I was also thrilled to see, on the cover of this months' 'Simply Beads' magazine, a project incorporating covered beads - in this case a basket weave with rattan, and crochet beads. Of course, these beads are actually using the same methods as historic buttons, and I've made a few items in the past using thread buttons as beads. So, long may this trend continue - it would be nice to see a revival in some of the skills.
Speaking of beads, as promised, here is a picture of the beaded purse. I really have got to practice my photography skills though; I simply can't seem to get the lighting correct for anything involving silk.
After the purse has been completed, I will be working on a brocaded narrow band. Although thanks to Nancy Spies and her books, I do have patterns for historic fully brocaded bands, I have decided to simplify the patterns, and to only have small motifs that are brocaded. I suspect, although cannot in any way prove it, that some of the gridles which are depicted in manuscripts are partically brocaded, as opposed to the full gold-covered bands which are found on ecclesiastical trim. Yes, of course, many of these could be various belt mounts, but they could also be brocaded motifs. There is a piece of fringe in the V&A which has a small trangular motif repeated across the band - and this is the sort of thing I will be basing my new girdle on.
I have a plan to re-do all of my kit this year. Not that I am able to re-enact at all at present, being a carer as I am, but I feel the need for a long term project. Although I haven't fully decided on colours, I am thinking that I want a very dark gown - perhaps even black, but with a white silk wide girdle (as complicated as I can make it!) and with white fur collar and cuffs. Not fully lined - simply because last year at an auction I got a vintage child's rabbit fur cape, so there is just enough there to use as trim. I wish that the re-enactment community on the whole was more inclined to accept the modern fake furs in costume - some of it is so convincing - as I refuse to buy new fur. I need a new kirtle, certainly, the last time I wore it I discovered that continual lifting of my father-in-law has increased my upper arm muscles just enough for the sleeves to be too tight - I had to rip the seam to get it off! But its a lovely blue silk, so it may just end up being redone a bit! The brocaded girdle will be dark green, with the gold motifs, and instead of my linen horns I'd really like something a bit more special for my head. Haven't decided on that yet. However, these really are just plans, I'll carry on with the weaving and get to the sewing part afterwards! :-)