Not so simple – A fit for a king!

This post can be find in Swedish on my facebookpage with the same name as this blog.

About a year ago, or thereabout, I volountered to help with some sewing for the event Battle of Wisby (6-14 of august this year).
My thought was that either the arrengers needed some help since they put so much time and effort into other things that their own sewing would suffer, or that perhaps they needed some flags sewn or something else that would fit my level of ”expertise” 

Instead I got the question… Can you sew this?

My stomach filled with butterflies.
Could I?
I said that well, no problem, could you cut the pieces out and I just did the sewing since I didn’t have anyone to do a pattern on. But no, the person wearing this weren’t even in the same country as us.
Measurements then?
Very, very specific measurements, and a lot of them.
That I could have…
But then I didn’t hear anything for quite some time. In the meantime I got another request for the same event. A participant that couldn’t sew wanted an outfit. So I helped her with that and thought that that was it. Perhaps they found someone more qualifyid to make this outfit? 

About 2,5 months before the event I got pictures of the pattern being made.

When I saw that it was a very professional looking pattern I just had to as why the one wearing it (or his spouse) wasn’t making it. It would be easier if you could check the fit as you went. But no…
There was no time for them, and when I was told who they were my heart just dropped.
Should I (a nobody from Sweden) make an outfit for Bertus Brokamp, Isis Sturtewagens other half… I couldn’t… could I? were it going to be to their standard?
OMG… My stommache tied itself in a knot.
But Maria Neijman who gave me the assignment assured me that it would be fine.

Due to the postalservice who lost – and then found the package it would take until about 3 weeks before the event until I got the fabric and pattern. And then I was a nervous wreck, but I tried not to show it. 

Maria added me to a facebook conversation with Bertus, Thomas Neijman and Johan Käll and we really did some discussing about how to interpret the picture from the church. We wanted to get as close as possible.
I worked as fast as I could, the day the fabric and pattern arrived i cut it out and sew most of it togeather.
And then I started adding the white trim (while humming ”Here comes santa claus”…

I also posted a picture of the white hearts I where cutting out for the appliques, and the conversation went quiet for a minute or so.
Then it came…
– Ehm… white hearts? They should be blue, shouldn´t they?
– Blue? I thought they where green?

And then more pictures arrived

We all agreed that it should be a white trim, so I could keep the hearts I already cut out, but I had to do the same amount but smaller i a blue fabric that Maria threw in the mail.

In the meantime we talked about the helmetcover wich I hadn’t realised that I should make until i saw the patterns. We opted for the colours that I already had, even though perhaps it should have been a light blue or grey fabric instead for the darker blue, and blue hearts instead of the red, but it still was Valdemar Atterdags colours. And we didn’t have any time to go fabricshopping or dye some fabric.

By now I were sewing about 10 hours a day and I still have a hard dimple in my right hands middlefinger after pushing the needle trough the fabric.
I did have the organisers approval to sew some on the sewingmashine, and glue the applique-hearts on, but it didn’t feel right to me, so I did all sewing by hand, and no fabric glue at all

In the middle of everything, my father (who lives about 190km from me) celebrated his birthday, so I packed up everything I needed to make the helmetcover and did most of that in the car, while my husband did the driving 

Late evening the day before we started our journey to Gotland and the event, I put the last stitch in.
The only thing I didn’t manage to make in time was the band for lacing the jupion.
Below here you can find some pictures from the manufacturing and how it looked when Bertus wore the clothes at the battlefield as Valdemar Atterdag, the Danish king that invaded Gotland in 1361.

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Deciding if we should go with straight or curved – as the image.


Is this size ok?


Detail of the embroidered thin lines


Trying out how many hearts we should fit on one sleeve.


Getting there…

It’s all in the details


Last test before sewing all the hearts on.




Valdemar in all his glory (or rather Bertus  )


To sum up, this have been a collaborated effort.
Bertus made the pattern with the help of Isis.
Maria got the fabrics.
Johan and Thomas participated with all of us to decide about details that would make or brake this.
A big thanks to all of you for answering my (somtime stupid) questions 

The last two pictures in this blogg comes from Maria Kristiansson and more of her pictures of the battles can be found at Facebook in: The Official group for Battle of Wisby 1361

Long live the king!

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