Beginnings of Largesse

At Blatha an Oir’s Harvest Feast, the Sergeantry of Glymm Mere challenged our Sergeantry to present Kingdom largesse at Ursulmas, which as the new Sergeant-Major, it then became my task to become the cat wrangler to try and make this happen in two months over the holidays.

Which ultimately meant that I, who had never made largesse before, needed to practice what I was begging the others to do.

So in addition to providing materials, location and some basic instructions for needlebooks to Knut, I went through my fabric hoard and came up with three items to donate that I could make.

The first was cutting out dozens of quarter sized circles of black wool and making 8 dozen self-stuffed wool buttons suitable for 14th century clothing using the directions from the Museum of London Dress and Fashion book.  They were loosely basted onto a long strip of white felt so that they were easier to manage or break into smaller batches of 6 or 12 buttons.

The second was a batch of 12 haversacks, 6 of a black wool and 6 of a dark pink and olive green herringbone wool.  I based these off of one I was given as largesse from TRM at Autumn War, but with straps at child-lengths, because my daughter keeps trying to steal mine to use for things at events.  3 of each batch then had straps made from tablet woven trim made by Hroswitha of Helmsdale back in the days when her daughter was young, the others all having self fabric straps and all were blanket-stitched along the edges in contrasting embroidery floss.


The colors are off a bit because of the lighting at my house – the colors are much more vibrant in person.

The third item I worked on was learning to make small toy balls stuffed with batting and fabric scraps.  The 4 piece pattern was one I found in several articles in the Compleat Anachronist, online, and based off of finds or paintings I saw linked at museum websites. Being who I am, of course the most wool scraps to be found in my hoard were purple and black, so that is what I used to make one dozen small balls.  I found that I needed to flatten the pattern template a bit more in order to get the balls in a more spherical shape, rather than obloid or with odd protrusions, and that stuffing them to get them as firm as possible made stitching them closed in a smooth seam a bit more challenging.  But I remembered to take photos during the process, instead of only at the end!

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These three pictures show just how ‘off’ the color lighting is in my Great Room at home.  The first two are at home on the dining table with pieces still attached to the pattern, the initial pairs of sewn halves and unstuffed balls, then the batch of 12 on my desk at work with lighting showing the more accurate color scale.

I have to now make more, as Nayeli was very disappointed that they weren’t for her, and a Courtier candidate wants some in purple and green to practice juggling with!


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