June 2016


Herjofsnes challenge No. 39 - 2

Earlier this year, Elina at Neulakko started the Herjolfsnes challenge on Facebook after a bunch of us realised that we all bought the same fabric with the intention that it would become a garment based on the extant garments from Herjolfsnes, Greenland. With the books “Woven into the earth” and/or “Medieval Garments Reconstructed” as a base and help.

Herjofsnes challenge No. 39 - 3
Herjofsnes challenge No. 39 - 4

I decided to make a no. 39 based on the fact that there was no strange seams, no singling or tablet weaving involved. I wanted to take the “easy way out” as I always seem to make things harder and more complicated. I need to exercise simplicity.
Also I really wanted to make a short sleeved overdress and the double pointed gore in front and back is so pretty.

Herjofsnes challenge No. 39 - 8

The fabric is a white/gray wool twill fabric from Medeltidssmode.se it is a bit fluffy but not to thick. It was very nice to work with and for this dress I decided to not use any measuring while sewing. Trying to get over my tailor training of exact measurement but trust my eyes.

Herjofsnes challenge No. 39 - 1

Herjofsnes challenge No. 39 - 13

The dress is sewn with wool tread using only running stitches as the original. All the seams are sewn to the dress with overcast stitches.

Herjofsnes challenge No. 39 - 10

Both in the neckline, hem and sleeves 1cm is folded in and cast down. The extant gown have no filler threads mentioned at all so I decided not to use any either.

Herjofsnes challenge No. 39 - 11

There is two rows of stab stitching at the neckline and sleeves and in the bottom hem there is one row of stab stitches. I also stab stitched the top part of the front and back gore as the original. It is a good way of defining and making a durable edge. Locking the seam allowances down and helps from stretching.

Herjofsnes challenge No. 39 - 12

Herjofsnes challenge No. 39 - 14

Herjofsnes challenge No. 39 - 15

Herjofsnes challenge No. 39 - 9

Herjofsnes challenge No. 39 - 6

The neckline have two pairs of eyelets, the text does not mention anything about what the were sewn with but as all the other seams are sewn with wool, I used that for the eyelets as well.

Herjofsnes challenge No. 39 - 5

Herjofsnes challenge No. 39 - 7

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sideless surcoat - 8
Being a trial member of the 14th century re-enactment group Fraternis Militia Carnis I was invited to the carnival at the annular meeting. I decided to dress up as a popular medieval saint, Catherine of Alexandria. For this I needed some “fancy clothing”. So I decided to make a yellow silk sidless surcoat, something that also have a home in my “normal medieval wardrobe”.

sideless surcoat - 7

sideless surcoat - 1
It is made in silk tafetta and is flat lined with a thin wool fabric to give the right drape of the fabric. I choose to machine wash the silk and wool before sewing, that was a good thing as I was spilled on after 30 minutes, meat on silk dress leaves a stain, but most came of after a go in the machine.

sideless surcoat - 2

sideless surcoat - 5
I also made a front and back gusset even if all extant sidless surcoats are with only side gussets. But based on manuscripts the fullness seems sometime to also be in front of the sidless surcoat. But if you wish to make it without I would advice you to make the side gussets a bit wider in the hem.

sideless surcoat - 6
The whole dress is sewn by hand with running stitches with silk thread, back stitches are kind of unnecessary as there is no strain what so ever on the seams in this kind of dress. The seams are then sewn to the wool lining with not to big stitches.

sideless surcoat - 3

sideless surcoat - 4

I finished the neckline with stab stitches and will probably do the armholes as well. I hemmed the neckline with a single fold, but the armholes with a small double folded hem, as you can see it when it is worn. The bottom hem is a wider single folded hem.

sideless surcoat - 9

This dress was made for me who is 176cm long, bust measurement 120cm, hip measurement 130cm.
The pattern is made in cm, click it to see a larger version.

sideless surcoat - pattern