About Æsa: I’ve been in the SCA for about 13 years. While I love sewing, I also enjoy playing with other skills like archery, knife and axe throwing, fiber arts, basket weaving, herbalism, soap making, pottery and brewing/cooking. I love acquiring skills that a Viking wife would have used in her everyday life. While the sewing aspects of the garments will not be difficult, historical clothing can sometimes present challenges as I am paralyzed. I often have to strike a balance between something that looks as correct as possible while also being comfortable, allowing for medical restrictions and not hindering my wheelchair’s movement.
Her Project: I’m hoping to create an ensemble that would have been worn by the Norse wife of a fairly well-off land owner in 10th century Jorvik. The piece is not based on any single burial find, but takes inspiration from several. The plan is for wool stockings, a linen underdress, a woolen dress and apron with jewelry and a head covering. The goal is to spin and weave a component of the ensemble.
My Norse linen underdress went as planned, as I am very used to making this style of gown for myself. I hand sewed all the seams and tacked them down using a running stitch and matching threads. For my stockings, I struggled a little deciding what to make. Many of the current interpretations from archeological finds seem to have a seam running along the sole of the foot, which I was afraid would be very irritating as I have some nerve issues from the paralysis. I also knew that I wanted the stockings to end below the knee, as I didn’t want to have any fabric bunched behind the knee as my legs are always bent. In the end, I used a pattern that I had drafted about ten years ago from “The Medieval Tailor’s Assistant” as I knew that it was comfortable to wear. The stockings were made from brown wool flannel, hand sewn and the seams were tacked down using a running stitch in contrasting thread.
About Alanna: I’ve been in the SCA for 20 years, mostly doing service things. I also do equestrian, thrown weapons, and archery. Nearly all of my sewing up til now has been by machine in straight lines (this is why early period is great) but I’ve made a decent amount that way. I enjoy embroidery and I’m working on improving my tablet weaving. I say my persona is 12th c English but realistically I think it’s turning into Norse cause it seems easier to make the complete picture look accurate. I’m doing this because I want to have garb that is as accurate as possible to level up my participation and this seemed like a good reason. This will be my first hand sewn garb and my first time constructing most of these pieces accurately. I’m also learning nalbinding for this project as I have never tried it before.
Her Project: My goal is to create a migration era Norse ensemble from the skin out, entirely sewn by hand. It will include an under tunic, serk, smokkr, and nalbinding mittens and socks. Other accessories will be made by friends, or possibly added to by me if I have extra time. This will be based off of extant finds, contemporary writings that describe the outfits, and visual representations from the period, mostly as interpreted by people with better research skills than me. I think this outfit would be worn by a woman of high status to a situation where many important people would see it to show off her wealth. I’ve been wanting to up my garb accuracy for awhile, and this will be the first time I work on a complete outfit for that goal.
About Aoife: I attended my first event in October ’19. I only got to go to one more before Covid. Sewing is new and intimidating. I learned sewing, weaving, and embroidery just so I could fit in with you all. This project will hopefully be the fancy thing I can wear to court. It will not be easy. I’m already freaking out.
Her Project: I am new to the SCA and am making my kit myself because I can’t afford to buy clothes. I am aiming for pre-Norman Irish Celt because all my friends are Vikings. So, 10th-11th century? I’m not a fancy lady, but I do like to look nice. I’m making a pink underdress (I saw a picture of Mary wearing a pink leine once; Book of Kells, maybe) and a red leine with gold-colored trim out of linen. I will also make a red brat out of a cotton fleece I have, and I’ll try to embroider on it the fox that I hope will one day be on my device. I’ll likely weave some trim for some part of this. For the fourth item, maybe a copper cloak pin?
This is an underdress for this outfit, but I’ll be able to wear it on its own, too. I did underarm gussets, which didn’t turn out quite right, but I feel confident that I can do them better in the future. It’s pink linen, which matches my skin beautifully.
The overdress! It’s just like I had in my head! I had some trouble with the neckline, which was followed by a spectacular meltdown. Several people talked me through how to fix it, and now it’s so much prettier. I wove the trim from cotton thread on cardboard tablets I made. The dress is linen. I’d also like it noted that it didn’t fall apart in the washer.
This is my brat. I don’t know what the fabric is. It’s something Mom had on hand. I wish I’d had more fabric for this, because I feel that it’s a bit small. I did the embroidery on it, which didn’t turn out as pretty as I’d envisioned. But, I’m better at making uniform chain stitches now (though no better at turning corners). This is the layer I stabbed myself on!
I let my friend talk me into a kidney belt for my accessory layer. He helped me draft a pattern and told me how to do everything else, but I did all the work myself. This is veg-tanned cow hide. I used a gel antique for the color and designed the tooled pattern based on a coaster I saw online. I will probably make lucet cord lacing later.
About Bu: This is my 3rd year in the SCA. My persona is Tang Dynasty lady. My ADHD tends to see me wander all over the Dynasty in my studies though most of the outfits I’ve made have been inspired by early Tang paintings. Chose the non-historic option as high quality silk is outside of my price range. Also, we really don’t know how some of the items were made. Hoping to try to do more actual hand sewing this time instead of my usual reliance on my sewing machine.
Her Project: I want to make a Tang Dynasty style ruqin in the heraldic colors of my Barony. These are royal blue and black. Hoping this project will give me a new outfit to wear when serving their Excellencies in court.
About Claricia: I have been in the SCA for 10 years now. I enjoy sewing and increasingly prefer hand stitching. I have also done weaving, spinning, knitting and a little leatherwork in the past but not huge amounts of historic stuff. I do like to research and try to be accurate. I like working in different eras as this gives an understanding of the way clothes design developed. I am more inclined to make things for other people and just cobble together things for me. I want to use this challenge to give me a really nice set for me.
