Monthly Archives: September 2011

Underdress Pattern

In order to determine the fabric widths/yardages I’ll need to weave, I’m making mock ups of the garments.  From this point on I’ll only be able to make minor modifications to the patterns, so long as they don’t require extra fabric.

As I said in a previous post, I’m finding this part of the research process quite challenging.  Coming from a late period perspective, where there are numerous mostly complete extant pieces to draw details from, reading about the tiny pieces of extant textiles and the academic conjecture behind them is an interesting change of pace.

My plan was to focus on excavations at Haithabu, and to a lesser extent Birka, both written about extensively by Inga Hägg.  Unfortunately, these articles are not written in English and can be difficult to find (even if I could read them).  Conveniently, much more talented people have gone before me and paved the way. Hilde Thunem has posted some fantastic articles on the finds/interpretations so far, including quotes from many of the articles in question.

My plan was to do a simple semi-fitted gored dress, possibly pulling in information from Else Ostergaard’s Woven Into the Earth (13th-15th c. garments from Herjolfsnes, Greenland).  The following quote (taken from here), leads me to believe I’m not far off:

Hedebydräkten, såväl den manliga som den kvinnliga, är produkter av avancerad tilskärarkonst, som för länge sedan lämnat de “primära klädformernas” stadium. Snittmönstren är nära besläktade med den hög- och senmedeltida dräktens snittmönster, sådan det är känt framför allt genom fynden från Herjolfsnes.
Inga Hägg: Die Textilfunde aus dem Hafen von Haithabu, p 212

(Translated via Google Translate):
Hedeby costume, both male and female, are products of advanced tilskärarkonst, who long ago left the “primary clothing form the” stage. Cut patterns are closely related to the high and late medieval suit cut patterns, such is known primarily by findings from Herjolfsnes.

And here is my mock-up…

Norse Underdress

Underdress muslin

The finished pattern will require 3.5 yards at 44″ wide, or 7 yards at 22″ wide.  Since narrower widths work better for me (fewer heddles to thread, plus more selvedge to take advantage of) I will go with the latter.

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Fian Preparation

Now that my coronation garb is finished, I can focus on preparing for my fian challenge.

I don’t want to start the fian until I have all the string I need to start weaving, because if that gets delayed I’ve shot myself in the foot before I’ve even begun.  I know the fian is very good about granting extensions when it makes sense, but I’d rather start off clean.  The rest of the supplies I won’t need for a while, and are less integral to the project.

So, my to do list looks like this:

  • Decide on a pattern and sew mockups to determine yardage needed
  • Weave wool samples to confirm the string I intend to use will work for the task
  • Weave linen samples to confirm the string I intend to use will work for the task
  • Order yarn
  • Submit proposal

The wool samples I can weave on my current loom, once the current project is finished.  The linen will have to wait until I get the new loom, which should be here sometime in mid-to-late October.

I’m really excited about this project.  I’m already finding it challenging, and I haven’t even officially ‘started’ yet.

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Learning to quilt

Most of the fabric has arrived for what will be my very first quilt.  I will be using this pattern, in similar colours.

This will, of course, be taking a back burner to fian prep.


Quilt Pattern

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Coronation Garb Picture

My coronation garb was finished in time to wear at coronation.  I’m really pleased with it.


Black, White and Red Elizabethan

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New Loom – Ordered!

It’s a Glimåkra Standard Vertical Countermarche, 12 shaft/treadle, 59″ width.


Photo from GAV Glimakra:

It should be arriving some time in October.

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Jacket Progress

The jacket is mostly constructed.  I love the ties, but the silk is too delicate.  I will need to replace it with something stronger eventually.

Jacket in progress

Just needs sleeves

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