Now it was time to buy the material. SCA members, for the most part, are a knowledgeable bunch when it comes to their garb, and I wanted to be able to wear this to SCA events too. I knew by now what color dyes were used, and that colors were limited. Another caveat: I couldn't wear purple (reserved for royalty) and I didn't want white (soils too easily). I called around town, and found no one had any linen. (Synthetics, by the way, are of course not period). Even JoAnn Fabrics had no linen. I looked on ebay, and Voila! I could get five yards (more than enough) of moss green, which was a good color. I bid, and won, so for less than $20 I got some lovely linen.
The next day, I laid it out on my cutting table (actually the bar counter in my kitchen) and used my Black & Decker cutters (a Christmas gift which I love) to cut out my tunic. After cutting it out, I decided it needed some glitz and glitter. Green linen can look awfully drab.
I went back to ebay, and this time got a scrap of copper-toned linen for neckline and sleeve trim. Halfway through the sewing, I knew I wanted something else, some kind of dressy trim on the copper linen. All the patterns showed trim, and I found some that was green and copper. I sewed it on, and then decided I wanted a few sparkles. The Costume Pageant at the Historical Novel Society conference is at night, after all, so I decided on some teensy Swarovski sew-on crystals.
Except for whipping down the collar and cuffs, and hemming the floor-length tunic, I'm finished. My hat, though, is the most fun—and another story altogether. To read about the HNS conference in June, go to http://www.historicalnovelsociety.org/.