fredag 29 maj 2015

17th century job perks

Yesterday I was at the Gothenburg Historical Museum's storehouse to look at some 17th century textile artifacts. I am currently working on a project together with the museum, where I put some of their objects into a larger context; using contemporay art and written sources.

I of course knew that these existed, but it is really cool to see them up close.

This is a silk knit waistcoat from the 17th century.

All photos of the knitted waistcoat by Klas Blomgren. Rights to the photos belong to Göteborgs Stadsmuseum, but they can be used for non-commercial use. See the catalog web page for terms and for more photos.

This type of waistcoat is called "damask-knitted waistcoats" and there are 14 known exmaples from the 17th century: One in England, one in Scotland, 11 in Norway and one in Sweden; this one. Maj Ringgard has recently written an article on them:  “Silk Knitted Waistcoats - a 17th-century fashion item” in Mathiassen, Tove Engelhardt, Nosch, Marie-louise, Ringgaard, Maj, Toftegaard, Kirsten & Venborg Pedersen, Mikkel (ed.), Fashionable encounters: perspectives and trends in textile and dress in the early modern Nordic world, Oxbow Books, Oxford, 2014
While the brocade knitted type of waistcoat appear to be Italian in origin, Ringgard argues that this type was, if not made in the Nordic countries, at least made for this market. At least we know that they were imported - Swedish customs lists from 1685 show that 436 knitted silk waistcoats and 84 wool knitted waistcoats were imported in that year (Hazelius-Berg, Gunnel, “Stickad tröja” i Fataburen: Nordiska museets och Skansens årsbok. 1941, Nordiska museet, Stockholm, 1941), and they are also found in shop inventories from the period.

They were made with a silk pile on the inside to provide extra warmth.

The yarn used is somewhere between sewing silk and buttonhole silk in thickness.

I also got to look at some less luxurious garments, equally interesting. 

This is the front panel of a wool jacket with a striped wool lining, which was found in 17th century layers during excavations in Gothenburg. The original colours are impossible to make out, but at least you can see the stripes. Here's that garment's catalog page. The photos are taken by Anna Adrian and the rights belong to Göteborgs Stadsmuseum.

I saw other cool stuff too of course, like these remnants of a 16th century leather jerkin which were found during excavations in the 1910s, and the remnants of a pair of 17th century shoes and gloves.

tisdag 26 maj 2015

The 19th century and me

I never really got into making 19th century clothes. I think they're beautiful, but since I don't really have anywehere to wear them my only finished costume from that century is my empire dress.

I started on an 1850s dress too, and got as far as the underwear.

And a hat


That doesn't mean that I'm not interested in fashions from that period - in fact it's one of the most interesting periods in fashion history. Right now I'm preparing a lecture on fashion in the second half of the 19th century that I'm giving on Monday. If you're near Gothenburg, Sweden, here's a link to the info about it.

I also collect lots of images of 19th century fashion on Pinterest:

söndag 24 maj 2015

Old stuff

Now that the summer is getting closer - at least if you judge from the calendar and not the icy winds - I begin to long for Visby Medieval week. I haven't been since 2010, but seeing these photos makes me wish that we couldgo this year. Unfortunately holiday schedules and economy will not allow that.

Me and my big girls outside our tent in the weird evening light. You can also see hubby's shadow. I'm wearing this gown, Vendela has her Saxon court gown which I had made for her that year, and Valeria's wears one of my first historical gowns, from 1993. I took in the bodice, but otherwise it fit perfectly.

The whole family is off to the market, mixing time periods like we don't care ;)
Rickard has an outfit from c 1300, Vendela wears mid-14th century 
style and Valeria, Maja and I have lower class 16th century garb.

Vendela, Maja and Valeria at the market. 

Rickard and Maja at the market

Another day in 16th cnetury peasant style outside the city wall.

The big girls looked after the little girl one evenign so we could have a night out together. 
Having beers at Kapitelhusgården (the Chapter house).