Her Project: At this point, I want to enter but I am unsure if I will do a new Viking era or expand into a different period. I will be working solely from my existing “stash” so will use the rest of the month to sort out my best option
About the Clowder: Our group is a mix of newcomers to our Barony and people who have been here for years. We decided as a group to do something for one of our newcomers who had very little in the way of garb. Our group name was chosen because we mostly agree that this is going to be like herding cats. 😉
Their Project: We will be constructing a Viking Era Norse woman’s outfit for one of BLT’s newcomers. We are going with a general Norse outfit based off of several extant finds. Details are still being hammered out.
Group Members: Elaisse de Garrigues, Randulf of Oakheart, Uhtred of Oakheart, and Wulfric of Shyreburne.
Location: Oakheart, Calontir
About Elaisse’s Brood: I have played in the SCA for about ten years (with a long break in the middle as I changed kingdoms), and I hope to use this challenge to draw my family more into my SCA life. The boys (13yo Wulfric and 10yo Randulf) enjoy youth combat, archery, and thrown weapons, as well as blacksmithing and making pottery. My husband, Uhtred, has only been to a handful of events, but has enjoyed Cut and Thrust fighting, brewing mead, and blacksmithing. I am primarily known as a musician and bard, but I am also an experienced costumer and I dabble in a wide variety of arts and sciences. I expect this project to challenge all of us in many ways as we delve into skills that are nearly or entirely new to us.
Their Project: Our goal is to produce items that will better enable our whole family to participate in future SCA events. We plan to create a set of four outfits reminiscent of what might have been worn by upper-class Anglo Saxons in the eleventh century that would be comfortable and practical at a typical SCA camping event. We have wide-ranging and ambitious ideas about various “accessories” that we might attempt. It will be exciting to see which ones we get to and what kind of progress we make. Possibilities include: tooled leather armguards for archery, quivers, arrows, belts, pouches, shoes, mead, cheese, butter, bread or other food, youth combat armor, feast gear, knives and sheaths, a crossbow, an Anglo-Saxon lyre, and an Anglo-Saxon geteld canvas tent. These are all projects that I have intended for us to tackle for some point, and if this challenge provides the impetus to get a few of them done, that will be quite a triumph!
About Embla: I’m a newcomer to the SCA, having decided to finally join this year. I’ve been sewing for as long as I can remember, and have been seeking to learn more about historical clothing construction methods in the past several years. I do a lot of different fiber-related crafts. I know how to knit, I’m getting the hang of nålbinding, I can spin wool into thread/yarn, I can weave on a rigid heddle, I’m learning how to do tablet weaving, and I know a little bit about millinery. I plan on using this project to get a better understanding of how to construct the more historically-based dress I’ll be making for my persona in the future, so I know how to properly fit it. I already know how to draft patterns, so this is going to be relatively easy, with the sewing part. The rest, not so much. Embroidery will be the next easiest thing, followed by knitting, then the parts that require weaving, and most difficult will be the Nålbinding pieces.
Their Project: I plan on making a modern-ish interpretation of a 9th – 10th century, middle class, Viking woman’s outfit. I plan on using more accessible fabrics (such as cotton/polycotton broadcloth for the underdress, and if I can find/afford it, a heavier cloth for the smokkr). I’m basing my outfit on the dress/tunic “pattern” on the clothing section of the Hurstwic website, as well as either a cloak or an overcoat, and accessories. I plan on doing a mix of machine and hand sewing, as well as weaving and nålbinding, as well as some embroidery, and possibly some knitting, if time allows.
About Flavia: I have been in the SCA for about 11 years. This is my first endeavor in making a complete outfit based on a historic piece. I’ve made bits and pieces before, but it all went with my old persona. I’ve changed personas since joining the SCA and I am now a Roman courtesan. This outfit ties into my persona perfectly. In the SCA I have done quite a bit of embroidery. I’ve also focused on teaching, but in recent years I’ve been away working on my mundane career. (Which is teaching.). I also have dabbled in the bardic arts, calligraphy & illumination, and the making of largesse.
Her Project: I am looking to create a Roman women’s outfit roughly around the eruption of Vesuvius. My inspiration are these statues at the Getty Villa (which are recasts of the originals that are in Naples.) plus a statue at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. I plan on hopefully including a strophium, peplos, tunica, and if I’m lucky and the metal gods are smiling upon me, handmade buttons! Oh, and a palla for good measure. I also plan in making a leather circlet similar to the ones(which may or may not have been leather…since it’s a statue we won’t ever know) on the statues.
About Giles: I have been in the SCA for 35 years and remain an ok at best tailor. I will be doing more hand sewing in this project than all the rest of my sewing combined. I have made costume from Ancient Greek to late Elizabethan, but never this time and place. I prefer to make clothes and not costume, and this project will push that to my limit. I am excited and anticipate some epic failure.
His Project: The outfit is inspired by the portrait of St Matthew in the Book of Kells. Suitable for my current rank as a landed Baron, Irish mens wear from about 800. This suit will be the basis for a capsule wardrobe to attend Lochac’s biggest event – the Rowany Festival. I will eventually need at least 5 days of clothing. I plan on constructing truis (pants), leine (shirt), ionar (jacket), and purchasing historically reasonable accesories. I have wanted to make this clothing for nearly 2 decades, and the “right time” has never come along. This is a moment I have to sieze. much of my guidance comes from this work – https://coblaith.net/EarlyGaelicDress/EarlyGaelicDress12bw.pdf