onsdag 25 december 2013

No more bad hair days

I´ve been intrigued by the intricate braided hairdo's of German 15th century for a while and was happy when I discovered that they weren´t just the artist´s interpretation of an ideal, but that they most likely were fakes. Zopfe, or false braids, seems to be high fashion for the younger women and those of higher class. The higher society, the bigger the braids. Here are some examples of what must be fake hair:
More is more in Nüremberg, for sure, according to Albrecht Dürer.

In this one the real hair definetly differs in colour from the zopfe.

This is an earlier painting and the zopfe aren´t that exaggerated.

Here a version with inserted red, matching the gefrens beatifully.
There even is some extant examples of fake braids from the German area, made of stuffed cloth-rolls:

I have tried the filling out your own hair before, see here:http://renikasanachronisticadventures.blogspot.se/2013/05/fake-it-til-you-make-it.html

Now I wanted to go all in, and make me a full set of fake hair and browsing through a number of paintings I found that they really do not need to look natural. I did however not wish it to differ to much from my own hair, and luckily I had some scraps of a simple but beautiful reddish brown wool that was just enough to make three long tubes. I decided to fill them with more scrap fabric and in order to shape them nicely around the head, I made them thicker in the middle and thinner in the ends. I simply rolled them together and pinned it all and then sew them along the fold before braiding them.

I hade taken a rough measurement of my head beforehand, but had to shorten them a bit before sewing the ends together, trying my best to make them fit together nicely in the braid pattern.
Since the real hair is not shown other than over the temples and on the top of the head, I figured that it most likely was praided and either hidden under the Zopfe or, in some cases, in a hairnet covering the head under the Zopfe. This is how it looks on me with my own hair simply tucked in under the Zopfe. 

Now I need to finish the new gefrens and try it all out together.

söndag 15 december 2013

The tale of a hesitant feastocrat

This weekend we held the annual Lucia-feast (in Sweden we celebrate the sicilian saint of S:a Lucia the 13th of December), the Barony of Styringheim baronial investiture. One of our eager new members (not yet a year in the Society) wanted to autocrat, but asked for someone more experienced to help out. I thought that it had been a good while since I did something and that it might be payback-time, for I do love going to events. And soon we were three autocrats, Fenja, me and Mark. As the plans formed we realised that we couldn´t get hold of anyone to do the feast, so I said that I could do that, disregarding the fact that I have never made a feast this big, with help from others that volunteered to make one dish each.

I asked around for tips, went through recipes and food blogs and formed a meny that was varied, with mostly quite simple but tasty dishes since I thought that after a long day in cold weather, people would not be appreciative of a complicated meny with strange dishes.

And in order to hopefully get some out-of-the kitchen time during the Saturday I started on Friday the 13th with the preparations and made most of the dishes in the Student Union kitchen that we got to borrow for the day. Then we stuffed everything into the fridge in the actual event kitchen at Kapitelhusgården (the Chapter House in Visby, http://kapitelhusgarden.se/). When we arrived the next morning to start cooking lunch and the rest of the feast, we were met by a rather foul smell when entering the kitchen building. I thought it smelled of gas and every surface was covered in soot. We soon discovered that the fridge we had put all the food in the night before had burned during the night, some kind of electrical malfunction, but apart from the soot nothing was damaged. Of course we had to call the fire brigade, that came really fast, since a fire in the old medieval town core is frightful should it spread between the tight fitted and old buildings. They checked everything with their heat-camera and could, thankfully, soon tell us and the managers that no fire had spread inside the building. The manager that left last the night before had closed the door to the kitchen area and thus the fire was probably drained of oxygen and died. (here is a report in the local paper about the fire with a picture of the burned fridge: http://www.helagotland.se/nyheter/artikel.aspx?articleid=9196671)

Well, we could for sure not use this kitchen and people were coming into the yard, ready for the first court of the day. We opened the fridge to see if anything of the food could be salvaged and, to our surprise, it was all intact and still cold. Safely capsuled in it had survived and could still be served. We loaded everything into a car, stayed for the court and then rushed down back to the Student Union kitchen, were they had not yet cleaned up after their bar emptying the night before. So we started with clearing the kitchen before we could get cracking with the lunch.

