Spanish Frock Workshop

What: An intensive workshop on Early 16th century Spanish gowns.

When: 13th and 14th of June 2015. 10am- 4pm both days.

Where: University of Canberra, Rooms TBA


  • Steward: Ginevra Lucia Di Namoraza ( Carina)
  • Deputy Steward: Helayne Quynteyn (Kylee)
  • Webmistress: Eyfura ( Elonwy)
  • Teachers: Mistress Constanzia will consult us via the facebook group whilst five fantastic laurels are travelling to help us with correct patterning. Details TBA
  • And you!


  • $5 for members
  • $10 for non-members
  • Money will go towards printing, tea and coffee as well as incidentals. Money left over will go in a workshop fund.


The goal: The aim of this workshop is to increase your skills and knowledge of Spanish dresses, with the goal to encourage and support beginner and intermediate sewers to pattern and construct an early 16th century Spanish dress and chemise ( Optional). Depending on sewing expertise, some may go away with a full dress and chemise, whilst others will have most of a bodice down, ready to finish at home. Sewers will be paired up to help each other pattern and we will have teachers checking on progression and helping as needed.

If you are an independent sewer attending our workshop for motivation and inspiration, you will be encouraged to work on your gown as you see fit and supported as much as is possible around that. Any support you can offer to your less experienced sewing friends will be appreciated!

What you need to do:

  1. Register your interest at ASAP. This will enable us to:
  1. book an appropriate room
  1. help us when doing our optional, potentially discounted group order (boning, fastenings, interlining, striped white fabric etc.)
  1. allows us time to speak with other teachers, so we can set an appropriate class size.
  1. Look out for your booking email – once we have confirmed availability of teachers, we will open the bookings. You will receive an email to say that you are being offered a place, or are on the waiting list. You will have 3 days to respond before your place is offered to the next participant on the waiting list.
  1. Once your booking is confirmed, fees will need to be paid in cash or via direct debit.
  1. Beginners are highly encouraged to pick from a couple of simple dresses on the Facebook page. This will help us to help you construct a gown by the end of the workshop.

When booking, please send us the following:

  • Name and SCA name, as well as membership details.
  • Sewing experience – please indicate whether you are:
  •  a (mostly) independent sewer who is just coming along for some advice and motivation, and/or some help in one particular area (e.g. patterning)
  • a pretty okay sewer, but need a bit of help along the way. I can do the following things:
  • Patterning:
  • Constructing experience:
  • Use of sewing machine:
  • Use of overlocker:
  •  a complete newbie, but you’re super excited to learn!
  • A picture or drawing of the dress you want to make, or confirm satisfaction with our beginner option. This information is helpful for us in organising the teachers, space and workshop.
  • If you need billeting.
  • If you are happy to billet.
  • If you wish to participate in a group order, and what you wish to buy
  • Any needs you may have.
  • If you have any sewing machines/overlockers you are willing to share with other participants

What you need to bring:

  • Pre washed fabric for dress and chemise
  • Preferably pre ironed the aforementioned fabric
  • Material: 5-6m of natural fabrics (Thin wool, thick silk, medium to heavy linen, brocades. Brocade, silk and velvet will result in a more formal gown, linens will be a more casual gown/suitable for warmer weather)
  • Material: 2-3m of white/white with black lines (Again natural fibres such as linen are best)
  • Material: 1-2 m of lining for bodice and sleeves.
  • Lining for skirt as well as bodice may be need for thinner materials – if in doubt, ask!
  • Sewing threads to match fabric of dress and chemise
  • Material for the guards/trim ( black bands on dress and sleeves) if you choose them (black velvet bias binding, velvet trim, etc)
  • Boning
  • Interlining
  • Lucetting cord/ribbon
  • Fastenings
  • Pins
  • Tailors chalk
  • Measuring tape
  • Bring a plate to share for lunch, or bring your own if you have dietary requirements.
  • Bring personal plate, cup and utensils
  • If you have a sewing machine or overlocker, please bring it with you.

