August 2013


On me blog post “Lengberg Castle brassiere, it works!” I added a comparison picture between a modern bra and my Lengberg castle bra dress, but the pictures were taken one year apart and from different angles so they did not really show the true difference but perhaps more of my body one year apart. ;)

So I decided to take some new pictures to show it from more angles as well.

Lengberg Castle brassiere - comparison front
To the left is the modern under wire bra and to the right is my Lengberg castle brassiere dress.
The most noticable difference is how it sits under the bust. It is strange since the modern bra sits tighter just under the bust then the Lengberg castle brassiere does, but still the medieval bra makes the dress sit tighter under the bust. The Lengberg castle brassiere gives me slightly more waist definition, it is not strange as it goes further down to my waist then my modern bra and since I am quite soft the Lengberg castle brassiere pulls my waist in a bit. Add that the Lengberg castle brassiere have a skirt part on it it also builds slightly on my hips, it does not really show in this picture but it shows from the side and gives the illusion of a slimmer waist as well.
My breast look a tad rounder to, also strange since I wear a balconette bra that with my modern clothings gives a very rounded bust.

Lengberg Castle brassiere - comparison side
To the left is the modern under wire bra and to the right is my Lengberg castle brassiere dress.
Here you see it, that the skirt part have given me more stomach then with my modern bra. I had not noticed this in real life, you can see that the dress goes in under the bust more as well. I am guessing that this is because of the pleated skirt that is on the Lengberg castle brassiere and it gives me the slightly pregnant oh so trendy 14th century posture.

Lengberg Castle brassiere - comparison back
To the left is the modern under wire bra and to the right is my Lengberg castle brassiere dress.
Over all the Lengberg castle brassiere gives me a smoother look and you can see here as well that it makes me even more hippy then I am from the start and defines my waist a bit more.

So there you have it, this is the difference on me between wearing my modern under wire bra (that really fits well) and me wearing my Lengberg castle brassiere dress. There is a difference in how the dress sits on me but the function of the two brassieres are the same, it keeps my breasts happy and where they should be all day.

My other posts about the Lengberg Castle brassiere.

Lengberg Castle brassiere
Lengberg Castle brassiere – It works

The trendy thing at the moment among re-enactors seems to be the frilled veil. Everyone makes one and after my try last year with my non starched frilled veil I was very exited to make a new veil. This time I wanted to try the nice starched kind.

I first read about frilled veils over at Medieval Silkwork and it was something I had never seen before. But after knowing about them I started to see them in so many pictures. It is often like that, that you don’t see things because you don’t know what to see. This is why it is so interesting to talk to other people about how they interpret a pictures, we all see so different things in the same picture.

Here is a picture of a four layer frill.
Four layers seems popular.
Layered frills.

Then I just had to figure out the best way for me to make them. First I wanted to do the measuring and marking before the sewing, but well I ditched that for this really simple “no measuring” way.

Starched frilled veil - 1
Starched frilled veil - 2
Starched frilled veil - 3
Starched frilled veil - 4
Starched frilled veil - 5
First I cut a really really thin linen fabric into strips, I needed about 3,5 meter to make my frill that is about 80 cm finished.
The strips are 6,5cm wide before hemming. I cut them 100% straight by pulling out threads to use as guides for cutting. I also pull out a thread at 1 cm on one side, to guide me when doing the hem.
Then you sew together two strips using a really small felled seam and make a thin double folded hem. I do not hem all the way but leaves about five cm on each side of the long strip. When hemming and sewing the strips together I use silk thread.

Starched frilled veil - 6
To make the holes when starching the veil I am using wooden dowel pins, these I also use when sewing the thing, here is where the no measuring comes in. I start by putting my first dowel pin in, I put the first in the middle of the sewn together strip. It is important that the felled seam is put as you see in my picture, this way it gets almost invisible in the finished veil.

Starched frilled veil - 7
Then you add dowel pins and pin as you go along, one pin for every one dowel pin. Pull the fabric snug around the dowel pins.

Starched frilled veil - 8
Starched frilled veil - 9
After a while you will notice that the pins are getting hard to handle, not is the time to do some sewing.

Starched frilled veil - 10
Take the dowel pins out, now you get an idea of how it will look later.