We did manage to do the entire feast in time, borrowing all kitchen utensils, cantines, serving spoons and all and drove back to the site in time to put up the feast before the evening court ended. We even got the feast hall lit up with candles before the guests arrived. Not the prettiest serving and not one I would be proud of under different circumstances, with recycled plastic cantines with butter and sauces, aluminum foil wrapped around the pots and pans and not enough serving spoons. Right about then I thought I for sure deserved a beer and to sit down for a while. But we made it! I´m so proud of everyone that helped out and made it possible.

And the feast was great, with our own Lucia-tradition of strange men in even stranger outfits singing the classical advent songs to the audience´s awe and applause. And one of the firefighters might be recruited as member, he left with a leaflet.

View of the Chapter house when the feast had started

This is what we served:
Lumbard Mustard
Oven-baked salmon
A green herbal sauce with vinegar and breadcrumbs
Fricadelli in almond-sauce
Onion and mushroom-pie
Bread with rosewater
Honey butter
Cinnamon butter

And no less then three desserts plus cookies!
Doucettes with saffron cream filling
A 14th C cake with dried fruit and nuts
A rather improvised Sambocade with saffron instead of rose water and elder flowers

And for those asking for recipes, here´s some links:
I used parsley, basil, sage, some freshly ground black pepper, breadcrumbs (that you can buy gluten-free!) and white wine vinegar, lots of it.
I made one lactose free pie, and five ordinary ones.
For the sambocade, I used all the leftover eggwhites since most f the dishes called for eggyolks, some quark a little sugar and lots and lots of saffron. Blended well and baked in the oven for about 20 minutes. A great dessert and entirely gluten free.

måndag 25 november 2013

Just added a little piece of bling

So it is done, my new smocked shift. This time I tried hard not to make a neckline that scoops too low, a thing I always manage to do with my shifts. It took a few times of pinning, trying it on, repin it and repeat.

The inspiration is mainly the finely smocked shifts and shirts from really late 15th C Germany, such as Dürers shirt, and I looked into the larger number of extant Italian camicias of the 16th C for the cut and also decorations. Here are one example of the sleeve and gusset that I liked:
I did however choose a different layout of the gusset since I did not want to much fabric to gather in the armpit of my rather slimfitted kirtlesleeves. Another great inspiration is the shift of Mary of Hungary, ca 1520:
When I displayed my last smocked shift (read about it here: http://www.renikasanachronisticadventures.blogspot.se/2013/04/all-dressed-up-housebook-style.html), I did get the question why I had made such big and coarse pleats in the neck insert. I thought about it and figured I was just taking the easy path and thus challenged myself a bit this time. So I made the pleats so tiny I had problems getting them to form, and got the tip on damping the fabric and then gently pull in the direction of the pleats, and the linen gently pleated itself.

One of the main reasons for making this rather plain shift with a simple white smock was that I wanted to use the lovely antique golden lace I got from my mother in law, forming the edging of a lovely but really worn brocade table cloth. And there are some extant camicias with golden lace on the edge, excellent inspiration:

And this is how it turned out, with a side gore inserted and replacing the armpit square gore. The cuffs are plain and simple, since they will not be showing at all.
It took some effort to get the bias sewn to the smocking on the neckline and then attaching the lace, but I do think it was worth every minute and every pricked finger, this will for sure be a well used smock.
 First I pinned the bias strip over the smocking, trying not to stretch it too much.
 Then I sew the bias down over the edge, thus forming a firm edging for support of the rather heavy golden lace.
 The lace was pinned on and then sewn with a fine brown silk, that does not contrast too much to the rather old looking lace.

söndag 10 november 2013

Pretty protection

In striving for a full and complete late 15th century wardrobe I simply cannot be without a good apron. And browsing through period artwork the double apron, or Doppelshurz, sticks out as the most common. And it is so functional, protecting the skirts both front and back. Some call it a midwife´s apron, and it is definetly common in depictions of the birth of Christ on the female helpers, but it shows up in other situations as well.

