My Sewing:
The Manuscript Challenges

I belong to a group of wonderful people who have embarked on what we call "The Manuscript Challenge." The idea behind this is to recreate as faithfully as possible, an outfit from a manuscript, painting, fresco or statue from the medieval period.

The rules are fairly simple: once the Challenge picture has been selected, 12 months is allotted to make the outfit and photograph yourself in the pose. The colours and style of the outfit must be as accurate as possible. It is not important what fabric the outfit is made from nor whether it is hand-stitched or machine-sewn. What matters is that the image is recreated as faithfully as possible. Photos and progress notes are posted to the group along the way for sharing, discussion, help and discussion.

I almost always base my outfits on images, but in 2015 I joined the challenge and so it began!

Manuscript Challenge 2015

14th Century Tailor's Workshop Manuscript Reproduction

Not contant to make just the main gown, I recreated the entire picture! I took a a page of the 14th century Italian manuscript, Tacuinum Sanitatus, and hand-stitched everything in it with period sewing techniques. It was a huge undertaking, but a fantastic one!
Manuscript Challenge 2018

14th century gown with ruffled veil taken from the Bibliotheque nationale de France, Latin 765, fol. 23r. featuring a large amount of buttons and ruffles and some fichets as well. Most of the fabrics used in this challenge are recpurposed, and the fur is recycled, making this challenge even more challenging. This outfit is entirely hand-stitched with period sewing techniques.

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