Omw to Närcon 2015.
I love green, and I love checkers, and I kind of like the Lolita style, when it isn’t too frilly. This skirt ( I suppose you could call it a dress, but I define a dress as something that can be worn alone, and this can’t unless you want to be absolutely scandalous!) is made with polyester fabric imitating plaid. I drafted it myself, partly basing it on a skirt I already had. I cut the fabric to make the squares align on the bias. It is lined with linen for more support at the tight waist and buttons at the front with fabric-covered buttons from an old shirt. The straps tie at the neck.
This is one of the few garments I’ve made over the years that I actually use on an everyday basis and not just special events. It’s pretty but doesn’t make me feel over dressed, and can be worn with many different tops underneath!
Lot’s of skirt!
I have tried just about every method there is for curling my hair: plastic curlers, foam curlers, curlers with velcro, curling irons, round brush+hairdryer, pincurls, rag curls, braiding, perming… When I was in high scool, I actually slept with my head full of my grandmothers hard plastic curlers every other night– crazy uncormfortable, but I was determined! These days, now that I’ve achieved my goal of having really long hair, I am more concerned about hair health and less displeased with my naturally straight hair. I always sleep with in in a braid, so it’s perpetually wavy anyway. But for special occasions, for example when I want to do a vintage or victorian hairdo, I still like to get real corkscrew curls. My favourite method has been rag curls, but that tends to leave the ends of my hair a bit bent. So I decided to invent my own curlers, combining the soft roundness of foam curlers with the material that is most kind to your hair: silk!
Silk and cut-up foam curlers.
Here’s how you do it:
- take a packet of foam curlers (the long kind with wire inside)
- cut them open and remove the wire
- cut them up into smaller pieces about 5 cm long
- sew casings for them using strips of silk fabric wide enough to contain them and long enough to tie into a double knot (or a bow if you’re feeling fancy and have silk to spare).
- sew seams at the ends of the foam bits so they won’t slide around in the casings.
One little silk curler went up on my head…
All the little silk curlers live in a pretty tin box.
- dampen your hair and roll it up in your new curlers
- sleep on it
- take out when your hair is completely (!) dry
- leave the curls as they are, do them up in a pretty hairdo or brush them out for more natural-looking waves
Curls well done!
Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?
The gugel was a type of headdress from the 14th century. Mine is made from red wool, lined with white linen and completely handsewn with waxed linen thread. Even though the wool isn’t that thick, it is surprisingly warm. Very nice for cold Visby nights at Medieval Week on Gotland that aren’t quite cold enough to merit a cloak.
Blue apron dress over red linen dress.
I had some left over lovely blue wool fabric and an event to go to where I was dressing up as the asynja Idun, so I decided to make a Viking apron dress! Or two thirds of one, the sides aren’t supposed to be open if you want to be period correct. I also added lacing in the back for a better fit – tubular apron dresses are not the most flattering garment for small boobs. The dress is completely hand sewn with waxed linen thread and decorated with a ribbon I had lying around. It is only hemmed at the top, because I figured I might add some gussets in the sides some other time. Here, Im wearing it over my red linen dress – love the combination of red and blue!
These stitches are even Steven!
Eyelets handsewn with silk thread.
Handsewn eyelets reinforced with linen on the inside and finger braided cord with aglet.
Top hem sewn with herringbone stitch (?). They’re called ‘häxstygn’ – witch stich, in Swedish. Or ‘krejstygn’.
Lacing at the back.
Rawr, I has sword!
Red linen dress over white linen shift.
What do you do when you’re bored at your family’s summer house and don’t have access to your sewing machine? You go to the local fabric store and find some fabric for a handsewn dress! This one is more inspired my the Middle Ages rather than being any attempt at reproduction. Linen was usually not worn as outer garments, and I’m not even sure it actually is linen. It may be some cotton blend that just looks a bit like linen. But I did handsew it with wasxed linen thread and finger braid my own cord for the lacing. I was going to cast over all of the seams on the inside by hand too, but ran out of time before Medieval Week on Gotland, so mot of them are finished by machine. Even though that isn’t very period correct either, I like the look when you can see the shift under the dress!
Seam sewn and cast over by hand.
Seam sewn by hand but zigzagged by machine.
Hem seen from the inside, sewn with silk thread.
