Sometime, in I believe it was May of 1999, I was at the Science Fiction Forum's annual end of year barbeque. And, lo did I hear about the wonders of Pennsic from my friend, Kerry. It took all of about 5 minutes for her to convince me that I wanted to go to the annual "convention" of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Pennsic War. And so, I gave her my pre-registration to send in, and my fate was sealed.
Several hours later, I realized that I suddenly had to come up with about 10 days' worth of garb, or medieval clothing, to wear at the event. Did I mention I didn't sew at all at that point?
Fortunately, I was on summer crew for Stony Brook Volunteer Ambulance Corps. EMS is generally long periods of intense boredom punctuated by brief moments of intense chaos. I had to be on call for hours on end in my dorm room with nothing in particular to do. So, I bought myself a sewing machine. And taught myself to sew by sitting at the damned machine for approximately 8 hours a day turning out new items and improving upon them with each iteration.
And a couple of months later I went to my first SCA event, Pennsic War 28, with some reasonably well made garb. Simple, but I still got some compliments. And so, I was encouraged. And lo, I made more garb.
When we got back from Pennsic War, I promptly convinced my fiancee' Erik that he, too, wanted to get involved in this strange medieval madness. So we packed up a few weeks later and went to the Hunt of John Barleycorn. And then Agincourt. And then Feast of ST. Andrew's... and on, and on... until we had hit nearly every event within reasonable traveling distance for a year. And then I took him to Pennsic.
I was hooked. For every event we went to, I made new clothes. I couldn't stand to be seen or have someone in my close group be seen in something they'd worn before. It turned into a madness. And then, the fabric buying started. I just started buying fabric. I can no longer see large portions of my office at home because it's covered in heaping, towering, wavering piles of fabric.
And, I guess with that insane amount of practice, I've managed to pick up some skill at designing and creating medieval/rennaissance clothing. So, my friend Kerry once again talked me into something insane... we were going to make garb for the KingsGuard for the coronation of Andreas and Isabella. 4 cotehardies, no problem, right? Wrong. Lotta problems. 3 weeks of solid, every-night, 4-to-8 hours-a-night work putting these things together. but damn, did they look nice. I don't recall much of the coronation through my sleep deprived haze, but the magic of the moment when the whole entourage came in and I knew I had been a part of making the middle ages come alive in a shriner's temple in Plymouth Metting, PA was just... wow.
I present, for your perusal, several pictures of just a small slice of the costumes that I have worked on to date.
Copyright 2000 Lisa Hirschorn firstname.lastname@example.org