How to – S-sleeve / Hur man gör en S-ärm

It is sooooo complicated to do a S-sleeve!
I have heard that several times. And well… It is easier to do a t-shirt kind of sleeve, just straight edges and then a small gusset (or dart) in the armpit.
That is why I do recommend that for beginners.

But then we have the ones that can draft a modern sleeve in their sleep, but can’t get their head around doing an S-sleeve.
How will you get around that problem? Well, you can start by taking a modern sleeve pattern, taping the edges together and then cutting it where you want the seam.

But then you are left with a modern problem. The modern armhole where the seam for the sleeve is out on your shoulder and not inside of the shoulder joint. And it is also much bigger of a hole then the medieval one.

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Det är sååååå svårt att göra en S-ärm!
Det har jag hört många många gånger. Och ja, det enklaste är ju en vanlig t-shirtärm, bara raka kanter och sen en liten kil (ärmspjäll) i armhålan.

Men sen har vi ju de som kan rita upp ett modernt ärmmönster i sömnen. Men som inte kan förstå principen med en S-ärm.
Hur kommer man runt det problemet? Tja, man kan ju börja med att ta ett vanligt modernt ärmmönster, tejpa ihop kanterna och klippa upp där man vill ha sömmen.

Men, då sitter du fortfarande med lite moderna problem. Ett modernt ärmhål har ärmsömmen ute på kanten av axeln och inte innanför axelleden. Och du har också ett mycket större ärmhål än vad som var vanligt på medeltiden.

Start with creating the bodice of your garment. Keep the armhole tight around the arm all the way up in your armpit, but you should be able to rotate your arm without it moving the fabric around it (so the shoulder seam should stop right before your shoulder joint).
I don’t have any pictures of this but it is well described at in: A curved front seam.

Börja med att få till den övre delen av din kjortel och håll ärmhålet tight runt armen.
Du ska ha tyg ända upp till armhålan, men inte ut på axelleden utan du vill att sömmen där ärmen sitter fast ska hamna på insidan av axelleden. Om du roterar armen så ska du liksom inte hindras av tyget någonstans runt axeln.
Jag har tyvärr ingen bild på detta, men det finns bra beskrivet på under A curved front seam.

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After fitting the bodice, I take 2 pieces of A4 paper and taping them together, long edges together (or you can us an A3, but almost everyone have some form of A4 at home).
Fold the edges in towards the taped middle just to create guidelines. Open it and fold down the center taped line.
Put the paper on a flat surface and take your bodice and put the armhole part with the side seam on the guideline and draw exactly how the curve looks, for about 5 cm on both sides of the middle fold.

När du har passat in och sytt överdelen på kjorteln så tar du 2 A4-papper och tejpar ihop dom, långa sidor mot varandra. (Eller så tar du ett A3, men A4 brukar alla ha hemma).
Vik in kanterna mot mitten/tejpade delen för att skapa guidelinjer. Vik upp och vik sen mitt på, vid tejpen alltså.
Lägg pappret på en plan yta och ta din överdel och placera sidosömmen på papprets guidelinje. Släta ut tyget och rita ut kurvan av ärmhålet 5 cm på varje sida av mittlinjen

Now you can either draw a curve on freehand or take your bodice and use the shoulder part to use as a guide for the upper curve.
The total length of the S-shape should be as many cm/inches as your armhole is around if you measure it on the seam-line (not where it is cut because it will be shorter if you measure at the edge then it will be if you measure where you will stitch).
I have made a note on the picture ”greppet” (swedish), it is the part that is exactly how the armhole looks on the bodice.

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Nu kan du antingen rita ut den övre kurvan på frihand eller använda axel-delen på din kjortel som mall.
Totala längden på S-kurvan ska vara lika lång som omkretsen på ditt armhål vid sy-linjen. Inte där du har den råa kanten. Så om du har 1 cm sömsmån så mäter du alltså 1 cm från kanten och runt.
Delen där det står ”greppet” är den del som är exakt likadan som delen i armhålan på ditt plagg.

I then can cut the sleeve part after this curve. The width of my upper arm is the width of the fabric + seam allowence and usually some extra width for movement, but I am getting thinner so I made this skin tight just so it can fit even when I have lost a bit more weight. So this curve is longer then my fabric is wide and therefore I added a gore to.

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Sen klipper jag ut ärmen efter kurvan jag precis skapat. Normalt sett ska tyget vara ärmens omkrets + sömsmån + några cm rörelsevidd. Men jag gör hela denna kjortel snortight eftersom jag håller på att minska i vikt och inte vill att den är för stor redan efter en månad eller två. Längden på kurvan är därför bredare än ärmen och för att lösa det så lägger jag till en kil.

If you don’t want to use your bodice as a guide, you can use this theoretical constructionmethod instead.

