Saturday, April 14, 2012

Norse Project is ongoing!

I began a project in 2011 that I called “The Year of Living Norse”.  My goal was to spend the  year completing an authentic (as possible) Norse era outfit and accessories.

I am continuing to finish elements of my project so check through the old posts from time to time and see if and what I added.
Thanks for your interest!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Well...after all it is April Fool's Day...???

Made myself at loose ends so am updating Facebook and this blog...why? 
'Cause I can I suspect!

I see I have a few more pictures I need to take and add to the progress report.
Doesn't this look inviting?
My basket of lucets and yarn for cording.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Barony of Sentinels' Keep Arts and Sciences 2012

Well, thanks to the ACC, I had a pretty complete set of entries and documentation to enter in our Spring Arts and Sciences competition.

And I am now standing as the new Baronial
Champion...(in my Purple 'Year of Living Norse' outfit)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ok...back to my original plan!

Details, details, details...
BSK's Spring A&S competition is one week from today and I just completed a list of all the little finishing things I need to do...HA!
I have been organizing my entries and figuring out how to display them...
I have also been planning recipes for my potluck dishes and just scored a pork roast for $1.49 a lb.  Now I have to find out if it is ok to use cooking wine or if I need to get 'real' wine for the broth?   (Have I mentioned that I am SO not a cook?) *Update: I scorched the millet pottage but I rocked the pork roast! 

I am still debating about what I will wear.  I am entering the Challenge outfit but the Purple 'Year of Living Norse' was to be a display only.  Then I thought I could wear it as a movable display....ooooorrrrrr I could wear something 'old' <yawn> during the day and then put on one of the outfits for dinner and court...hmmmmmm??? *Update: I wore the purple and green all day.

Bad backdrop for the green apron...need to get a better view???
Purple and blue apron panels laying at event.

BSK Spring Arts and Sciences Competition 2012

Jan 2012
When I decided to do the garb competition , I had already started my 'Year of Living Norse' project for BSK's Spring A&S competition.  However, there were a couple of things with the original project (too early start time, not completely authenticated period fabric choices, etc.) that made me decide to start from scratch for the ACC.

So now, I am returning to the original plans and getting back to business.  By March I should have two complete sets of garb to wear/display/compete with...yay!

Here it is...

I have been a member of SCA since 2005 and have been trying to learn as much as I can about period clothing and garb construction. I won our Barony’s annual Arts and Sciences competition and will spend my year as champion encouraging other members in their projects and competitions. I have been Baronial Scribal officer, MoAS, and have participated in demos and have taught some classes in scribal and textile arts.

I began a project after competing in the Kingdom Arts and Sciences competition in May that I am calling “The Year of Living Norse”. My goal is to spend this year completing an authentic (as possible) Norse era outfit and accessories.
  • Layer 1 Under dress (slip/chemise) White handkerchief linen
    • Completed 
  • Layer 2 Hand Dyed Silk Tunic and Apron Dress (Wool and Linen)
    • Silk Tunic
      • Need to finish neck binding and press
      • Need to felt nalbinded trim to add to neck area
    • Linen Apron dress
      • Completed
  • Layer 3 Caftan or Semicircle cape Linen or Wool
    • Wool caftan cut out and in process
      • Decorative stitches on all seam work
      • Trim
        • Card woven
    • Plans for linen caftan
  • Layer 4 Decorative Apron Panel
    • Panel in process of decoration
      • Finishing embellishments
        • Card weaving trim
  • Accessories 
    • Leather shoes and pouch (not at this time)
    • Nalbinding Socks and trims
      • Socks need heel only
    • Woven trims/belt
    • Jewelry/embellishments
      • Jewelry is done...of course!!!

Photos of my original sketches (the colors are not quite right)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Congratulations to All !!!

I am awed and inspired by the talents of all who competed and I wish I could have been there to see your work in all deserved standing ovations!

I also wish to give a standing ovation to HE Bianca for implementing this project and then single handedly helping each one of us get through it.  From reading all the blogs, her support, encouragement, and sometimes drying of tears is woven throughout the whole competition and is a huge inspiration to me in how our game is played!
Now on to the next project/s, eh?

And the results:

Greetings to all who wear garb in the great Kingdom of Artemisia.
At Uprising, I issued a Laurel's Challenge to all Artemisia. The Challenge was to create a complete outfit with accessories for under $100. Participants shared their monthly progress online, and were given the opportunity to display their pieces at Gryphon's Lair Investiture.
Fifty-Five people entered, and nineteen were able to complete the challenge. Please view the entrants information from this URL:

I would like to share the results of this challenge:
Best in Show: THL Allegreta
Best in Show Online: Lady Vigdis
King's Choice: THL Helchen the Rogue
Queen's Choice: THL Allegretza
Kingdom Champion Choice - Duchess Caryn's recognition for embroidery work: THL Allegretza
Mistress Giliana (by proxy) recognition for casting: Dame Varia
Mistress Rebecca & Mistress Giliana (by proxy) recognized all who completed the challenge

Best Novice: Lady Jane
Best Novice Online: Lady Engiline

Best Period Construction: THL Helchen the Rogue (another novice seamstress!)
Best Period Design: Lady Vigdis
Best Documentation: Lady Praksdesys

Great ambition was required to enter the challenge. Perseverance, dedication and commitment helped these artists create fabulous works of art. Tremendous creativity was demonstrated - who would have guessed that cooking or horticulture was part of garb-making? These clever artists showed us how. I am greatly honored that so many people took up this challenge, and that so many people have been inspired to do more to complete their wardrobe.

