Sunday, January 21, 2007

Dress Up For Grownups

One of my New Year's resolutions for 2007 - well, actually the only resolution - is to join the local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

Each year I say I'm going to do it, and each year something gets in the way. So this year, to ensure that I'd not allow myself to back out I invested in a wardrobe for the upcoming Rennaissance fairs I plan to attend.

To those of you unfamiliar with the SCA, here is a description from the official Web site:

The SCA is an international organization dedicated to researching and
re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. Our "Known World"
consists of 19 kingdoms, with over 30,000 members residing in countries around
the world. Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance,
attend events which may feature tournaments, arts exhibits, classes, workshops,
dancing, feasts, and more. Our "royalty" hold courts at which they recognize and
honor members for their contributions to the group.

It's Fun for Geeks, if you define Geeks as people who can quote you any line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail and/or watch the LOTR triology - Director's Cut - at least once a month just for fun. My other favorite movie: Excalibur. You know you've watched that one too much when you can recite the Charm of Making. Even medieval spoofs delight me; regular readers may remember my Halloween post in which I quoted another favorite, Army of Darkness.

But I digress. Like I was saying, the SCA is a big organization and members run the gamut, from people who are really, really serious about researching and developing characters and creating accurate period garb to those like me - fantasy buffs who just want to wear a lace-up bodice, flirt with knights and drink mead.

My experiences with SCA'ers so far has been limited to a "knight" who used to show up at all my bird of prey presentations and stay afterwards to talk to me about his experiences making chain mail. At one presentation, he picked up my card and after that started calling me at home. Larry wasn't too thrilled about it, but I assured him that the guy seemed harmless. Later, Larry and I ran into the guy at Wal-Mart, where he was working in the auto parts department. Larry actually thought he was kind of nice, but still weird, which is understandable. You don't meet too many knights who moonlight as Wal-Mart employees.

I don't know if he's still in our local chapter of the SCA. I guess I'll find out at the first meeting. From what I understand, you don't dress up for the first meeting. But when the time comes to dress up I am so ready. A lady who sews garb sewed up this wicked bodice for me and ladies, even if you're not in the SCA I highly recommend you purchase a bodice anyway even if it's just to play Naughty Wench with your Significant Other. There's something about cinching a boned bodice up that's just really, really erotic. It draws the waist in and pushes the boobage up in the most fetching way. Larry, who took these pictures today, warned me to beware randy highwaymen on the way back to the house. If the kids hadn't been around I'd probably still be picking hay out of my hair.

Another great garment is a cloak. I made mine and it was quite a project. It took a full eight yards of fabric. I used a washable suede to make this one and just love the results. So it's not the most functional garment in the world, but function isn't everything. You don't enter the room wearing something like this, you sweep into the room. And the hood, when pulled up, gives the wearer a bit of mystery. See?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

*Sigh.* Sometimes I fancy donning my breast-boosting bodice and cloak and just sweeping into the grocery store for a pint of milk or whatever, with no explanation for my outfit. I'd be performing a valuable service; it's a small town, and I'd give the locals something to talk about for weeks.


Anonymous said...

Oh Morgan, you look so pretty! I'm a big fan of fantasy myself, mostly of books though and not movies. I love The Mists of Avalon. Besides the Lord of the Rings (the first ones not the other two) the only fantasy movie I like is The Princess Bride. Have you seen it? It's very clever. I got it through Netflix on a whim and liked it so much I bought if off of Amazon this past summer.
God Bless You,

Lord Omar said...

Aye, nothing like a fine buxom wench in the full bloom of womanhood to get the blood all a flow.

gOD sselb yew,
Lord Omar

Andrea said...

That looks like so much fun;) Maybe my chest will be that ample and heaving once I start nursing, lol. I really like that boob-framing hair length too, I'm working on growing mine that long and I'm almost there.
Cool pics!

CJ said...