Since the text is in Swedish – I will translate it for you:
S-curves total length (not the straight lines) should be the same length as the armholes circumference and a couple of cm for movement. (But don’t forget to add seam allowance).
You can gather the extra width on the upper part of the sleeve.
The green marking is the part that should have the exact same shape as the bottom of your armhole (about 10 cm in total).
The top line is the measurement between shoulder and wrist.
The middle line is just inbetween the top and the bottom of the curve.
And the bottom line is the length from the armpit to the wrist.
Add a gore (black part) if needed to get the right lenght of the curve without having it to be too steep.

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Om du nu inte vill använda kjorteln som guide så kan du använda den här teoretiska metoden istället.

This is how the steepnes of the curve effects the movement of the arm.
Square = optimal movement, not so great fit.
Steap = bad movement, great fit.
In between (about 45 degrees angle) Ok fit, OK movement.

Last picture shows how high you can lift your arm before the garment starts to move with different steapnes of the sleeve.

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Det här är en bild över hur S-kurvans branthet påverkar rörelsen.

And here is the final result
You have to forgive my moderh hair and shoes though 😉

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Och slutresultatet…
Ni får ursäkta modernt hår och skor dock 😉

Historically Correct? Or just Historically Enough? / Historiskt Korrekt? Eller bara Tillräckligt Historiskt?

This is something that has been in the back of my head for a long time.
When we speak Historically Correct (HC), we also talk about sources. There can be finds, statues, images (often manuscripts) or some kind of text documents, etc. Everyone can sew a version of the Bogman’s clothes, or a Moy Bog dress, or perhaps use the sketches of the findings from Herjolfsnes to get as close as we can, even if we do not weave ourselvesor buy handwoven fabrics. But when you walk around in an event and point out that ”there is a Moy Bog,” and ”ah a Herjolfsnes * number *”, then you start to wonder if it really shows how it would have been?
Were all clothes made in the same shape? Were all clothes cut after just those models? And where is the line between ”HK” and ”Reconstructed after a finding”?
Can you be ”HK” without copying the shapes and models of a dug up piece?

I want to argue that you can!
There are a lot of common things if you look at what has been found. Among other things, the models on sleeves and sleeve gussets. How the gussets are located and how to sew the garment together. So if you are using the right material for the right garment, the right type of thread and the right kind of stitch and cut to your garment with an eye on images so that you get the right silhouette, I think you’re ”HC enough”.

My benchmark when I started sewing more source-based has always been to participate at Battle of Wisby, which takes place every third year at Gotland, and it’s partly what this blog and the tutorials I’ve done are about.
I do not recreate directly after finding. Or well I’ve done it twice just to try it and for me it’s not as fun when I can’t think of solutions to problems that can pop up – the answers are already there …
It’s also not fun when you risk walking around and looking like you have been shopping at the same store, when several others appear with the same model and maybe even the same fabric and color. Therefore, I have started looking at several different items, and deliberately not in detail. I do not want to be programmed to think that everything must be in a certain way.

On the other hand, it is quite interesting if you start with a simple kirtle – just a simple front and back. Then you look if the fabric you have left is enough for sleeves with a S-curve or if you want to make a straight sleeve as on a shift. Maybe you should have a straight cut sleeve but cut out the sleeve hole a bit like it’s on the Bogmans kirtle. Do you need to pice some fabric together to make bigger pieces?
My last kirtles sleeves is made up of several pieces. I practically speaking had to do a jigsaw-puzzle out of fabric, but it seems that they did that in the Middle Ages, too, if you generalize.

And well it is here my thoughts comes together – generalizations.
In some cases, it’s not good to generalize, you can miss much or get the picture wrong of what’s true and not.
But to generalize for yourself – when you have an idea about what is common and not and thus stay on the straight and narrow but still without directly reconstruct findings. Well, it feels like you get closer to the true way it could have been then.

So I’m basing my clothes on the findings. But just loosely. I mix parts from different findings.
Are the kirtle too tight around the chest?
Just put a gusset that goes all the way into the armpit, we know that they have done that in the Herjolfsnesfindings.
Do I need extra mobility around the shoulders but know that the model calls for a tight sleeve? Moy Bog has the solution, but I do not need to copy straight of.

One of the only things I’m looking at, is if I need to open and close the garment. How do I do that in the best and most historical way? And what findings do we have to assure that it closed just like that?

