Project Announcement

My entry for the Calontir Clothing Challenge and Crowns A&S Champions will be almost entirely from stash fabrics. I’ve ordered linen and silk threads, Japanese needles and bought one yard of a period passable polyester brocade for one of the accessories for the outfit. I will either buy one yard of red silk taffeta or buy acid dye and dye white silk taffeta I have on hand for a different accessory.

I’m making a travelling outfit suitable for a woman of the Heian period of modest rank inspired by this lady of high rank:

Woman of the upper class of heian era Japan in travelling outfit wearing a very large brimmed hat with veil panels or curtains hanging from the brim.
Woman of the upper class in tsubo-shozoku (travel outfit) with mushi-no tareginu ( a hemp veiled sedge hat) – Kyoto Costume Museum

If you’re curious, it’s the purple layer that specifically denotes this lady’s rank. Only the imperial family would wear purple or murasaki, one of two forbidden colors, kurenai -a reddish pink- being the other and worn as a sign of direct favor. Sugawara no Naeme is a Lady in the SCA. The forbidden colors are not appropriate.

This ensemble has multiple layers which correspond nicely to the four layers of the Challenge. We have a kosode, made of white linen (this could have been silk in period) as my first layer/underwear. Second (mid) layer is a hitoe of green silk taffeta. My third layer/upper garment is an uwagi of beautiful yellow silk brocade (that I bought many years ago for this purpose) lined in a gold silk taffeta. That leaves the hat for the fourth/accessory layer. I purchased the hat years ago, and it needs new trimmings. I’m sewing up new panels in silk and weaving 12 yards of kumihimo for the decorative cording, kazari-himo.

In order to finish the ensemble on time for Crowns A&S Champions I’ve broken it into chunks. 4 cords, 4 silk curtain panels, 4 garments (I’m counting the lining as a separate garment as it’s a separate garment’s worth of work). To finish on time with the least stress, I need to finish one cord, one panel, and one garment every 3 weeks, the last 3 week section being reserved for any catch up that needs to happen and the last garment/finishing up the uwagi. I intend to make it last. This plan has me finishing on January 7th. The current intention is to hand sew everything.

I have a few stretch goals if I finish early, the red kakeobi (sash) worn around the shoulders, the kakemamori (amulet case) worn around the neck, and a pair of zori made of paulownia wood. I may have time to finish these after A&S Champions and still make the C3 deadline.

The first step for me is measure out oodles of silk thread into 8 sections (20 threads per section) and reel it onto tama. I’ll bounce between my marudai and stitching a panel for the first week in hopes that my thread will arrive. If my linen thread has not arrived by the time I finish the other two items/within one week, I’ll move on to the hitoe and sew the kosode after.

Next time some talk about the kumihimo I’ll be doing…

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