Category Archives: viking garb

Another photo of the viking outfit

This time with me in it:
I was wearing the dress (as seen on the last post) to my usual dance meeting. The weather was really nice and I was waiting with some other dancers outside, where we took the photos. Normally I wear my hair in a ponytail, but on the photo I just undid my hairtie and was “fluffing up” my hair with my hands.

Also seen on the photo: green socks in the same color as the dress (not planned, but a nice coincidence) and my shoes which are more appropriate for 13th century.

The dress has the right length for dancing, it’s nearly floor length, but in the front my shoes are peeking out. The only problem is that on the sides (where it’s longest) it trails a little bit on the floor, just enough to be able to step on it.


Viking dress somehow completed

Viking dress somehow completed

I think I told you that I wanted to sew a green dress to wear with the orange viking overdress. This dress finally got finished this year in May. Here’s a photo of the green dress together with the orange overdress, lying on the floor. The sleeve on top of the photo is cropped, because I wanted to cut away some other stuff that sneaked into the picture.
At the moment there are no pearls or other adornments on the dress. I took off the string with beads when I had to redo the exact length of the shoulder straps and I will only add it again if/when I have something better than what I showed you in a earlier post.

More viking progress

As I told you here before I wanted to sew a viking style overdress out of orange linen. The dress is still not completely finished, but wearable. On the photo I have a blue (cotton) dress underneath, that’s how I wore it the first time after it was finished. I also have a tablet woven belt (blue wool) that I forgot to add into the picture.


All to-do tasks from the last post is done, all seams are sewn and neated, the hem is done, the shoulder straps are completed. When I tried it on after all seams were sown, it fitted nearly perfect, I only had to change the seam in the middle of the back a bit to adjust to my hollow back.

Here’s the list of what’s left to do on this dress and the whole viking outfit. I probably won’t do that before christmas, and certainly will only blog about that next year.

To do for the orange dress:

  • replace the trim at the upper end of the dress, it’s probably synthetic stuff and I want (one day…) to have a tablet woven trim (woven by me ideally)
  • shorten the shoulder straps a bit more, they are still quite long and therefore the top edge of the dress is lower than it should be
  • maybe do something else with the straps, they were sliding off my shoulders quite often, but that could be because they are a bit too long at the moment.
  • replace the brooches, these brooches look nice but are probably a modern design borrowing from viking designs. If I still like the dress when I have more money, I will want to buy myself some replica brooches.
  • replace the belt buckle, at the moment it’s a key ring attached to one end of the belt.

To do for the whole outfit:

  • sew the dress out of olive green linen (see first “Viking progress” post)
  • probably embroider that dress (I like embroidery and I think it suits a viking outfit)
  • collect more beads for the necklace-thingy that hangs supported from the brooches. At the moment I have one glass bead, one metal bead and one bead where I’m not sure if it’s glass or ceramics. The rest of the beads are wooden beads from a “make your own necklace” kit for kids. And I need a different string to thread them onto.
  • probably something else, but I can’t remember it at the moment.

Here’s a close up picture showing the brooches, trim and beads better. My camera made a moire on the orange fabric, don’t know why it did that.


Viking in progress

I don’t know if I told you before but I’m planning a viking outfit for myself since last summer/fall. This spring I got some wonderful linen fabric at the Stoffmarkt, I got about 3 meters of olive green and about 3 meters of a rusty dark orange.

picture of the linen fabrics for my viking dress Here’s a picture of the two fabrics.
The olive green will be (in the future) a new dress, the orange linen will be (very soon) the overdress or “apron dress”.

Last saturday I met with a friend for pattern creation for the overdress, and we both got out patterns done. Saturday evening I spent in front of the TV, ironing 3 meters of linen and trying to get all wrinkles out. I didn’t succeed and will probably iron the finished dress again, with much steam then.
Then I cut out the parts I need for the dress and packed everything up.

Last Sunday I met with my friends and one of them had wool yarn (pure lambswool) from Renaissance Dyeing dyed with madder. That yarn has exactly the same color as my orange fabric, and we were excited to see that. She gave me that yarn as a gift, because she had it lying around for some time and it is strong enough and thin enough to use it as a sewing thread.

Current progress: half of the seams between the panels of the dress are done. I still need the other half, then fitting the dress on my body, then hemming and serging all seams. I won’t look at all that’s to do, just at the next seam, then it seems easier doable 😉

I’m glad that I have a dress to wear beneath it already.

What I did this summer

I did some scrolls that I haven’t shown here, need to get the pictures on my computer (they are distributed among my smartphone and my digital camera) edit them a bit and then find out how to upload them here. They are in different styles: of course there is carolingian miniscule, but there’s also a renaissance style: White Vine illumination with a humanist hand (that developed out of carolingian miniscule). I’m currently trying to learn the insular script used for the Book of Kells, because I’m a fan of it, I have a pdf of it and I have the request for a calligraphed proverb that would fit that style.

I made my daughter (in kindergarden age) her first garb. She saw me last winter trying on a dress-in-progress and said “aww, you’re wearing a princess dress”. I asked her if she wants her own princess dress and she agreed and chose pink as the desired color. So this summer I made her a simple tunic (should be suitable for anything pre 1300) out of pink linen. She wears if over her normal clothes as the outer layer and loves it. She also had a belt with it, but we lost that very quickly so I have to get/make her a new one (but that can wait until next spring).

