14th century projects,  14th century XL hood for Pelican elevation,  Books,  Books - Textiles,  Hand-Sewing,  Projects

My new project – a white 14th century XL hood for a friends Pelican elevation – the hand-sewing is finally finished! :D

2015-07_Racaire_14th-century_white-hood_XL_1After all the successful previous preparation for this project (like drafting an XL pattern and creating a 14th century XL hood sample), I finally started working at the actual project some days ago:

A white 14th century XL hood
for my friends Pelican elevation. 🙂

But first a short explanation for all readers who are not familiar with the SCA:
Whenever a member of the SCA shows great passion in “service” to the society, excels in the “arts & sciences” (like woodwork, embroidery, teaching about his/her craft,…) or shows great skill in fighting (“Heavy Fighting”, fencing,…) and some people who observe this commitment report it to The Royal Majesties of their kingdom (normally done via a recommendation form at the kingdom website) – well, then there is a good chance that this person might be awarded at one of the next events with an award. And, btw., every one of this awards comes also with a scroll… 😀

There are some awards within the SCA which are the same worldwide – regardless in which kingdom you live (like the Award of Arms, Grant of Arms, Order of the Pelican, Order of the Laurel,…). And besides this worldwide awards, there is also a wide range of local awards which vary from kingdom to kingdom.

Like my “Order of the Panache” from Drachenwald (Europe) and the “Meridian Cross” which I received here in the states. They are both awards for my devotion to the “art and science” field (embroidery, calligrahpy,…). And though they are both arts and science awards, they have a slightly different meaning and award level as they come from two different kingdoms.

But let’s get back to the “Order of the Pelican” award – this award is one of the above mentioned worldwide awards and also one of the highest awards you can strive for in the field of service. It shows the passion of my dear friend to the field of service and reflects all his hard work for our society.

Therefore and because he is a really awesome person, it is a great honor for me to make this hood for his Pelican elevation ceremony. Yeah, there is no doubt that we will celebrate accordingly to honor his passion and his hard work! 😀

And now let’s take a look at the 14th century XL hood I just hand-sewed for him. Sure, it’s still lacking all the embroidery but as every painting needs a good prepared canvas, I had to finish the medium for my further embroidery first. …and to answer a question I am asked quite frequently: yes, whenever I can, I finish the sewing part first and then add my embroidery! 🙂

2015-07 - Racaire - 14th century XL hood - hand-sewing - white wool fabricThe wool fabric my friend sent me for his hood is very fine and quite thin. Therefore I decided to make very small hand-sewing stitches – this way my sewing stitches can blend in with the surface texture and become nearly invisible.

Including the cutting of the fabric and all the hand-sewing, it took me about 30 hours to create this 14th century XL hood. And now let’s enjoy some more pictures of the finished hood! 😀


Unfortunately, due to some kitty attacks on the liripipe, we had to put the liripipe up for the pictures. Alice is far too keen on playing with liripipes! *lol*

If you think that the hood is a little bit too big for my sweetheart – you are actually right. The XL hood pattern was drafted for a friend with a slightly bigger head and body and therefore doesn’t fit my sweetheart. But I am still glad that I could take pictures of the hood worn by him – this XL hood is far too big for me.

…and here a picture of the side:


…and finally – for the picture of the back – I remembered to put the back part with the liripipe where it actually belongs:


This 14th century XL hood is based on the pattern “Museum No. D10597” which can be found on page 110 in the book Medieval Garments Reconstructed: Norse Clothing Patterns (Amazon.de: Medieval Garments Reconstructed). You can read more about this pattern and the book in my previous posting: “My 14th century XL hood sample – the finished hood sample & some information about my hood pattern…

And now let’s take a closer look at some sewing details – here a picture of how I inserted the front gore:


Above you can see a picture of the inserted front gore as it appears at the front and underneath I added a picture of the back side of the same section for you:


Following you can see two pictures showing the hood part which is normally located underneath the chin:


…and a picture of the backside:


The part underneath the chin has a small curve and therefore is always a little bit tricky to sew – especially with such thin and delicate fabric. In order to get the seam as flat as possible I had to cut halfway into the border of the fabric and then I had to stretch the seam as much as possible while I was adding the stitches. This part is always quite a struggle but worth it! 🙂

And for everyone of you who is interested in how I sew this fine bottom seams – here a close up picture of how I hold and stretch the seam while I am working at it:


…and here a close up picture of how my fingers are placed to achieve this quite high tension:


I know, this picture might make it look much more complicated than the procedure actually is but it’s rather easy to do. First I cut away all single threads along the edge of the fabric to get a clean and straight fabric edge. Then I take the edge of the fabric and fold it rather close to the edge (about 2-3mm) and then I fold it over once again.

Then I hold this newly folded seam part with two fingers (middle, upper and bottom fabric layer hold with thumb and index finger) and lay the part with the last stitches of the already sewn seam part over my middle finger. With a slight tension I stretch the fabric over my middle finger and place it on the back of the middle finger. And here is where the last two fingers of my hand come in play – I place them on top of the fabric at the back of the middle finger. They normally apply enough tension to hold the fabric in place and allow me to continue sewing the seam over my middle finger.

This way the fraying edge is hidden inside the fabric of the edge. As soon as you add your sewing stitches it is also protected for good – or until your hood falls apart due to use and time. But to ensure a good seam you have to take care that you have at least a little bit of woven fabric on the top and especially on the bottom of the edge – near to the fraying edge – otherwise the threads have nothing to hold in place and the seam could dissolve after some time.

Yes, it takes some time and practice to get used to hold your fabric like this. But if you get used to it, you will be able to produce very small border seams in rather little time. 

I hope you enjoyed the pictures of my new 14th century XL hood project. This are very well invested 30 hours but it will take even more work hours before the embroidery is finished and I can deliver the hood.

Well, what shall I say – one more point of my long to-do list is completed by now and this leaves me with even more work for the future. *lol* The 14th century XL hood for the Pelican elevation of my friend needs some embroidery now! 😀

Best regards Racaire