It wasn't sunny all days, here we're having dinner in the tent while it's raining outside. 
Vendela took the photos, so she isn't in them.

onsdag 20 maj 2015

Renika's new dress

My friend Renika has had a costuming blog much longer than I have (mainly because I started with a web site and not a blog) and it's really interesting stuff.

Last week I got to see her newest 1460s century German dress, in this style:

And it's awesome. Go see!

The image is taken from Myra Lea's excellent link collection of late 15th century-early 16th century images.

måndag 18 maj 2015

Three burgher's wives wardrobes from early 17th century Stockholm

At first I didn't know what to do to celebrate that I now have over 200 followers on this blog's facebook page. Then I came up with the idea to translate and post the wardrobe contents from three of the bourgeois probate inventories from Stockholm that I have been working with the last couple of years.

 So, here, they are: the clothing owned by Sigrid, the wife of Herman the Baker (1603), Barbro Hindriksdotter, the wife of the tailor Erik Pedersson (1605) and the unnamed wife of the tailor Christopher Wöste (1609).

 Generally probate inventories show the belongings of people who are not at the peak of their wealth, since old age in the Early Modern period usually meant lesser income. So when they were younger thay may have had slightly larger wardrobes. They were probably also not dressed in the latest fashions, since they were both (probably) older, and wives of artisans.

Sigrid's clothes 
A new cloak (kåpa) made from English cloth
An old cloak (kåpa)
A green gown/kirtle (kjortel) made from English cloth
A skirt (skört)made from black grosgrain (probably wool), lined with kid (baby goat, probably with the fur left)
A black gown/kirtle (kjortel) from says
An old black gown/kirtle (kjortel) from grosgrain (probably wool)
A new gollar/shoulder cape (kraga) from silk camlet
A new gollar/shoulder cape (kraga) from atlas, lined with the fur from the underside of the marten's throat
A new gollar/shoulder cape (kraga) from silk grosgrain, lined with vair and with ermine around the neck
A”half worn” gollar/shoulder cape (kraga) from grosgrain (probably wool)
An old cloak lining from vair
A new gollar/shoulder cape (kraga) from silk camlet, lined with vair
A cloth doublet or jacket (tröja) lined with white lambskin

These are all in accordance with the current sumptuary laws, which allowed certain silk fabrics on doublets and shoulder capes, but not ”below the belt” for the burgher's wives. In this probate linen clothes, stockings and shoes were not listed, though she certainly must have had them.

Barbro's clothes 
Five aprons
Two shifts
Two short shirts, worn over the shift (överdel)
An old, short shirt, worn over the shift (överdel)
A hat and a head cloth
Two more head cloths
A gown/kirtle (kjortel), a doublet/jacket (tröja) and a cloak (kåpa) from woollen cloth
A green gown/kirtle (kjortel) from English cloth
A ”half worn” gown/kirtle (kjortel) from woollen cloth
A gown/kirtle (kjortel) from brown grosgrain (probably wool)
A doublet/jacket (tröja) from woollen cloth, lined with vair
A doublet/jacket (tröja) from black silk taffeta
A hood
Two caps
A casaque (kasiacka)from grosgrain (probably wool).
A casaque was a short, wide jacket with hanging sleeves, much like my teal one that I just made.

In this inventory you see something typical for the probate inventories: Even worn clothing is listed in the probates, since it could be used even when it was totally worn out, as rags or, when it was linen, it could be sold to the paper makers.
Even if the linen clothes are included in this inventory, we still miss stockings and shoes.

The clothes of Christopher Wöste's wife
A gown/kirtle (kjortel) from blue camlet.
A doublet/jacket (tröja) from black damask
A coat (kappa) lined with vair
A gown/kirtle (kjortel) from says
A casaque (kasiacka)from woollen cloth

 Here we, again, miss the linen clothes, stockings and shoes, but the amount of other clothes are plausible for an elderly woman, who had some fine materials in her clothing, but nothing extravagant, nor illegal for her class.

Eva I Andersson

söndag 17 maj 2015

More than sewing

Sewing is not the only things I do. When I unpacking after the event I thought that it would be nice to take and share a photo of these three wooden boxes that I painted over ten years ago and use for storing hair stuff, medicines, contacts etc and jewellery.

