I’m making a Medieval Salazar Slytherin costume. This video is a summary of the weaving samples, dyeing samples, and undergarment layers that I have started and finished in 2020.
Please note that this is a report of a video originally published in January 2021 over at my previous channel @freakishlemon.
Morgan Donner – https://www.youtube.com/user/Morgandonner
Marika/Enchanted Rose Costumes – https://www.youtube.com/user/EnchantedRoseCostume
Bernadette Banner – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSHtaUm-FjUps090S7crO4Q
Cathy Hay – https://www.youtube.com/user/sapphorama
Of a Linear Circle by flamethrower – https://archiveofourown.org/series/755028
Morgan Donner Shirt Tutorial – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lsQL4SbekE
Morgan Donner Shift Tutorial – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK4wwQlML8I
Morgan Donner Five Fingerloop Braid Tutorial – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQpEcGfv-rY
Opus Elenae Lucet Cording – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q2oKmSG0W8
Quick & Dirty Braies – http://research.fibergeek.com/2011/06/21/quickdirty-braies/
Lana Plantae – https://www.lanaplantae.com/shop
Surprise Stripes by Anna Johanna – https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/surprise-stripes-3 – https://missaneuloimmekerran.blogspot.com/2014/08/oodi-tiinalle.html
Smooth Operator Socks by Susan B. Anderson – https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/smooth-operator-socks
Photo by Anton Atanasov
Logo designed and drawn by A.R. Gergler
Photo by SevenStorm JUHASZIMRUS from Pexels
Edited by @freakishlemon
Heavy Interlude by Kevin MacLeod
Photo by Anton Atanasov
The Salazar Slytherin Project? Again? Haven’t you already talked about this?
Yes, but I introduced it in the middle of a monthly craft room video sometime back in…. I don’t even know when. This video is a summary of the design of this long term costume project and the items that I’ve worked on during 2020.
So hello! My name is Adrian, I use masculine pronouns, and, if you’re new, welcome to my channel.
The idea to do a historical Hogwarts costume is not a new one,[[screenshot of Gabbers in dress]] but this one settled into my brain after watching Costume College vlogs in 2019. Morgan Donner has a Q&A up on her channel with Marika of Enchanted Rose Costumes, Bernadette Banner, and Cathy Hay –
All of these channels will be linked in the down bar.
– where they were discussing future projects post-convention, and Bernadette said,
“I wanna do what would Hogwarts students be wearing when Hogwarts was founded in the 10th Century.”
At the same time, I happened to be reading a fanfic called Of A Linear Circle by flamethrower, in which Harry Potter is sent back in time to 10th Century Hogwarts.
This fic is also linked in the downbar.
The stars aligned and I knew in my heart, and in my obsessive thought spirals, that I needed to try my hand at a 990 A.D. Hogwarts Founder Salazar Slytherin costume.
Before I go on to the design of this costume, I need to insert a disclaimer here because it is 2020. Joanne Kathleen Rowling has given up on filtering her Twitter posts and has loudly and publicly declared herself transphobic.
If you cannot, for whatever reason, interact with the Potterverse in any way because of this, I wish you a safe journey and I’ll see you for future project videos.
Here is where I stand. Please be aware that I do not speak for the trans community or for any community here on YouTube or elsewhere. My opinions are my own.
This is not my first time finding out that the author of a series that I love, has shaped me, or has shaped my personal education in storytelling financially or vocally supports organizations and ideologies that hurt the queer community or other marginalized people.
I’m looking at you, asshole.
[twinkly magical Ta Da! sounds]
And I’m sure that there are more examples of this on my bookshelf that I’m not aware of because the authors don’t blog or run their mouth off on Twitter.
Or are dead and did not leave a heinously visible trace of their bigotry.
The world is full of shitty people who make stuff that, for whatever reason, speaks to us on an entertaining, emotional, or intellectual level.
