Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The Vikings are coming!

So, most of my sewing for the last month has been Viking related. I've been making kit for a group of us who are playing 10th century Norse (though it's not strictly historically accurate, think SCA). The basics are really easy - tunics are square, sleeves don't have to be set in, no buttons or zips, but there is a lot of hand sewing to finish the clothes off.
I've been having fun with it, as we're a wealthy group so can afford nice bright colours and silk. I've tried to keep the clothes practical and accurate whilst making sure our status is obvious.
Dark blue wool tunic with red silk trim

Red herringbone wool with blue silk trim, sadly the braiding on the cuffs and hem is machine woven but I couldn't find any tablet weaving in time.
My outfit, which I posted about here. I've added beads, a 'toilet set', Thor's hammer and a cloak with a fur collar. The belt is a touch fantasy but I needed something sturdy to hang my knife from!

Tom at the event as we got ready to go up to the village

Some of our group ready to leave the 'plastic camp'
The event itself was amazing. The village was full of wooden buildings in period styles (we spent most of our time in the large longhall sitting round the fire pit!) and there were traders there selling suitable goods like horn drinking cups and musical instruments. There was a real blacksmith working his forge and the kids in costume running around while other people roasted a pig or looked at the birds of prey made it feel very real indeed.

I ran a hat for Tom up the evening before we went and got so many compliments about it I thought I'd try out some more styles. My group seems quite keen to have some of these so I'm considering trying a couple on ebay and seeing if they sell well! The wool is just offcuts I have laying around and there's so little there, plus in such small pieces it's really easy to make then from scraps. The fur came from a bag full of vintage coats and stoles etc which are a bit grubby or ripped and can't really be worn whole any more. They were cheap as they're not that useful to most people, but I'm able to rescue strips and patch holes to make them very useful. It makes me feel better about using real fur and it does look very good!

Rus inspired pointy hat with tails, this is based on helmets from the time
Beanie style hat in blue wool with a fut trim
Another beanie style hat - the most common style from what I can work out, with some woolen embroidery around the edge.
I still have several tunics and a couple of pairs of trousers to make, so watch this space for more Viking related fun!


  1. Oh my, they're fab costumes! I am in love with your cloak, I'm sure no one in Wales would bat an eyelid if I walked down the street wearing one of those, what do you think? I'm vastly envious you get to strut around wearing awesome things like this, do you have any more pictures of the event itself?

  2. Wow, your outfit is amazing and I love that belt. I think you're right about using vintage fur, its still recycling after all.

  3. Ah this is so cool, love all the fur and fanciness, great sewing :)

  4. Awesome! I love going to the Viking fair in York and drooling over the lovely things! X

  5. AMAZING! I am loving this sooooo much!