For my apron I decided to gather pleats on top front and back, and the fabric I used is not pure white as in most depictions, but striped with thin black stripes. But I decided not to be to true to the originals but to make my own interpretation. It turned out to be a bigger project than I had imagined, mainly because my stubborn decision to pleat it so much. But the result was worth it and I will be proud to wear it at our next upcoming local event, where I will be head cook.
 The weather could have been better but here I am, standing in a rather cold November rain, in the Housebook dress, the new smock that is almost done and the apron. I was afraid that I would have to shorten the shoulder straps, but it worked just fine. I bought the fabric from my favourite Polish merchants at the Medieval market in August, it is a rather fine linen with black stripes and I just loved it at first sight. I sew it with flax thread and the smock is sewn with a rather heavy black silk, reinforced in the back with similar seams in flax.

The cut is really simple, I think it ought to be two rectangular pieces, just gathered at the top and sewn together in the sides, but I found it hard to get the smocked part as thin as I wanted it so I simply cut it into two trapezoid shapes. The top part I gathered with a smocking thread and then I sew right across the pleats with the black silk, reinforcing the back with similar seams, approximately two centimeters apart.

söndag 20 oktober 2013

Focus, focus, focus - Oh shiny!

It is hard getting anything done when I constantly get distracted. Distracted by new images, ideas, Oh-I-Must-Do-That-project ideas and other shiny stuff. Hence there is nothing much to show here, and it is not for lack of trying, I promise. But now I will make a huge cup of tea, put the computer down, hide the phone (whoever made Pinterest into an app must be an evil genius keeping everybody else occupied) and get going on my ongoing projects. This apron I have been working on for a couple of months could be finished in an afternoon, I´m sure of it.

måndag 12 augusti 2013

Nothing gets you going like a deadline

So, on Sunday morning, just before leaving for the Opening Parade of the 30th Medieval Week, I had it all done. And so this is the turnout of my teal blue Housebook dress, photo courtesy of Lia de Thornegge, just before court on Wednesday evening.
And yes, I need to make new smocks that fit this neckline better. It is on the to-do-list for the Autumn.

The week has, as always, been packed with friends, old and new, activities, parties and far too little sleep, as it should be. But me and the boys even made it to the beach for a short break just after the Principality Tourney. The youngest clearly thought more of the weather than us other two.

torsdag 11 juli 2013

Having the blues

 In a number of period artworks you see variations of Housebook dresses in this lovely shade of teal blue. I guess that it is more the question of what pigments were available for painting than actual fashion, but I might be mistaken. However, friends of mine living close to the old fabric Mecka of Borås in the south-west once called me when visiting a sale in one of the stores asking if I might want some really nice thin wool fabric. Not many colors were available since they mainly sold fabrics for making men´s suits, but they had found this teal blue. So I decided to buy it unseen and had it delivered a few weeks later. And it has been laying in my fabric pile since then. A couple of years ago I started cutting it in order to make a Housebook dress, but the courage failed me halfway through. But after my success with the dark brown one I thought I had to give it a go again, since I really need a summerworthy dress for the upcoming events. So here goes:
 It doesn´t look much without the pleated panels does it now? But I made them first since they take the most time, measuring, gathering with many tight seams and fastening seams in the back. I reinforced this thin fabric with a more steady wool I had some scraps of, and it turned out really good.
So, apart from inserting the panels, what remains to do now is to decide whether I want the long wide sleeves as shown above, or tight sleeves or even the open ones i the more Italian style? Good thing I will have some time to figure that out.

onsdag 5 juni 2013

Garb symbolism

I started this day by scrolling through a very long and sometimes heated debate on Facebook considering the symbolism of different garments and accessories within my chosen game, the SCA. In this case (and it is in no way a unique discussion) it started with someone asking whether a cape could be worn without risk of social stigma. This might sound like a strange question at first glance, but considering it had gotten 140 comments within a few hours the subject is a complex one. Because everything we choose to wear can and most probably will be interpreted as a message to the world. The SCA, with rules and regulations written about some attire and very strong sentiments and traditions concerning others is not an isolated phenomenon in this matter.

