Costume, Clothing, and Embellishment

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For long and long, the Ancient and Honorable Crown Province of Østgarðr has been known as a hotbed of costuming.  With any luck, we’ll be able to get some Ostgardrian costume moguls to contribute articles and photos of their recreative research….


  • First and Third Thursdays in Manhattan: “A Night in the Solar”, Whyt Whey’s A&S gathering. Each meeting is confirmed on the mailing lists of the local groups. We stitch & sing at every gathering, rehearsing seasonal material, both period and society-composed. Stitching includes support with ongoing projects, as well as demonstrations or practicums. Special topics are announced in advance. Directions here; contact Alienor Salton, mka Piglet,, for more information.


A number of clothiers in the Greater Østgarðr area have formed an email discussion group to discuss clothing construction and organize face-to-face classes; those interested in a particular period, there are numerous narrow-temporal-focus discussion groups, which generally discuss not only clothing but other parts of the culture too. Note: these groups are not SCA-specific, so you might want to avoid SCA names and references to “Coronation next weekend”. The ones I know of so far are

The East Kingdom embroidery guild is called Athena’s Thimble. It’s not specific to Østgarðr, but a number of Østgarðrians are active members).

Mistress Ilaine de Cameron maintains a Web page for Arachne’s Web, the Renaissance lacemaking group.

Narrow wares: A term encompassing the making of cords, laces, braids, etc. as practiced in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. There’s an email list for practitioners in the East Kingdom; visitthe Narrowwork Guild. Mistress Thora Sharptooth (not actually a resident of Østgarðr) maintains a lovely web page on a particular technique called fingerloop braiding.


Several Ostgardrians run more-or-less-regular classes on various aspects of period costuming: Mistress Katherine Gillesfleur, Mistress Elizabeth Talbot, and Lady Jacqueline Loisel.  More details here to come…An open letter from Mistress Elizabeth about costuming classes


Gothic Period Jewelry, by Lady Elwisia Mouche de VoujeaucourtWearable Art:  Embroidering Accessories, by Mistress Katherine Gillesfleur (if she gives her permission!)Something About 14th – 15th Century Italian Clothing, by Donna Maddalena Salutati (once she gets around to sending it!)

Costuming Links We Like

Some Clothing of the Middle Ages
A variety of patterns, based, for the most part, on surviving garments
Footwear of the Middle Ages
The Ur-Site for shoemaking
Articles by Cynthia Virtue
An extensive collection of good articles, particularly on headgear.
Stefan’s Florilegium
a vast collection of articles and newsgroup discussions by people in the SCA on every conceivable subject.

For Beginners

In-Depth General Garb Seminar
Basic Medieval Costume
Drafting a Basic Bodice Pattern
Costumes for Manly Men


Articles by Cynthia Virtue
An extensive collection of good articles, particularly on headgear.
Chaperons and How to Make Them
It’s a hood!  And a silly hat!
Constructing a Truncated Hennin
Constructing an Italian Ribbon Coif
Fifteenth and Sixteenth Century Women’s Headwear; an Overview of the Literature

Early Period

Gwen Morse’s Early Celtic Clothing Pages
Clothing and Appearance of the Christian and Pagan Anglo-Saxons
The Viking Apron Dress: A New Reconstruction
Thora Sharptooth’s Viking Resources for the Reenactor
Ellisif’s Viking Garb Class Notes
Medieval Russian Costume

High Middle Ages

Costume for a 12th Century Lady
Practical Worksheet for Tunic Construction
T-Tunics the Period Way
Further proof that early period clothing doesn’t have to be ill-fitting or ugly….
Women’s Clothing in the Thirteenth Century
Fitting the Grand Aissiette
If you’ve ever boggled at the sleeve layout in the Charles de Blois Pourpoint….
Reconstructing Fourteenth Century Braies
An innovative approach
A Method for Lining Multiple-Gore Kirtles
The endlessly creative Edward Newman strikes again….
The Shoulderless Cotehardie
The only representation of this style of kirtle is a manuscript illustration of Jezebel being eaten by dogs, but if you’re feeling reckless….
The Houppelande, 1355 – 1450
Full-Circle Houppelande


Timothy & Gabrielle’s Second Coronation
was a 16th-century Spanish extravaganza, with clothing provided by members of The Gilded Pearl, a group of SCA-folk interested in the years 1450-1650. In particular, watch for the names Andrea Caitlin MacIntyre, Jacqueline Helene Loisel, Isabella of York, Suzanne Neuber de Londres, and Gabrielle d’Outre Mer, all of whom live or have lived in Østgarðr.
Constructing a Late Fifteenth Century Italian Chemise
Early Italian Renaissance dress Construction
Scottish Clothing
The Leine
Another take on the Irishwoman’s shift
The Shinrone Gown
Sixteenth century Irish
The Moy Bog Dress
Irish, some time beetween 14th and 17th century
Elizabethan Corsetry Page
How to build an Elizabethan wardrobe from the skin out….
The Poulet Gauche Poster Girl
Hand Knit Hose
Sewing Tips and Techniques for 17th Century Costume
Late 16th and early 17th century Clothing of the Middle and Lower Classes
an article by Dame Catriona Mairghread nic Dhuibh of Moray