So, as you may have noticed, all the old links are broken and the comments lost from the old site. I’ve been meaning to upgrade or migrate for a while to something more inspirational to get me back into updating here, instead of on Facebook, and finally did so.

Please use the menu on the left or the categories down below to find what you’re looking for. Sorry about the mess!

Kickstarter Launched!

Its been a big work in progress for the last month of so, but the kickstarter to fund the Master Tailor’s book publication has finally launched! Katherine Barich and I have been working hard on the manuscript over the last 6 months along with arranging all the details for the photographs and permissions. We are very excited to make this book a reality!

Here’s the Kickstarter link where you can read more about it, and watch the video: Drei Schnittb├╝cher: 3 16th c Austrian Master Tailor Books

Home again

Had a great time teaching this weekend at the Atlantian Costume Symposium in Front Royal VA this weekend on “What the Tross Really Wore” and “Cutting Secrets of 16th c German Master Tailors”.
I post more frequent updates on my Facebook page, The Curious Frau, because I’m lazy and Facebook is easier to post on. I should remember to post over here more often, but that takes work!

The Bohemian Reformation and Religious Practice

Yes, I’m on the hunt for a source, so I keep finding all SORTS of interesting things, which aren’t exactly what I’m looking for, but are too good not to share!

The Bohemain Reformation and Religious Practice “is a series of biennial conferences dedicated to the study of the Bohemian Reformation.”  and thankfully, they have put all of their conference proceedings online. :)  There’s some really great sources in there if Bohemia is your area of interest. 

Medieval Memoria Online (from the Netherlands)

I know I mainly keep to German topics, but this was just too cool not to share. There’s a project out of the Netherlands called the Medieval Memoria Online (MeMO) to “help scholars in carrying out research into memoria during the period up to the Reformation (c. 1580) in the area that is the present-day country of the Netherlands.

To assist memoria scholars MeMO has therefore catalogued the following different types of sources:

  • memorial registers
  • narrative sources regarding medieval memorial practices
  • memorial images
  • tomb monuments and tomb slabs

These sources have been described in great detail in two databases that will be part of the online application; one concerning the written texts and one concerning the objects. In addition, the application will also contain a database with basic information on the institutions from which the described sources originate.

The project is not finished yet, hopefully in 2013, but some of the work is already online. Click on the banner images to access the separate research areas.


Vocabulary: Hemd (female)

A couple of people have asked for this, so I thought I’d write a series on the basic garment vocabulary. Lets start with the skin out, shall we?

The most basic layer for a woman is the hemd, plural hemden. This word roughly translates to smock, shirt, chemise, and is the layer worn on the body next to the skin.  Of course, its not that simple, there were several types of hemd mentioned in the period inventories, and those are just the ones that were worth enough to note down in the records. (One of the problems with using clothing inventories is that only goods of value were written down in the inventories, as these were used to calculate the value of the estate for taxation purposes and to divide up the goods properly amoungst the heirs.) 

Other names mentioned in the inventories are:

  • Frauenhemd (woman’s hemd) 
  • Unterhemd (under hemd) 
  • Halshemd (neck hemd )
  • Nachthemd (night hemd)

You notice that I don’t translate the word hemd when I translated the descriptive terms, I want you to get used to thinking of these garments in the properly vocabulary terms, not the English equivilents.

Now what was the difference between a hemd, a frauenhemd and an unterhemd? We don’t actually know, but we can make some good guesses based on depictions of hemd in artwork. 

The styles of hemd changed over time as the dress styles changed, and the style that would have been worn in the 1490’s is probably not what was worn in the 1590’s. I’ve collected a few images of hemd on my Pinterest board, you can see that there were a range of styles and shapes. Since each family made their own underwear, or had it made, each one would have been slightly different. We’ll get into different cuts and styles later.

True Confessions

Where to start…? Its always difficult to explain to strangers why you haven’t done what you said you were hoping to do, without  going into far too many personal details, but my lack of activity and writing on this site is due to far more than just life and its variable challenges and difficulties.   

Ten years ago, this site started out as a place to share dress diaries. Back before there really were easy to use blogging platforms, you had to put up a whole website and usually hand-code the HTML too, just to share what you had made and how you made it. Then during grad school, the site became a place to combine necessary class assignments with something fun (research) and not just create a throwaway site for school, most of the research articles on here date from that time. Continue reading True Confessions

Jan 21, 2012 The New Site

Ah it feels great to be on the new site, with lots of room to expand and a new look. However, if you’ve just come here, looking for something specific, you’ll notice a couple of things:

  • I’ve re-organized things at bit, so you might find the site map helpful as certain articles have changed places.
  • The old tags didn’t transfer to the new site. Guess that would have been a good thing to record before I took down the old site, right? Um, yah, I’ll be rebuilding those in the next few weeks.
  • On the other hand, the new search works quite well!
  • There’s a new RSS feature in the menu bar so you can subscribe to updates.
  • I’ve been having a lot of fun adding my research image collection to Pinterest, and there’s a feed from my account on the right so you can see what I’ve recently added.
I’ve got lots of fun things planned over the next few months, including moving things over from my old blog at LiveJournal and videos on hat making and pattern drafting. I can’t wait to share the cool things I’ve been working on!