Today is All Saint’s Day. In honor of this day, Ruthie, was assigned a very special project. She had to choose a Saint, create a poster, and come up with an outfit which would help her represent that Saint. Later today, she and her class will have a short presentation to share what they learned.
Ruthie, choose, Saint Joan of Arc, for her Saint project. As, Ruthie, prepared her poster, I learned some interesting facts about her chosen Saint.
Saint Joan began receiving visions from St. Michael the Archangel, St. Margaret, and St. Catherine when she was 13. They carried with them a special message – She was to lead France to victory during the Hundred Years’ War and she had been chosen by God. The Saints continued to appear to her for the next three years.
At 16, Saint Joan led the French army to numerous victories while holding a banner with the names “Jesus” and “Mary” on it. Eventually, she was captured and sold to the English. Sadly, after an unfair trail, she was burned at the stake. Saint Joan was 19 at the time of her death. She is now the patroness of France and of soldiers.
There is certainly plenty of wonderful information on Saint Joan, but now I had to create an outfit that would represent her. Hmm. I sent a message to my sister-in-law. I thought she had a shield that we could borrow. As it turns out, she didn’t, but she had a great idea. Apparently, my niece had been Saint Joan of Arc previously. She had used cardboard covered with aluminum foil to make a shield. Now this was brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that?
Ok, so now I know how to make a shield, but I needed an outfit for Ruthie. I looked at several pictures of Saint Joan and in almost all of them she was in a full suit of armor. That wasn’t happening. Not only did that sound impossible to make, Ruthie’s outfit had to be simple to put on.
I was fresh out of ideas, so I headed to our computer for some inspiration. I came across a version that I thought might actually work. It appeared to be a homemade smock. There were no instructions, however, so I made my own version.
I started with half a yard of red fabric. We chose red, because in several of the pictures, Saint Joan, was depicted with red accents in addition to her armor.
With the fabric folded in half, I cut out a “U” shape for the head hole. I would recommend cutting the hole small to start with as you can always trim away more of the fabric. I, however, didn’t do this and cut the hole a little larger than necessary. Oops.
I don’t sew, nor do I pretend to. However, the more I moved the fabric, the more it began to fray. No problem. I have been down this road before. Stitch witchery to the rescue!
With the stitch witchery placed near the edge of the fabric, I folded the fabric over, and ironed it in place. While stitch witchery was the perfect solution for the sides of the smock, it wouldn’t work for the head hole. Instead, I used a piece of felt that I already had. First, I cut it into the same shape as the head hole, but about an inch larger all the way around. This will create a border once in place. I then cut the center of the felt out to make it easier to work with. Then I cut the corners of the felt.
This part doesn’t have to look pretty or be perfect as no one will see it. This is the underside of the garment. I started in a corner and hot glued the felt into place. When I was done, it looked like this.
While the inside of the smock is far from perfect, once I turned it back over, it looked like this. Now it just needed to be hot glued into place. We thought the smock needed a little something more. So with some clearance ribbon that I already had, and the leftover felt, we created a cross which we hot glued into place.
If you use a ribbon that is silky or has gold accents, do NOT use stitch witchery. While that stuff is amazing, the heat of the iron will melt the ribbon. Don’t ask me how I know this, just know I simply recommend testing it on a scrap piece if unsure.
As luck would have it, we had just enough ribbon to run along the bottom of edge of the smock. The only thing I purchased for this project was $1.50 worth of fabric. The rest of the outfit was created with items that I already had.
The end result was our one of kind, homemade smock.
While my sister-in-law gave me a wonderful idea for a shield, she also inspired the idea for Ruthie’s sword. Somehow a foam sword didn’t seem appropriate. But a foam sword wrapped in aluminium foil? Perfect!
And with all of that, may I present to you,
Saint Joan of Arc.
Charge ahead, Girl!
Only At My House,