New year, new goals and new ideas!

Looking back at 2015

Last year one of my favorite historical clothing bloggers posted her clothing goals for the new year which got me started on goals for myself. A common phrase is to try to improve ten percent every year, but how do you quantify ten percent when you are talking about aesthetics or appearance? An easier goal for me to quantify is to select an area or topic I want to improve and then identify specific goals to achieve.

1. Better understanding the late 14th-century Italian sumptuary laws.

Last year my goal was to understand the differences between 14th-century Italian and English sumptuary laws and to start applying some of them to our clothing. I was able  I was able to teach a class on the 14th-century Northern Italian Sumptuary Laws at Pennsic!

2. Over garments and better silhouettes.

I have also been working on over garments for both of us to better match the silhouettes seen in a lot of the Northern Italian imagery. Along those lines I made myself a new over dress designed after a 1365 fresco in the Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence, using both the design aesthetics and the silhouette from the image. I also finally finished my husband’s pourpoint, it’s a little small now as he has gained some weight since I first started it. Luckily the garment is a little bit flexible with weight gain.

Pourpoint & White GownGiovanni da Milano-The Birth of the Virgin-1365-Fresco Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence

3. Improving our day camp and Pennsic camp.

Last year I wanted to make at least one improvement to either our day camp or our Pennsic camp and preferably both. On the Pennsic camp end we were able to upgrade to a period bed frame with a futon mattress this past year, and oh, it was so much more comfortable! Also, it looks so much nicer!

For our day camp I keep creating lists of tableware that I want and at an average of $30-$50 per piece it’s starting to add up pretty quickly! While I didn’t upgrade any of our tableware this past year I did make a better effort of just bringing our day camp set up to events so that there was a nice looking space for us to hangout during the day. Unfortunately I’ve never thought to take any pictures of the day camp…

I feel like we have done a pretty good job of identifying the needed items to improve our day camp and Pennsic camp and now we just need to start working on building and/or acquiring the items. I really love this image from the Oratorio di St. Stefano built around 1369, and have been wanting to try to recreate the effect of the image.

Oratorio St. Stefano c1369

Overall I’m pretty happy with the results of 2015! 🙂

Looking forward into 2016!

This year’s goals are a little more specific.

  1. 1-2 new pieces of clothing for each of us solidly based on images and sumptuary laws from Northern Italy.
  2. Expand my research in 14th-century Northern Italian Sumptuary laws (this is starting to look like it might require some translation work… Yay trying new things!)
  3. 1-2 new items for each camp set up, both Pennsic and day camps.
    1. Pennsic camp – 1-2 chairs and/or folding stools
    2. Day camp – Either 1-2 new dishes or a period trestle table.


Links to furniture we really, really like:

A really cool folding chair from Northern Italy, dated to the end of the 14th/beginning of the 15th-Century.

The instructions on how to build it from Duke Cariadoc.

A box chair from Northern Italy, dated to the end of the 14th/beginning of the 15th-Century.

Some instructions on how to build the chair.

Finally, trestle tables, I’ve found a couple of websites with good instructions. 🙂

Website 1

Website 2

Website 3

Links to potters that make the specific style of 14th-Century Majolica pottery that dates to the period we portray.

Majolica pottery.

Medieval Mudpies – vends at Pennsic

That Pottery Guy – vends at Pennsic


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