It is known from modern day society that the way you wear your jeans sends out signals. And the way you wear your hair. And take care using earrings if you are male, or putting a handkerchief in your back pocket. And ladies are told not to wear to short skirts (hey, what happened to modern society?)

From history it is known or at least assumed that by using/wearing a garment initially worn by the opposite sex is sending signals of frivolity. Like young women wearing men's hats in 15th century german society (see some of my thoughts on that here: http://www.renikasanachronisticadventures.blogspot.se/2012/08/is-that-tarantula-on-your-head-or-just.html)

Another historical example is the Elisabethan masks that initially was worn by high society ladies, protecting their complexion from the sun when traveling, then used as a fashionable detail and cover when visiting the theatre (not a good thing for a woman of rank) and finally turning into something completely different: "They soon, however, became the mark of loose women, and their use was discontinued by women of repute."

Just imagine the social stigma of being a lady of repute, trying her best to be fashionable when visiting the city and going to the theatre, just to find out that wearing a mask is now something completely different from when cousin Anne did it four years ago...

So, how to deal with all this symbolism and not risk being mistaken for something that you are not? Well, if I wasn´t sure it would tick some off, I would say "go butt naked". And since that easily is ruled out, I guess we all have to do our very best in avoiding something clearly symbolical, like circlets of Laurel wreaths or Pelicans, crowns and coronets, plain colored belts and such. And help each other to enjoy the game by not acting harsh and assuming that people make mistakes on purpose. Courtesy is always the best approach. And these discussions is probably not the best thing to show newbies trying to figure out how to make their very first garb.

måndag 20 maj 2013

No panties

The debate for whether ladies had panties or not is now in for a new chapter, thanks to the Lengberg finds. The finds include a pair of tongs, that looks a lot like a modern day bikini underpart, and I have seen several pictures of  ladies wearing a reproduction of these together with the Lengberg brassiere. Well informed of this debate, Beatrix Nutz, who is now analyzing the finds, aims to have them, both knickers and brassieres, DNA-tested so that the sex of the wearer may be determined. Fingers crossed.

For me, these two pictures kind of sums it up for me:
Albrecht Dürer in a selfportrait wearing a tong.
The underpants from Lengberg.

The rest goes without saying. And this does not state by any means that women did not wear something at those days of the month when it was needed, but those will most likely newer be found since they ought to have been disposed of more secretly.

måndag 13 maj 2013

A kirtle´s diary

Since I couldn´t go to a whole week event with just one dress in thick brown wool, what if the weather turned out nicer than promised, I had to sew myself at least one new kirtle. Said and done, I had gathered some images and studied the sleeve-cut that I wanted to try out and thought I would challenge myself a bit again. And why stop there? No, I picked the fabric I got at a flea-market for handicrafts, one piece 1,5x0,5 metres and one piece of 1,5x2 metres. No chance of getting more anywhere should I cut it wrong. It is a really nice reddish brown thin wool in a twill weave.
It took some thinking, but I managed to get the bodice and sleeves fitted into the smaller piece which left the larger portion of fabric for the skirt-parts of the kirtle.
Then I had to try to decide on what to use for lining, the choices being a non-bleached linen or a really thin green wool. With some support I decided on the wool, mainly because it went so well with the brown colour-wise.
When the lining was cut I first basted along the seam-allowances to keep the to fabrics together before starting sewing the pieces together. Starting with the sleeves I stitched the sleeves and two gussets together, pressed the seams, cut down the seam-allowances and then started felling all seams.

