Shieldmaiden March!

First of all, I’m totally blown away by the comments on my post about how many blogs you read! It’s so interesting so see how we differ. I’m still working through trying to reply to everyone, but in the meantime, here’s a post I rafted earlier!😉

And now for something completely different: 

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My first historical costume! 

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For Sheildmaiden March, I made up this Viking-style apron. This is my first ever project with wool, which means it also fulfills one of my New Years resolutions!

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I was a bit intimidated by sewing with wool, so I just plunge right in with scissors – no pattern, just a few measurements and some eyeballing the angles. The wool came from my stash, and I didn’t have much, so I didn’t have the option of doing anything too historically accurate! 

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Lucky for me, I was able to hide a lot of my terrible seams with the handmade trim that I won from Solvi at Delfinelise. I handstiched it all on so that I can take it off if I need to wash the dress or I want to make something else with it! I also saved a piece to show my elementary classes when they are learning about textiles or VIkings. Nothing beats show and tell!

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I couldn’t figure out how to replicate ornate broaches, so I stuck with simple metal buttons. The beads are from the dollar store – but I as really pleased to get handmade beads which are within the realm of historically accurate! 

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Even though my outfit isn’t very accurate, I wanted to be able to layer to at least make it more convincing! I dug out the rectangular knitted shawl that i’m holding (and wearing in the very first picture). I knit it before I got carpal tunnel from knitting, so it must be at least 7 or 8 years ago now… and for all that time it has sat unblocked and unworn! I’m glad it finally had a day in the sun!

Oh, and the underdress? That’s part of my mom’s costume from when we used to have a medieval festival in our small town! Early 90’s, I’d say? Lucky for me she did a lovely job sewing it, AND it’s shaped like a tent!

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Here I am at school wearing the dress, about to go teach kids about medieval England… and you can see the full wimple, which I’m using as a Viking headscarf in some of the pics. (Someday soon, I’ll be teaching in Greek and Egyptian clothes too… ‘cause who doesn’t love a bit of teacher-in-role?)

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There we have it! My least practical make ever, but at least I’m ready for Halloween. Thanks so much to Solvi for the trim – I don’t think I would have finished this project if I didn’t have that extra motivation and detail!

Now the obvious question to end this post with would be “Have you ever sewn costumes?”… but I’m going to go on a tangent here! 

Instead, I’ll admit that I’m completely addicted to watching BBC history documentaries on Youtube, and the Vikings have a particular fascination. I even wrote a post over on the Sewcialist blog linking to a few of my favourites. I don’t know what it is about Viking documentaries that so enthralls me – maybe it dispelling old stereotypes, or the fact that Viking history is such a big (yet rarely mentioned) influence on British history, and therefore my family history… or hell, maybe I just like the shiny gold and exciting sagas! 

So here’s my question for you: 

What topics (outside sewing) do you find particularly fascinating? Are you a space geek or makeup fanatic or World War II buff? Could you watch cooking shows for hours, or are you excited about, I don’t know, fencing? Come on, ‘fess up: What interests might we not know about? 


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