Eyelet hand sewn with silk, finger braided cord and aglet.
When I decided to make my medieval wool kirtle, I needed a shift to go with it. I ended up wearing it with all of my medieval garb. It is completely hand sewn, hemmed and felled with waxed linen thread and made from pure linen. The neckline is very wide and low to go with my wool kirtle and my red linen dress. I recently added a drawstring to be able to change the neckline depending on the dress.
Felled seam seen from the outside.
Felled seam seen from the inside.
Hem seen from the outside.
Hem seen from the inside.
So much skirt!
My first attempt at more historically accurate medeival garb. I got very inspired when I was studying textile history, and since I go to Medieval Week on Gotland every year, I thought it was time to try my hand at soemthing more historically accurate. I drew inspiration from kirtles of the mid 14th century, much like the in reeanctment circles popular Moy Bog, but with lacing instead of buttons. I drafted it myself based on the structure found in for example the Bocksten Man’s garb: rectangular pieces and triangular gussets. It is made from green homespun and completely hand sewn with waxed linen thread. The cord for the lacing is finger braided with yellow wool yarn.
Underneath, I wear a linen shift (absolutely required because wool can itch close to the skin and because linen is MUCH more washable than wool).
Finger braided cord, aglet and eyelets sewn with silk and reinforced with linen.
Side seam from the outside.
Hem and side seam from the inside.
Surrender now, or prepare to fight!
Pokémon theme party of 2012! I dressed up as Jessie from Team Rocket in the original anime. Sorry, I don’t play Pokémon, but it was one of the first animes I watched as a little girl along with Sailor Moon.
Not much sewing invloved in this costume, but some other craftiness! The top is a shirt which I folded up and secured with safety pins. I did make the skirt, by cutting off an old tank top and hemming it. The gloves are a pair of short leather gloves plus the cut of legs of faux leather leggings. Instead of boots, I wear overknee socks. The earrings are buttons attached to earring hooks. The ‘R’ is made of ribbon glued onto cardboard.
Prepare for trouble!
Make it double!
The hairstyling was the most work really. I teased my own hair over a huge pair of rollers with velcro and braided in some wire to make it stand a bit. Plus a ton of hairspray.
Piece of fabric turned over once and pleated at the sides for drape. Also some pleats around the neckline.
I finally found fabric in the shade of green I like – not khaki, not caterpillar, not turqoise – just super freaking green! Surprisingly hard to find! This is a pretty standard stretch fabric, so I made a tight bodycon dress. So glad my sewing machine can do overlock stitch. For the pattern, I copied a dress I already had and adjusted the fit around the waist a bit. (I always have to take in any dresses I buy because my torso is so much smaller than my hips.) I also added the draping over the bust. It’s simply a rectangle of fabric that’s turned over once and pleated on both sides. I also made som pleats at the sides and centre of the neckline for more shape. Of all the garments I’ve made, this is definitely the one I’ve used the most. Both fancy and comfy!
Bodycon dress back view.
Bodycon dress front view.
This Jedi Master attended the premiere of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens dressed by me. Now he has joined the Rebel Legion! Emil had dreamed of owning proper Jedi attire ever since he was little, so this was an especially fun commission to make. Emil assembled the belt with all the little pouches himself, bought a pair of faux leather boots and weathered them and already owned the light saber. He was also inspired to make his own undertunic (barely visible at the neck here). More info on his Rebel Legion Profile!
The Force is strong with this one.
Shoulder tuck at the sleeve aligning with the tabard.
I made the Jedi tunic, tabard, obi and robe. The attire is very much inspired by traditional Japanese dress. I drafted the tunic from Emil’s aikido gi with a few changes: I added shoulder tucks (the little folds at the shoulders) and made the tunic a bit straighter. The obi and tabards are basically just long rectangular fabric tubes. The obi is wrapped around the waist and secured with the belt, and the tabards rest on the shoulders and are tucked under the obi. All except the robe made of the same oatmeal linen. For the robe, I had help from this fantastic tutorial. It is made from pure wool and very heavy! Emil had done a ton of research himself so that everything would be just right. The Rebel Legion has actual costume standards, much like historical accuracy in reenactment circles!
Jedi Master without his robe.
The tabards cross at the back under the obi and the belt.
The robe is freaking huge!
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