Can we freestyle a little more?
Can we try to coin the term  Historically Enough” or can we agree that ”HK” does not need to be equal to ”copy of …”

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Det här är något som har legat i bakhuvudet länge.
När vi pratar Historiskt Korrekt (HK) så pratar vi även om källor. Det kan vara fynd, statyer, avbildningar (ofta manuskript) eller någon form av textdokument osv. Alla kan sy en variant av Bockstensmannens kläder, eller en Moy Bog-klänning, eller kanske använda principskisserna på fynden ifrån Herjolfsnes för att komma så nära vi kan komma även om vi inte väver tyger eller köper handvävt. Men när man kan gå runt på ett evenemang och peka ut att ”där går en Moy Bog”, och ”ah en Herjolfsnes *fyndnummer*” så börjar man fundera på om det verkligen var så det såg ut?
Var alla stöpta i samma form? Var alla kläder skurna efter just precis dom här modellerna? Och var går gränsen mellan ”HK” och ”Återskapat efter fynd”?
Kan man vara ”HK” utan att kopiera fyndens former och modeller?

Jag vill hävda att man kan det!
Det finns en hel del gemensamma nämnare i fynden. Bland annat vad gäller modeller på ärmar och ärmhål. Hur kilarna är placerade och hur man sydde ihop plaggen. Så om man nu använder rätt material till rätt plagg, rätt typ av tråd och rätt typ av stygn och skär till sitt plagg med ett getöga på avbildningar så att man får rätt siluett så anser jag att man är ”Tillräckligt HK”.

Min måttstock när jag började sy mer källbaserat har alltid varit deltagande på Battle of Wisby som sker vart tredje år på Gotland, och det är lite det som den här bloggen och de tutorials jag gjort går ut på också.
Jag återskapar inte direkt efter fynd. Eller tja jag har gjort det två gånger bara för att känna på, och för mig är det inte lika roligt när jag inte får tänka ut lösningar på problem som kan dyka upp – svaren finns ju liksom där redan…
Det är inte heller lika kul när man riskerar att gå runt och se ut som att man har shoppat på samma butik när det dyker upp flera andra med samma modell och kanske till och med samma tyg och färg. Därför har jag börjat titta på flera olika fynd, och medvetet inte grävt ner mig jättemycket i detaljer. Jag vill inte bli programmerad att tänka att allt måste vara precis på ett visst sätt.

Det är däremot rätt intressant om man börjar med en enkel kjortel – fram och bakstycke liksom… Sen tittar man om tyget räcker till ärmar med kulle eller om man ska göra en rak isättning som på en särk. Kanske man ska ha en rakt skuren ärm men ringa ur ärmhålet lite som det är på Bockstensmannens kjortel.  Behöver man skarva någonstans?
Min senaste kjortel har i princip skarvade skarvar på ärmarna. Jag fick pussla, men det verkar dom ha gjort under medeltiden också om man ser lite generellt till fynden.

Och det är väl här min tanke landar – generaliseringar.
I vissa fall är det himla dumt att generalisera, man kan missa så mycket då eller få en felaktig bild om vad som är sant och inte.
Men att generalisera själv – när man har en aning om vad som är vanligt och inte, och på så sätt hålla sig på den smala stigen men ändå inte direkt rekonstruera fynd. Tja det känns som att jag kommer närmare sanningen då.

Jag baserar alltså mina kläder på fynd. Men löst. Jag blandar delar från olika fynd.
Blev en kjortel för trång runt bröstkorgen?
Jamen sätt i en kil som går hela vägen upp i armhålan, det vet vi ju att dom har gjort i Herjolfsnesfynden.
Behöver jag extra rörlighet men vet att modellen ropar efter en trång ärm? Moy Bog har lösningen, men jag behöver ju inte kopiera rakt av.

Det enda jag tittar lite extra noga på är om jag behöver kunna öppna och stänga plagget. Hur gör jag det bäst? Och vad finns det för fynd på att den stängningen såg ut just så?

Kan vi kanske freestyla lite mer?
Kan vi försöka mynta begreppet ”Tillräckligt Historiskt” eller kan vi kanske komma överens om att ”HK” inte behöver vara jämställt med ”kopia av…”

Historically correct – Only in English



Various ‘historical festivals’ are spreading across Europe like wildfire. They seem to be spreading from the north to the south with the medieval festival/market/experience being the most common culprit in Central Europe. While some of these events have standing traditions, a lot of them sprung up in the last few years.

I have attended one of these events last summer, just before I left Slovenia behind. Until that point, I have largely abstained from partaking in reenactment in that part of the continent, because I was aware that the standards were certainly underdeveloped, but this time I somehow got talked into it. The event was promoted as a most ‘authentic medieval camp’, filled with knights, representing Slovenia in the mid-15th century. The organizers were also proudly promoting their ‘authentic medieval market’, where one could observe historical craft in action. Generally, the word ‘authentic’ was thrown around a lot. But how did it look in practice?

