Ethereal Seamstress

Contestants’ progress posts can be found here

General Information 

The Barony of BBM invites you to show us your costuming skills. The sewists of the Known World will take up the challenge to create a complete set of garments, from the skin out, in one month. There will be two categories of participants, individuals or teams of from 2 to 6 active members. Participants are expected to start Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021 and continue to Saturday Mar. 27, 2021. The participants must report in on progress at specified intervals during the month, and the month will end with an online judging show on Saturday the 27th. Participants are required to register by Jan 31, 2021.

Teams blogs are here!:

Rules in brief: 

You will choose one level to compete in: 

Novice: 

Pre-drafted or commercial patterns allowed. 

Underpinnings may be made in advance. 

Laurels in costuming or other textile arts not permitted on teams. 

All other rules apply. 

Advanced: 

Pre-drafted patterns allowed. 

Underpinnings may be made in advance. 

Non-fabric accessories may be made in advance. 

Each Laurel in costuming or other textile arts counts as two people on the team 

All other rules apply 

Master: 

Pre-drafted patterns allowed. 

Underpinnings may be made in advance. 

Embellishments and accessories encouraged to be made during competition. 

All-Laurel teams must have no visible machine stitching on the project. 

Written materials showing inspiration for the project and vindication of team’s choices in fabric, design and construction methods must be provided. 

All other rules apply. 

If there are enough teams to warrant it, the competition will be further broken down into the following categories: 

Early period – 600 to 1100(i.e.: Byzantine, Saxon, and Viking) 

Middle period – 1100 to 1450(i.e.: Burgundian, Houppelandes, Cotehardies) 

Late period – 1450 to 1600(i.e.: Renaissance, Tudor, and Elizabethan). 

If more than 3 entries are received in other categories, such as Middle Eastern or East Asian, additional categories will be added. 

DETAILED RULES

Role of the Laurel: 

• We encourage Laurels to attend as team members or team sponsors. 

• Laurels may make themselves available for at-large consulting to teams. 

• Costuming, Textile or ‘ringer’ Laurels (you know who you are, you multitalented people!) count as two people on Advanced and Master Teams. 

The Scope of the Project: 

• Garb must be made for a specific person – the model 

• Garb is top to toe, from the skin out 

• Includes underwear, corsets, hoops & bum rolls, hats, shoes, pouches, etc. (which may be made in advance at all levels of competition) 

The Team: 

• Maximum number of team members is 6 Costuming/Textile Laurels count as two people on Advanced   and Master Teams. If the model assists the team, they must be counted as a team member 

• Models do not have to be part of the team and counted in the maximum number. 

• No age limits, either end, for team members. In some cases children or young teens may be counted as half a person. Please contact the autocrat in advance if you wish your team to include children. 

Fabric Rules: 

Must be flat and unmarked, may be prewashed or sized. 

Accessories Rules: 

  • Accessories made from fabric, especially at the advanced or master levels, are encouraged to be made during competition. 
  • Corsets, hoops, and other period underpinnings may be made in advance. No penalty for making them in advance at any level. 
  • Gloves – May be made/purchased in advance, but are encouraged to be embellished during competition 
  • Socks – commercial is acceptable, or may be made in advance 
  • Accessories not made of fabric may be done in advance (Shoes, buckles, buttons, purse hardware, belts, etc.) or purchased. 

Full Rules for the Levels

Novice 

  • Patterns should be drafted in advance or purchased patterns may be used 
  • All underpinnings should be made in advance. 
  • Sewing machines are allowed 
  • Accessories may be made in advance or during competition 
  • Laurels (in costuming or textile arts or a ‘ringer’) not permitted on teams. 50% of team must never have won a costuming contest previously. 
  • Be prepared to discuss why you did what you did. Books and pictures alone acceptable. You may provide written materials created specifically for this project to explain and/or vindicate your choices. Written materials must be provided to autocrat at least one week before the judging show.

Advanced 

  • Patterns may be drafted in advance. Commercial patterns discouraged. 
  • Underpinnings should be made in advance. 
  • Sewing machines are allowed 
  • Accessories may be made in advance or during competition
  • A Laurel (in costuming or textile arts or a ‘ringer’) is counted as two people on the team. 
  • Be prepared to discuss why you did what you did. Books and pictures alone are acceptable. Written materials to explain and/or vindicate your choices created specifically for this project are suggested and should describe how it was researched and made. Written materials must be provided to autocrat at least one week before the judging show.

Master 

  • Patterns drafted in advance are allowed but points will be deducted. 
  • Underpinnings may/should be made in advance. 
  • Sewing machines are allowed. All visible edges must be done by hand. 
  • Accessories should be made during competition, subject to safety and site restrictions 
  • A Laurel (in costuming or textile arts or ‘ringers’) is counted as two people on the team. 
  • Be prepared to discuss why you did what you did. Written materials are necessary and should describe this project and how it was researched and made. Materials must include SPECIFIC details regarding any deviations from period practice. (“It was on sale” is not an acceptable excuse). Written materials must be provided to autocrat at least one week before the judging show.

Progress Reports:

  • A FaceBook page will be created for the purpose of biweekly reports. 
  • An initial post should show materials assembled ready for use.
  • Team members are expected to post updates on Sundays and Thursdays with pictures if possible of the progress they have made on the project
  • If a team member does not have access to FB, they may send pictures to a team member with access to be posted.

Judging Show 

  • Each team will present their final outfit to the judges and populace in an online event to be held on Saturday, March 27, 2021. You will be expected to show all layers in as expeditious and succinct a manner as possible. If team members have managed to assemble all pieces in one location, then one presenter can present the finished work, otherwise each team member will have to present the work that they have done.
  • There will be a time limit of 15 minutes for explanations per team if we have a lot of teams participating. 
  • Not only will the Judges be able to ask questions of the team while they are explaining their outfits, but attendees online will be allowed to ask questions too. 

Judging Guidelines 

20 points per category 

Creativity Fit   Scope Workmanship Completeness 

Special points 

  • 25 – Inspiration & vindication of how/why you did what you did, written (should be done in advance) or oral 
  • 25 – Accessories made during competition 
  • 50 – General WOW! factor of what you tried to accomplish 
  • 50- If team members complete items with enough time to get all pieces to the model in time for the judging show

Total possible points 250