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Sewing and Costuming

Sewing and costuming can be an invaluable skill within the SCA and falls under the domain of Arts & Sciences. For specific inquiries regarding this subject, please contact the Barony of Ponte Alto's Minister of Arts & Sciences.

Period Garb and Clothing for Newcomers

No garb yet? Never fear! For your first few events, garb can be borrowed from Gold Key - this is the loaner garb maintained by the Chatelain's office. Please contact the Ponte Alto Chatelain or Deputy Chatelain before the event you are planning to attend in order to make arrangements. While garb may be borrowed in the beginning, eventually you will want to start to make or buy your own clothing. The time period that the SCA covers is pre-17th century and can include any country or culture. It would be difficult to give you an accurate overview of everything that you could wear, but When you do start getting your first set of garb together please keep the following hints in mind!

Long dresses from second hand stores can be modified. Cloaks can be made easily and they hide a multitude of sins. If it is winter and cold, try getting something a bit too big so that you can wear warm mundane clothes underneath. Modern looking slippers, boots and shoes can often hidden under long skirts.

Plain trousers or pants can all be worn under a tunic. Boots that look medieval-ish are easy to find. A Surcoat (a large, rectangular piece of cloth with a hole for the head) can disguise a more modern looking item of clothing underneath. Get a good plain color (black or brown) belt to wear around your tunic or surcoat.

Things to Avoid!
There are certain rules regarding SCA garb and it may take a while to learn them all - but here are some helpful hints!

Belts- Don't wear anything that looks like a white belt. White belts are reserved for knights.

Jewellery- Don't wear a plain chain without a pendant hanging off it - these are reserved for knights. Don't wear spurs for the same reason.

DON'T wear crowns, tiaras, or coronets. These are reserved for royalty and peers. A good guideline is if it is wider than 2cm, has decorations that extend above or below the circlet, or is anything but a plain straight circlet (which has no points or jewels) then don't wear it.

Swords, knives, and blades- avoid wearing weapons without scabbards - they are dangerous. Make sure all blades are secured in their scabbards - so they can't fall out. Be very careful wearing a sword - it can stick out behind you and trip others or damage their clothing.

When in doubt, just ask!

Also, it's best to avoid anything that is uncomfortable or dangerous. Many ladies find that a train on a dress can trip you (or others!) up if you aren't used to wearing it. If you are uncomfortable in your clothing then you will not enjoy the event as much.


Official SCA Introduction to Costuming
The Hooded Hare's Introduction to SCA Clothing :: Covers fabric options and making a basic T-Tunic.
Basic Hand Stitches for SCA Sewing :: For those interested in period construction of garments (or maybe just lacking a sewing machine!)
Stefan's Florilegium - Index on Period Clothing :: The best resource for articles on garb from specific time periods and locations.


Some pictures of the Sewing Circle and our latest projects coming soon!

Last Updated: 3/31/2020 by Ronan


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