Last weekend I had the pleasure of doing a Viking-age Scandinavian fiber arts demo at California Lutheran University’s Scanfest– a festival of as you would probably guess, is comprised of all things from the lands of the midnight sun (and Denmark, too!).
I went with my dear friends Robert and Cat, where I spent both days doing viking six-stranded braiding and some spinning on a drop spindle. For dressing for the event itself, I found myself in a quandary; years ago I had constructed an outfit for a Viking-themed wedding for two of my dearest friends, Christine and Steve. Being now of the age of 30, I have noticed the interesting phenomenon of clothing magically shrinking in my closet as the years have progressed– and especially now, since I have entered graduate school and have spent long nights being comforted by pizza and ramen noodles. Beyond the original outfit just not quite fitting right, I had adorned the yoke of the tunic with fantastical embroidery– and while it was fantastic embroidery, it had firmly established itself in the realm of fantasy viking land:
This year, I didn’t want to wear my ratty shrunken apron dress with fantasy hare motifs, I wanted to give a more realistic interpretation of a 10th century woman of the Viking era. There is very little evidence as to what actually was worn in the viking period due to limited extant garments. I based my design after some evidence in the Hedeby find, as well as the evidence presented in Hilde Thunem’s lengthy research. While the base construction is machine-sewn, I am currently in the process of hand-finishing or covering each seam with hand embroidery. As a busy student who also works, I managed to assemble my outfit in a total of 20 hours split over two days.
In a post to come, I will enumerate and reveal my documentation for making the new apron dress and tunic. But for now, I will post some photos of the event itself:
Well, that just about concludes this post! More to come on the garment construction itself with better quality photos.