Important dates:

  • Bookings open on the 27th of April and the 15th of May is close of Bookings.
  • The workshop is held on the 13th and 14th of June

Additional information:

  • Resources and references will be available on the day.
  • A guide and reference will be emailed out to all participants, and printed copies will be available on the day.
  • Spanish dresses will be available to look at.
  • There is a Facebook group, ( please join for support and communication.
  • Remember to bring water and snacks!
  • This is an intensive workshop designed to get you a mostly wearable dress in two days (some hemming or finishing etc at home may be required). You will need to bring all your focus and energy…and perhaps consider leaving your children at home 😉
  • First day is patterning and constructing of the gown, second day is finishing the gown and constructing a chemise. For early finishers accessory options may be available, otherwise we are sure beginners would appreciate the help.
  • An accessories class featuring headgear, jewellery, etc will be held at the Politarchopolis A&S Collegium in August.


Rachel Vess's photo.
"Constanzia's Coronation dress II.<br />
Issues with the dress.<br />
1. Bodice is actually too big by about 2 cms in the centre front (pattern copy error).<br />
2. The bodice needs a slight peak at the front to assist with the split at the centre front.<br />
4. Angle of shoulders needs to be more at 90 degrees<br />
5. Bell shape is not quite big enough<br />
4. Didn't bother splitting the sleeves half way down."

Facebook page is here:

Please book here:!rego/c1l1j



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Valentines – pension call

It is a tradition in the Barony of Politarchopolis that we remember those have done service on our Guard. In recognition of their support, anyone who has served as Guard or Sergeant is granted a Pension in perpetuity.

The Pension, as specified in the Book of Ceremonies, is a donation of alms, once yearly, to any Pensioner who will present themselves at our court on the Feast of St Valentine.

Although the Feast this year is to be celebrated somewhat later than usual, we encourage all our brave Pensioners to attend if they may, and receive at our hands their due.

guy suit valentines

By baroness | Baron and Baroness, Events | Tagged: , , , , | Link

Send us your words

Greetings, Politarchopolans,

With Quarter Day (Fields of Gold) rapidly approaching, this is a reminder that although our spies are everywhere, we still rejoice to hear from our populace.  If you feel that any member of our Barony, or any visitor from afar, is deserving of reward,  let it be speedily known.

Recommendations are best in writing. Email addresses for us and for the Crown are below.

Many thanks to those who have recently sent words speaking kindly of those around them; we are keeping a list…

Joan, Baroness.

By baroness | Baron and Baroness, Events | Tagged: , , , , | Link

Baronial Archery Champion

The new Baronial Archery Champion is Wintherus Alban. Huzzah!

Woe to any who would attack our walls, for they shall not advance within bow shot for the hail of arrows that will be.

Our thanks to Lord Sigmund for his year’s exemplary service.

We congratulate all those who participated in this years’ championship. It has been a lot of fun.

We had 20 archers in the field round of the championship today, and a number of observers. The picnic lunch was ample and scrumptious, and we were blessed with gorgeous weather and magnificent views.

There were six fabulous entries in the A&S competition, ranging from the practical to the delicious. There was poetry, there were bunnies, there were cupcakes, as well as a masterfully decorated bow rack and a token effort by the incumbent champion.

Lady Avril of Ambledune won the A&S with her perpetual banner, featuring archery motifs and space to record the personal colours of each of our champions past and present.

As Baron and Baroness, we were proud to witness the prowess of our archers, to see their creativity and to enjoy the hospitality of their table. It was also lovely to have other members of the populace turn out to enjoy the day with us. Thank you, and we hope to see you all again very soon.

Joan, Baroness.

token court more entries bow rack picknicking picnicking crowd and the banner on display second field target baron success baron shoots Lauren squires shooting Dam shoot more preparation getting ready archery banner - aeveril


By baroness | Arts & Sciences, Baron and Baroness, Events | Link

Royal Etiquette 101

This is a very limited guide, which I wrote a few years ago. It has been requested that it be published again, and that does seem a good idea.  There is much more which could be said, but if you are looking for a basic plan for how to behave at fancy events, this will do.  Hope it is helpful to someone!


Considering the Royal Visit coming up VERY soon, here are a few words on SCA etiquette…

In the SCA, we have various levels of hierarchy, from Kings, nobles and merchants, right down to those who portray themselves as peasants. We all play at being medieval, and knowing how to behave in a medieval setting is part of that.