Starched frilled veil - 11
Where the pins are you are now going to sew together with some small stitches at the same place.

Starched frilled veil - 12
To go to the next pin you can go in the hem without the threads showing.

Starched frilled veil - 13
And then fasten the frill with small stitches again.

Starched frilled veil - 14
Work your way through all the pins.

Starched frilled veil - 15
Now it is time to make more frills. I put in three dowel pins in the frills I just sewed, this makes it easier to make the new dowel pins snug. Then you continue on, pinning and sewing until you get to the end of your strip.

Starched frilled veil - 16
As you remember you did not hem all the way out on your strip, now you put the last dowel pins in, mark with a needles and then take it apart again.

Starched frilled veil - 17
You can now cut of the excess fabric and hem the strip and the side of the strip.

Starched frilled veil - 18
Then you can sew the last stitches on this side.

Starched frilled veil - 19
Continue on the other side of the strips in the same way, and when you need to attach the third strip you make sure that the felled seam ends up like in the picture, in the middle of the fill. To make it more invisible. And you finish of the end of the strip as you did on the other side.

Starched frilled veil - 20
Now you need to pleat the back of the frill. I do not measure at all, using the threads in the fabric and how the fabrics wants to lay you can get nice pleats anyway, and it is not deadly important that they are 100% exact and the same.

Starched frilled veil - 21
Starched frilled veil - 22
Starched frilled veil - 23
I sew my pleats down with big backstitches, hare I used a waxed linen thread, but these will not be seen so it is not important what kind of thread you use, I had the waxed linen thread already on the needle so that is the reason why I used that in stead of silk.

Starched frilled veil - 24
Then I took a strip of linen cut straight on the grain and enclosed the raw edges, just as you bind anything in a bias strip.

Starched frilled veil - 25
Now it is done and time to starch.

Starched frilled veil - 26
It was my first time starching anything and I decided to use a modern starch for this time. I used potato starch and water. I took 1dl cold water and whisked down 2 teaspoons of potato starch in a pot. Then I put the pot on the stove and kept whisking, it is supposed to simmer but not boil. And then with the heat it turns into slime.

Starched frilled veil - 27
Then I applied the slime with my fingers to the fabric, generously on both sides. I let it sit for a few minutes to make the fibres soak up the starch. Then I took away the excess starch with my fingers, so slimy! Then it is time to put in your wooden dowel pins, my frilled veil took about 125 wooden dowel pins. Then you need to let it dry, I hanged it on my drying rack in the sun.

Starched frilled veil - 28
When it is completely dry you can take the pins out.

Starched frilled veil - 29
Sometimes the dowel pins stick to the fabric and you have to use some force to remove them. Look how crisp it has become.

Starched frilled veil - 30
One stitch broke when I took the dowel pins out, but it is only to sew it back again.

Starched frilled veil - 31
Then it is only to sew onto your favourite shape of veil, I put mine on a half circle veil of the same thin linen as the frill.

Cathrin Åhlén
And this is how it looks. The starching held up VERY well, I used it several days and at the battle of Mästerby it even held up to a light rain, I was quick to throw my open hood on but the ends of the frill was still in the rain. All I had to do when I came home was to take it of and put the dowel pins in again and to let it dry. The next day it was as crisp as when I starched it the first time.
As long as the starch is not washed away I believe that if the frills looks a bit flat you can mist it with water and put the dowel pins in and let dry, that would refresh the frills without having to re-starch it completely.

In my previous blog post about the Lengberg Castle brassiere where you can find the pattern I had just made it and not really worn it, I mostly wanted to put the pattern out there as soon as possible so that people could try it by themselves for the summer season.

But now I have finally tried it out to see how it works.
The fabric used for it was a bit thin so I have lined the body of it (not the cups) with a heavier linen fabric, I have also added a skirt part, as can be seen many of the medieval pictures. I have also made the cups slightly less pointy as I was not really happy whit the shape of the breasts.

Here are some pictures of the brassiere type of dress.
My favourite picture, I need one of those pillows
A woman in a window
One more that has wider shoulder straps.

