We may have already met via email, I am the East Kingdom Chatelaine, Alison
Wodehalle. If not, please feel free to email me privately at chatelaine at
eastkingdom dot org.
There are a lot of cultural differences between kingdoms, which is part of
both the strength of this SCA-wide email group, and part of what can be
confusing, or what may seem to be advice that later on looks wrong. The
East Kingdom does have households, but they do not tend to be "where you
start" as in many other kingdoms. In the East, you start with your local
group, and the chatelaine in that group can help you figure out if they
have Gold Key (loaner garb) that will fit you. They may host workshops for
learning to make garb, or may have a person who really enjoys doing that
individually with newcomers. They may be aware of a swap or other low cost
way to acquire your first garb. Whatever their means, they are the best
person to ask for help.
Households are informal groups, not officially recognized by the SCA. They
are groups formed around specific interests, such as fighting, or service,
or fencing, or cooking. The group may be loosely aligned with few
meeetings, and just keep an online presence for members, or they may be
organized with the precision of a military (Blood Guard in the southern
region of the East). Don't worry about households yet. Many people in the
East have no affiliation with a household. We tend to play with our landed
groups. You may find eventually that your interests align with a household,
and can make the decision at that time whether you wish to join. These
articles will help you understand getting started in the East
I agree very much with the idea that Norse, or viking, is amongst the
simplest. You need two items, a chemise, and a slightly shorter dress that
you don't even have to worry about sleeves on it. And a starter norse cloak
can be a large square of wool folded in half diagonally (no sewing in other
words). The apron dress is a tube with straps.
. You add triangles to
get a little flair in the shape, but it's just a few straight seams (as
easy as curtains). The underdress can be made a variety of ways, you can
use the old SCA T-tunic concept of laying a tee shirt that fits you, out on
fabric, and cutting around it, continuing down to the floor at an angle.
There is a pic in the article on Garb in the link I gave you above. It
leaves you with two seams to sew, one on each side, oh and a hem on the
neckline and a hem on the bottom of the skirt. Only if you feel like
getting fancy do you need to worry about trim, or other items pictured with
Viking garb, that can all come later.
Please let me know if you need help getting in touch with your local group,
or if I can help you with anything else.
On Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 7:43 AM, Angela <invertedarcher@...> wrote:
> Welcome Amy!
> It all depends on the household you join whether they have loaner garb. I
> know my household gave me 2-3 overdresses that people had stopped wearing
> because they no longer fit. Some households don't bother keeping track
> of/keeping loaner garb. It just depends on who you get with. The loaner
> garb I started with (3 whole outfits) lasted me about 2 years, always
> wearing the same stuff, until I learned to sew. I have never seen a SCA
> site (or merchant site) that wasn't about 'making money' overpricing stuff.
> Now that I've made a few things, I know WHY they charge what they do. Your
> standard fancy gown takes about 40 hours to make, and depending on the
> fabric, can get very pricey!
> Also, sometimes you can find normal mundane clothes that work for the SCA,
> like floor length skirts and fancy tops with long sleeves.
> Learning to sew for the SCA is very easy - all I could do was hems when I
> started! Now I can make a viking, underdresses, coats (I just made myself a
> viking coat with fur and everything to replace a corderoy cloak that was
> never all that warm, one I paid about $100 for at a war!). I still buy
> little things every now and then, but now, 3 years into the SCA, I'm
> starting to sew my own garb, and I have switched to buying trims, buttons,
> patterns and fabric, instead of whole pieces. The trick I found is to buddy
> up with someone who makes their own garb all the time -- and have them
> teach you the easy ways to do things. My friend who sews grew up in the
> SCA, and she's been sewing her own garb since she was 10. Her stuff looks
> Hate to tell you but middle age clothing was ALWAYS done in layers. A
> chemise is basically underwear. It goes under everything (or you can use a
> dress that FUNCTIONS like a chemise, with long sleeves, that goes to the
> ground, which chemises did). Then you wear whatever you are going to wear
> OVER the chemise (like a viking or sideless). The chemises were long
> sleeved, because women did not bare anything if at all possible. It wasn't
> proper to see one's feet and legs, or forearms, according to the church.
> If you're thinking about being a viking, clothing couldn't be easier (or
> cheaper!) for you to make yourself.
> For the standard viking underdress (think chemise, or dress that can stand
> alone), use Burda pattern 7468. I found it at Joann Fabrics. This pattern
> is very easy and makes 2 different dresses, depending on the sleeves. "A"
> is the a generic underdress that can be worn under a sideless or viking.
> "B" is a fancier stand-alone dress that has the long flowy sleeves. (they
> are both pretty much the same dress, it's really mainly the sleeves that
> are different). The viking itself is about 3 1/2 yards of linen blend, and
> can be made in 7 pieces - back, front, 2 sides, 2 shoulders and a "bra"
> strap that goes around and connects them to the dress. A friend of mine
> made me a pattern for that. There is also a Burda pattern for the sideless,
> which is WAY easy (2 pieces!) and goes over an underdress. Burda 7977 is
> also 2 dresses -- an underdress (standard fitted chemise) and a sideless.
> I've gone from having 2-3 outfits total to making 3 sidelesses, 4 chemises
> in different colors (so you can mix/match), 3 vikings and 2 stand alone
> fancier dresses. Now I can get thru a 7 day war and not wear the same thing
> twice! YAY!
> Also don't worry about getting a "persona" -- I've been playing 3 years
> and still don't have one. I only have a name because our household has
> several "angela"s, and I wanted to differentiate myself. And it's not a
> proper "vetted" midieval name -- it's just something I liked the sound of.
> I'm the only chainmailler in my household. I'm also almost the only archer
> in a household of sword and board fighters.
> My advice? Go to a few local wars and try to find a household you like.
> Many households have some form of membership requirements - like you have
> to attend so many wars with them, or be active in a specific thing (ie my
> household, most everyone takes the field, or supports the field by
> waterbearing/etc); others don't care, so long as you are the same type of
> persona they are (ie in a pirate household, everyone is a pirate). If they
> like you, they will ask you to be part of their household. Just go make
> some friends! :) Eventually you'll find that someone who makes garb too.
> LOL don't worry about Norse -- m'lord and m'lady is the only new
> "language" I've ever heard in the SCA! :)
> Yours in Service (YIS),
> Inea Arcur (Angela) - combat archer, brewer, chainmailler, and now garb
> maker! [I was going to say "sew er", but see how that looks!?]
> Atenveldt (AZ)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Amy Augusta amyrae12@...>
> To: scanewcomers email@example.com>
> Sent: Sat, Feb 23, 2013 9:20 am
> Subject: [SCA Newcomers] Possible newcomer to East Kingdom
> Hello, I'm in the process of exploring the idea of joining SCA. I've been
> looking at garb, personas, etc and am thoroughly intimidated! I can sew a
> very very little (like curtains), so I'm looking for either the easiest
> possible dress to make that is at least a little fitted, or better yet a
> site where SCA folk sell their gently used garb so I can try that out prior
> to testing my sewing skills to the limit.
> Does anyone know of such a site? I can't pay the $100s of dollars for the
> retail sites, many of which are cotton/poly blends anyway. My persona
> thoughts are either Viking or 15th century generic since those dresses look
> easy and more comfortable than the Viking apron dresses over multiple
> layers. I prefer simple when possible.
> Ideas? Suggestions for easy to start with personas/time periods. There is
> zero chance I'm learning any Norse...I'm 40yo and my brain isn't that agile
> Thank you,
> Amy who doesn't have a cooler name than that in Maine
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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