines, but it would be good to have a more robust pair for the English mud;
- a better fitted shirt, probably with a collar. The last two pairs of shirts I made I banged up quickly for under my jack. They are fine and accurate (although the neckline is a bit bigger than it should be), but we discovered while doing up the yellow doublet that the full sleeves and body mean that there is a lot of extra fabric that needs to be squeezed under the doublet, which is why the sleeves look bunched up;
- the front strap on the scabbard needs to be trimmed, Stitch correctly left this long so I could adjust the way the sword hangs.