Thank you to everyone who entered, to everyone who helped with the process, to everyone who recognized these talented artists, to THL Jean-Richard for making the Best in Show medallion, to those who helped rank the entrants, and to my husband for tolerating my insanity in issuing such a challenge.

In Service,
Bianca da Ravenna, OL

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Final Entry in the Artemisian Costume Challenge

I have been updating pictures and trying to add my documentation information to this blog.  Things are not organized in a logical order but in the order of how I added them to the blog as the project progressed.  When I added information it was to the orginal posted message so some of the updates overlap???

I have to add some more photos (as soon as I fugured out where they are saved) and I realized I have not added my Resources...which I will do today.

They may be additional explanations in my photo album on my Facebook page...
SCA page for Vigdis of the Keep

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Documentation-Linen Over Tunic

April 2, Update
Trying to get a better photo of the reconstructed over tunic...

Mar 3, Update
I have the tunic ready except the final seams of the bottom side gores...but I do not have pictures of it yet.  I plan to finish by tomorrow!!!
Here is a picture of how I cut the arm curve to add the sleeves...

A completed sleeve

Feb 11, Update
I have gotten the side gores ready to add back to the main tunic and the sleeves are ready too.  I still need to cut some more off the upper area of the tunic and make curved arm holes to set the sleeve into...
The 'New' sleeves...since they now lay closer to the body and are farther up on my flabby upper arms...I needed to add some width and a little length.  I haven't sewn the under seam from gusset to wrist yet..waiting to see how it looks after attached to the tunic. I slid this piece onto the arm of the under tunic and the gusset angle fits just right...yippeee!

I added strips I have cut from the main body piece to the main part of the sleeve and then to get the extra width to the upper arm, I used part of the upper side gores to make underarm gussets. I am feeling very period in my remodeling efforts...waste not, want not?  I am so liking the color of this tunic so I do not mind going to all this trouble to make it fit will be worth it!!

Feb 4, 2012 Update
Well, the farthest I have gotten is to cut the tunic apart...
Tunic body after both side pieces with sleeves cut off.
Sleeves (will probably need an underarm gusset added?)
 Lower side gores...these will be added back to tunic.
Upper side gores...these are scrapped.

This layer is also called the over-dress or over-tunic.  It is considered the outer layer of the basic garb and was made of linen or wool. (I imagine that depended on the time of year it was to be worn.)  This layer was meant to be seen and admired so the fabric is generally a finer weave and embellished and decorated more than the under garment.  Linen could not be dyed in too many colors and the natural colors that came from different processing are tans, grays, and off-whites.  Wool however came in the natural animal shades but could be bleached and dyed in a variety of brighter colors.  The dyes of the time were from plant materials and insects in some cases.   And fabric could be over-dyed to get different color combinations.  This garment was probably still made from woven fabric even though some of the wool finds have been fulled /felted and could have been made directly from fleece.  It is unsure whether the materials were felted on purpose or if it happened during the years of exposure to the elements and/or during wear.  Remnants found attached to metal pins show very distinctive threads, colors, and weaving patterns.  There are also remnants of decorative elements such as silk fabrics and embroidery stitching.  The decorative trims that have survived have metallic threads and wires woven into them.  That does not mean that all embellishment was ‘shiny’ but the metal threads preserved the fabric they are connected to, the same as the pins and other metallic elements found such as belts, pouches, etc. 
My recreation:
I have used a natural taupe colored linen with a finer thread count than the under smock.  I do not have the actually count as this fabric was in my stash and had been purchased awhile ago.  I used rectangular layouts for drafting my pattern pieces again but I did a different type of insert/gore under the arms that were like the cutting layout of the Birka coat/caftan.    I can’t remember why I decided this for sure except I was concerned if the gores were in the same place on both pieces, they would ‘glob’ up too much under the apron dress???  That theory did not work as the coat pattern was larger and that made this dress bulky under the tighter apron.  I may do some restructuring if I am to use this under an apron dress or just plan to wear it as a belted overtunic.  The taupe color is not particularly exciting but I like the natural look and I enjoy the combination created between the colors of the other pieces of clothing in my entry.  I did need to embellish a little more to step up the impress quotient of this garment.  I decided to do card weaving for trim but unfortunately I was not able to complete it at this time.  I feel it will spice up the neck area and the sleeve hem area nicely.  I also received a commercial made trim for a gift that goes with this tunic very nicely but did not go with the colors of the rest of the pieces.  However I may chose to use that trim and go a different direction with this tunic now that the challenge is over.

My pattern...
I have sewn the tunic by hand except the first stage of the flat felled seams I did on the machine to speed up the process.  I used linen thread to sew and silk and wool threads to embellish the seams, hems and facing. I have used decorative seam treatments both for support and to check the fraying and for esthetic purposes. 
I chose a slit neckline and a simple placket facing that can be embellish if I do not use the card woven trim.  I rolled and overcast stitch the neckline and that can also be embellish more if I do not use the card woven trim.  The neck slit can be closed with a decorative pin or left open if desired.