Ironing the bodice back before assembling the bodice and then the easy part, stitching the four skirt-panels together and finally assembling it all. I use a hot iron and a damp cloth to protect the fabric when ironing it.
 I did consider sewing a strip of fabric covering the seam-allowance between the skirt and the bodice to avoid shafing, but decided not to. The fabrics are pretty smooth anyway.
Finally, time for eyelets, having felled all seam-allowances and hemmed the entire dress. This should be done in no-time, right?

The dress got done in time, eyelets and all, and I enjoyed wearing it with my new striped veil that got hemmed while traveling for the event. This is me outside Hovdala castle all dressed up, and the other picture is when wearing the striped veil, which came in very handy when touring the insides of the castle with really low doorposts and sloping floors. The guide spoke of a gardener that once got a concussion trying to get through one of the doors, misjudging the height entirely.

But of course there is always room for improvement. I find the sleeves a bit hard to move in, so I will take them out and tweek it for a bit. Might even make a new and longer gusset in the back in order to get more room.

Fake it til you make it

Since I got the kids my hair is just not as full any more and braiding it is not as fulfilling any more. But braids are not optional when reenacting German 15th century, they show under the headdress all the time. I was considering buying fake hair, but I don´t like modern fake materials (I can tell you stories of how much money that has saved me when stopping me from buying mixed material fabrics...). So just before leaving for Double Wars, a week-long event, the Curious Frau laid out pictures of fake hair made of strings or yarn, and even in fancy colours.

On the altar you see St Klara´s fake hair in bright blue and her gefrens in yellow. This had to be tried, I thought, waking up at four in the morning of departure and remembering a set of bright blue silk/mohair-yarn in my yarn basket. It was found in time and at the event I tried it out. I divided it into three, made a small braid holding it all together in the middle. The braided part I put in the neck and then divided my hair and braided it together with the blue yarn. The yarn being longer than my own hair helped keeping my braids together and lengthening them so that it easily wrapped around the forehead. These pictures show it worn with a simple orange gefrens.

tisdag 23 april 2013

I´ve got stripes!

I fell in love with this beautiful but oh so simple striped veil the first time I saw it and have ever since been looking for a woven striped linen. And that is hard to find, I tell you! But this weekend me and the husband ran away on a little vacation of our own in London (yes, without kids!) for my birthday. The birthday was wonderfully spent with shopping in the textile district at Goldhawk Road. And there I found it, an orange striped rather thin linen. And dead cheap too. Now it will be carefully washed following Marias instructions (http://indemejarecristi.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/a-short-guide-washing-guide-for-linen-2/) and then hemmed. I think I just might make into one three metre long veil...or two 1,5 metre long ones. Either way it will give my rather slim closet some well needed variation.

torsdag 18 april 2013

Keeping track

How often have I not scolded myself for not saving my patterns? So this time, sewing a new short-sleeved dress with a new sleeveversion, I decided to for once be a good girl and drafted all the pieces on cotton fabric, marked every piece and put it in a marked envelope. I have done this with some items, but often forget.
Some of my patterns have gotten used by many more than me, and the most popular one is the one I made for my knee hose. And it is so much easier to show someone how I made something when I have the pattern.

måndag 8 april 2013

All dressed up Housebook style

This started out as a keen interest in the late 15th century German garb a couple of years ago, and I have made some tryouts aiming for a dress with the pleated panels in front and back as seen in so many drawings and paintings from the time and region. However, I struggled with how to get enough bust support with such a lowcut dress with the pleated panels and never found a good way of doing it. Until the first pictures of the Lengberg finds hit the internet, showing supportive underwear from just the right time and place! Here was the answer to all my garbquestions. No need to make the dress work supportive, it is all done by the under-garments. And since I lost a lot of weight and changed size, the need for making new garb got urgent and a friend then asked the trick question – When going new, will you focus on just one time and region and explore it completely? I raised to the challenge and this is the first results. The accessories are not all completely new but made by me within the last three-four years.