The brown one with the lady getting her hair dressed is based on an English manuscript c, 1340. The shield on it shows the arms I used in another medieval group and needs to be re-painted to show my SCA device.

The blue one holds (some of) my jewellery and has a scene form Yvain, the Lion Knight, adapted from a German wall hanging from the first part of the 14th century. It's a bit hard to see, but he's holding a very large invisibility ring in his hand.

The green one has a naughty scene from the Codex Manesse. In this case there's no relation between the decoration and the things I keep in it, but I liked it. It also has an "A" on it, since my name in the SCA is Aleydis.

Away on an event

So, the last week I've been to the largest SCA event in Europe (or, the Kingdom of Drachenwald if you play in the SCA). I gave lectures on sex (both hetero- and same-sex) in the Middle Ages (based on books, not my own research) and on 16th century women's clothing in Sweden. The latter I have written an article about for Costume, the Journal of the Costume society, which was printed in 2011.

I went to a class on calligraphy and another one on Venetian 16th cnetury women's costume, and the whole family present (me, hubby and the youngest daughter) joined a class where we danced bransles.

We also watched fighting, fencing and archery and hung out with all our friends. Tuesday was also Maja's birthday, so we had a small party, where she got a hat for her new 16th century gown. it was made by one of her friends, Tuva, who is only 14 years old.

Some more photos:

Children's boffer fighting. It was rainign and Maja's medieval shoes were too wet, so she's wearing purple trainers :).

Grown-ups fighting at the Rose Tourney at Hovdala castle.

Maja took a class in marzipan sculpting

And I wore 12th century clothing. 
I never got to wear my newest bliaut though, it was too cold and wet.

This is a new wool 12th century gown, which is under construction. I started it a few days before we left and sewed the guards on the way down, in the car. The embroidery was started at the event and there's much more to do. Normally you would embroider the borders before atttaching them, but I wanted to wear it this event.

My husband wore his red 11th century  tunic a lot. Here he's helping 
Maja by holding her hanging sleeve when she's shooting. I made that tunic in 1997.

måndag 4 maj 2015

And the 16th century short coat is finished

 I finished the short coat today, just before some guests arrived. This, and the fact that I have only one gown in the right style that I fit into, and that one is a shade of bright blue that clashes with the teal damask, made me just throw on a wool skirt, a partlet, my blingy pearl embrodiered cap and a bonnet to snap some photos.
   Eventually I will have a new, more upper class dress in a colour that goes with teal, but I couldn't wait for that to happen before showing the finished coat in the blog. it won't get its own page until the whole outfit is finished, however.

In the second photo you can see that I haven't put my arms inside the sleeves, but  just let them hang in the fashionable way ;).

söndag 3 maj 2015

Eye candy

I have been busy working (reading some very interesting bourgeois probates from the 17th century) and celebrating May in various ways, but I am actually almost finished with my 16th century short coat. Until it is is finished there isn't much point in putting up photos though.

Since I don't want to neglect the blog I therefore decided to post some photos of costumes that either haven't yet  got a page of their own, or are unlikely to get one.

In these photos I am wearing a 12th century outfit based on German and English manuscript images who often show shorter over tunics with narrow or moderately wide sleeves and narrow "skirt". I like it because it's different from the wide bliauts we most often see made.

Me in 12th century garb, Maja in her viking coat, getting a boiled egg to eat. It was raining a little, so I wore a fringed veil from very thin wool.

Maja, me and Valeria. Valeria's dress is also 12th century and s made from thin wool. 
I think Maja will have grown into it next year.

This is from a Christmas party a year later or so, as can be seen on Maja in the photo. She's wearign the same linen cap though, she really loved that one. This veil is viscose, but I'm pretending it's silk, and I bought it as a scarf from PACS, which is a Swedish aid association that works in Pakistan providing schooling for children, teacher's education and work opportunities for poor women. In 1992 I visited some of their schools.