It was a sunny Saturday morning and I found myself standing in a section of freshly cut cornfield, with the still standing corn stalks still visible on the edges of the perimeter, forming a fence around the camp area. I walked through something meant to resemble a palisade gate, quickly banged together from some planks. I already heard the blaring sound system of an open-air stage set up one the other side of the camp. On one side of the camp by the cornstalks, there was a clearly visible line of portable toilets. The reenactors gathered around the various tents represented grades form people wearing flip-flops, to some actually trying to look medieval. Where allegiance to some time period could be determined, this spanned at least 500 years of Medieval history, with people dressed up as Vikings and early crusaders on one end and veering into the renaissance on the other. The so called historical market was, with the exception of an armourer, mostly occupied by sellers of tourist souvenirs, local arts & crafts, and just plain garbage. On the other end of the camp was a fenced-off area, prepared for a mock battle and riding games, a prominent feature of which was some kind of agricultural vehicle, disguised as some kind cart, which at best evoked an aesthetic half-way between the Wild West and Mad Max. As part of the entertainment, the organizers had a bunch of guys parading around dressed up as Franciscan monks while playing saxophones. To top it of, there was a guy ambulating around the premises – presumably a visitor – disguised as a the Witch-King of Angmar. A bad medieval event joining forces with a 3rd rate LARP. An entity far worse than the mere sum of its parts – a sight as painfully captivating as a train crash played in slow motion.

Level of Historic Authenticity: Abysmal

Level of Immersion into a Historic Setting: ZERO.

My Reaction as a Reenactor & Archaeologist: Daydreaming about carpet bombing the place with napalm.

The Visitors’ Experience: They seemed to be at least somewhat enjoying themselves. They were here to eat and drink while looking in marvel at a bunch of adults who like to play dress-up. It seemed that for them this was just another carnival.

Witch-King of Angmar
NOT a medieval knight. (Still image from the LOTR Trilogy)

In my introduction to living history, I have already urged my readership to pursue the highest level of quality and authenticity. But why do I so sternly insist on establishing and maintaining standards, when the visitors do not seem to care? Why should living history enthusiasts are about authenticity? Why should we bother?

Because we have the power to change the public opinion.

The public finds living history extremely fascinating, after all, this is why all of these events get organized. This makes living history a very powerful tool for the promotion of cultural heritage, and with great power there also comes responsibility. This power power turns actors in living history into something akin to museum workers.

Living Shame
Being a reenactor does carry with it some responsibilities.

Even if we care enough, why don’t our visitors share this fervour? The people do not actually know what is authentic, the average visitor has an interest in history, but does not devote time to the meticulous study of details such as clothing. Thus the visitor tends to believe everything that he sees to be authentic. In his mind, if you see something at a Roman/Viking/Medieval event, then it evidently must be Roman/Viking/Medieval. After all, these people were selected by an organizer, who promised the visitors an ‘authentic experience’. Therefore, the average visitor sees little reason to question what they see and does not differentiate between fact, fiction, or even blatant sloth and stupidity on the performer’s part.

So, if this lack of public criticism is caused by a lack of knowledge, why would anyone with at least a general interest in the past and heritage be uninformed in this age of public education, libraries and the internet?

1. Their preconceptions are already twisted by popular media. Just because there is a lot of easily available information out there, it does not mean that most of it is correct. The Horned Vikings of classic Hollywood, Vikings in Leather Biker gear, 16th century armour in a 9th century setting, invented clothing patterns which rely on modern elements, people in all kinds periods wearing huge leather bracers which do not seem to serve any function, etc., etc. We have decades of really misguided representations of the past to fight against, and big ‘historical productions’ are popular again, with a range of series and films coming out each year. The entertainment industry is in the business of selling entertainment, not providing education.

2. Even a lot of museum displays often offer questionable reconstructions, which show a very outdated state of knowledge about how the past looked like. Often these were put up with a very limited budget, by somebody who just barely knew what they were doing and wanted to simply slap something on a mannequin, in order to make the exhibition ‘more engaging’. Do not completely trust archaeologists in these fields, unless they have specialised in reconstructing costume. Just because they can go on for hours about jewellery typologies, that does not mean that they actually know how their object of study fits into the outfit as whole, or what is the whole meant to be. There is a certain correlation between a region or country having a well developed reenactment scene, and the amount of research being done on things such as ancient costume.

3. The public might not be primarily interested historical accuracy. Being entertained and being able to relate to what is presented is given priority. This a lesson which museology had to accept in trying to open up to a wider audience, and it applies to living history as well.

This presents some challenge to the participants, and especially to the organizers who should be enforcing these ideals. First, we have to do our homework to create an image of the past which is as accurate as possible. Secondly, we have to make this image entertaining by making it engaging and relatable. There might be various ways of achieving this, and we will have to keep innovating and refining our method. A bit less sitting around drinking, and more displaying craft in a didactic manner, and even offering engaging hands-on experiences to the participants might be a good start for many.

