Sunday, July 13, 2014

Mistress Clare's Vigil Dress

Photo by Douglas Sutherland Photography, used by permission
Can't say I've seen a more beautiful smile in a very long time. I missed seeing this dress in the daylight, since I pulled in to camp at 1:40 AM, so Baron Douglas's spectacular picture thrilled me beyond words. Her Excellency Clare was gracious enough to continue her Laurel vigil and wait for me, and I got to be the very last person to talk to her that night. Not that I said anything useful, other than promising to finish the dress and add the rest of the embroidery done by others around the neckline.

Countess Clare's Laurel, Mistress Giliana Attewatyr, let Doom in on the fun of vigil planning and asked us to make Clare's vigil gown. Not to mention "temporarily liberating" one of Clare's favorite underdresses at another event so we could pattern this. A few minor flaws in patterning happened due to cutting the fabric in a tent during a windstorm, but I think they can be easily remedied.

Mistress Clare's device has a pheon (a broad arrow) and 5 lozenges as well as a stag. The dress doesn't have the stag, but the pheon is heavily featured. I appliqued a large version on the skirt and various of her friends embroidered smaller versions to be placed elsewhere (I'll get pictures of those once I get them placed on.) The first two, by Ladyships Fiametta and Maysun, are at the wrists. There will be several others placed on the neckline, as well as a gold laurel wreath (stitched by Bronwyn.) The concept is sort of similar to Bronwyn's Hood of Love. with multiple hands stitching pieces to honor out friend. The linen dress itself is entirely hand sewn with felled seams. Maysun did one underarm seam, the rest was done by me since that part just isn't that condusive to having multiple people work on simultaneously. There is blanket stitch around the hem, wrists, and neckline in gold pearl cotton that was then laced with blue cotton and the same blue was used to do a modified herringbone stitch over the top of the blanket stitching.

She seemed to love it, and we were all very honored to be involved in the creation of something that could play a part in her special day.

Shhhh. . . but here's a look at one more secret of the dress. Fiametta stitched in Doom on the underside of the cuff. We've branded Clare as ours. I know we'll have to share her with the rest of the kingdom, but she's epic enough to go around.


  1. So looking at the pheons on the rest of the collar my laurel wreath is a bit bigger. I hope that doesn't destroy your vision.