Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Artemisian Costuming Challenge

The Challenge
I am issuing a challenge dedicated to historical costumers everywhere: to create a complete man's, woman's or child's outfit of any social class from the skin out, including an accessory, in six months. That's less than one layer or accessory per month - you can do it!
The Details
You'll have from June 20 to December 31 to plan, buy for, cut, stitch, assemble, complete, and photograph for submission an outfit from the skin out. This will be made up as follows:
Layer 1:  The skin layer.   Create underclothes that someone from your selected time period would have worn.  Examples include braises, drawers, smock, chemise, camacia, shift, gomlek, corsetry and so on.
Layer 2: The main garment.  Create the main garment from your selected time period.  Examples include kirtle, gamurra, kosode & hakama, chausses, sarafan, bliaut, cotehardie, doublet, the toga and so on.
Layer 3: The outer layer. Create a garment that would have been worn for warmth or formal occasions.  Examples include ropa, saia, surcoat, jerkin, coat, peplos, kaftan, entari, a stola and so on.
Layer 4: An accessory.  This could be shoes, jewelry, a hat, stockings, a handkerchief, gloves, a suit of ruffs, an almoner’s purse, and so on.
Any questions about which piece qualifies for which layer need to be determined prior to entering the competition.
All who take up the challenge will have their photos, a short bio, and a description of their proposed outfit listed on the Artemisian Costumer’s Challenge website. 
To enter, please send an e-mail to with these details listed:
  • your name
  • your location (Where in Artemisia do you call home?)
  • a short (two to three sentence-length) bio, including whether you are a novice (as defined below)
  • a short description of your proposed four-layer outfit
  • a disclaimer with permission to publish your name and pictures to the internet
  • the URL to your blog (if you have one) so it can be linked to your profile
Please ensure your head/shoulders photo is attached.
Official entries will be accepted until the July 25, which is the last day of Baron’s War.
All entrants will be required to send me individual progress photos (one per week maximum) on or before the last day of each month, along with photos of their outfits when completed, which will be shared on the internet so we can all follow along.  The final photo/s of the completed outfit need to be sent to me no later than the New Year’s Day 2012.  The winners will be announced at Gryphon’s Lair Twelfth Night & Baronial Investiture.
 The Rules
  1. Basic documentation will be provided by the entrant.  Your documentation must explain each item in your competition ensemble.  It should define:
·        What each piece is called and what layer it represents
·        When (time period) and where (geography) the pieces would have been worn
·        The materials used for construction in period and in your ensemble
·        If you drafted your own pattern or used a commercial pattern
·        If you assembled the pieces by hand or by machine
·        Any additional embellishments you made by hand, for example: embroidery, hand-woven fabric and/or trim, cast buttons, enameled jewelry, tumbled & polished stones, cured and/or tanned leather, embossed velvet, hand-dying, and so on.
  1. ONE item of underwear and all the upper layers and one accessory must have been made from scratch.
  2. Accessory or embellishment items must have been created entirely during the calendar year of 2011.  For example, if you began making a pair of ghillies based on a class you attended at Estrella XXVII in February of 2011, and you finished them in May of 2011, then the new shoes were created entirely in 2011 and may be used in the competition.  If you began embroidering a smock in 2008 and completed it in June of 2011, the smock was not entirely created in 2011, so it may not be used.
  3. You may barter with other artists and exchange goods to be used in this project.  If you barter, you must document what you made and what you traded for in your documentation.  Pictures of the entrant’s work must be provided.  For example, milady wants milord to cast buttons for her cotehardie and milord wants a length of milady’s woven trim for his tunic.  Milady must provide photographs of the trim she wove and milord must document the buttons he created. 
  4. If you don't manage to finish all four required levels, you will still be in the running. However, those who attempt and or complete all four levels will end with more points than those who only attempt/complete one or two.
  5. This is a challenge for individuals, not groups, therefore only items sewn independently by the by the entrant will be accepted. However, help with pattern drafting, draping, and/or fitting is allowed. Use of commercial patterns is also allowed.
  6. Anyone may enter multiple outfits if they wish, however points will be allocated on a per-garment/item basis, not cumulatively.
  7. Progress photos must be sent: one every 4 weeks minimum, one every week maximum. This will help to keep you all motivated and enjoying the challenge! Photos of the completed outfit to be submitted to be a minimum of three (front, back and side), or more if you wish. 
  8. Receipts showing that the total expenses for this ensemble were no more than $100.00.  Patterns do not count toward this total.  “Fabric and/or Notion Stashes” may be used.  You may also have a patron purchase materials for you; if you have a patron, your total receipts cannot exceed $200.00.  The patron may not be your significant other or anyone else you share a checking account with.
  9. Points will be awarded to everyone who enters, according to the criteria.  Points will be allocated as follows:
·        10 points for each layer completed.
·        10 points if EVERY layer is completed.
·        10 points for any extra layer/accessory (over and above the four required) completed.
·        5 points for any layer started/attempted but not completed.

Additionally, the points below will be won by the person who best meets the criteria:

  • 10 points to the best attempt at historically accurate DESIGN
  • 10 points to the best attempt at historically accurate CONSTRUCTION 
  • 10 points for each inclusion of the entrant’s HANDWORK other than sewing straight seams, such as hand-made lace, buttons, embroidery, weaving, shoes, use of fur (real or faux) and so on.  To receive the full 10 points, the handwork must be included in the documentation.  Points will not be awarded for bartered goods.
  • 10 points to the best attempt by a sewing NOVICE 
    (A novice for this purpose is someone with less than three years of sewing experience).

The OVERALL WINNER will be the person with the highest total points from ALL categories above. Other winners will be Best Design, Best Construction, Best Handwork, and Best Novice.

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