Historic Pottery Production
Less sitting around and more authentic (dirty) hands-on experiences leads to better engagement of visitors and participants. (Photo: Heidi Blix Madsen)

Also keep in mind that, if we as living history enthusiasts do not adhere to a strict ethos of authenticity, then we are actively lying to the audience, therefore making things even tougher for those who are actually trying to inform and educate the public.

If all the participants and visitors were well informed on historical fact, then authenticity would be less important – at least as far as the message is concerned. Since everybody would know what is what, history and fantasy could coexist in the same space in the name of good fun and creativity. Instead, we are give the task of educating the visitors at our evens. Therefore we should at least make the effort to educate them right.

But striving to creating an authentic, captivating, environment also has beneficial experiential aspect both for the visitor and the performer. It increases the level of immersion, the magic quality of theatre, present at the event. One should not underestimate the theatrical qualities of a historical market. An immersive environment allows the participants fall into character, thus increasing their enjoyment. Since the participant is immersed in the role, they do not need to ‘put up an act’ for the visitor, therefore presenting to the outsider a more gripping experience. Not only is the whole experience all of a sudden more believable it is also a lot more enjoyable to both parties involved. Are we not in this because we are deeply interested in the past and want to have fun with it?

In Summary – If you wish to engage in reenactment, uphold the highest standards of historical accuracy. Otherwise you are actively deceiving those who visiting these events, you ruining the fun for the other participants, and even potentially sabotaging your enjoyment. Striving towards authenticity might be more challenging if you are just starting, but it will pay off in large dividends further down the line. It will make you more knowledgeable, deepen your enjoyment of living history and open the gates to some amazing events in future.

Have some examples of best practice or some horror stories from events, which you have visited? Do write in the comments bellow.

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So – just to be clear. This is not MY wrighting. It is Harald the Smith who wrote this. But I really agree // Marie @ Simply Medieval

Embroided intarsia / Intarsiabroderi

Last weekend i attended a course by Historical textiles in Stockholm.
They finished an amazing project last year (read more about it here) and now they are offering their knowledge in what they learned during the process.

As a New Year’s resolution I promised myself to both attend and give courses this year, so this was a good start.
I really recommend and encourages you all to do the same. If you have any knowledge to give out – just do it. And if you don’t, take a course or several. You will not only learn a lot (yes you learn by teaching as well) but you will also grow as a person and make new friends and acquaintances 

This course was well prepared, and we got to learn a lot of history of these kind of work. And also se a lot of pictures of embroided intarsia coverlets and cushions that have survived through the years.

As a final treat, we got to look at the finished coverlets that started this whole thing.

I guess that I would have been able to figure the technique out for myself if I really wanted to. But I probably never would have started anything as it is outside my comfort zone. And I probably would have made several mistakes that I didn’t have to do now (some one else already have made those and learned from it and could teach me not to do the same).
And – most important. I never would have been able to get my hands on the guilded leather (real goldleaf).

I will just post a couple of pictures here. I rather see that you sign up for the course.
And yes… they can come to you if you want to   you just have to ask.

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Förra helgen gick jag en kurs i intarsiabroderi i Stockholm för Historical textiles.
Dom avslutade ett helt otroligt projekt förra året (läs mer här) och nu erbjuder dom kurser där dom för vidare vad dom lärt sig själva under processen.

Jag gav ett nyårslöfte i år, jag ska både gå fler kurser och även ge fler kurser så det här var en bra början.
Jag vill verkligen uppmuntra er att göra samma sak. Har ni något ni är duktiga på så erbjud er kunskap till andra, och är ni inte så duktiga så gå kurser för dom som är. Ni kommer inte bara att växa kunskapsmässigt (ja man lär sig saker på att lära ut också) utan även som människor. Ni kommer också att utöka er vänskapskrets.

Kursen var väl underbyggd och vi fick se många bra bilder på historiska fynd av liknande textilier, samt lära oss mer om deras historia.

Och som en sista liten guldklimp så fick vi även se dom återskapade guldskinnstäckena som startade det hela.

Jag skulle säkert ha kunnat klura ut tekniken själv, men jag skulle nog aldrig kommit mig för att göra det.
Dessutom slapp jag ju göra alla nybörjarmisstag själv, någon hade redan gjort dom och kunde berätta om det och visa hur man skulle göra istället.
Och – jag skulle ju inte kunnat få tag i gyllenlädret på egen hand (ja äkta guld applicerat på läder, ingen guldfärg här inte  )

Jag kommer bara posta några få bilder här för inspiration, jag ser hellre att ni går kursen faktiskt.
Och ja – dom kan komma till dig om inte du kan komma till dom, det är bara att fråga 


Starting with some Swedish fika and a test embroidery / Fika och provlapp.