This fall I went to a “Stoffmarkt”, a huge market selling fabric, sometimes much cheaper than in online shops or “real” fabric stores. A few years ago you got most things there cheaper than you would get them anywhere else, nowadays many prices have risen to a level that you can get in an online shop without much problems, but you still can make a bargain sometimes.
I got Loden (fulled wool) there for 18 Euros/meter (1,5 meters width) which would be a rather low price for a normal piece of wool fabric, and is really cheap for rather thick fulled wool. The disadvantages are: it’s stretchy in one direction so probably knitted and then fulled and it’s rather scratchy, I wouldn’t want to wear it directly on my skin. But it has a color that’s very close to the “Aubergine” or “Dunkelrot” (somewhere in between) on (this is a link to a color chart of a webshop that sells natural dyed wool). I bought enough of it for a cloak for me and probably my daughter. And the original plan of the cloak was to line it with something that’s nicer to touch.
I also bought some dark blue linen fabric, to make a new tunic for my husband’s viking garb. He’s constantly complaining that his tunic out of light wool is too warm for him in summer. And he promised me that he would wear his garb if I made him a linen tunic. So next summer we can go together as a garbed family to the medieval markets. 🙂

Most of my shire went to the Crown Tourney this fall, because it’s in a neighbouring shire (and some other reasons…). It was my first crown tourney and my daughter’s first event. She was really exhausted in the evening because of sooo many new and interesting things and running around and so on… but she had fun at the event and had fun wearing her “princess dress”. (one day I’ll tell her about princesses in the SCA but for now she’s too young and playing a princess or a knight is the most interesting part of medieval stuff for her). I also enjoyed the event, even though it was a bit stressful and we had to leave in mid-feast due to totally exhausted and overloaded (with new impressions) kid.
And: I got my Award of Arms! Yay! It was a wonderful ceremony and the scroll I got looks so beautiful. I still get a warm feeling thinking about that moment. A few days before the event I was sitting down, writing an AoA scroll for another member of my shire, now knowing she was doing the same for me. I thought that it would be cool but dismissed the thought as unrealistic again. I was really surprised when I got called up at court (and really nervous too of course).

Viking garb finished

I finally got around to finishing the trousers for my husband’s viking garb and making photos of both.
As I explained in the “Viking garb part two” entry the lower leg part was too narrow and I substituted it with a drawstring casing at the end of the wide part of the trousers.

Here are the photos:

I am really pleased with the tunic, and it looks good on him.
The tunic is machine sewn, but the trims are sewn on by hand.

I’m not so pleased with the trousers. They are completely machine sewn and the cord in the casing (at the waist and the end of the legs) is some strange modern braid, but that’s rarely seen.
These are no problems to me, just info for you.
My problem with the trousers is that they are about 10 cm too long, but to alter that I would have to unsew 1,2 meters of waistband, cut off the uppermost 10 cm of the trousers and then fold the trousers so that they fit to the waistband again. The trousers are 3 meters wide, and it took me several tries and much time to get the folds right so that they are even along the waistband. I’ll have to see how the trousers look on my husband in this length before I decide if I do that last change or if they fit well enough already.

Viking garb part two

I got the tunic finished in time to wear it at the party. It’s made of blue wool, with trims made from dark blue (nearly black) wool. The dark blue wool is rather scratchy, but it’s only on the outside so he didn’t object. The tunic fits him perfectly.

When I saw that the tunic fits him so well with the measurements form the magazine I was happy and grabbed another issue of the same magazine, featuring instructions how to do wide pants for vikings. I should have known that he has problems finding trousers that fit him really well, but I didn’t think about that and went on sewing without checking the measurements first. The fabric of the trousers is unbleached linen (the online shop I got it from calls the colour “natural”), it’s also sewn with the sewing machine.
When he wore the trousers the first time, I immediately got reminded of his problems with modern trousers. The upper part of the trousers (supposed to end just below the knee) ended at mid-calf,a nd the lower part (a narrow tube around the calfs) was too tight to get up all the way to the knee.
The quick and dirty solution was to shorten the narrow tube so that it’s only on the lower calf (where it wasn’t too narrow) and let him go that way. I think nobody noticed it anyway. 🙂

Later this spring I tried to fix the trousers the right way. I took the rest of the linen fabric and cut two new narrow tubes for his calfs. Even though he tried them on before I sew them on the fabric he still complained that the finished trousers are a bit too tight to be comfortable.
I gave up on the lower leg parts after that. I don’t have enough fabric to try wider tubes and the instructions say that you can also make knee-length trousers with the same pattern, just sew a tunnel at the end of the wide trousers instead of narrow tubes that should fit around the calfs. If I remember right, the knee length trousers are better documented than the full length trousers.
When I find time (and motivation) I will alter his trousers so that they are knee-length and he can close them with a cord below the knee.

I didn’t do photos of his garb or even him in garb, but I will post photos once the trousers are finished.

Viking garb part one

My husband and I are invited to a birthday party with a medieval theme at the end of March. I told him that I could do a viking outfit for him and he agreed.

Today I cut the tunic for him out of the blue wool fabric I have left from my sideless surcot (see previous post).
I showed him a piece of the fabric and he was happy with it, he didn’t believe at first that it is wool, because it is a fine fabric and not scratchy at all.

Tomorrow I will set up the sewing machine and will sew it together, hoping that it will fit him (it should but I haven’t sewn for him before).