Summer Workshop

On Saturday, July 5th, a host of Gardiner’s Company and friends gathered at the Hamilton’s house on Pepper Alley for some sewing, some painting, some personal projects, a class on ‘falling bands’, and lots of delicious food. Sadly the motivation to do any actual skirmishing never appeared, but there was plenty of talking about fighting.

New tables were acquired for the Company’s use, and so several folks got to work painting them Bandes blue, and then applying one coat of varnish.

Edwin and Alan apply varnish
Edwin and Alan apply varnish to newly painted tables

More than a few bandesmen worked on some personal projects in the shade. Richard worked on weaving some new trim, Ester fingerloop braids new cords for shirt strings, and Eleanor works on some hand sewing on a new bodice, but also helped make a new doublet pattern for Robert, as well as helping Zeke with some pants.

Personal projects in the works
Personal projects in the works; sewing and weaving

Sadly, the larger of the resident beagles hurt his knee in all the excitement of visitors, so he was properly medicated and crated, but kept near Master Hamilton to ensure he remained quiet and as happy as possible. The girl beagle did her best to make everyone feel welcomed and shed upon, with a happy doggie grin and wiggly rear.

Beagles at rest
Beagles at rest

Isobel hosted a class on the falling band, a collar that was issued to all bandesmen in Gardiner’s Company to protect the necks of their doublets.

Typical workaday falling band
Typical workaday falling band

Isobel showed a variety of falling bands and cuffs, from the truly fancy bedecked with lace, to the simplest pleated of a rougher linen. She also demonstrated pulling threads to ensure a straight cut on the grain, as well as a precursor to making a neat drawn work hem.

Several types of falling bands
Several types of falling bands

She gave us a great ratio to figure out how to determine starting lengths of linen strips. Start by measuring the collar of a doublet from either side of the button placket, and add two inches for hems. This piece is for the neckband portion that will attach to the doublet collar, and should be roughly two inches wide. Take the neckband measurement and double that to determine the length of the collar fall, which ideally is about 4 inches wide. The fall can be narrower at around 2 inches, or much wider around 8 inches, depending on taste or fashion. The same ratio works for cuffs as well, if you choose.

Most importantly, we were exceptionally well fed. From a delicious lunch with sides and baked goods, to a grilled dinner, and decadent dessert. Once again, our cooks excelled in their jobs and we are fortunate in their company.

Zeke enjoys dessert
Zeke enjoys dessert

Personal projects

What are Gardiner’s members working on for personal projects?

Prior to our Yule celebration, many folks brought personal projects to work on while we enjoyed good company. There was lots of stitching going on about the room. Tammy worked on stitching the lining of the collar in for a new cassock for Bobby. Laura worked on a back panel of her new embroidered jacket. Tom finished the stitching on the collar of his leather jerkin. And Dianne worked on a thread wrapped button while chatting with Sandy and Carla.


A few more pictures from our pre-Yule gathering are also available on Flickr.

Gardiner’s Fourth

Several Gardiner’s folks and FOG (Friends of Gardiner’s) gathered at the Toscano’s for festivities on the Fourth of July. Despite the heat, there was a crew of fighters in the backyard fencing and doing cut and thrust. They took breaks in the shade of the tree and had plenty of water to quench their thirst. They also received periodic hound visits as the beagles and visiting foxhound ran amok in the yard.

Inside there was some handwork being done, while Robert brought out a CD with an interactive map of Elizabethan Southwark, dated to 1598.  It was cool to zoom in and see the different streets and see where everyone’s personas reside on the 42” flat screen.   The idea is to eventually make this interactive on the website, once members have determined their residence. Online versions of the maps can be viewed from John Strype’s Survey of London, but not with the same zoomable features as the CD: St. Olave and St. Mary Magdalen Parishes, Southwark and St. Saviours and St. George’s Parishes, Southwark.

We had a wonderful new scadian visit to fight and get some tips on clothing. She was able to go home with a shirt, pants, stockings, and a bodies pattern, thanks to Sandy’s patient drafting skills. While the computer was still hooked up to the TV we showed our new recruit pictures of Elizabethan dress, both men and women as she’s going to fight Rapier in a man’s persona and also maintain a women’s persona when not fighting.  It was cool to look through some of the on-line images, and go through Isobel’s website and it’s treasure trove of information.

Craig brought over the DVD “Tales from the Green Valley” which was really, re-enactor porn.  This is a show, viewable online, about re-creating a 1620 farm in Wales over a period of a year.  Great stuff presented, really, but there were a few things we just had to comment on.  Because, you know, we’ve all worked on a 1620’s farm in Wales.  😉

Jimmy grilled up lots of chicken and burgers, Carla gathered the rest of the meal together, and a feast was had while standing around chatting, sitting around socializing, discussing classes for Atlantian Academy of the Rapier and Costume Symposium, and watching re-enactor porn. A good time was had by all. Everyone dispersed as it came time for fireworks to be lobbed into the air, and enjoyed from our vehicles as we made our ways home through the various cities and towns with fireworks displays.