I think Rowling’s particular case feels a lot messier because of how culturally big the Potterverse is, how formative the Harry Potter series has been for so many of us as kids, and how social media has, in good ways and bad, removed a lot of the barriers between content creators and content consumers.
Do I believe that Rowling was actively waving her pitchfork at transpeople while she was writing Harry Potter?
No. Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism –
which is not, in fact, feminism
– is usually a gradual process that relies on indoctrination and building on societal biases that are already present. I don’t follow her on Twitter, but I’ve heard a lot more about her nonsense in the past 4 or 5 years, which sounds to me like she’s been spiraling down that shitty brainwashing slide a lot faster recently.
Do I believe that the Harry Potter series can be entirely separated from Rowling’s personal beliefs and biases?
No. Even before she took to Twitter, there are things about the series that are Hard No’s for folks and should be examined. Antisemitic caricatures, the Whiteness of the Wizarding World, the fatphobia, that old favourite, British Imperialism, are all noticeably present in the text.
Is the Harry Potter fandom one of the most openly queer fandoms I’ve ever been a part of?
Yes. And I tell you what, when I’m looking for fics that explore queer experiences? Coming out stories? Trans and nonbinary versions of characters? I go to Harry Potter fics. There are an abundance of queer experiences to be found in that fandom.
I mean, Rowling hilariously accidentally created trans/nonbinary icons Nymphadora Tonks and Teddy Lupin. They can shapeshift at will from birth. Any gender or physiological presentation at any damn time? How could queer fans not immediately burden these two with all of our hopes and dreams?
Listen, the non-binary!Obi-Wan Kenobi fic that I wrote in 2016 was the first fic in the Star Wars section of ArchiveofOurOwn.Org to focus on a main character from the Original or Prequel trilogies and there were only a handful of non-binary Poe, Finn, or Rey fics before that.
I mean, there’s a lot of fandom history involved in the lack of non-cisgendered fic out there in general, including lost fanfiction archives, zine publication guidelines, and the gender and shipping politics of fandom spaces prior to the early 2000s, but there are patterns to be found.
Overall, I don’t support Rowling’s behaviour and I don’t intend to spend any money on her future projects. I don’t think confronting her on Twitter is worth anyone’s time. Until an actual physical person in her life turns her thinking around, she will continue on being terrible. Dissenting voices will only affirm her way of thinking.
I think normalizing queer experiences and speaking out against this kind of bigotry is the only way to prevent others from following in her footsteps.
I think Harry Potter fandom, especially the Harry Potter fanfiction community that I’ve interacted with, is still a mostly positive place for me as a queer individual.
Is there a good segue out of this topic? No? Let’s move on then.
In the latter half of 2019, I began researching the clothing of Western Europe in the early Medieval period. I used Wikipedia to start with, and then went on to historical costuming books, online museum galleries, and some reenactment blogs to sketch out Slytherin’s outfit.
There are five main garment pieces to make this costume: a shirt, braies (or early Medieval boxers), an over tunic, hose, and a cloak. I also had a list of components to buy, such as a particular penanular pin and jewelry. Rings in particular, which would have been common for a man of Slytherin’s social standing. Other items, such as shoes, a wand, a wand holster, and a belt, are on the list for the costume, but I have been undecided regarding whether I am going to make these items or buy them.
My star piece of this costume is going to be the green over tunic. I decided early on that I wanted to go as far back in the making process as was feasible for me to do with this garment. I didn’t go as far back as raw sheep fleece,
– which I may do in the future, just… not right now –
but I wanted to weave the cloth and the trim for this garment by hand.
I started with the card weaving samples for the trim, since I had done much less card weaving than rigid heddle weaving at that point. I’d learned to card weave from the book Card Weaving by Candace Crocket and started making short samples from the patterns in this book to get a feel for the bands that I wanted on the neckline, hem, and wrists of the over tunic. Making these short lengths of samples stretched out those card weaving muscles for warping the cards, tensioning the weave, establishing pattern repetition, and finishing off the final band.