Finished testsewing / Färdig med testet





The original / Originalet



The whole coverlet (the original) / Hela guldskinnstäcket (originalet)

Brickstitch and crowdfunding / Likriktad plattsöm och crowdfunding

I started a project a while back, where I was inspired by the roof of Hospices de Beaune (in France) and wanted to translate it into a brickstitchpattern.

My thought right then was to make a piece that would be sewn on to a modern leather handbag that I also were going to make. But then I saw Thomas Neijmans crowdfundingproject and that some guy were donating a Visby plate of arms and I asked if there would be any intrest if I would make this embroidery into a drawstring pouch instead, and well… yes 

I decided to just donate the bag to Thomas and his whife Maria and let them take care of the auktion since I always underestimate what my stuff is worth. It is not in any way some kind of false modesty. I just believe that the stuff I make isn’t up to everyone elses standard. I don’t know why… I have always thought so.

Today Maria put the auktion up in a Facebook-group and I almost dropped my jaw at the startingprice.
I would never have dared to put that price up to start the bidding. I estemated that it would end about there…
Maria said that she didn’t want to start to high though 
… and people are bidding!
I can’t believe it… They like my pouch and I am so happy 

A big part of the material for the bag was given to me by an anonymus benefactor. So it felt really good to be able to pass this on, and knowing that it will do make an impact (however small) to benefit our hobby 

You can find the auktion here

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För ett tag sedan startade jag ett projekt med inspiration av taken på det Franska Hospice de Beaune.
Det var tänkt att bli ett broderi som skulle sättas fast på en läderväska av modernt snitt som jag också skulle sy.

Sen såg jag att Thomas Neijman startade ett crowdfundingprojekt och blev inspirerad av att någon annan donerade en Visbyplata för utauktionering och tänkte att jag kanske kunde göra det här broderiet till en liten påsväska istället.

Jag frågade om det skulle vara av intresse och fick ett rungande Ja till svar 

Eftersom jag själv är väldigt dålig på att värdera mitt hantverk och alltid verkar undervärdera det så bestämde jag mig för att helt enkelt ge väskan till Thomas och hans fru Maria och låta dom sköta auktionen.
I dag fick jag höra att auktionen var igång… och utgångspriset var högre än vad jag trodde att slutbudet skulle landa på, men folk bjuder på den. Vilken känlsa 
Speciellt när Maria sa att hon började lite lågt med utgångspriset…

Det är inte falsk blygsamhet som får mig att undervärdera det jag gör. Jag vet att jag undervärderar det, men jag har den där lilla djävulen på axeln som sitter och säger att det jag gör inte är lika bra som alla andras, och därför kan jag inte begära lika mycket betalt som andra gör.

En stor del av materialet till det här projektet har jag fått av en anonym givare och därför känns det ännu bättre att få ge det vidare. 

Du hittar auktionen här

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Some pictures from the process of making the bag / Några bilder från tillverkningsprocessen.

A warning if someone wants to use this – I made some misstakes at the edges of the pattern. I forgot that it shouldn’t end there, it should repeat. So think about that.
Also, I just made this in paint so not all ”stitches” are the correct hight.
I will not recommend this for beginners, you need to be able to see the faults in the pattern to use it.

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En varning om någon vill använda mönstret här – Jag gjorde en del misstag i kanterna på mönstret där jag glömde att det skulle upprepa sig. Så tänk på det.
Och eftersom jag gjorde detta manuellt i paint så har jag inte fått alla ”stygn” i korrekt längd.
Jag rekommenderar inte att du använder detta om du inte är van vid att brodera brickstitch eftersom du behöver kunna se felen i mönstret för att kunna undvika dom.

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!

Dead man walking…

I might sound grim, but that is what my dear husband will be at Battle of Wisby this summer.
He will join in the fight as cannon fodder, and will “die” at the beginning of the fight (and then hope for good weather so he can take a nice nap or sunbathe until the fighting is over  )
Off course there won’t actually be any cannons, but it still is the correct term for those who is sent out to die in the battlefield.

So, why will he be cannon fodder and not participate in the actual fighting?

A little over two years ago I asked him if he wanted to fight in the BoW-reenactment and he said:
– eeeeh, well… maby it would be fun?!
So I told him that he had to make his mind up as we needed to make some kind of armour for him in that case and it could be quite costly if we had to buy most of it. So he would think about it.

A little mor then one year ago I asked him again and said that he in that case could not fight with a sword because I would not have time to make all the gear he would need, so if he wanted to participate he would have to be a bowsman. And the answer was:
– that sounds quite fun, I will check my bow and find out what helmet I need…

Last year in October/November (after trying to find everything he needed to be a bowsman) I said that time was running out, would he like to be a bowsman, didn’t he want to participate at all or did he just want to be canon fodder?

