Viking sewing

Saturday 15 August 2009
Well I managed to squeeze in some sewing time after all this week. Helpfully the in-laws played with Anna for a few hours so I could get some baby free time in. So I got to finish the Viking tunic I'm making for a crazy friend of mine who has started fighting in re-enactment battles. This is the inspiration photo:

And this is my finished product:

Thankfully I had a pattern to work from which was pretty much like your standard dress pattern, although it is the multi size pattern from hell. Not only does each pattern piece have sizes from child XS to adult XXL, the pieces I used also were multi pattern - that is several similar but different pattern pieces were in the one pattern piece, so I had to get my trusty highlighter out and figure out which piece I needed to cut around.
The photo below is the pattern piece for three different sleeves, with the common bit being the shoulder seam, and this was the same for the front and back pieces too! Talk about being economical with paper.....

That was the hardest part of all of it though, because the tunic is of pretty basic construction being basically a rectangle front and back, rectangular sleeves sewn in flat with a little square gusset under the arm to give movement. It's meant to be loose and baggy because it will be cinched in at the waist with a belt, so no fitting was required which cut down on the time needed to make it enormously. The instructions were pretty simple, although they do suggest a large amount of handsewing, which I guess is authentic and rustic looking but I wasn't going to be that pedantic and used my trusty machine to make it all.

It has a keyhole neckline, and I made the facing from a herringbone patterned wool in a maroon and white pattern and put it on the outside as a trim, because surprisingly enough my local Spotlight didn't really have a big range of Viking style braids! The rest of it is made from a cotton drill in a deep red colour, which should be sturdy enough for its purpose but not too hot to be worn during the warmer months when our climate is very much un-Viking like.

Now I'm onto the quilted jacket that goes with it, or a gambeson for those of you in the know! It looks pretty simple too, so hopefully I can knock it over quickly and get back to my UFOs since I'm on such a roll.........
And thank you for all your lovely comments on the curtains, they do look pretty good so I've decided to decorate the rest of the room around them, all in good time though since there are plenty of other things to do around here. Such as finishing the floors, finishing the kitchen, painting inside and out and on and on and on and on LOL


  1. Is this an Australia thing? Viking reenactments? We have extremely elaborate Civil War reenactments in Virginia. 1860 period patterns are easy to come by.

  2. That's really neat. I've never heard of Viking reenactments. I'd love to see one of those. We have civil war reenactments here in the US. I live in Texas.

  3. I'm sure it was great to spend some quality time in your wonderful new sewing room but I have to tell you that the shot of the tunic facing your fabric wall is awesome...okay well the fabric wall is what really excited me! *LOL* I am an unrepentent fabricaholic!

  4. The things we do for our friends! I've been asked to make a Phantom costume for a neighbour - and he's a grown man.

  5. I like the contrast at the neckline and the square gusset!