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Planning a dress

That I’ve even started making already, in fact, it’s taken me so long to get up to writing about it. I thought I’d better get my key links down to make actually writing about it all quicker and easier later.

A 16th century dress to work in the kitchen in (and to match most of the rest of the abbotsfordian women in, too, I’m a late adopted).

So the picture I would most like to look like is this one:

But then I found two other pictures with basically the same outfit – similar enough that I wonder if it actually is the same person, or at least the same clothes. The faces of the two Beuckelaer ones are similar enough they could be the same (and they’re the same idea too – complete with baby as accessory). Maybe this woman modelled for Aertsen too? Certainly similar enough to get some triangulation on the cut and fit and accessories of the outfit.

But what’s under the jacket? Planning to take this one as the model for the bits I can’t see in the other pictures:

I’ve started reading this, to get a sense of what the pictures are meant to be doing:

I obviously need to see if there’s a copy of this book anywhere local and, sigh, buy it if not.

And now off to get some help fitting the bodice.



On the topic of what’s going on with the paintings, this article is useful too:

Günter Irmscher, ‘Ministrae voluptatum: Stoicizing Ethics in the Market and Kitchen Scenes of Pieter Aertsen and Joachim Beuckelaer’ Simiolus: Netherlands Quarterly for the History of Art Vol. 16, No. 4 (1986), pp. 219-232.


Cool links to keep track of



Shops for materials

Reproduction silk brocades

Handwoven, hand dyed wool:

Hand dyed cloth and yarn, and also fibre craft supplies, medieval and early modern focus


Nice veil pins

Clothes for Secrets of the Castle

Back again, now with even smaller lumps of time.

So, I disappeared, because my daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia. It’s been pretty horrible, but treatment is going well, and we expect to be finished in October. We moved in with my mother a few months ago, and I’ve finally moved far enough up the hierarchy of needs to feel the creative urge again. Current interests jostling at the head of the line for attention are making a dress based on the kitchen and market workers portrayed in the genre paintings of Pieter Aertsen and Joachim Beuckelaer, and finally documenting the conclusions I’ve been drawing about thirteenth century norther European women’s dress and not writing down for the last twenty years. Let’s see how we go.


One UFO finally off the books


Since it’s been at least 7 years since I’ve been meaning to find some black paint, a small brush, and the time and space, I set to today with an indelible black texta. The device on my tent sack now has the owl and the edging inked in. The sack itself is quite stained and battered now, and the tent is mildewed and in need of replacement. But at least it’s finished now. It generally spends all of an event under my bed out of the way anyway.

I don’t much want to build a fancy new tent in the next couple of years; I seriously don’t have time or headspace. But I guess that if I start to think about it now, then I just need to wait for the time to arrive to get onto it. And the money. I had wanted hemp rope and linen canvas for the next tent (though I’ve been thinking about the white wool options too – must chase up that article on Edward I’s tent commissioning which talked about goat hair canvas). I should probably starts a savings account for it now.



Well, I didn’t get onto lacto tormenting the dandelion harvest in time yesterday, so the worms just got the wilting leaves for dinner. My dinner is a slice of the goat cheese and weed frittata I did make in time, varnished with penultimate serve of my delicious home grown eggplant and garlic lacto ferment, and my first try of February’s picalilli.

Goodness me

Well goodness me. For quite a while now, we’ve been using a big rectangular wicker laundry basket for late medieval/early modern reenactment purposes, and I’ve been bitching about it, because I have not been able to find any evidence, visual or otherwise, for non-round baskets of this sort.

Here it is a few years ago.

(Yes there’s something in Scappi; no, it’s clearly not meant to be open kitchen storage.)

In fact, I’ve mostly crowded the rectangular baskets out by acquiring round ones over the last few years (insert photo I never got around to taking at Rowany this year), but the big one gets used to transport the kitchen stuff, and it seems it is then too useful to hide away and not use.

And now, just when Karen and Laura and I have worked out how to finally send the thing to an honourable, non medieval, retirement in my laundry, I’ve found a picture of something just like it.

A laundry basket, in fact.

Thanks larsdatter, you rock as ever.


And here is the cake.


I put a base coat of pink icing on, and stabilised the edge with little snowflakes, and Eloise and her friend Rose did all the rest of the decoration.

And yay, now I know how to do the pictures. Thanks Karen.