If you don't mind my saying your husband isn't much of a highwayman. If you were mine you wouldn't have made it out of the house in that getup, let alone made it back. Thanks for getting my workday off to a good start doll.

Morgan said...

I love the Mists of Avalon *and* The Princess Bride. Really, I should have included The Princess Bride in my movie list. Personally, I thought Buttercup should have settled on Prince Humperdink. Chris Sarandon is mighty fine.

Lord Omar,
Glad to be of service, m'Lord. Should you ever be out this way you're welcome at my tavern anytime.

Dear, it won't be long after that sweet baby boy arrives that you'll get a visit from the Titty Fairy. I never cared for it, as I my boobs would go from large to comically large during the first few months of nursing. And on someone like me with so small a frame I often felt like Jessica Rabbit. Being pregnant is also a perfect time to grow your hair.
I saw on your blog that you're taking a posting break. Please do let me know when the baby comes, tho, so I can put a birth announcement here for you. Good luck, sweetie!

Oooo, those are fighting words. Larry's restraint was at my bidding. There were little ones underfoot, after all. There are times when tumbling a wench is perfectly appropriate, but not when wee ones are underfoot. ;-)

CJ said...

Usual disclaimer: I was just joshing with you. Sorry if I offended. It wasn't intentional. I just got a little carried away there. Those are some awfully nice pictures, especially that middle shot.

Beth said...

I love your dresses. You're haught ;)

Jana said...

Way back when I went with a wizard who was an SCA member. He and his entourage were a real bunch of geeks, complete with swords, shirakins, costumes and strange language. The wizard of course was the most interesting one. He could do some pretty amazing disappearing clothing tricks!! He kept doves in his room for his dove tricks, I can still hear them cooing (or were they cheering us on?)
Good luck and hope you and Larry enjoy. Assuming he's not going to let you alone among all those knights in shining chainmail (from WalMart?)

Morgan said...

CJ, no offense taken. You should know by now that I'm not easily offended.

Beth, right back at you. You're haught to, and your belly shots are bee-yoo-tee-ful. It's so cool to see women celebrating their pregnancies.

TCL, I've yet to meet a wizard but I'm sure I will. I would love for Larry to join me in the SCA doings, but alas, where I am fanciful he is all pragmatic. We have some similar interests but also travel in our own little independent circles. I'm afraid I'll be left to brave the Knights of Geekdom without his escort, unless the thought of my overstuff bodice being out without him becomes too worriesome, in which case he'll force himself to go with me.

Morgan said...

overstuff=overstuffed. Sorry for ye olde typo.

Andrea said...

Morgan, thanks, and I'll definitely let you know when the baby is born. I'm 38 weeks, so I could blow any day now:)

(I agree - Beth looks great!)

Morgan said...

Andrea, you should post a belly shot on your blog. Or do one of those plastic casts. I always regretted not doing that. The pictures are one thing, but it's really hard to comprehend how big a pregnant woman can get without seeing it. I have a friend who did a plaster cast of her upper body during pregnancy and hung it on the nursery wall. Very cool. There are kits out there, but I bet you could get your husband to do it with paper maiche.

Anonymous said...

Haha Morgan. I have to say I agree. I thought the prince was better looking too but maybe because that's I'm more mature and Wesly looked so young. On the other hand Wesly was Buttercup's true love and we know true love conquers all, at least in fairy stories.
God Bless You,

thimscool said...

Beautiful, Morgan. Just beautiful.

And your geek cred is in full effect.

Morgan said...

I think I likely prefer Humperdink over Westley for the same reason. I tend to prefer older men anyway. Besides, I developed a permanent crush on Chris Sarandon after his role as vampire Jerry Dandridge in "Fright Night."

You're too kind. If everyone keeps being so complimentary I'm going to have to get another corset to cinch down my swollen head.
Actually, though, I was more flattered by your second compliment than the first. Beauty fades, but Geek is Forever. ;-)

moderate said...

as a randy highwayman, let me just say that you cut a fine figure, lass.
...thanks for the visit to my house...

