Monday, January 10, 2011

A Medieval 12th Night

Despite a stomach bug which, all last week, ran its course through each member of our little family, we all were over it by Saturday evening and were able to go to the 12th Night party held for our SCA barony. It was a  lot of fun; in fact, I can't remember when I've had such a good time!

I can't help comparing SCA events to Civil War events. I honestly can't help it. Civil War reenacting has been a aprt of my life since I was around twelve years old. The past few years I've been disillusioned with reenacting, gaining a bit of excitement for it from time to time but mostly oh, so tired of it. The SCA is very different and in many ways  I like it a lot better. There is a family atmosphere; a jolly comraderie, an air of expectancy to have a good time. I don't feel like I'm being judged based on what kind of clothing I wear or how much I have researched it or what kinds of fabrics I've used to make it. In our reenacting world, oftentimes ones acceptance into a social circle is based purely on appearance. I can understand that, since I've been on that side of the fence. I know how disillusioning it is to put hard work into a researched outfit only to have everyone else show up in quasi-"old-fashoined" attire. But you know what? Most of my recent enjoyment at events has been from meeting other people, who wouldn't necessarily be considered ultra authentic but who have been some of the sweetest, most down to earth and enjoyable people I've met. I detest the snobbish attitude of some of the more authentic women cliques that we have around here at CW events. Those who snub and spurn or ignore others who they consider "below" them. . .now, I cannot say if this attitude it conscious since a lot of these ladies seem to be genuinely nice people, but it is how they come across purely from an observational point of view.

So anyway, the SCA is a refreshing change from all that. I feel that I can be myself and do not have to try to be something else, to please the standards of others. I have my own personal standards and you know what? That is all I need. That is really all I care about. Other people have standards that work for them. And everything is awesome that way.

I got a few more clothing items made for us so we at least were more fully dressed than our last event.  I got Davids over tunic made and made him and the boys hoods. I'm sorry the picture of David is so washed out but I think our camera needs to be replaced soon and this was the only picture I had of his full length outfit where he was not making a strange and horrific face. ;P

Our friend Peter came with us to 12th Night. What would we do without Peter's company, pray?! He is very dearly beloved of the boys  and a very old friend of mine - one of the very few male friends I had prior to my marriage that still continued to be my friend after my marriage - even writing hand written letters to keep in contact with me and David during times we did not have the internet or, in our early days of wedded life, even a phone. Peter has been taking fencing classes at college and I think he is very interested in joining our group. Now that he has been lured in, time to make him some proper clothes!

In a few weeks we'll be going to our first big event. In the meantime, the Christmas season seems to be truly over now and I still have my Christmas tree up! I think today I will tackle taking down the decorations and putting everything back into it's usual place, make some tea  and start school again with the little boys. We have had a few week break and they are eager to get back into their regular schedule. And for some illogical reason, I have a great desire to make a fan front dress in an early 1850's style. So we'll see where that desire leads. :) I feel like I need a REASON to make one, but the only truthful reason I have is . .. that I want to!

Have a wonderful week,


  1. Yay for pleasant re-enactment groups!

    You all looked very nice. I really liked the wreath in your hair - it reminded me a little of what I'm planning to wear for my wedding.

    I have a lot of historic outfits I want to do, all from different eras. There's not likely I'll have time to do more than some 14th century stuff for me and Tobias in quite a while, and that's after the wedding dress is made. Ah well, one can dream, right?

  2. I do admit, I have attached to "farby groups" at some events and really, they do tend to have a lot more fun. I think that some people forget that it is a hobby and should be enjoyable.

    While it would be great if everyone could afford a perfectly authentic outfit and kit, it really isn't practical especially for people who only go to one or two events each year.

    I was once scolded for going to the grocery store with my boyfriend in my undergarments (chemise, petticoats corset, drawers)) on a Friday night at a reenactment (it was really, really hot and I have a history of passing out.)

    I don't know why it was such a big deal, the guys were shirtless and in jeans putting up their tents on Friday night. I was pulled aside weeks after the event and told about "the incident." Scandalous. :D

    When i started Rev. War reenacting--everyone runs around in their undergarments in the morning regardless of the day.

  3. Sarah,
    I agree about farby groups having more fun. The one authentic C.W. group that Mr. G fell in with for a while was *so* uptight. I just can't understand paying money to be treated like that. Anyhow, glad you all had a good time, you look fabulous!

