Project Updates and Musings on Taking a Different Path

Sorry for the short break in posts– I’ve just been chugging along on a few different things.

Last Sunday I downloaded an app to keep track of the time I’ve put into different embroidery projects. If you needed proof that I’m Bad at moderation, here’s what I’ve done over the last week and a half

And that’s been during a bad fatigue and pain week.

Auction handkerchief is looking good!

And I’ve been working on T’s project for his elevation to the Order of the Pelican– I’m making a Landsknecht shirt with a blackworked neck band decorated with pelicans in their piety

This…. might take a while, his neck is a lot bigger than mine. The goal is March Crown since I can’t go to his elevation.

Now that I’ve shown you some pretty pictures– here’s what has been going around my brain.

The kingdom I live in, like many groups, has elements that are more common and those that are less so. There’s a lot of “viking” and early period Slavic and Landsknecht. Meanwhile in Caid, to the south, there’s a lot more late period and Roman.

People doing specifically Spanish personas and costumes are relatively rare in the SCA– for good reason. Try and find a Spanish portrait from the 1540s. Try it. If you can find one, let me know. I’ve been looking at Spanish paintings for a while now and while I know there must have been a transitional style from the low square necks of Das Trachtenbuch (1529) to the high necks and ruffs of Alcega and Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia, I’ve never seen it. There is much less portraiture than other cultures during the same period.

On the one hand, this is good! It is very hard to fall into “re-enactorisms” when there is one other person in your area who does what you do. You get to do all sorts of digging and poking and prodding and reading.

It’s also more work. You don’t have many people to consult or bounce ideas off of, and if you decide to “do a dress in the style of XYZ” instead of “exactly reproducing this dress from painting XYZ” you end up peering over the one book containing the 6 vaguely relevant paintings.

The last side I would say is the most frustrating one– because Spanish fashion is weird and quirky and often a variant or mixture of other better known styles– I look like I’m doing something else, but I did it wrong.

And that’s really upsetting, especially if you have put a lot of time and energy into something! Getting the details right! Spanish 1520s fashion is not German 1520s or Italian or British or Flemish, although there are some similarities. But I feel a little bit like I need to carry Hispanic Fashion around with me to go “no, REALLY, I did my research.”

I shouldn’t have to justify that, but I feel like I do, and that isn’t right.

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