Oak Leaf Hood: 14 Days

My dear friend is, in fifteen days, joining the Order of the Pelican in the SCA. He’s also lost 100 pounds, and it’s his birthday. In a hundred ways, a time for celebration. I, along with several others, are taking this week to make him an entirely new wardrobe so he can properly represent Caid and the Peerage in a primarily non-naked manner.

My contribution to the general garb campaign will be at an end by this evening, but I’m also working on something special which he doesn’t yet know about.

One of the items I was working on was a 14th century hood recovered from a stained tunic of a brilliant peacock blue linen that was just wonderfully soft. At this point, my friend thinks I’ve done something terrible and ruined the hood, because he needed some explanation for why such a simple garment wouldn’t have been delivered with everything else.

My plan is to use scraps from other garments we’re making in gold and chocolate linen and make an oak leaf and acorn applique and embroidery border around the  mantle, as indicated in the drawing. My friend has a gold oak leaf badge and is being recognized largely for his service as a herald, so it made sense to incorporate one of his badges.

Right now, the hood is entirely constructed, but for the seam running along the underside of the liripipe. Frequently where I’ve found embroidered hoods, there has been periodic banding along the liripipe matching the embellishment on the mantle and I wasn’t sure at first whether I’d do that. I don’t think I’ll have time right away, but I might do something simpler of the same theme, like alternating single leaves. I may stitch it up and work on it the hard way if I have time, or open the seam just where I need it flat to add leaves later.

From what I’m seeing, I’ll have twelve full (gold) leaves and thirteen partial (brown) leaves, plus ten acorns. Gold leaves and probably acorns should be bordered in embroidery of chocolate brown matching the dark leaves, with gold leaves also embroidered with veins. Branches between acorns and leaves also stitched in chocolate. I am undecided whether the dark leaves should be bordered and veiny as well. I could always add that later if it looks bare without.

In total, I have 35 figures plus vinework, over 13 usable days (since he’ll be coming over tonight and therefore today is a wash). If I do three figures per day (gold leaf, brown leaf, acorn) and the embroidery between them, I can fight Friday of war and present the hood to my friend at his vigil that evening.

My last applique project I was only able to complete one or two figures per day, but the figures were MUCH more complicated, with tree branches and many-legged beasts and antlers and such. The acorns will be of negligible difficulty, and if I sew the brown TO the gold before applying them to the garment, I think that will go a bit quicker as well.

Realistically, this project is very barely doable, so long as I don’t miss a single day of work and don’t mess up pretty much at all. I hope he likes it.


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