Monday, April 21, 2014

Huntsman's Frock Coat

Being interested in the steampunk genre, as I am, I decided one day I wanted to make myself a frock coat.  After browsing around the costumer's manifesto, with its scanned cutting manuals from the period, I found the Huntsman's frock coat pattern.
Made of wool melton, and lined with a plaid wool flannel (or supposed to be), it was a loosely fitting frock coat made for the Hunting master of a large Noble estate...and my brain started firing.  Here was a practical, working coat that I could wear, and I felt would make a good start to a Steampunk outfit.
I started off by drafting my pattern, as per pages 14-15 of the costumer's manifesto--the ones for the double breasted coachman's overcoat.  When you do this, read through the instructions very carefully, perhaps translating them into your own words; and when you actually draft, check off each step, before going to the next one.
Coachman's Overcoat.  Source link above.
I had to use this particular pattern instead of the one for the huntsman's coat because the planned coat has no information on drafting.  I did, however apply the ease as for the huntsman's frockcoat.
Obviously, I drafted it as single breasted.


Photo log for a simple tarsoly. 

The tarsoly is a form of belt pouch found mainly in Magyar Hungary (and surrounding regions); however, at least one made its way up to Birka and was found.  They are often a rounded square in shape, narrower at the top--or a simple rectangle--, and have a single piece belt strap going over the belt and through a latch on the front (which in turn goes through the front flap).

This style of belt purse was typically heavily ornamented with metalwork--to the point of the entire face being ornamented with repoussé, or cast pieces of metalwork. 

Found at Birka.  Replica castings are readily available online. 

So the first step was to draft my pattern.  I decided on something which is only slightly larger than the above photo, and approximately the same shape.


Because I didn't have enough of the 5oz leather, I had to make due with a piece of saddle skirting (12oz or so), which becomes the flap.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Thoughts on the Chivalric Virtues

The Following are my personal views, and beliefs, and are not necessarily indicative of how things really are.
Chivalry: There are nearly as many versions of the Code of Chivalry as there were orders—perhaps even practitioners.  Some of the virtues, the ones I will be addressing, are Prowess, Loyalty, Largesse, Courtesy, Truth, Temperance, Justice, Faith, Courage, Honor.  My goal is to discuss the place of the various virtues in the SCA, and how the various ideals relate to each other.


              Prowess has always been important to the Chivalric ideal.  It is a way to gain renown, status, and even a means of support (by means of the ransoms gained with prowess).  Prowess is typically measured by skill in various forms of combat; whatever the current fashion is. 
              While you cannot particularly support yourself in the SCA by means of your prowess (unless you’re smart about it, like Sir Gemini with his school, or various craftsmen who sell their wares) the other two are quite common.  Renown is fairly simple—if you are known as a good fighter then people will talk about it and eventually you will become known for being able to defeat (or skewer) your opponents.  Likewise, status may be gained in the form of winning a crown tournament or earning a knighthood.
              However, unlike in period, I think that Prowess can be more than “just” fighting (I suppose you could gain fame and renown by being a famous armourer or poet.).  You can also gain renown by means of becoming skilled at various arts; or, on the service side—perhaps by your skill at herding assorted sizes of cats…  It is, however, a bit more difficult to gain status by means of arts or service—there are just less options (Barony of the Far East withstanding).