  4. Maybe it is because "farby" groups have better priorities?

    I udnerstand the desire to do things right, I really do. I have always loved the challenge of research and finding the right fabric and making things look as much like the real thing as possible. I *love* that. But when I start judging others who are reenacting with me because their stuff isn't up to *my* standard, all that does is make *me* miserable! I end uphaving a horrible time and feel like my work and the physical discomforts of camping and all that goes with that is wasted.

    Stephanie, I too have been known to go around in my chemise, corset, drawers and pettis at hot events. Usually late in the evening or early in the morning and its amazing the bad looks I'll get for doing that!

    What I like about the SCA so far is the sheer vastness of interest. . .everyone has their own area of interest and their own time period of interest and their own unique persona. I have learned SO MUCH just talking to people and asking about their impressions. I have loved how willing people are to share their passion. Some CW reenactors are like that but for the most part they are SO clique-ish and its been very hard for me to find social acceptance - with farbs, hardcores or in-betweens. Well. Anyway, I love this new historical group we're with now. It's refreshing for me and it's wonderful to have stuff to look forward to again and a reason for researching and making cool historic stuff. :) I hope to get some shoes made before our event later this month!

  5. First, you look amazing in any century! You all look fabulous! I know how you feel about the Civil War 'snobby' reenactors, because I belonged to a group of living historians in a state park setting. We did indeed do it 'better' than anyone else. Unfortunately, I found that certain people in the group were out and out cruel, not just rude, to other people in quasi-period clothing. I mean, loudly ordering them to "get away from us, we can't be see with something like you!" For every member of the public to hear.

    It was AWFUL. Mortifying, humiliating. Needless to say, our little perfectly historically accurate group fell apart very quickly. I cannot work with people who behave that way.

    I'm out of all that for good I think. But I do love seeing how much effort you put into these events. The renaissance events do indeed look like much more fun and I am glad you are able to relax a bit and enjoy it!

  6. Glad you are enjoying your new group! Your outfits are wonderful :D

  7. I've followed your blog for awhile now; and just had to tell you how stunning you and the Captain look in your new Medieval garments. You are a wonderful seamstress, and although I personally love the Civil War era, and all of your 1860's clothing, I'm thinking you've found your niche in an earlier century. Just enchanting! (the boys, too!)

  8. Hello!
    My name is Tasha
    I have a History Blog called
    History Back in Time.
    I vollonter at my local history Museum and they did a 12th Night event this past Saturday.


  9. Sarah,

    You all look lovely, as usual. Well said about the snobishness of some reenactors. I certainly felt that at the single CW event I attended. I haven't felt it so much in the few 1790's - 1812 events I've been to. The SCA events are tempting...I wonder if there's anything like that where I live? Is there an official SCA site that I can look at, to find a group in my area? Also, how did you get "invited" into the group?

  10. Jenni, I am so sorry you have experienced snobbishness at CW events. :( From the photos I saw on your blog of you and your daughter there was not a reason in the world why anyone should have been displeased with you. :(

    I found our local barony through the main SCA website. Here in IL we are part of the Midrealm kingdom; and I think it may be possible that your location is also in the Midrealm. (

    I clicked on the link to the barony that seemed geographically closest to our home and emailed the baron. He was amazingly kind and responded to my many many questions and invited us to the next group meeting. We have monthly Arts and Science meetings and a montly business meeting. There seem to be a lot of events held in the area almost every weekend; it just depends on how far you want to drive. The next one coming up (for us) will be held at the University of Illinois and will include fighting, classes, a feast and dancing.

    I am still getting my feet wet as far as getting involved. I have heard rumours of sewing circles and classes in various interesting topics like cooking, leather work, brewing and herblore. There is just SO MUCH available to look into.

  11. I ment to say that I love your outfits Sarah! I never got around to it until now. Its been so busy! You do such a great sewing job and I love that they your outfits are not farby! I love that you seem to be out of a painting! thats so great.

    On another note as others have said I know what you mean by farby people having more fun at CW events! :) Lots of people in our group are not totally authentic and have so much more fun! I am not totally period either, I don't wear all the correct undergarments, such as drawers and such or period shoes sometimes, but I still have fun! :)

    In Christ,

  12. Thank you for sharing about your regency style dress. Appreciate the pictures. The henna treatment is stunning on you, and your children/family sound precious. You are so blessed. Anne Victoria looks exactly like my granddaughter, Laurel Ivy (LoLo).


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!