My Lengberg brassiere all done
The aim is getting a complete and welldocumented outfit suitable for a merchants wife in one of the southern German towns of late 15th century, like Nürnberg where Albrecht Dürer resided.

In some details I have to refer to pure guesswork, where no good sources of preserved garments and/or good detailed artwork are to be found, but I then aim to do an educated guess, based on sources from other geographic regions than my chosen one, either actual finds or artwork.

  The shift

 My inspiration for the shift is a variety of paintings, mainly by Albrecht Dürer, showing both men and women wearing elaborate smocked and embroidered shirts/shifts, all showing in the deep V-necked kirtles or jackets. When examining them closely, you´ll find that it is most likely a very fine and tight smock with white-work embroidery covering the pleats and then a small ribbon or golden lace attached to the neckline. In most of Dürers female portraits the shift shows covering the shoulders and neck as well, but in his selfportrait it is clearly a different model, with a tight smocked frontpiece and the shoulders of the shirt not showing at all. In other depicitons of women the dress is always a deep V-neck but there the shift is only showing in the bottom of the V as a small insert. I have therefore chosen to make a simple shift with some more work done on the front panel, that will be the only thing showing. And after quite a lot of experimenting I had to give up the idea of actual whitework over the pleats. In some close-ups it looks like couched whitework and that is simply too much to chew on for me right now. So my shift, in a rather sturdy hemp that holds the pleats nicely, is inspired by Dürers shirt but not as elaborate. The embroidery is a simple smock done in golden and white silk. The cut is a simple one, a A-shaped backpiece, two frontside-panels, the inserted pleated frontpanel and arms with a square gusset. This cut seems to be in style, as far as style goes concerning undergarments, for centuries, shown in English 16th century fashion and in the early medieval days, shown in preserved garments like Thomas Becketts shirt or Infantin Marias shift from the 12th and 13th centuries. The shape of undergarments of course vary as they start to show, with wider arms if shown in slits or open and laced arms, but when not showing and worn under a tighter straight sleeve the arm of the undergarments is adjusted. I have therefore chosen a straight arm in my shift, not to tight so that I can push them up when needed and so that it is not too bulky under the straight arm of the dress.

The dress/kirtle

I have long wanted to make what is popularly named “the Housebook dress”, after the numerous pictures done by an anonymous engraver and painter, who lived and worked in South Germany in the last quarter of the 15th century. 

The three pictures above shows some of the variety of dresses in his and others artwork, but they all have the characteristics of a deep V-neckline showing the shift and pleated panels in the front. In the St Catherine-picture you clearly see the cut of the dress, with a waistseam, not showing in the pleated frontpanel, which was propably one whole without the waistseam. Most of the width in the skirt seems to come from the pleats and not from the sidepanels at all. In Dürers portrait of the young girl the same inserted pleats show in the front and the dress seems to be with a waistseam, however not that obvious. In this portrait it is also noticable that there must a front opening.

Others have made dresses like this before, one real inspiration has been Bettinas Pages but where she has chosen whole sidepanels I really feel that the fit of the dress improves by giving it a waistseam, and one can find both with and without waistseam in the artwork. Considering the back of the dress there are some depictions showing that there is an inserted pleated panel there as well, and that the arms are inserted deep into the bodice, similar to the “Grand Assiette” in for instance the Charles de Blois pourpoint or the Queen Margareta kirtle, both dated to the late 14th or early 15th century. I have sadly not found any source of a preserved garment with the Grande Assiette-sleeve from late 15th century, but there is plenty of examples in the artwork. The sleeves vary as well and I have chosen to make mine simple, a straight full length arm with some width for comfort and room to move, since I want this dress to be used for all occasions, not just for finery. Since I have chosen a good quality dark brown wool, I find that I do not have to reinforce the pleats or couch them in any way, so I have simply gathered the top of the panels in pleats using a strong thread(I tried silk with the first panel, not to be recommended since silk is way to slippery to make good and sturdy knots fastening the string before pulling the pleats together, so I turned to linen thread instead), and reinforced with some parallell seams across the pleats on the backside. 
This is one of the two frontpanels, stitched for pleating, with the seams 1 cm apart.

