Intermediate · Modern Recreationist · Modern Recreationist Intermediate

Birna Isleifsdottir

Location: Barony of Castlemere, Trimaris

Category/Level: Modern Recreationist/Intermediate

About Birna: I’ve been in the SCA for about 40 years. Own and operate an agro educational Icelandic farm in north east florida where we teach leather, wood, metal, and fiber arts. I have until now sewn by machine but have started sewing by hand; pretty ugly still. I have never embroidered. The garb design and initial construction should not be a problem. I have never made shoes before so that will be challenging. Also the trim; although I make the looms and teach the craft, takes many hours to get that much for hems and other pieces so that will be time consuming. I think the hardest for me will be the embroidery since I want to be very elaborate with Norse knot work and other designs in multi colors. This will be directly related to my persona and will be used when I compete at local, kingdom, and IKAC events.

Her Project: This is an archery outfit of my own thoughts. There will be a hood, shooting cap, dress, and apron. There will be hand woven trim; by me, on all the pieces and the dress, hopefully, will have embroidery around the hems and sleeves. I am doing this in a Norse style, early period. I also plan to make a pair of shoes in the Jorvik style and pour a pair of broaches at my forge. Although this is not fashion related I am also tooling a new leather quiver and making a set of period arrows. I am a mid 11th century Icelandic woman who was raised by my father to do everything the men do as well as what the women did around the farm. I fight, loose, do metal and wood, leather, cook, and run our farm.

The Complete Garment

Birna’s final thoughts on her C3 experience: i am very pleased with most of what I did. I wish I was better at embroidery at the beginning of this. I have had some very good practice over these past four months and I feel I have progressed. The dress I’m working on now for my wife; not in the challenge is way better than the dress I made for the challenge.

Layer 1

This layer is a Norse dress for someone in the tenth to eleventh century. I am Icelandic but it could be any of the Norse countries. The dress is part of an ensemble for a female Norse archer. The material is a camouflage pattern to blend into the woods of the landscape. The embroidery is hand stitched and the trim is hand woven on a loom that I built. This is the main layer of the ensemble. The next layer will be the pants and apron. After that will be the boots, hood, cap, and then final layer will be the weapons.

Layer 2

the pants are norse draw string pants. The apron is a strap apron with broaches.

Made my pants and apron from matching material. pants are lined with flannel for comfort and warmth. apron is double sided with the material for stability and strength. X stitched every seam on both pieces with embroidery floss. Embroidered six designs on the apron. made the trim for the straps on the viking flat braid loom that I made.

Layer 3

Early Icelandic woman’s archer garb. boots and cap. part of my entire ensemble.

Layer 4

This is a female archery garb for 11th century icelandic or scandinavian. it went as planned. Most was done by hand and although some was done by modern conveyance such as a gas forge it was substituted for an period method. This is all my work.

Layer 4+

this layer is all the bits and pieces that go with the garb. The two knives, the pouch, and the belt. All hand tooled and hand made.

Bonus Points

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