Lengberg Castle brassiere, it works

Now on to how it actually works.
I wore my bra dress for every day of my visit to Visby, that is 6 full days.
I have never worn anything as comfortable as this thing, I usually get marks from wearing my modern under wire bra for a full day. But with my bra dress there was NO marks at all, and this things sits really tight around the torso! I think that as I used a soft wool braid in the lacing this helped with not giving me any lines from the lacing either.
There is not as much lift as my modern under wire, but there was no uncomfortable droopyness, they sat where they should all day with no discomfort. I really recommend this style, I have big breasts and it worked perfectly for them. Also, the fantastic feeling of not having any uncomfortable pressure from my under wire, that does give me marks after a full days work.

Lengberg Castle brassiere - front
Here is a picture of the front of the bra dress (hello hips!).

Lengberg Castle brassiere - comparison
Even if taken at slightly different angles and one year apart, the left picture is my green dress with my bra dress under, and the right picture is my green dress with a modern bra under.

My other posts about the Lengberg Castle brassiere.

Lengberg Castle brassiere
Lengberg Castle brassiere – comparison

Medieval week 2013
Take Scandinavias best preserved medieval city and add lots and lots of people in costumes. Vikings, medieval, landsknects any costume you can think of. There are pirates and fairies, jesters, princesses and monks. A huge eight day festival filled with market, tournaments, workshops, re-enactment. People singing in the streets, fire and laughter.

Everyone is happy, everyone is there to meet friends and have fun. For many including me Visby is magical.
Visby is a small city on the island Gotland outside the Swedish mainland.

So What do you do?

Medieval week 2013
There is a lot of sitting, often including some kind of pick nick.

Medieval week 2013
Medieval week 2013
You and your friends do silly things as march with 118 other landsknechte and trossfraus through Visby.

Medieval week 2013
Medieval week 2013
Medieval week 2013
The march called “100 landsknechte march” is AMAZING to take part of.

Medieval week 2013
I also played the part of “fleeing civilian” at the Battle of Mästerby

Medieval week 2013
Medieval week 2013
Medieval week 2013
It was just as amazing to see to see the battle so close up. After running for my life I sat only about one meter from where the Danish forces crushed Gotlands fighters. Very awesome!

Medieval week 2013
Medieval week 2013
There is a lot off sitting down with food and friends. In the background you can see the wall that surrounds big parts of Visby.

Medieval week 2013
Medieval week 2013
Medieval week 2013
Then there was the big battle! I was “fleeing civilian” this time to. At the battle of Mästerby I felt the battle more closely. The big battle was of course a lot bigger and I only saw the actual fighting from far away. But it looked amazing! The Battle of Wisby group have high standards for the participants and that makes it all into a time travel, a plausible slice of a medieval battle.

Medieval week 2013
Medieval week 2013
Medieval week 2013
Battle of Wisby also had a camp. The camp is re-enacting a camp from the 14th century and there were groups from all over Europe attending. I had the chance to take part of some of the camp life, even if I lived in a apartment on the big square. I loved the camp, I don’t belong to any re-enactment group (yet) but everyone in the camp was so friendly and nice to me and I made a bunch of new friends.
There were a lot of workshops held in the camp and I took part of a plant dyeing workshop. Filling my heads with plans for the winter. I might not be able to dye fabric for an entire dress (finding a pot that takes 4 meter of wool fabric might be hard) but I will surely try to dye for smaller things.
I also learned how to do brick stitch embroidery, since I had been craving the silk bags that everyone is making at the moment.

Medieval week 2013
Medieval week 2013
Medieval week 2013
Medieval week 2013
And I also learned how to make stone mould for pewter, it was not hard to work work in the stone but really hard to make anything good. I tried to make a badge with a bunny, a acorn shaped mount for a belt and a acorn button that looks mostly like a breast.

Medieval week 2013
A happy me in the camp.

Medieval week 2013
My loot of the week is this nice jug from the Danish medieval centre that is a copy of a Danish find from 14-15th century.

Medieval week 2013
I also finally bought a willow carrying basket, I only need to change the straps, they are made of a chrome tanned leather so not that period but it was a good price for the basket.

I had the best medieval week so far, new friends and a lot of nice people that came up to me and said that they read and like my blog. I like that you like my blog and it is always nice to see people in real life.
There are a few more pictures from my week, and they can be found HERE!

If you see me, come up and say hi!

Medieval week 2013