Deference towards one’s social superiors was basic to medieval culture. It was very important to understand your place in the hierarchy, and your place was confirmed by the way people behaved towards you. There were many rules and customs about the way people should speak and move in each other’s presence. In essence, it comes down to this – you served those more important than yourself, and expected service from those less important.

The peasant served the lord served the knight served the earl served the duke served the king. There was no shame in serving those higher up than yourself; in fact, it was an honour, and the road to honours.

Nowadays we all feel far more equal to each other, and there is much less formality in our dealings with other people. To recreate medieval life, we have to adjust our modern mindset. We don’t expect everyone to behave perfectly. Just do your best to know the guidelines and observe them as much as you can.

In the SCA, we show respect to the holders of various positions. Some of these have obvious medieval status, such as Baronesses or Kings. Other positions are administrative, such as Seneschals and Reeves. All the people filling these positions are working very hard to make the game better for all of us, and they deserve our respect. However, the ceremonial ranks get extra deference at events, because that enhances the game for everyone.

If you met a real live king, would you jostle him out of the way to get at the food? Certainly not! That would just be rude.

As a newcomer to the SCA, it can be hard to know what is expected, especially if you haven’t been to ‘important’ events before, where formal courts are happening and everyone is on their best behaviour. So, for those who may be a little unsure, here are some basic notes on SCA etiquette…

The King and Queen are top of the heap (followed by the Crown Prince and Princess if they have been chosen). Under them come the landed Barons and Baronesses – that’s Joan and Crispin for Politarchopolis. There are some other levels, but they are much less of an issue.

The King and Queen are addressed as “Your Majesty”, the B&B as “Your Excellency”. Everyone else can generally be addressed as “my Lord” or “my Lady”, and you won’t go too far wrong.

There are conventions about how people behave around the ‘Pointy Hats’ – that’s anyone with a crown or coronet (coronets are like crowns, but less so). Whenever you pass near these people, you should bow or curtsey. When you approach them (or they approach you), curtsey again before conversation begins.

Anywhere there is an official spot set up for the Pointy Hats, bow when you pass it. Even if no one is there! This includes their dinner table – if you are passing within about ten feet of it, bow to the pointy hatted ones. Even if no one is sitting there, bow just the same. (If they are there, be extra polite!) The same goes for thrones, indoors and outdoors.

Remember that Pointy Hats have a lot of work to do at an event – they’re not just standing about looking pretty and receiving curtseys! They have to attend meetings, arrange courts, deal with all kinds of problems while you are having fun. And look good at the same time. And keep their tempers. So…

If Pointy Hats are talking to someone, don’t interrupt – it’s quite likely they are having a vital meeting. Wait and see if it’s okay for you to join the conversation. Pointy Hats usually have various people looking after them at an event – guards, ladies in waiting, chamberlains, pages. If you want to ask something, hand something over, or just socialize, try approaching one of their attendants. The attendants may be able to solve your problem, and will have some idea whether the Pointy Hats have time to talk to you just then.

Give the Pointy Hats precedence – this means they get first go at the food (they probably have people to arrange this). They also go through doors ahead of ordinary folk, and are seated first. It is polite to wait for permission before seating yourself in their presence. It is okay to ask for that permission.

Give them some privacy – if there is a room or a tent set up for their use, keep out unless you are asked in. Find somewhere else to dump your gear. If you are invited in, don’t overstay your welcome. They may need to chat privately with somebody, or just get away from everyone for a short time.

During court, or at the beginning of a meal, everyone will stand until the Pointy Hats are in place. As they pass through the hall, everyone bows. After the Pointy Hats are seated, the populace will be told they can also sit. Likewise at the end of the meal or court, everyone should stand (and bow) while the bigwigs leave the area. During the event, there should be lots of bowing and scraping every time anyone goes near a Pointy Hat – or near their thrones.

It’s not so hard really. Just take note of anyone with a crown or coronet, remember to bow any time you are near them, and give them some space to do their jobs.

In service,

Joan Sutton


By baroness | Baron and Baroness, Events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Link

Midwinter taxes

Greetings, Politarchopolis!