Morgan said...

It was my pleasure to stop by your house. I went searching for moderates - I'd begun to think I was the only one left - and ended up liking what I saw.
Of course, now you know why I had to defend the more schmucks who fancied themselves characters from "24." Sometimes leaving the real world, to be a wench or hero is fun.
I look forward to reading more of what you have to say.
And welcome.

mitzibel said...

In the SCA, your grocery fantasy is an accepted passtime, affectionately known as "freaking the mundanes." ie; "Hey, before you take your armor off, you wanna go down to Pizza Hut with the rest of the guild and freak the mundanes?"
It's a lot of fun, just don't pay any attention to the Garb Nazis--those shrews will call you out becasue the thread in the trim of your dress is in a particular shade not available to someone in your persona's place and time. Most of them are just jealous 'cause they've no boobage to squoosh fetchingly ;)
My advice? Make friends with the guys in the Brewers and Vintners Guild first, and the rest goes quite swimmingly. Literally.

Erik said...


I am sure your hair color wasnt available before about 30 years ago... Doesnt matter tho, cuz I like it.

And for the "boobage to squoosh fetchingly" it is often taken MUCH too far. SCA type events are great for boob sqooshage but when a woman already has quite a bit up top it sometimes ends up just looking gross! Boobs do not belong more than 12 inches from the chest, nor up to the chin. Even tho it gets stared at it isnt actually attractive. More like staring at a train wreck.

Morgan, you make an attractive Wench. You did a great job on the costumes and I think you should show them off to the locals.

If we had the money when my ex and I went to the festival last I would now own a pair of leather pants. Tight leather pants. They were actually kinda comfortable really.

Anonymous said...

I think the whole problem with Humperdink was that "trying to kill Buttercup to start a war" thing. I don't think (if I were a woman) I would be able to get past that...

Morgan said...

you are a treasure. Thanks so much for the advice. The brewers and vinters guild sounds like a fine place to start.
I've been warned of the Garb Nazis. One of my clothing mentors is tutoring me on how to put the lacing holes in my latest bodice. You may notice that the one I'm wearing in the shot has grommets, which are historically incorrect. On the one I'm working on now, I'm having to punch the holes with a tailors awl, sew a running stich around them and then whipstitch the edges for historical accuracy.
I can't see myself getting too worked up over accuracy, though. I know some people take the whole thing seriously, but I'm in it for fun.
I had no idea there was such a thing as Freaking the Mundanes. That's laugh-out-loud funny and now - thanks to you -if someone suggests it I will be savvy to what they're saying.
I've actually had some experience outside the SCA. Our friend Bob was visiting us years back and we decided to go out to the Pizza Hut in the nearby small, conservative farming town. Bob had quite a few tattoos and piecings and after a pitcher of beer decided to pull out his Prince Albert right there at the table. The Mundanes were more than Freaked, they were apoplectic. All ended well, though. We just explained that Bob was from New Jersey.

Morgan said...


Agreed. There's a difference between tasteful cleavage and a chin rest. And fie on those who can't discern between the two. Oh, and when you do get those leather pants I expect a full photo spread on your blog.

Yes, yes, I know. Humperdink was going to start a war and was even going to kill Buttercup on their honeymoon. But she didn't know that. I completely agree that when it comes to character Westley was a better choice. But aesthetically? Humperdink is welcome to rip my bodice anytime.

mitzibel said...

Morgan--No fair. In an attempt to lose some extra boobage of my own, among other things, I've switched to green tea in the morning instead of my usual Coke. Would you believe it actualy hurts *more* when squirted out one's nose? I wouldn't have, but there you go. New Jersey, indeed.

And yes, the boobage does need discretion, which luckily is shown far more in the SCA than it is at your average Ren Faire. The last one of those I went to, there was so much loose, pale flesh sloshing and jiggling about I began to think my mead had been spiked with something a bit more hallucinogenic, and not in a pleasant sort of way.

