måndag 8 maj 2023

50 years ago is history - right?

One can argue about fifty years ago being historical, but it really is - trust me! I'm a historian. No matter how much I would prefer not to think of my childhood and youth as "long ago" and "history" it is.

While that may make me feel a bit uneasy, it is at least a justification for adding my latest project to thei blog. Because it is a costume from a movei that was made in 1973: The cult horror/musical classic "The Wicker Man"

I love the film, but that's not the main rason for making the costume: ever since the late 1980s I have been very fond of hippie clothing, and the last 15 years I have even developed a strong liking for more mainstream 1970s fashion; I guess teaching fashion history makes you appreciate most periods, for their own sake.

So this outfit worn by Britt Ekland as the character Willow, ticked all the boxes for me: hippie-ish, but most of all an example of the folkloristic traits in 1970s fashion, which came as a result of the hippie counterculture.

She is wearing a peasant blouse, a tired skirt made from green, red, blut, and a brownish purple fabric in the same flower print.

Details, showing more of the waistcoat.

When I first stated thikning about making this outfit fie-six years ago I thought that it would be easy to find quilting cotton with the same print in different colourways. It wasn't.

In the end, this spring, I decided to do something about it myself. So I ordered a stamp from the seller Catfluff on Etsy

First I printed the fabric with green textile paint, and then I painted flowers in white, pink and light blue with a paint brush.

This was done on quite a lot of fabric, since the lowest flounce on the skirt is 8 metres X 27 centimetres, and the waistcoat also took some fabric.

The green, red and blue fabric are all thrifted bed sheets, btu for the brown I had to order new cotton broadcloth. And I had to make do with brown, because the original dark, brownish purple was nowehere to be found.

Anyway, I am very happy with how it turned out. These photos are taken (by me) two hours before our annual viewing party of "The Wicker Man".

fredag 14 april 2023

My husband's silk tunicella

 Well, it only took 17 years, but now it is finished for real. I had such great plans, then I made do with something less, and then in  autumn 2019 I decided to cheat and use machine embroidery instead of hand embroidery and cast bronze plaques. Then of course the pandemic happened, and I couldn't go to Alfhild and watch her embroider on my fabric.

The machine embroidery pattern is digitized by ArtEmbroidery on Etsy, of course based on the tncella of the coronation clothes of the Holy Roman Empire, which you can see if you follow the link below. There are more info about the construction, previous iterations of decoration, and my husband actually in it: here is its page.

I have sewn freshwater pearls fro more money than I'd like to think about along both edges of the embroidery on hem and sleeves.

I will update it when I have a photo of him in it.

måndag 10 april 2023

Another Italian late 13th-early 14th century gown

I found this blue wool at a charity shop this winter. It hibernated a while in my wool cupboard, before I could make up my mind about what to make from it. 

But in the end: who doesn't need another (very) high waisted Italian gown from c. 1300? (Read more about them here)

This is a very simple one, with no decorations. It is all hand sewn, and due to fabric limitations it also has some interesting pieceing in the bodice and one sleeve. Haven't worn it for an event yet, but maybe this wekeend, for St. Egon's Feast.

torsdag 16 mars 2023

Folk dress of the late 18th century

 While working on a lecture about my folk costume and the studies I have done of rural manners of dress in that area i realized that I never posted photos of my green frieze (vadmal) skirt and jacket that I made about a year ago. The fabric is from Korps. Jackets and skirts made from green frieze is very common in the probate inventories from the time and period that I have been studying. It is a very strong green, but it is close to preserved frieze skirts from another part of Västergötland, and it was as close as I could get.

I made the pattern based on several preserved alte 18th century folk jackets, and the skirt is made the same way as my red folk costume skirt. All hand sewn of course. 

The jacket is closed with lacing in the lining, and then pinned shut.

The jacket is worn instead of the sleeveless bodice in colder weather. The apron is striped cotton, a thrifted curtain, the head scarf is also thrifted, but the neckerchief is bought from Folkdansringen Göteborg.

måndag 27 februari 2023

A short visit to the 1830s

 My sister Lena (her blog, which is mainly about food) has decided that her husband's 45th birthday party should be a 19th century dinner party. Only people insane enough to want to make outfits were invited. And of course I was one of them.

We could go for any part of the 19th century, so I could have worn my 1810s ball gown, which I haven't worn to any event yet. But making something new is more fun, so I ended up making an 1830s evening gown.

The fabric is cotton, and a gift from my friend Amanda, who was clearing out her grandmother's stash. It is trimmed with new velvet ribbon, new satin ribbon, and vintage cream lace that I have bought at charity shops. 

In addition to the dress I made a new pair of 1830s stays, a new corded petticoat, a petticoat with a ruffle at the botoom, and some padding to wear over my hips and bum.

You can see some of them here: the petticoat, the pads and the stays, and me making a toile for the bodice.

The two big cheats in this project are that I used the sewing machine for all the construction of the dress, stays and and pads, with hand hemming, lacing holes, trimming  etc. and that instead of making arm crienolines to keep the puff sleeves out I went for the theatrical solution of stiff tulle inside.

The corded petticoat is, on the other hand, entirely hand sewn.

For the hair I also used modern methods: I put more hair gel in my hair than I have since the 1980s. The decoration is made from scraps from the dress and artificial flowers intended to put around a candle, also thrifted. I was shoprt on time with both the hair and getting dressed, because I accidentally played computer games too long, and had to really rush it to catch the tram. In all I had 40 minutes to do my hair an dget dressed and I think it turned out rather well. 

And that gel was firm .- this photo is taken on the way home, after a dinner party and some rather brisk walking outdoors for 1,5 kilometres to get to the tram home. 

Actually, all the photos are from after the party, this one is the only one I managed to take before running to the tram.

The petticoat is too long, I have already removed the waistband to make it shorter. It is made from a decorative bottom sheet with a valance that I got at a charity shiop, like so many of my things.

torsdag 12 januari 2023

A 15th century Propserpine

So, Gotvik had decided that our annual autumn event: Festivalo de Caderas, should include a masked ball. 

I had planned to do research on masked balls in the medieval period, but I didn't have the energy this autumn. However, what little I had read about it suggested that they were more common in the renaissance. It also appeared that Allegorical figures and Roman deities were common in masked balls and in masked parades. 

So, since the ball  was close to All Hallows/Samhain I decided to go for something related to the Underworld: Proserpine/Persephone, queen of Hades.

Read all about the gown, the sources, the making, and the accessories here.

lördag 31 december 2022

A red early 14th century italian wool gown

I don't blog much these days. I tend to make things, rather than write about them. And often I am too tired to do much more than post photos on Instagram. After all, I did start my webpage in 2000, so there have been many years of writing about my historical costumes. Aside from my professional writing on clothing in history.

But maybe this is the re-start of blogging, who knows?

Anyway, my newest medieval project was a red wool gown that I wore to Medieval Christmas, and Styringheim's Lucia Feast in Visby in the beginning of December.

To keep warm I wore  thick sewn wool cloth stockings, a linen shift, my quilted sleeveless shift  a thin wool kirtle, and the red wool gown, naalebound mittens (not made by me) sometimes a wool cloak and a wool hood lined in silk, or a two layer silk veil. And very modern boots with wool pile lining. I wasn't cold at all.

For my sources, inspiration and further information on construction etc, see its page.