Category Archives: Other A&S

I don’t just sew… and I don’t just sew for my family.

Kake-Mamori – A Japanese pouch

Kake-mamori - a Japanese pouch

Kake-mamori – a Japanese pouch

Recently I had the pleasure of making a gift for the Northshield A&S Gift Exchange.  The lady assigned to me has a Japanese persona… something I know absolutely nothing about!  After some research and choosing and discarding several different possible projects, I finally realized something about all the pictures of Japanese women that I had been looking at.  None of them – whether SCAdian or scans of medieval artwork – had a pouch or basket of any sort! I posed the question “What would a proper Japanese woman use to carry her stuff?” to the folks on the SCA Japanese Persona Facebook page.  NAME suggested a kake-mamori and offered this link: I followed the directions given on WHO’s webpage pretty close; however, I did make a few changes.  As the person this gift was intended for had stated that she likes “bright colors”, but I also have no idea what her garb looks like, I wanted to make something that would go with her garb whatever color she wears AND I wanted something with bright colors.  I chose two fabrics:  one very bright pink and the other a more neutral cream color, but with bright colorful flowers.  So that the Kake-mamori could be reversible, I did not sew the chanel that was recommended on the web site.  I can see how that may help to keep the fabric tucked where desired, but I did not find it to be too much of a problem, especially once the ends were tied. The ties themselves became a project unto themselves.  I do not know what kind of cord would have been most authentic, but I chose to use Kumihimo.  Unfortunately, I had never made a Kumihimo cord before!  I  bought a disc from Wal-Mart for $3 and had some fun making the cord!  My son even got into the fun of it.  He is 4 years old and quickly caught on to the pattern of “trading strings” necessary to make the cord. Once it was all put together, I realized that the kake-mamori makes a nice little pouch.  It would easily hold a cell phone, your money, keys or whatever today’s Medieval Japanese woman just needs to keep close.  This was a fun project.  I learned more about medieval Japanese clothing than I ever would have looked for otherwise; I learned a new craft; and I simply had fun making this.  Thank you, Northshield A&S Exchange for this opportunity!

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2 Strand Lucet Cord

2 Strand Lucet

I was “fidgety” today and decided to play with a 2 stranded lucet cord.  After many attempts and having to pull out the cord several times, I finally got it figured out!  Okay, I figured out *one* way to do a two stranded cord.

I decided to make a square cord (as opposed to flat or diamond) as this is the cord I am most familiar with.  I started my cord by holding both strands together and making the first four knots without separating the strands.  After I had my “anchor knot”, I dropped one strand and made two more knots using just the dark green thread.  I then dropped that strand and made two knots using just the cream colored thread.  I continued in this manner for about a foot, then decided to see if altering the pattern would make a difference.  I made only one knot with each strand before dropping it and picking up the other color.  I could find no difference between the two halves of cord – the visual pattern did not change at all.  When I tried to make a complete layer before switching strands (4 knots), all I got was a tangled mess!  Maybe with practice?  Next I’ll try a chevron pattern with a flat lucet braid!

I tried to get a decent close-up for you!

I tried to get a decent close-up for you!

Garb for Children

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So, often I hear “I refuse to sew garb for my kids… they’ll only wear it once before out growing it!”  Well, that may be true.  And sewing for the “rapidly growing” can be very frustrating.  This little guy has certainly timed his growth spurts to land just before EVERY SINGLE event I ever planned on taking him to.  Okay, maybe not EVERY one, but often enough.  My son is 4 1/2 in this picture taken at Nordskogen’s 12th Night (Kingdom of Northshield) in January 2013.  I actually only sewed the tunic.  The rest of the ensemble is store bought clothes or accessories.  Yes!  Accessories make the outfit!  (Whatever outfit it happens to be!)  He is wearing his everyday dinosaur tenner shoes with a pair of “Go, Diego, Go” pants which just happened to be a nice color brown (knit and stretchy?  Who cares!).  Actually, you can see the brand label tag on his lower left leg.  BUT, his tunic is 100% linen made with extra long hem and cuffs.  He absolutely loves his belt with pouches sized just for him.  The dark brown one would barely fit a deck of cards, the yellow-ish one on the left wouldn’t fit even that, BUT they fit a couple of bouncy balls or a Hot Wheels car perfectly!  As it turns out, he was able to wear this tunic again for my shire’s camping event in August.  The sleeves had gotten a bit short at the wrist and the hem only came to mid-thigh, but oh, well.

Ironically, in July I started a pair of linen pants for him, figuring that he would be more comfortable in light weight linen than in essentially “sweat pants”.  I made them EXTRA long.  When I pulled them out a month later, they were already too short… looked liked they’d shrunk badly!  🙂  Oh, well.

Garb for Armor

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So, this is an old project, but one I wanted to add to this blog.  A while back, a friend of mine told me that he wanted a tunic to wear under his armor.  He wanted something that looked like he had just thrown his armor on over whatever he was wearing.  This was the result.  100% linen for both the outer layer and the lining.  Quilt batting for the padding.

My First Attempt

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Here’s my son getting in on a shot to show off my first band of tablet weaving. I used wool yarn for both the warp and the weft, which created a rather thick band. This was made on two c-clamps attached to my table and threaded using the continuous warp method.

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