Monday, March 3, 2014

Viking apron for Herrin Ellina by Lady Mylla

Viking apron and matching bag, displayed over Ellina's orange Viking dress.

Mylla writes:

An apron for a norse or rus outfit, handsewn in wool with linen thread from 900-1000 AD.

Description of the item

An apron for a Rus och Norse outfit from the Viking era, to be worn over the apron dress, from the brooches. Inspired by the aprons at the Ladoga museum (pictures 1 and 2) and Mistress Katheryn’s new Viking outfit (picture 3, with permission).

Description of the materials used

Since this item is a gift as a part of the first Drachenwald Arts & sciences exchange it had to cost less than €25. This meant going through my stash of fabric since the posament wire isn’t cheap.

I chose to make it in wool, the blue thicker wool was bought at IKEA years ago, and probably contains quite a lot polyester, but it is fluffy and warm. The red wooltwill is, probably, pure wool, also bought ages ago for a project no one has yet begun. It’s a dream to work with though.

It it’s all handsewn with waxed, unbleached linen thread, the bees wax from a fellow SCAdian.

The posaments I chose to make in the beginners tin wire thread (tin spun around a fabric core), since that is easier to work with than pure metal wire. I also spoke to lady Erid (Sofia Holmer) about where to begin since she is the posament goddess.

Description of the manufacturing process

First of all I had to decide the size of the apron. Since I don’t have a viking outfit myself (I do mostly late period), I asked around and had some of my friends to measure theirs (thanks Vicomtess Niamh and Mistress Katheryn) and measured myself to, thinking I might be similar in size to my recipient (I had her sizes in an e-mail). I then calculated the average, added a few centimers for seam allowance and decided the lentgh by measuring on me, adding extra seam allowance if the recipient wants to make it longer.

Then I felled it all around, using a simple whipstitch, folding it only once since the blue fabric is so thick. I chose the whipstitch since I know that my injured hand can take that, and it let me sew more at a time than using other stitches. The red stripes was then sewn on top, placing them in a way the felt ”right”. They were sewn on using a simple up and down stitch, I had problems with getting it as even as I would like, mostly since I was out of practice. While sewing I waxed the linen thread with beeswax to make it easier to work with.

The posaments I ended up with are a very simple braid, due to the fact that this was harder than I thought it would be. Since there is only finds from Birka, grave 520, I let my imagination and well, lack of skills, control what I ended up with, a simple carrick bend band for the lower part, and a four thread braid for the upper part (that one was my first attempt ever to work with this material, and Im pretty pleased with it even if there are a few mistakes).


If I make an apron for myself I will do the posaments in pure metal wire, after I have practiced a lot. I also need to sew more by hand to heighten my skills, but it is hard since my hand has to rest a lot even after very few stitches.


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