– cannon fodder? That sounds great

So for chrismas he got a secret helmet (cervellier) and a new kirtle and now he is quite engaged.
He is planning to practise “dyeing spectacularly” as soon as the snow is gone and the grass is dry. As both him and I have practised ju-jitsu, we know how to fall, and to fall BIG without hurting ourselves. The thought is an arrow to the back while running (perhaps while delivering the message that the Danish is comeing, or running from the battlefield. But some more “deaths” will be rehersed to.

I hope to se many more that like to participate as cannon fodder.

If you sew your clothes as i show in the sew-alongs, you will be fine.
If you don’t have correct shoes, you can sew a piece of leather to the sole of your hose. The only safety demand is that you have a helmet suitable for 1360 Sweden… We chose the secret as it doesn’t have a brim, so it is more comfortable after you “died” and lay on the ground, but the cettlehelmet is fine to.
I will try to make a tutorial as soon as I can for making the brailles, but until then, here is a drawing of how to think when you make the pattern if you do not want to wait

Join the official battle of wisby page and perhaps we can ask for special event/group for those who want to be cannon fodder.
It is an important role, it won’t look as great without masses of people that “die” duriing the battle…
The more the merrier
Join in the fun


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Dead man walking…


Ok det låter lite grymt, men det är precis vad min käre make kommer att vara på Battle of Wisby nu i sommar.
Han kommer att delta i striden som kanonmat, och kommer att ”dö” i början av striden (och vi hoppas på gott väder så att han kan ta en liten middagslur eller sola tills striden är över  )
Självklart kommer det inte finnas några riktiga kanoner på slagfältet, men termen kanonmat är ändå korrekt för de som sänds ut på slagfältet för att dö.

Så, varför vill han vara kanonmat och inte delta i själva striden?

För lite mer än 2 år sedan så frågade jag honom om han ville delta i BoW-striden och han sa:
– eeeh, tja, kanske det skulle vara kul?!Så jag sa åt honom att han måste bestämma sig eftersom vi måste fixa någon sorts rustning åt honom i så fall och det kan bli rätt kostsamt om vi måste köpa det mesta. Så han skulle fundera på det.

Lite över ett år sedan frågade jag honom igen, och sa att han nu inte kunde få slåss med svärd eftersom jag inte skulle ha tid att tillverka all utrustning han behövde för det, så om han ville delta så skulle han få vara bågskytt. Och svaret blev:
– Det låter rätt kul, jag ska kolla min båge och kolla upp vilken typ av hjälm jag behöver…

Förra året i Oktober/November (efter att försökt hitta allt han behövde för att vara bågskytt) så sa jag att tiden för det rinner ut, ville han vara bågskytt, ville han inte delta alls eller ville han bara vara kanonmat?
– kanonmat? Det låter toppen

Så i julklapp fick han en secret hjälm (cervellier) och en ny kjortel och nu är han riktigt engagerad.
Han planerar att öva på att ”dö spektakulärt” så snart snön är borta och gräsmattan har torkat upp. Tanken är att bli skjuten i ryggen av en pilbåge medan han springer (kanske är det han som kommer och skriker att Dansken kommer, eller kanske är han den där som avviker från slagfältet. Men några fler sätt att ”dö” kommer bli inövade också)

Jag hoppas att många fler vill delta som kanonmat.

Om du syr dina kläder på sättet jag visar i mina sew-alongs så är du på rätt bana.
Om du inte har korrekta skor så kan du sy på lädersulor på dina hosor. Det enda säkerhetskravet för kanonmat är att du har en hjälm som är passande för 1360-talets Sverige… Vi valde secrethjälmen eftersom den inte har något brätte och det kommer antagligen vara skönt när man har ”dött” och ligger ner på fältet, men kittelhjälmen funkar också.
Jag ska försöka göra en tutorial så fort jag kan för hur man gör brokor, men tills dess så får ni en teckning om hur man kan tänka när man gör mönster och syr dom om ni inte vill vänta

Gå med på The official battle of wisby -sidan så kanske vi kan be om ett speciellt event/grupp för dom som vill vara kanonmat.
Det är en viktig roll, det kommer inte alls se lika bra ut om det inte är mängder med människor som ”dör”under striden…

Ju fler destå bättre
Kom igen, det kommer att bli kul


Unfortunately I only had this with Swedish text, but I hope that you get the picture so to say

My dear husband, all geared up.
Showing both the christmas presents (kirtle and helmet) and the hose from the last sew-along.

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Kära maken, i full utrustning.
Här ser man både julklappskjorteln och hjälmen, samt hosorna från förra sew-alongen.

