"A Needle Pulling Thread - Favors"

By Baroness Brianna Je Nell Aislynn of Blue Shadows

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The following directions are for a simple favor. To use either the chart for the Serpent and Trident (the Baronial Badge) or the Caidan Cross (the Kingdom Badge), work the design on blue cloth using 10 count waste canvas. The finished design measures approximately 3.25" wide by 2.5" tall.

To make a favor, start with a piece of blue cloth measuring 6" wide by 26" long. Using a 4"x4" piece, baste the waste canvas approximately 2" above one end of the cloth. Center the design on the waste canvas, with the trident pointing toward the length if using the baronial badge. Embroider the design. Remove the waste canvas (if used). With the right side to itself, fold the fabric lengthwise and sew along the long edges, leaving the end open. Use 1/2" seam allowances. Turn right side out. Turn in 1/2" seam allowance on bottom and whipstitch closed. Turn other end (the one with the fold) down approximately 3" or 4", whip stitch down. This will form a belt loop for wearing the favor. Finish lower edge with fringe, if desired.

Most favors have the embellishment applied before construction. The type of embellishment is dependent on the skill of the maker and the reason for the favor. Spending months on embroidering a favor that a fighter will wear into battle could be somewhat disheartening if you don't realize it is likely to be beaten up and torn. I have found it simpler to create two, one for fighting and one for court. The court favor generally has a great deal of handwork (stitching, beading, lace, etc.) and the field favor is generally the same design, but painted. This is not to discourage fancywork on field favors, just be sure that having your work battle scarred won't bother you.

Another simple method of constructing a favor:

Using a piece of paper that is larger than the finished size of the favor, draw the finished size and shape of the favor. Add a seam allowance of 1/2". Draw a rectangle 1/2 of the width of the favor by twice the width of the belt the favor will hang from, plus 1/2" and add seam allowance. This is the pattern for the belt loops. Draw around the outside edge of the pattern onto the fabric for the favor. Embellish. Cut out the favor. Cut out a backing to match. Cut two belt loops. Press under 1/2" on the top edges of the favor and backing. With right sides together, sew the backing to the favor front, leaving the top open. Turn right side out. Fold the belt loops and sew the long edges together. Turn inside out and press. Fold belt loops in two and insert the raw edges into the top of the favor, spacing as desired (I like mine at the edges). Machine or hand sew the top of the favor closed. Add fringe or tassels to the edges if desired.

For small children, the favor can be made with a household device on the front, backed with a light colored cloth. Use an indelible maker to write the parents' name, household, kingdom, barony, subgroup, etc. on the back. This is very useful to the constabulary if they have to find the parents of a small child. Unlike a wristband, most kids won't take the favor off, because it's just like the one Mom or Dad wears.

Copyright 1998 by Je Nell Hays

Permission to reprint this article for use in the Society for Creative Aanachronism is granted so long as the complete article is printed with proper attribution to the author using both her modern name and SCA equivalent. Please notify the author if this article is included in any SCA publication or used as reference material in a class.

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