Then, I started sampling for the rigid heddle loom that I was going to use for the main fabric of the garment. I didn’t know what weight of yarn or combination of fiber content I was going to use, and I also had the option of two sizes of heddles for different densities of weaving. I made several samples using different warps and wefts, ultimately ending on a fingering weight Blue-Faced Leicester wool yarn for the warp and a lace weight cotton/linen blend yarn for the weft on a 15 dpi rigid heddle.
DPI stands for “dents per inch,” which is a measurement for how close the warp threads will be to each other. 15 dpi is the smallest measurement available from the manufacturer for this model of loom.
I’m 99.9% sure that I have more than enough cotton/linen yarn for the weft, based on the amount of yardage on the spool. Using my samples, I could calculate out the approximate amount of BFL yarn I need to dye for warping.
To get a certain green to go with the already green cotton/linen yarn, I am using commercially available acid dyes.
This is not historically accurate.
I do know how to get green from natural dye sources, but I do not yet know how to get different shades reliably enough to dye multiple 100g skeins of bare yarn.
As of filming this video, I’m still working out the acid dye formula to get the shade of green that I want to go with the weft yarn. I will update you in my monthly craft room videos as to how that’s going and will summarize the process in my next Slytherin wrap up video in 2021.
The shirt, like most under layers in history, is made of a plain, undyed fabric made from plant fibers. The most common fiber in Western Europe in the early Medieval period would have been linen, but I already had 5 yards of an undyed hemp fabric in my stash. This fabric behaves similarly to linen fabrics I have used, so I decided to bust some stash instead of buying new fabric.
The shirt pieces were cut according to the rectangular construction common to the period. I used Morgan Donner’s “Making Basic Medieval Underwear” video to walk me through drafting this shirt.
My cut lines were made using the drawn thread method and I used waxed linen thread to sew the garment by hand.
It’s not perfect. I needed to cut off almost a foot off of the bottom hem and the neckline is wider than I had planned, but since this was my first try at a garment of this type, it wasn’t a big deal.
The main accommodation that I made in changing the garment from its original design is that I left the bottom of the sleeve seam open and, originally, added ties made using a five loop finger braiding technique.
I also learned this from one of Morgan Donner’s tutorial videos.
This will allow me to roll up my sleeves when they start to bother me.
It’s a thing.
Of course, once the shirt was complete for about a month, it dawned on me that the ties were too short and a little too thick for tying off my sleeves. Finger loop braiding is limited in the length of cord you can produce because the tension relies pretty heavily on your arm span, but at about the same time as this revelation, Opus Elenae put out a video on lucet cording.
Did I forget that I own a lucet and, therefore, could readily produce any length of cord in any size thickness I want? Yes.
I still had about 98% of a 100g skein of undyed laceweight BFL wool yarn, which, if you know laceweight, is a lot of yardage
so, I started lucet cording that wool and ended up with a much better cording for my purposes. This cording is about 1.5xs the length of my original finger loop braided cord, and since it’s made of wool and not cotton, it’s more accurate to the early Medieval period in Europe.
The braies was a little more difficult to research. While this garment is common in illustrations from around this time, especially in scenes featuring manual labour, I did not find a lot of patterning or fit resources for this kind of garment in comparison to a shirt or tunic.
I ended up going with a construction method found on a reenactor’s blog and cobbled together my three main pieces from the same hemp fabric after cutting out the shirt. Like the shirt, my cut lines were made using the drawn thread method and I hand sewed this garment with waxed linen thread.
After my initial three pieces were seamed together, I did a fit test, which told me that the pieces were too short to reach the appropriate waist height and so wide, that there would be significant bulk when cinched with a drawstring. I removed about 4 inches of width from the side of each leg and added that width to the top of the braies to extend the height of the waistband.