Just one kirtle? / Bara en kjortel?

What would you say if I said that you can use the same kirtle no matter what period you recreate?
At least between the viking age and to the end of the 15th century.
Well, at least if you recreate a woman. For men it can be a little more difficult since the length of the kirtle changed trough the ages.  But kneelength could be ok as long as you don’t attend a high demand event.

How could it be possible?
I will try to show you, the part for us girls anyway

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Vad skulle du säga om jag sa att du kan använda samma kjortel oavsett vilken tidsepok du återskapar?
Åtminstone mellan vikingatid och slutet av 1400-talet.
Nåja, om du återskapar en kvinna så stämmer det i alla fall. För män kan det vara lite krångligare eftersom längden på kjorteln varierade mellan århundradena. Men knälängd kan funka så länge du inte besöker några högkravsevent i alla fall.

Hur kan det här stämma?
Jag ska försöka visa dig, i alla fall tjej-biten

This is me as a viking. The green kirtle is borrowed, the yellow kirtle is sewn in the same way as the kirtle I sewn earlier in this blog. It is the yellow kirtle, sewn by ”square pieces and gussets-principal”,  that you will see in all the pictures that follows.
I just change accessories and hairstyle in the pictures.

My friend who made this project with me, is Annie Rosén.
She makes beautiful jewelry (wich you can find here) but also beautiful pictures
When we met at Medieval week this year (2015) and started talking about this idea, we couldn’t let it go.
So here it is

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Det här är jag som viking. Den gröna kjorteln har jag lånat och den gula kjorteln är den som kommer finnas med på alla bilder i denna post. Den är sydd på samma sätt som kjorteln jag bloggade om tidigare här. Det vill säga med ”raka stycken och kilar-principen”.
Det enda jag gör på följande bilder är att ändra frisyr och byta accessoarer.

Min vän och kompanjon i detta projekt är Annie Rosén.
Hon gör vackra smycken (som du kan hitta här) men även vackra bilder
När vi träffades på medeltidsveckan i år (2015) och kom in på den här idén så kunde vi inte släppa den.
Och nu är den här

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Ok, lets get started then

First out is a picture from about 1250. You can find the original in the Maciejowski-bible (from France)

Spot the difference?
Ok my kirtle could have been a bit longer I don’t quite get that bulk at the belt (as you will notice on later pictures) but the style of the kirtle is spot on.
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Ok… då börjar vi

Vi börjar med en bild från mitten av 1200-talet Originalet kan hittas i Maciejowski-bibeln (från Frankrike)

Finn fem fel?
Ok, min kjortel kunde ha varit en bra bit längre. Jag får liksom inte riktigt det där pöset vid bältet (som du även kommer märka i senare bilder) men stilen på kjorteln stämmer på pricken.


Next picture is dated to 1300-1325 and can be found in Breviary of Chertsey Abbey, England.

Look what a different hairstyle and/or headgear will do…

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Nästa bild är daterad till 1300-1325 och originalet kan hittas i  Breviary of Chertsey Abbey, England

Se vilken skillnad en annan frisyr och/eller huvudbonad gör…

And now we move to France in 1340-1350 where we find this image in Roman en Prose de Lancelot du Lac.

My wonderful dog is the best accessory  but the dress still fits fine. Here under an sleeveles surcote.

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Vi förflyttar oss till 1340-1350 och Frankrike där vi hittar denna bild i Roman en Prose de Lancelot du Lac.

Min underbara hund är den bästa accessoaren  men klänningen funkar fortfarande. Här har jag även en ärmlös surcot över den.

In Germany it could look like this in 1360. The manuscript is Speculum humanae salvationis.

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Året är 1360 och platsen är Tyskland, manuskriptet är Speculum humanae salvationis.

In 1412-1416 a picture from the French almanac could look like this. Source Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

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1412-1416 kunde en almanacka se ut på det här sättet. Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, Frankrike

And now for the last picture. It is 1476 and the manuscriptis Livre de la chasse.
We could have found more pictures (there are so many to choose from where theese kind of kirtle is plausible) but we thought that you could try a bit on your own.
Don’t forget to show your own pictures in the comments

Remember, we don´t know wich patterns these kirtles are sewn from. But, as you can see… It works just fine with this kind

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Här har vi då sista bilden. Året är 1476 och manuskriptet är Livre de la chasse.
Vi kunde säkert hittat och återskapat fler bilder (det finns så många att välja mellan där den här typen av kjortel är möjlig/ trolig) men här någonstans tänkte vi att ni själva skulle få försöka

Kom ihåg, vi vet inte vilka mönster dessa kjortlar på bilderna är sydda efter, men som du kan se så passar vår typ av kjortel in helt perfekt

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