This is the turnout

Measuring in order to know how large to make the cutout in the bodice.
The bodice is fully lined in white linen and I have chosen to keep the lining in one piece covering the inserted pleated panels for extra strength and support. Another possible way to make the pleats would be sewing them one by one, like in on of the Herjolfsnes garments, and I might give that a try next time.
The frontpieces of the bodice with cutouts for the pleated panels.

Front of the lining, showing the lining extended so
that it completely covers and protects the pleats.

Backpiece with lining, stitching all seams
together before assembling the bodice.

Stitching the backpieces together.

The back with inserted pleated panel.
The front will be fastened together with hooks and eyes, similar to Bettinas dress, since I cannot see any other way of making it. A lace with small ringlets, as she suggests at first, might be a possible solution but hooks and eyes works best I think. There actually is a preserved linen lining from Lengberg, of what must be a girls dress, and it is sewn with coloured silk. It is mentioned that there is a metal hook still preserved in the bottom of the front V of this lining. However, there is not an actual opening, but this find shows that linen lining was used, as well as silk thread for sewing.
I´m quite happy with the turn-out of
the sleeves  with the large armscye.
I have used one big gusset in the sleeve.

The headdress

In many of the depictions a veil with pleats over the forehead is shown, often with the Gefrens covering the neck and with a long band/vimple either tied up around the chin or hanging loose over the shoulder. My headdress consists of a square linen veil, folded in tight little pleats in one end, stitched to stay in place, and of one narrow long piece to be used as the vimple, tied around the chin or simply wraped around the headdress and then left hanging loose at one side. There are even more elaborate headdresses, probably with some kind of upholstered ring on top of the head, similar to later times Wulsthaube. My veils can be used like that as well, using my Wulsthaube that I made some years ago. In some depicitons it is clear that the vimple is actually a part of the pleated veil, in others it seems to be a simple square veil with pleats simply snugged in at the neck.

The gefrens is a little fringe of wool yarn fastened to a ribbon to tie around the head under the veil. There are depictions of young women using only the gefrens over their braided hair and there seems to be a variety of colours, even multicoloured ones. Mine is simple green, and made by using the loose threads as weft into a woven ribbon using a rigged heddle. 
The lady on the left is wearing the full headdress with veil, vimple and gefrens,
while the lady on the right just wears the gefrens over her braided hair.

Belt, purse and stockings

Now for the last finishings. No attire is complete without these things, a belt, a purse and a pair of stockings.

The belt is the simplest belt ever, since I haven´t found any pictures of elaborate women belts in the artwork from this time and region, but simple, thin belts just enough for holding a purse. Black leather in a 1 cm wide strip, with a very simple brass buckle, sewn to the belt.

The purse is another story, I found these purses with a number of smaller purses attached to it, in drawings and etchings by Albrecht Dürer.

I made mine in a good quality dark blue wool in a foursplit pattern, and four smaller purses attached, one on each of the four pieces. I have used beads of bone and metal for fastening the lucet cords use for the purse, all made in green wool yarn. And around the opening I used a red lucet cord for reinforcment and adornement.

The stockings or kneehose are in the area of the educated guess. I have not found them in the artwork, nor in any preserved examples from this region. Kneehose have however been found among the Herjolfsnes garments, made in wool and with no whole foot, and a hose fragment has been found in Lubeck as well as one possible kneehigh hose from London. All these preserved examples are in wool, sewn and dated from late 13th century to 15th century. Sewn stockings are therefore my choice for keeping my feet warm.

My hose are sewn in a soft pink wool fabric, in three pieces, one leg, one covering the foot and a sole. Although most preserved hose are sewn without a separate cut sole, there are examples in artwork showing a sole, sometimes differing in colour, suggesting a reinforcing sole, maybe in leather.
And this is how it all looks: