Fashions for the Well-Dressed Reenactor

Steve Tarter of the Peoria, Illinois Journal Star "went medieval" when he visted with Valerie Lilley of Sofi's Stitches to discuss the meaning of "dressing for success" medieval style.

'"We look to break the US$1 million mark in sales this year," she said of the company started almost 10 years ago when Lilley bought an armload of fabric and made a dozen outfits that sold quickly at an event hosted by the Society for Creative Anachronism, a group that celebrates living in pre-17th century Europe.'

Medieval clothing sells not

It is amazing to see the level of stupidity of todays journalism. If the writer had made only a shade of research of the topic he was writing about, he would have been way ahead of of Valerie Lilley. She sells costumes that have in fabric and style nothing to do with the middle ages. If you just have a look at the numerous medieval paintings that found their way in the late 40s to the US you can easily demask her. Medievel clothing is not. What it is, is remotely Renaissance, as the name "Renaissance Fair" would imply. And it is a modern world adaption of it. It it not handsewn, it is not linen or wool, it is not in medieval style, and it is not in medieval cut. It is as medieval as French fries are french. My respects to Ms Lilley, she does a good job selling dreams and fantasies, but she should refrain from sailing under a false flag. If you have problems with verifying what I wrote I would emphasise on contacting your A&S person; oh, wait no, just use a local library, visit a museum or contact the next university that offers a history degree. Otherwise just ask me. Have nice day Tassilo

Sofi's Stitches Authenticity

Yes, Tassilo, I don’t grow cotton to spin into thread to weave into fabric to color using berry dye to use needle and thread to sew the garment that will be trimmed with hand embroidery. I strive to be as authentic as is possible and practical for today’s wearer. As I learned from the two SCA Laurels whom I apprenticed under, I use primary documentation. This business is my life and I set very high standards for quality and authenticity. I meticulously research each garment using historical sources such as period paintings, sculptures, and illuminated texts. I study the techniques that were used 500 years ago to make garments that are housed in museums today. I even supplement my research with information from archeological digs. My printed catalogue lists much of the documentation. I will be happy to send you one (866) My-Sofis, or you can find out right now on our website, kindly,

Valerie Lilley
CEO, Sofi's Stitches Inc.

Please Read the Article Never Said Authentic

After seeing your comment? I really felt the need to reply.

This is an article to promote small businesses in Peoria. As such it was mostly concerned with how Ms. Lilley began her business and how she is doing within it. This was addressed as she will hopefully hit her $1 Million Dollar in Sales this year mark. Quite the accomplishment for a Clothing line.

Ms. Lilley never in any way stated her desings were completely authentic. She never said her line is made from Linen or Wool or gasp! Hand sewn She did say she sold out her first year doing this at an SCA event....hmmm I guess people were not too choosey then.

In the article she was quoted to say "It's the allure of fantasy and romance. It gets bigger each year," So Ms. Lilley clearly states in fact? That her designs are for fun. She does again remark that while wedding gowns of that era were not white she is catering to her audience and she makes White Wedding Gowns.

She is not flying any flag of authenticiy, she did not claim to raise the darn flag she did not even try to sew one up on her GASP sewing machine. She is making a living at catering to people who go to faire. She is employing people to help her make her goals and achieve.

So what is wrong with her?

You infer that she must be authentic? How many other Faire Businesses are such?