And you're a far more patient woman than I. My costume mentor lady gave up on my impatient 16-year-old self and just made all my clothes for me.

Morgan said...

Mitzibel, I apologize for the Green Tea Mishap, but please note you got me back with your halloucanogenic boob description.
I hope I can stick with making my own garb; I do love sewing so long as the project's not too involved or tedious. Sewing in the lacing holes is the sort of mindless thing I can do while listening to music or watching a movie or whatnot.

Anonymous said...

To the boob sqooshage I think the overexposure of flesh is a big problem just about everywhere these days. I'm no prude but it seems to me that a hint of flesh is more seductive than having it all thrown out there. If nothing is left to the imagination where is the fun that comes from eventually getting undressed for a lover?
God Bless You,

Morgan said...

I agree, Margaret, and I don't consider myself a prude either. There's a difference between tastefully erotic and sleazy desperation. It bothers me that so many young starlets today don't seem to know the difference. I don't think anyone is suggesting that they wear burkhas, only that they don't give themselves away so quickly and so freely.
It's kind of funny. My husband has seen me in nothing a lot over the years, but still finds my wench get-up very exciting. The right clothing can be as exciting and appealing as nudity.

Suspect said...

I'd be performing a valuable service

I bet.

Erik said...

The right clothing can be as exciting and appealing as nudity.

Correction, the right clothing can be MORE exciting and appealing than nudity.

Erik said...


If you are looking to make bodices (bodici?) for both fun and profit I wouldn't worry too much about making them exactly to "spec" After all, your average buyer knows nothing about the time period nor even cares. Hopefully she is buying one to wear for her man.

And the REAL public service is if you can whip out more of those at a more affordable price that you might make the world a bit more beautiful.

Perhaps you could market them at your local lingerie shop?

Morgan said...

Erik, from what I gather about the SCA crowd, there are three types: the hardcore SCA'ers who insist on historical accuracy, and those who are in it primarily for the faires, and those who are faire-goers who don't even belong to SCA. The last two are the types who wouldn't care whether you use groomets or the historically correct hand-sewn lacing holes.
The lady who sent me the other bodice gets around the extra work by sending the bodice without holes but with instructions on how to add them. She figures if a person is going to be concerned about historical accuracy they'd best learn how to put in their own lacing holes. And besides, if she factored in her time to do it, the bodice would become unaffordable.
So like her, I think it might be best to do two types, the ones with grommets and the ones without.
The lingerie shop angle is an interesting one, but the only lingerie shops in these areas are the chain jobs like Victoria's Secret. But I don't doubt that plenty of women don't buy corsets and bodices off of eBay to wear in the bedroom.
At this point, I sometimes wonder if mine will ever survive long enough to make it to my first faire. ;-

mitzibel said...

"At this point, I sometimes wonder if mine will ever survive long enough to make it to my first faire. ;- "

Never, never, never roll a boned bodice, corset, waist-cincher, etc. Don't ask me why, but don't do it. Hand wash, lay flat to dry, lay flat to store, and it should last you a while. My black satin corset is older than my marriage, now, and it's still holding up strong, despite being the basis of several Halloween costumes as well as its. . .um. . .other duties :P

Morgan said...

One of my bodices is stored flat, the other is on my dress form over the chemise. I'm embarking on my first bodice-making adventure (hopefully) next week, starting with a simple pattern. I'm going to order the spiral stainless steel boning as I've read that the plastic boning doesn't last so long on buxom women.
In other news, my first SCA meeting is tomorrow night and I think I'm going to start a second blog just to document my journey in the SCA. What do you think?

Morgan said...

Oh, and Mitzibel, I really can't thank you enough for the good advice. I really appreciate it. You are so awesome.

CJ said...

Would this second blog perchance include more pictures of you in a bodice because if so I'm ready to add it to my daily reads.

Morgan said...

CJ, indeed the new blog, tentatively entitled "Pen and Wench" would include pictures of me in garb. And hopefully others as well.