Welcome to New Moon Morris. This page includes information about your kit.
New Moon Ribbon Sticks
You have been given a pair of blank sticks with screw eyes in the ends. They have been given two coats of wood primer/undercoat; you now need to paint them.
Decorating your sticks is up to you. Anything below in italic is what has worked well for me, but it is a personal matter, and you are free to decorate them in any way that you wish – usually in a colour that tones with your kit. Some people have chosen to have their sticks in different colours.
I use Gold Acrylic spray paint (Gold is the brand, not the colour), which comes in a variety of colours. Unfortunately, the craft shop in Berkhamsted which used to stock this has now closed, and you may have to look further afield. There are, of course, lots of other types of spray acrylics and enamels, including metallic paints. It is a satin finish and dries quickly. It is easy to renew few years, and it doesn’t crack in the same way as gloss paint – as we occasionally knock ribbon sticks together in the dances. It also takes Sharpie pens (including metallic colours) well.
Now you need to add your ribbons – usually in colours toning with your kit. You may choose to have different colours of ribbons on each end of your sticks, or on each stick. Once again this is your choice.
At first I used very narrow ribbons, but have just changed to 1 cm. In the past people have tied individual ribbons to the screw eyes – this often results in the ribbons becoming detached while dancing. I buy 3 metres of each ribbon, then divide them equally into 4 pieces (75 cm each). It may be worth sealing the end of each ribbon with a flame (be careful!) – as we have had people unravelling during a dance in the past – sometimes many metres caught around other dancers.
I then lay out the ribbons next to each other, loop them in half, then push the loop through the screw eye – after which I pull the rest of the ribbon through the loop, pull to tighten. That’s it.
Obviously, you may wish to add further decoration to your sticks. I use metallic Sharpies, others have used glitter, and sealed that with varnish. It’s up to you.
You will also have been given a ‘long stick’. This is used for some of our dances. It is helpful if you use a Sharpie to add your initials to the end of the stick – that way we can get your stick back to you if you leave it somewhere.
You need to bring your ribbon sticks, your long sticks, and your hankies to any practices and events.
We use hankies for one Cotswolds dance at the moment (Black Joke), but we are likely to add others, and you may want to join in with Cotswolds dances at Ales (a gathering of Morris sides to dance, eat and drink). All our hankies are different, usually toning, or contrasting with our kit.
You can choose to have crepe backed satin (the same fabric as used for the skirts), or a batik fabric. Batik is easier to hem. Batik is the same on both sides, most printed fabrics have one side much fainter than the other. The Squire usually has spare hankies, but you need to choose some fabric of your own to have made into hankies. Divide the width of the fabric by two – that is how much you length of fabric youneed to buy – as each hankie is square.
New Moon Morris Kit – Skirts
All NMM members may choose to wear any of the following as part of their kit: a skirt in a different colour to other current members (made to a standard pattern); black trousers; black leggings; black kilt. You will pay the costs of any fabric, but the kit will belong to you once it has been made. If you wish to wear a kilt, then the cost of the kilt is down to you, we are not equipped to manufacture individually fitted kilts (sorry!).
We aim to be colourful, so we have the rule that the shade of skirt is different to any other current members.
You will need to choose a crepe-backed-satin because we use the crepe side of the fabric, which gives a matte/satin finish. For most members we need 2 metres of fabric. Speak to the Squire or whoever is currently the dressmaker/tailor about sourcing fabric.
We will need to take your measurements and the skirt will be made to a standard pattern to fit you.
Many members choose to wear a toning, or contrasting, petticoat under their skirt. This is an option. You are responsible for sourcing, or making, your own petticoat.
If you have dressmaking skills, then you are doubly welcome!
New Moon Morris Waistcoats
Each NMM waistcoat is individually made to a standard pattern, so we will need to take your measurements. You will be asked to pay for the cost of materials, including embroidery files, but once the waistcoat is finished, then it will belong to you.
You will have chosen a colour for your kit, in discussion with the Squire and dressmaker/tailor. Your waistcoat will have a patchwork front made of complementary or toning colours – discuss this with whoever is currently dressmaker/tailor to the side. The side has a collection of pieces of fabric for making patchwork – ask to see these to give us an idea of what range of tones to use.
Using the same collection of fabrics means that there is a link through all the waistcoats that have been made – thus linking the members together. You may also be able to add fabrics that have special meaning for you. It would be great if you are able to add to the side’s collection of patchwork pieces, thus linking you to future members.
The patchwork pieces are ironed onto a backing. If you are able to take this on that would be helpful and would also mean that you are more involved in making your own kit. Once this has been done, they are zigzag stitched together.
You will also need to choose an animal to be embroidered onto the pockets of your waistcoat. This is done with an embroidery sewing machine. You will pay the cost of the embroidery file – many are free. The animal is generally different to any other members’ animals, although is special circumstances two members have had the same animal, but different embroidery patterns – speak to the Squire and dressmaker/tailor. The embroidery file should be a PES file, and generally no more than 3 inches in each dimension to fit onto the pocket. Speak to the dressmaker/tailor who will download the file on your behalf.
Finally, all these elements are made into your finished garment.
Once again, if you are able to take on any of the sewing/tailoring then let us know.