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The Outlander Surcoats

My sweetie is involved with a faire Playtron group called The
Outlanders. They wanted to get together a group “look”, and at some
point the idea that Dominic was (and still is) dating a seamstress came up.
After some talking and going back and forth on design possibilities (and vocabulary
— medieval is just not my period of expertise), we settled on doing the surcoats
in Ultrasuede and linen. Now, I know that a lot of people out there are really
opposed to faux-leathers for costuming purposes, but there are some serious
advantages. For one thing, unlike natural cows, Ultrasuede comes in a predictable
width and shape. There are no thin areas to work around. You can chuck it into
the wash. It never needs to be oiled. The colors are predictable and lightfast.
Did I mention the part about being able to chuck it into the wash? I do snuggle
up to one of these guys. Odor eradication is a serious consideration. ;)

All the fancy-pants insignia stuff if dome with reverse applique,
exposing a linen lining. Here’s a lesson worth learning from someone else’s
experience: always ask to see all the designs first. And insist that
you have the right to negotiate them. After this first batch of coats, I informed
everyone else in the group who wants one (yes, there are more coming) that there
would be an additional charge for heraldic beasts and arachnids. *grumble* Seriously.
Take a look at the pic on the far right. Sewing them was a challenge, but the
real hard part turned out to be cutting the darn things out without cutting
the backing. This turned out to be a serious foul language project. Since a
lot of my sewing time was gobbled up by hospital visits while I was trying to
get them done, my mother offered to help. I think she thought I was just pissing
about how annoying something so apparently simple could be. She learned, though.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard some of those words come out of my mother’s mouth
before…. They turned out well, though.

There were four surcoats in the original order. The fellow to
whom the scorpion belongs wasn’t there when I took the group shots. Hopefully,
I’ll have a picture of his soon. And there will be more coming, with pictures
to follow. And yes, at least one of those has a heraldic creature. :(

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