Thursday, March 8, 2018

Some One Afternoon Tutorials for 2018

It's been a while since I posted a collection of links for short costuming projects that I call "one-afternoon tutorials" because most of them can be completed in a single afternoon, or less.  

Here's another "one-afternoon tutorial" collection.  For a number of these, you will want copper or brass wire and tools for making wire jewelry (e.g., round-nose and other pliers, wire cutters or pliers that can do the same, files) because they are tutorials for making various historical jewelry items.  
  1. From Eleanor Deyeson's blog comes a tutorial I should try out--a tutorial for making Bronze Age spectacle brooches or. as she more aptly describes them, double spiral brooches. I have wanted a pair of these brooches for a long time, and reproductions are still more expensive than I am able to pay. 
  2. Marya Kargashina's Novgorod to Three Mountains blog has a tutorial on how to make Novgorod-style coil temple rings.  Temple rings were rings, the size of modern medium-sized hoop earrings, that could be worn on a headdress, woven into the hair, or even worn through earlobe piercings, like modern earrings.
  3. Konstantia Kaloethina has a tutorial on how to make U-shaped hairpins that reproduce the design of a 14th century London find.  
  4. Also from Konstantia Kaloethina's blog is a tutorial on how to make figured bezants--small pieces of metal with a figural design.  Great for early Scythian or Sarmatian costumes.
  5. Speaking of the 14th century, the Family de Huntington blog has a tutorial on how to make a frilled-edge veil in 10 hours.  The technique used is not a period technique, but it does give a reasonably good period appearance.  
  6. Finally, La Bella Perla describes how she made her own 10th century reliquary pouch in sufficient detail that many sewists will be able to make a similar one on their own.  Her pouch used beading techniques, but other types of decoration were possible in period.
I enjoy reading tutorials even for projects that do not interest me, because I find it fun to see the ingenuity costumers employ in learning period construction techniques (or, sometimes, getting the right effect without period techniques).   Hopefully this collection will be interesting to others.


  1. Nice! Thanks for posting these. I especially appreciate the bezants tutorial, because it's been in the back of my mind to make them for a while now.

    1. You're welcome! One more way to make this blog useful and interesting to others.

      I've thought about making bezants myself. What deters me is concern about handling sharp-edged little pieces of metal and sewing them onto fabric. I must ask Konstantia about that.

    2. Hi! So, I've had no problems with wearing them, but I also file down any particularly dastardly edges or roll them, because it's 36 ga sheet and not much worse than aluminum foil to work with. The worst I've had is a piece that folded (36 ga, remember), and that created a sharp point, but it didn't damage the gown nor me.

    3. I may be a bigger klutz than you, Rachel. But filing the edges is probably a good idea. How do you roll edges on pieces as small as bezants?

    4. I generally try to fold the edge over as best as I can with my ball-point tools.

    5. I'll bear that in mind, Rachel; thanks!