14th century Meridian Cross Cyclas / sideless surcote,  14th century projects,  Applique,  Chain Stitch,  Embroidery,  Hand-Sewing,  How to prepare patches for appliqué,  How to use embroidery models / Schablonen,  Medieval Embroidery,  Projects

My new “Meridian Cross Cyclas” – a Manesse inspired 14th century cyclas / sideless surcote .1 – the appliqué embroidery

2015-11_Racaire_Meridian-Cross_CyclasYeah, it’s true and no typo – I made a 14th century cylas / sideless surcote for me! Or how I call the newest addition to my wardrobe: my 14th century “Meridian Cross Cyclas”! 😀

How come? Well, while I was living in the kingdom of Drachenwald – the SCA group covering Europe, the middle East and South Africa – I wasn’t able to make it to many SCA events. Not that I didn’t want to but quite many of the events were out of my budget due to the required travel to the location in a rather far away country like Sweden, Finland, UK,… Therefore my normal event count per year was about 1 to maximal 5 events per year.

Now, living at the northern border of the mighty and beautiful kingdom of Meridies as well as very close to the great kingdom of Midrealm, there are suddenly much more SCA events which I can actually afford to travel to. And best of all, as my husband is also an “SCAdian” – I don’t have to travel alone to the events anymore…. 🙂

But there is also a great downside to this advantage – now I suddenly need much more clothing. Needless to mention that I especially need seasonable clothing for winter, spring & autumn and summer. And yes, it can get very hot and humid here in Kentucky and Tennessee in the summer as well as very cold in the winter time.

Just recently, while enjoying an unusual warm Silver Hammer event, I discovered to my great discomfort that I am somehow lacking really warm extra clothing as I was still shivering despite all the layers of clothing which I was already wearing. Well, I am nearly always cold but this was the point where I decided that I had to do something against it.

Therefore I decided that it was definitely time to make a really nice and warm clothing for myself. And what is better than a nice and warm woolen cyclas which one can just slip on over all the other clothing? Well, yeah, onion style for the win! 😀

…and though I have no pictures of me wearing my finished “Meridian Cross Cyclas” yet – hopefully my husband can help me with this task this upcoming weekend – I have some pictures for you of how I made the “Meridian Cross” appliqué for my cyclas. (The “Meridian Cross” is an award given by the royal Majesties during the court of a SCA event “to those who show promise and skill in the arts and sciences” within the kingdom of Meridies.)

And I really love my “Meridian Cross”! I can’t tell you how excited I was when I received my “Meridian Cross” during my second visit in the states. It was absolutely unexpected and took me completely by surprise when the royal Majesties at this time – Talina and Sam, which became dear friends since then (sorry for the lack of SCA titles – you both are so awesome and just have too many so that I can’t remember the proper ones) – awarded me with this award at the court of my very first MGT – Meridian Grand Tournament.

And besides the personal meaning which this award bears for me – especially as I received it as a “friend of the kingdom”, not being an actual citizen of the kingdom of Meridies yet – I also think that the fieldless badge representing the order of the “Meridian Cross” is very beautiful in its simplicity. Yes, it is very simple but nevertheless beautiful.

But enough about me and my beloved “Meridian Cross” award – let’s take a look at how I made the “Meridian Cross” appliqué… – enjoy! 😀 [emember_protected not_for=3-4 do_not_show_restricted_msg=1]

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Well, I already pointed out that the design of the “Meridian Cross” is a very simple one. Therefore I only had to make one very simple paper pattern. It is actually so simple that I not even took the time to pre-draw the lines before I cut out the basic paper pattern which you can see on the picture above. With the help of this paper pattern I cut out 4 single pieces for the appliqué from some nice white wool fabric I had in my fabric stash.

When I started this “Meridian Cross cyclas” project, I decided to make it a “fun project” and to take an a little bit more rustic approach as usual – especially after all the recent fine appliqué work which I did for Sams 14th century hood. But don’t mistake me – “rustic” just means that I decided to use bigger stitches and to do less fine work than I would normally do – like the stitches which you can see on the picture underneath.


Like always this more rustic approach was a decision made based on a gut feeling.
I simply felt in the mood for it. And soon I also discovered that it might be a perfect occasion to show you how simple and fast an embellishment for clothing can be done.

As you can see on the picture above and underneath, the stitches I made to unite the woolen appliqué patch with the wool fabric of my cyclas were quite far apart – this is only possible because the white wool I am using is very well felted. Btw. felted wool per se doesn’t fray and is actually perfect for daggings! Just sayin’! 😀


But well, as rustic as I wanted to go for this project, I still could’t resist to add a little bit “extra” and to “lay” a purple thread into my stitches at the border between the appliqué patch and cyclas fabric. Though the purple thread is only really evident when you look at the appliqué work from the right angle, I think that this little bit of extra color adds a nice “kick” to the appliqué border.

After attaching all four white side parts of the “Meridian Cross” to the black wool of my cyclas, I used the paper pattern again to create the while outlines in chain stitch along its border:


Here a close up of the chain stitch embroidery following the border of the paper pattern:


Using a paper pattern like shown above is actually the easiest way to work a simple pattern on a fabric like wool which doesn’t allow much pre-drawing on the surface.

Btw. I used the same technique for the round embellishments for my 14th century dagged hood project:


And here a picture of how I used the paper pattern to create the round embellishments:


And I used a similar, very simple paper pattern to create the following embellishment along the border of another 14th century hood project:


And last but not least, here a picture of the completed chain stitch outline after I removed the paper pattern:


As you can see on the pictures above, a nice appliqué embellishment really doesn’t need to be very complicated.

I hope you enjoyed the progress of my most recent project – my “Meridian Cross Cyclas”. This upcoming weekend I will try to get more pictures of this project for you and will post them as soon as possible. 😀

Best regards Racaire