I promised folks I'd post more about Kentwell as I was leading up to it. Apologies; I simply couldn't deal with work and sewing *and* trying to blog at the same time. So let me run down a few notes and thoughts.
Everyone liked my kit when I got there, so I know I kept up appearances for the American side at least. I definitely got a bunch of pleasant comments about the bodiced petticoat, so that's something as well. The most common question I got was not "did you make that?" but "who did you get your kit from?" which was flattering in a way. When they found out I made it, the next question was inevitably "how did you manage to get costume approval?" The answer is Facebook and email, and a fortuitous time difference. Every night before falling into bed after an exhausting day of working and sewing, I'd take pictures of where I was and send or share them to one of the Costume Elves. Any questions I had would be answered by the time I got back to the sewing machine the next evening. (Though the Armadillo Neck issue was an exception that caused me to panic and draw on Laurie's generous draping help. More on that later.)
I want to do a proper photo shoot before really posting too much about the kit itself. Though I need to actually finish the fitted English gown so I can. But there WILL be photos!
Yes, you may have guessed that this means that not everything got done. True. I brought a ton of handsewing on the plane, and finished some costume parts just in time to need them for laundry rotation purposes. I wore the same smock for four days without an issue, but I was bid to low board (fancy dinner table!) on Thursday, so I needed a clean apron. I ended up putting the cuffs and buttons on the smock just in time to change out to it, and then changing my apron for a fresh (creased from folding!) one.
I did make two pairs of woolen sleeves to go with the kirtle, though I only ever used the maroon ones. I also pinned them on, which was nice because it made them much easier to deal with on the one warm day.
Here's the rundown of unfinished things:
-fitted English gown (needs sleeve hemming, front skirt lining sewed down, hemming, hooks and eyes)
-third green apron
-second partlet (needs ties)
-leather drawstring pouch
Additionally, I ended up buying a lot of crockery there. I got some wonderful glazed redware from Annot's Pots, which meant that I was able to leave the trencher at home. Did I mention that I pushed the baggage weight limits both coming and going? No? Well, I did. I also bought a pair of Pilgim shoes in the slip on Tudor style, which were fantastic and kept my feet warm and dry despite the rain. And because Kentwell is a working farm, the Agricultural Inspection Service insisted on cleaning and sterilizing them for me on my return to California. I totally would have let them to my laundry too, if they'd asked.
I made a rosary, and made chaped laces, and bought a knife and pricker from a medieval group. I made a belt from a piece of thin leather strapping and a medieval belt buckle that I bought online. I bought garters (which I didn't need) and dressing pins (which I used a lot) from Historic Enterprises. I only wished I'd had more socks! I ended up making a long sack out of some of my spare linen canvas, which I carried around as a haversack. Handy thing that.
It's now nearly 11pm, and I'm still jetlagged as hell, so I'll have to write more later.