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.

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