Friday, February 8, 2013

Bronwyn's Laurelling hood: the re-do

So I saw this amazing hood that some embroiderers and costumers had made for a friend stepping up to the Order of the Laurel. Then I got to thinking that I knew someone pretty amazing that was going to be doing the same thing. Unlike me, she is not a "More is Better" sort of person, so a giant cloak of glitz and pearls and well, MORE is not the right thing for her.  But a hood feels like something you'd wear.  Something that would keep you warm and protected from the elements and if your friends had something to do with it, it might feel like a hug. So I pestered Bronwyn's Laurel to see what she thought and she said "go for it."  Even better, Varia drew up the embroidery designs, provided the linen, made copies of the pattern, and handed me some wool for the hood.

I really tried to get this done on time for 12th Night.  What I ended up with was some last minute scrambling and a hood that was wearable but not quite right.  She got to wear it for her ceremony and then I swiped it back to work on it some more.  It's been staring at me since as a house full of plague has kept me from crafting.  Progress is happening again, though.  I've unpicked everything and am putting it back together.  It's slow going, however, as perfectionist chick has snatched the scissors from my normal whirlwind self and is at the helm on this project. Be prepared for probably more detail than you want to hear about on this one.

First up is some beautiful embroidery that I had basically nothing to do with.  They look a little raggedy at the moment because they used to have a layer of bias and braided trim on top of them. They've also been trimmed and stitched together to follow the curve of the hood up a couple of inches from the bottom and back from the buttons and button holes along the front.  Yeah, I HAD to try to do something more complex rather than just putting them along the bottom and calling it good.  Believe me, I'm kicking myself, since some puckers in the curve and the placement of the trim is what is making me re-do it.  I swear it'll look good when I'm done or I'll die trying.

The entire curved piece along with an extra slip that I got too late to include.  It it only half the size and was trimmed so I'm still trying to figure out how to make it fit.

Everyone was given a laurel wreath and either a fleur d'lis or a scallop shell from Bronwyn's heraldry.  We tried for even distribution of the motifs, but since the stitching time was smack dab in the middle of holiday commitments several people were unable to complete their embroidery.  To be honest, I'm glad about that.  If everyone that wanted to stitch on this had managed it we would have had 3 or so rows of embroidery and I'd be appliqueing bits on dags or something.  As it is, I probably need to gather up the unfinished pieces and made a needlebook, pincushion, scissor keep, sweetebag, scroll case and assorted other bits for the new Laurel. I think there's enough floating around to do everything and more. I refuse to investigate further until I'm done with the hood.

Front of the right side is Dame Varia Goff, who Bronwyn was apprenticed to.  One of the most touching things said at the Laurelling was her speaking about that.  "This has NOTHING to do with me.  You did this all on your own.  I just wanted to say that you were mine." 

The pieces got put in the order they did primarily due to what motifs got finished, but another good friend, Laurel for his embroidery, and household member of Bronwyn's is the front of the other side. Baron Hachmood Karl Braden von Sobernheim O.L., O.P., (a whole bunch of other initials) did gorgeous laurel wreaths in the fleur. I, of course got a crummy pictures of his gorgeous blackwork.

Next to Varia's square is THL Bethoc ni Coiseam du Cruford.  She hosts the Loch Salaan embroidery guild at her home (and one day I will make it to a meeting rather than just intending to.)
 Next is Lady Marguerite de Chenanceux.  I love her little mockingbird!  We were each supposed to put an initial or a personal sigil/badge inside the wreath to show who embroidered which.  Hers turned out so cute.
This one is mine.  I'm not showing you the whitework shell because it's a little sad.  I'm considering trimming it out and inserting Aurora's half square over the top of it.  I tried some pulled work that I'm just not particularly pleased with.  I do like the simplicity of the detached chain for the wreath though and the texture in my krin.

 This one is Mistress Aurora du Portugal's. She was the Kingdom Youth officer when we started locally and my kids still look for her at events.  She's going to teach her period roses class at the collegium I'm helping organized.  She mentioned it during the pomander class I taught at the last one and everyone there was very, very excited for it.  I think I'm going to treat it as an Elizabethan era floral slip and trim it, applique it on and couch gold around the edges.  Yup, trimming out my shell seems like it might just be the answer.

Lady Fiametta da Trastavere is center back. It's not nepotism, I swear  She was the only other fleur and I did it for balance  I do have to say the couched gold and flaming heart make my blingy heart happy.

Lady Bronwyn y Ceredigion is next on the way around the circle with its tiny little spider.
Baroness Sumayya bint Suleiman O.L. is this one.  She was determined to be a part of this, hunting me down to make sure I had her square.
Lady Cecelia di Caravello just sort of got handed a square and told to do one.  Show's you what happens when you sit with the wrong crowd at court when I'm busy plotting stuff                                                       
Next up I'll bore you with the trim and buttons I made while I try to get this put back together.


  1. I still LOVE IT! And want it and can't wait to wear it.

  2. It humbles me that everyone wanted to work on it. I need to get addresses of everyone who worked on it so I can send out thank you cards.

  3. I just noticed that mine was shown on your blog when I came across the image via google. Im flattered you thought mine warranted a pic. Thanks :)