Greetings,  my name is Zari Bandak.  I am a novice sewer. I have taken part in the Golden Seamstress Challenge a few years ago as part of a team but this is the first time I’ve done this on my own.   I’m not a complete beginner, but I’m still in the training wheels stage. I  find myself wanting to up my SCA game, so to speak, and my sewing skills as well.  I joined the Ethereal Seamstress Competition as more of a challenge to myself than anyone else.  I am horrible at completing things. To be honest, completing this challenge will be a win in and of itself.  Having a complete outfit made by myself will be a bonus.

I figured I would choose early basic Ottoman Turkish garb maybe 14th or 15 century, something simple…NOPE.  After hours of looking at paintings…so many paintings…so many choices, I found THIS:

This is 16th century Ottoman Turk. The headwear, called the Arakcin is what first caught and held my interest.  I’ve developed a fondness for that type of hat and I love the way the scarf is tied. I thought I would simplify the number of layers involved because I want to give myself every chance to succeed…again  NOPE… a conversation in the wee hours of the morning has opened another research rabbit hole and another piece of garb for my sewing pleasure/pain. 

 But anyway…this is what I’m planning to make:   The outer Enteri, or Caftan, the red Hirka (short fitted coat) which may be a gomlek, (chemise, for those who are unfamiliar), if the red piece doesn’t serve that function.  The tall hat called the Arakcin and scarf that goes with it, a scarf to substitute for the metal belt since I’m not sure if I have something appropriate from my stash.  At first I thought the long, very tight, wrist length sleeves were another Hirka (that would make three coats!!!) but they may be detachable sleeves.  I know that detachable sleeves were used on the big elaborate ceremonial caftans, but I’m not sure if they were used as part of everyday wear.  And in starting a bit more research I read an article where perhaps layering was not only used as a means to show off wealth and means but also had some religious and social statement as well…which  has lead me to wonder if they would take such shortcuts…which is going to lead to more research.  For right now, to save my little brain I’m going to start with the assumption that they are detachable sleeves and jump down the research rabbit hole. I am also planning on loop and button closures on the enteri and plan on doing woven buttons using a bead core. Store bought jewelry and footwear will complete the outfit. I am going to try to use only materials from my stash as much as possible due to budget constraints.

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5 Responses to Introduction

  1. Fionna Goodburne MacNicol says:

    Hi Zari! I am Fionna, one of the judges. I know a little about Turkish, although it’s not my main focus. I have a good book I can recommend if you are looking for sources. If you have plenty, then I look forward to you explaining it to me!

  2. Beatrice Domenici della Campana says:

    Hello, Zari! I’m Beatrice, and one of the judges for your group.

    I’m looking forward to reading more about your research, and your choices as far as fabrics and patterns, and especially a closer look at your hat/headgear construction choices!

    • Zari Bandak says:

      Dummy me found out the painting I was looking at is 12 years OOP, and I was so excited about the hat!! The hat will be made…just not for this unless I can find evidence that it was indeed, pre-1600. I am going to do the pillbox style, called the Tarpus, pronounced Tarpush, though I believe that designation is not actually accurate though the style of hat is.

  3. Fionna Goodburne MacNicol says:

    Sorry for not getting you the name of the reference book sooner. It’s Women’s Costume of the Near and Middle East by Jennifer Scarce, published by Routledge Curzon.

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