December 2017 – July 2018
A Viking outfit has been on my “to make” list since Aaron started wearing his hair longer. With a recently finished medieval shirt, I had the first part of the ensemble complete. The shirt, or undertunic, is worn as the bottom layer. You can read more about it on the Medieval Linens project page. Over that are trousers and a tunic. Both are loosely patterned after the garments from Skjoldehamn. My fabric stash yielded a length of 5.3oz pumpkin linen from Fabrics-Store. I ordered 4.3oz sandlewood color linen for the pants, from Gray Lines Linen.
For Aaron’s tunic pattern I left out the center front and center back skirt gores. That was just more skirt than necessary for this simple outfit. It still has all the other features: underarm gussets, tapered sleeves, side skirt gores. Medieval Tailor’s Assistant was once again an excellent reference for all things tunic. The neckline is faced with a bias strip of leftover orange chambray. A small center front slit at the neckline closes with a brooch. Initially I tried to make the sleeves extra long, as one sees in the artwork. But if the hand fits through the sleeve-end, then the sleeves fall over the hand. But the bunching didn’t sit right even when I tightened the wrist. I gave up and hemmed the sleeves to knuckle length (a suggestion from the Regia Anglorum site).
Four full sewing days of trying to pattern period Viking trousers, without success, ended in the purchase of New Look pattern #6876: elastic-waist scrubs. I slightly modified the back pant pattern, and used it for both front and back pieces. Several muslins later, with a drawstring closure at the waist, I figured that would be that. Basic, though still plausible pants. The pants came out too small. Back to Viking trousers research! Adding in a panel through the center of the pants, like the Skjoldehamn or Thorsberg trousers, would solve my problem. To simplify the sewing I intended to cut it as a single trapezoid piece. My scraps weren’t big enough. I was actually forced to cut the crotch panel with that horizontal seam across the butt. Ironically this resulted in a rather Vikingish pattern for the pants after all.
The seams on the tunic are finished with hand overcast stitching. It’s bulky linen and I wanted to keep the seams flexible. The pants are flat-felled. The visible stitching on all of the tunic is handsewn.
The belt is from Fettered Cock Pewters, the Yorvic buckle and strap end set. A small copper penannular brooch closes the tunic’s neckline (Losthelm Industries on Etsy). And a Hedeby wooden bag handle from ChampagneFaire on Etsy, really is the perfect Viking accessory. The bag was made up in a scrap of linen/cotton and decorated with a few Viking stitches in DMC embroidery floss.
This winter’s rainfall has the Oakland hills looking their greenest. Terrific for a photo shoot. It even started raining just as we were finishing up.