tisdag 19 november 2019

A ca 1500 hanbok for Valeria

At Kingdom University I finally had the opportunity to take photos of Valeria wearing her hanbok, traditional Korean dress.

Then it took quite a long time to write the description of the sources, patterns and mateirals that I used. But now it is finished. This is the page with all the images, documentation, literature, links etc.

onsdag 13 november 2019

Surprising, overwhelming, and welcome

Last weekend I together with four friends organized Drachenwald's Kingdom University. I think we did a very good job and the c. 130 people who were there seemed to agree. We had a good programme (if you're curious you can find it on the web site I linked to), a good site and excellent food. And royal courts. And this happened.

Photo: Danel Styringheim

I was suspecting it when hubby packed the 50 years gift champagne that I got from some of my co-workers, but of course I wasn't sure. So instead of sitting at the registration all Friday evening with my friend Alfhild I spent it in vigil, contemplating becoming a member of the Order of the Laurel (SCA stuff). And, as you can see from the images of my scroll, medallion and the pillows that were gifts from my Laurel mother/mistress Helwig and my Laurel sister Lia, I accepted this honour.

The scroll was made by a very dear friend who lives in New York and doesn't play in the SCA anymore, so I managed to produce an interestign mix of tears and laughter when I heard his name.
The medallion used to be my Mistress Helwig's and the box for it was made by Mistress Renike.

I got lots of other gifts, but I haven't had the time to photograph them all, or figure out who gave me what, since my head was all spinning when I got them at the vigil.

tisdag 29 oktober 2019

Accidental fabric shopping

I just might accidentally have bought 6 metres of 80% wool-20 % modal (so sue me for using a wool/cellulose fibre blend ;) ) for this gown today.

You don't often find bright green wool. Now I "just" need good fake fur for  lining the sleeves and some for edging the hem. And silk for the under gown with its gold fringed wide sleeves.

onsdag 16 oktober 2019

Feeling small

having gained back 20 of the 40 kilos that I lost two years ago I rarely feel small tehse days. Except when trying on Måns' houppelande. He is of course much slimmer and in a better shape than I will ever be again, but he is also taller and have broad shoulders. So I look like a kid dressing up in mum's dress.

Kenya loves the houppelande.

onsdag 2 oktober 2019


Last weekend I went to a semi-local (c. 2 hours drive) SCA event called Boar Hunt. The main activities were an archery trail in the nearby forest, where we shot at plastic and paper animals (3D and flat), a lunch inspired by a hunting lunch by Gaston Phoebus' Book of the Hunt , followed by fighter traimimg where the fighters took the roles of hunters, dogs and boars. I took part in the archery trail, and it was great fun. This was my first real attempt at archery - I have tried it a little at a friend's place once and one shot at St.Egon this year. And I hit "animals"! Not many, but still.

Fot this I wore my pink cotte with a green surcoat made from handwoven wool twill, based on Herjolfsnes 39, though without the piecing and the lace holes in front. I also wore a bycocket sewn from wool flannel and lined with silk. It was dark in the forest, which affects the photo. Especially since it was also raining.

The way I wore the wimple, veil and hat were inspired by this Italian mid-14th century image, though I should have worn a bigger wimple. But I forgot to pack one.

Bonamico Buffalmacco 1336-1340

Other things that I forgot was: one garter, my knife and fork and a quiver. My arrows were kept in a cotton tote bag tied to my belt instead.

There was also dinner, and court: Princess Jovi and Prince Stigot of Nordmark.

I dressed in Italian 14th century for court too, here I am posing in front of the Nordmark banner after everyone had gone for dessert.

torsdag 15 augusti 2019

Migration era/early medieval tunic

So, I made this migration era tunic. It is made from dyed linen, because a) the fabric Gods spoke to me when I found it at the fabric store earlier this year and b) spoke to me again this week about what it wanted to be.

It should have been wool of course, and the blue might be too bright. But when the fabric Gods speak, you follow their commands. I don't even know when I am going to wear it - except just hanging around in the flat.

I think that I look amazing in it, and I feel amazing. Which is good enough right now.

onsdag 17 juli 2019

The tale of the mantle

In the beginning of this month I went to the International Medieval Congress in Leeds. Together with two friends I had session about materiality in Arthurian literature. My presentation was about clothing and textiles in six romances translated to Norwegian and Swedish in the early to mid-13th and early 14th century respectively. One of these, the so-called Möttuls saga was probably based on the Old French Le Cort Mantel, and was adapted into Old Norse  by a  cleric known as Brother Robert, probably of Anglo-Norman origin, for King Haakon IV of Norway (1217–1263). 
The Norse text can be found in its entirety here.

The tale is about a wondrous cloak which tests the fidelity and virtue of the woman who wears it, and the story in the Norse version is rather comic and somewhat bawdy. The cloak is very beautiful; made from red silk and is gold embroidered all over with leaves. it is held together with cloak ties and if the woman wearing it is virtuous, it should reach all the way to the floor. A man brings the cloak to the court of King Arthur and demands that all women at court should try it on.

Unsurprisingly all but one of the women at King Arthur's court fall short in this test; the cloak is eithr too short or too long, and often both at the same time, indicating, according to the tale, in which position the woman had been unfaithful.

So much about the story, but when I worked with this material I felt a very strong urge to have such a cloak, though without the magic. Silk cloaks are not unheard of in medieval Scandinavia, I found three in Norwegian documents when I did my PhD dissertation:

* One, is in a woman's will from 1349, and it is made from blue silk and has skillmala, an unidentified type of ornament. Link to the document.

* One, from 1353, has no mention of colour, but was lined with ermine and edged with sable and also had lade, a word that means woven or embroidered trim. This is a man's will, but it also contains items of women's clothign, so the cloak may also be a woman's cloak. Link to the document.

* The latest one, is in a document dividing posessions between a brother and a sister on the occasion of her wedding in  1366. This cloak was given to the woman, was green, lined and edged with ermine and had gold ornaments made in Norway (norröna). These were probably cloak clasps, since bezants, the metal ornaments so common in medieval fashion were usually silver or gilt silver. Link to the document.

So, I decided that I really need a floor length silk cloak.

Cloaks from this period were semi-circular - one such cloak was found during excavations in the church of Leksand in Sweden. The cloak, which is dated to the 12th or 13th century, was made from a diamond twill wool and had a border of woven trim along the straight edge of the semi-circle. This cloak was probably long enough to reach to the wearer’s feet in the back. Marc Carlson has a page about it, which shows an estimation of the cut, and more information can be found in Margareta Nockert's article ’Textilfynden’,  in Tusen år på Kyrkudden, red. Birgitta Dandanell, Falun 1982.

I looked around for reasonably priced silk when I was in London on my way home from Leeds, but I didn't find any in a colour I liked. However, this week I passed the town of Borås, known for its textile trade, on my way to a friend's 50th birthday celebration, and there, at a shop called Furulunds, I found a gorgeous raspbetty red silk. The photos do NOT make it justice.

Now I "just" have to make the embroidery. And decide HOW to make it, which means more research. I will keep you posted.
It will be lined, probably in another silk, but given the time the embroidery will take to make I don't have to look for lining fabric this year.