Tagged ‘cassock’

Emily’s Cassock

June 19th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Emily’s cassock

Here’s Emily’s first project this summer, a cassock for an interpreter portraying a sailor on Mayflower II.

When I sat back and looked at that sentence I realized I’ve opened the proverbial can of worms. What is a cassock? What makes this one particularly for a sailor? What is a non-sailor cassock? Where is Emily? Who is that behind the cassock?

Let me see what I can do. Cassock in the early 17th century seemed to refer to rather a lot of garments, including one that’s part of a priest’s vestments, something that soldiersEmily’s cassock other picture wore, and any of a number of loose upper-body garments that were as long as the hip or thigh or even the knee. These last ones were worn by working men and maybe sometimes women. More questions than answers there.

This sailor’s cassock is based on one in a woodcut by the 16th-century Italian Cesare Vecellio labeled “the English sailor.” As you can imagine, a picture with a label is a precious commodity in historical dress research. We happily make these for our Mayflower II sailors. Not-sailor cassocks are also loose-fitting upper body garments, but the sleeve is a uniform width from armhole to wrist, not wide at the armhole and narrow at the wrist as here. The non-sailor cassock, also called by the wardrobe department “landsmen’s cassocks” (totally modern nomenclature) does not flare at the waist and often has buttons at the neck. These are based on images from memorial brasses as reproduced in one of the Cunningtons’ books of costume (they did a bunch, father-daughter team; I think the one I’m remembering is their 16th century costume one).

And I tried for a week to get Emily, the cassock, and the camera all in the room at the same time while simultaneously remembering to take a photo and finally gave up in disgust. The sailor needs his cassock, and he’ll get it tomorrow morning. The cassock-holder is one of our soon-to-be child volunteer interpreters, in for a fitting today.

Regarding the comments – I’m with you, Margaret, on the not-seeing-the-columbine thing. For a minute I sort of thought if you turned the stitched one upside down….but no. I think that’s why I’m so fascinated with the columbine motifs.

Thanks, Marjorie, for the compliment on the Needle Arts article. It was all Cheryl’s (the author) good work. I saw it but didn’t have a chance to read it. Penny showed me the copy Cheryl asked the EGA to send us – it’s full of excellent pictures and hopefully it’ll encourage a few more people to join us in the stitching.

More Hands

March 26th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Alex’s peapod.

On February 29, our intern Alex worked on the jacket for the first time. Here are her hands stitching a peapod.

Myrna working reverse chain outline pansy.At that session we also had another new embroiderer, Myrna. Melanie Anne decided that the state of Maine was under-represented among the embroidery corps, so she persuaded her friend to come down with her. Myrna is pretty new to this type of embroidery so she practiced for the morning and then worked reverse chain outlines.

The last picture for today is of Melanie Anne stitching a thistle top in Gilt Sylke Twist bisse.

Melanie Anne working a thistle in Gilt Sylke Twist.

The office was a little beehive today, with five volunteers joining us. The hand sewing on three shirts was finished plus part of a fourth was done; a great deal of stab-stitching on a pair of breeches and a cassock was also accomplished. Meredith spent part of her birthday volunteering; we wish her many happy returns of the day. I got a phone lesson from Rich on managing the new forum, and Robbin volunteered to help moderate, which offer I immediately and gratefully accepted. Welcome to everyone who signed up, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, please go see.

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