As Midwinter approaches, the Barony is preparing to play host to the Crown and Kingdom. It is customary to offer taxes to the Royals on such occasions, and in true feudal style, we would like to collect these taxes from among our populace. :)

If you are relatively new to the Society, ‘taxes’ usually take the form of small gifts which the Crown can re-gift at their pleasure. They should be easy to store and transport – not too heavy, not too bulky, not too fragile, non-perishable. They can be any small medieval thing you have made or purchased.

These items need not cost much, but they should be worthwhile gifts. Think about what you would like to receive, if the King or Queen were to give you a thanks token.

Suitable choices include: small items of jewellery, cords (at least 90 cm long, in all colours), lengths of lace or braid, pouches, buckles, calligraphy tools, small books, beads, trinket boxes…there are lots of ideas.

Taxes should be given direct to your Baron and Baroness – if you wish to contribute but don’t see us regularly, message us and something can be arranged.

We have a few weeks before Midwinter, so we look forward to seeing plenty of tax revenue between now and then!

Joan and Crispin. 

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Notes from the Rapier Championship

On Saturday last (May 24) we were entertained by a rapier tournament, during which we chose Don François Henri Guyon to replace Lord Clement as our Rapier Champion for the next year.

We were joined by Their Highnesses Elizabeth and Cornelius, as well as a goodly number of our populace, and several newcomers. Several people did a wonderful job talking to passers-by about what we were up to in the park, which is much to be commended.

Two courts were held during the afternoon. New Officers were publicly announced, being Lord Gabriel van Dorne (Hospitaller, with thanks to Countess Liadan who preceded him), Lady Iseldis (Chirurgeon) and Lord Fionghuine (Lists).

Sophia van Dorne was thanked for her exemplary service as A&S Officer, and Lady Anne de Tournais was announced as Acting in this position, as Sophia’s replacement is not currently able to take up the office.

The Baroness and sundry others jumped merrily into a Leaf Pile which appeared on the tourney field.

Mistress Isobel retired from the Baronial Retinue.

Baroness Alesia also retired, being replaced by Sir Ysambart Courtin as Sergeant of our Guard.

Jack Argent and Saffiya swore homage and became members of the retinue. Saffiya has the title of Cup-bearer, while Jack is Lord-in-Waiting.

Lord Ben the Undecided received a Burly Griffin for service, and Lord Owen of Torlyon received one for his prowess on the fencing field.

Lord Lorccan Ruadh was the victor of the tournament, following two rounds of tie-breaking melee between the four top contenders.

The day was fine and the company excellent. The gingerbread was also excellent. We thank Lord Clement as steward of the event, and all those who helped him make the afternoon so enjoyable. We look forward to seeing everyone next time!

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Rapier Championship

Greetings unto the populace

Come this Saturday 24th of May to join with their Excellencies, the Baron and Baroness of Politarchopolis for a Quarter Court and Picnic in the park as they choose their next Rapier Champion. There will a Tournament for all of those who wish to display their skill at arms.

The event will open at 12:00 noon and the Tournament will start at 1:30.

…Admission is $5 for members $10 for non members, no booking is required.

Location: Nara Park, Flynn Parade, behind the Hyatt

Contact Clement on if you have any queries.

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Day at the National Multicultural Festival 2014

It’s the day when Canberra comes out to play so we thought we’d join in!  It’s always great to get out to promote the game we love even it was a little bit warm!

Wendy Weber National Multicultural Festival Canberr 2014 - Martin Ollman

Photo by Martin Ollman

Wendy Weber National Multicultural Festival Canberr 2014 2 - Martin Ollman

Photo by Martin Ollman


Photo by Sam Bianchini


Photo by nanningbear


Slurpies keep the modern knight cool (photo by Sam Bianchini)

By politnews | Events | Link

Long Live Crispin & Joan, Newest Baron & Baroness of Politarchopolis!

This weekend Their Majesties, Niall and Liadan took the fealty oaths of Crispin and Joan, investing them as Baron and Baroness of Politachopolis upon the Fields of Gold!

Crispin and Joan swearing fealty

By politnews | Baron and Baroness, Events | Tagged: | Link