The legs of this garment are now much more snug around my thighs, which was not my intention, but I don’t anticipate doing any strenuous leg movements in this costume, so this is good enough for now.
The waist ties are made using the five finger loop braiding technique from the previously mentioned Morgan Donner video and the ties at the end of the legs are lucet cord made with the same lace weight undyed BFL wool that was used in the shirt cording.
My hose for this costume, I’m sure, would throw the militant historical accuracy purists into a frothing rage, but I’m not a big YouTuber and I don’t anticipate too many of them stumbling across my Medieval wizard costume videos.
I’ve done some quick research since I last talked about my hose during my monthly craft room videos, and it appears that the earliest example of what can easily be recognized as knitting is from Egypt. The largest and clearest examples are some two color cotton socks done up in undyed yarn and indigo dyed yarn that are dated to somewhere between 1000 and 1200 AD. It appears that there have been some smaller samples that are older than that, but there looks like there’s some debate over whether those samples are knitting or nålbinding. It’s theorized that knitting came to Egypt via nomadic Arab traders and that the craft spread across North Africa, into Spain, and then on to the rest of Europe from there.
Based on our current historical records, 990 AD is a little early for knitted socks or hose to be present in the area of modern day Scotland, but I have three reasons as to why I’m knitting my hose instead of doing the more typical method of sewing them out of bias-cut fabric.
1. Wool, like any other natural fiber, is biodegradable. It’s entirely likely that the reason we don’t have more examples of knitting from history is simply that the materials have decomposed. That’s especially likely with things like footwear, which prior to modern day, would have been warn until they were literally falling apart.
2. I’m a knitter. This particular costume is an exercise in combining and refining a range of skills that I have been developing. There’s weaving, dyeing, sewing, drafting – and I’m sure other stuff that I’m just not recalling at this moment. It’s fitting for me to add knitting to the list to round out the different craft practices that are included in this project.
3. Salazar Slytherin is a wizard. Whose to say some magical crafts-person didn’t get to this garment technique before the 11th Century?
I’m knitting my hose out of a fingering weight Rambouillet yarn from Lana Plantae that’s dyed naturally with cochineal to achieve a grey color. I’m using US 1 – 2.25 mm double pointed needles and I’m using a free pattern by Anna Johanna called “Surpise Stripes”, a pattern for thigh-high stockinette socks, to reference for the leg increases along the very long length of these hose. They are knit from the toe up and will have afterthought heels from Susan B. Anderson’s “Smooth Operator Socks” pattern because they fit my foot well.
While I definitely still have some antique knitting research to do, I doubt these methods are specifically historically accurate, but I’m aiming more for practicality with these hose than I am accuracy. I’m much more likely to wear long wool socks than I am to wear woven fabric hose at this point in my venture into historical costuming.
When I created my crafting goals for 2020, my Salazar Slytherin costume list didn’t look like much. Yet, even with the unexpected extra free time due to global pandemic effects, I didn’t quite cross everything off my list.
I haven’t finished sampling, and this video isn’t going out until January when I finish off the sewing and cording for the braies.
But that’s okay. I knew at the start that this project was going to take me a long time. I’m doing much of it by hand, from scratch. I need to take breaks, for both my hands and my brain. And, like everyone else, I’m trying to find ways to get through this period of global trauma. I came pretty far in this project and I’m proud of that.
2021 will have a different list of priorities. I will have to make some concrete decisions regarding some of the accessories. And once my 24” rigid heddle loom is free and I have the warp yarns dyed, I’ll be starting the most visible and complicated garment of this costume.
I’m excited about it. And I hope some of you will stick with me while I continue this historical costuming experiment.
If you want to keep up with this thing that I’m doing, consider hitting that Subscribe button below. If you feel like commenting, let me know what big projects are on your To Do lists right now. Share this video, if you want. You’ve all heard this YouTuber script before.
So that’s gonna do it for me. I’ll see you later.