Garb making for a Viking Event

I think I’ve recounted my complete bewilderment in the face of garb before. I feel in some way as if I’m just moaning when I say I really don’t get it.  I suspect it’s got something to do with the fact that I don’t really know what shape I am, apart from  “generally blob shaped”, and while intellectually I genuinely can see how the series of rectangles and long triangles I’ve been introduced to can combine to fit on roundy bits and look really well it’s like some other part of my brain just goes “Nope” and walks away.

Dun in Mara held a garb making weekend a couple of weekends ago and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I wanted to try to start something to wear for the upcoming Althing, but mostly I really just wanted the very pleasant company, to sit and sew.    I actually quite like the sewing bit.  On the Friday I finished some hemming on a tunic I cut out for my eldest.  On Saturday I was starting to feel bad procrastinating (and just looking at the jade coloured linen I brought along, willing it to become something by itself).  I was temporarily saved by an impromptu class on how to identify fibre using a burn test given by the weekend organiser Lady Cassandra della Corona – this was brilliant, I’ve heard about the burn test before, but it was great to have a run through with different samples and really see and smell the differences.   After that I was chatting with Cassandra who was has been doing amazing research, she was trying to visualize her way through deciding how she wanted to work with her Hedeby/Haithabu inspired options for an apron dress.

Jade dress side

I cheekily volunteered my fabric and my generally blob shaped self to experiment with so she could try out one version without committing her fabric ’til she had seen how it worked. Turns out she really liked this idea, score!! She talked me through her ideas, drafted the pattern and cut the pieces and all I had to do was sew them up, which I did by hand. Heaven!!!  I’m going to refer to her blog for much better details than I can report on at this point.. http://artisan-alchemy.blogspot.ie/2015/09/first-dress-experiments.html 

Her research had led her to understand that we could use darts in the back to further shape it and she pinned it up for me again to sew.  Her further research after the event revealed that we should have used darts to the outside rather than the modern way on the inside, but I’m not going to worry about it.  What I need to worry about is finishing it!!  I had all sorts of ideas that I might get some simple embroidery done on it.. procrastination is a terrible thing.  This weekend I’m going to have to put in some serious work to finish the seams, get the straps on and make accessories.

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