One of the oft-occurring events at Autumn War is an Iron Needle competition. Teams are given a batch of fabrics, trims and possibly notions, as evenly matched as possible; and are to create a finished item or ensemble within 4 hours – to be donated to a Gold Key designated by the event. Teams are allowed to bring their own scissors, needles, pins, measuring tapes, threads and up to 3 notions to include (trims/buttons and so on). You are judged on how much of the items you use (did you use some of everything in your packet), did you complete the garment(s), and complexity or embellishment. In 2010, I talked very fast, and convinced a number of people to participate together, declaring for the Blatha an Oir side of the war. Most of the team knew we were planning to do this in advance, and we discussed what concept we wanted to do – which was a Norse outfit. We also had a couple of additions on the day of as we began the day’s competition.
It was a bit overwhelming to the other side, who valiantly worked on their entry – an Elizabethan child’s outfit.
Given the fabric selection, our team rapidly thought that working on a child’s outfit would best use the fabric – and luckily for us, a fellow costumer and member of Clan Carn was right next to the A & S pavilion in the rapier combat – with her children right there watching as grandparents supervised. After obtaining permission from the parents, the children were measured and our team broke up into groups to finish the pieces as much as possible, utilizing trim and embroidery for embellishment and completing both a young girl and boy ensemble.
Aren’t our models just adorable?
The entire team, plus our models – seated on their parents.
Our team won the war point, which meant Sven RedBeard ended up making more iron needles for all the participants as tokens to remind us of the accomplishment. Then at events the next year, the clothing was worn at events in Blatha an Oir by younger visitors!