I’m blogging a bit backwards when it comes to some of my Viking garb posts – I started off with a purple-pink apron dress (which has a few problems, mostly because of my impatience) and from there made this blue linen dress, and then the dark blue pillowcase-turned-apron dress – but I blogged about the dark blue one first, now this one, and haven’t even taken photos yet of the purple-pink dress… Still…
I started out with this dress wanting to make it quite fitted through the bust and waist, but when I put it on it was just TOO fitted – the back waist area pulled in an unattractive way to my eyes, and putting it on over top of an underdress was challenging – and again, not attractive. I ended up opening up the side seams (which I had thankfully done with wide seam allowances instead of serging them closed) and put in additional panels which gave just a little extra room at the bust and waist… and then since I was already in there, gave a bit more width to the hips and hem (although they didn’t need it).
Yes… I made it all by machine.. which I know isn’t period, but I’m going for the “look”, not historical accuracy. Plus serging linen is a lot faster and easier than hand-finishing unseen edges!
Once I had the circumference of the dress accurate – I found it actually fit really nicely. It pulls on over my head, but still falls well on me – with or without a linen underdress. (Although I don’t plan to wear it without an underdress, it’s at least nice to know that I can….)
I chose to do a reverse facing on the top edge with some very plain (not shiny) even-weave silk I had left over from another project. I ‘auditioned’ this red, a darker red, a blue and a purple silk with the dress and my selected trim, and really liked this red best.
The blue and white trim was in a grab-bag from the Grandmother’s Fabric Sale this year. It’s acrylic as far as I’m going to guess, but I thought it at least LOOKED good – simple stitches over a blue band of cloth. It doesn’t look like tablet-weaving, but rather like an embroidered band of fabric used as trim.
After reverse-facing the top of the dress with silk, then stitching the lower edge of the facing down creating the band of red silk at the neckline, I sewed the blue and white trim down on top of the red silk. Of course, adding in the facing I also sewed in the loops for the straps – long loops in the back, short loops at the front.
I actually made my longer back loops a bit TOO long. I found that I could loop them through the front loops and secure them with a very short pin. Since my “turtle broaches” so far aren’t really broaches.. hopefully this means I can thread them on to the straps, and then secure the straps with safety pins… creating the right look, even if the function isn’t accurate. I also found that I could cross the straps in the back, and then could use a longer pin to attach the front and back loops… once I get proper pins that is!
After finishing the top of the dress, I hung it overnight, checked the side seams to ensure any slight bias hadn’t stretched and made the hem uneven, then serged and hemmed the dress.
The linen is a hand-dyed lightweight linen (I bought it undyed from Fabricland, not Fabric-store, so I don’t know the actual weight… but I’m guessing it’s probably equivalent to 3.5 oz lightweight linen) I can’t even remember the original colour – I think it was a light blue and then I overdyed it with blue and black dye to get the grey-blue colour I’m much happier with.
In the future I might still add some embellishment (hand stitching) to the seams or hem… I’m not 100% sure on that yet, and I figure it might be better to wait until I have more research on that before I invest the time. I also really like the apron dress the way it is – and if I were to embellish it further I might like it less… so… we’ll see.
I’ve shown it here with my festoon (which has some problems.. but I’m happy with it for the time being until I can correct them) and a tied belt – which actually is a very long belt with a buckle on the end – I’ll end up swapping that out for something different when worn.
What do you think?
If you do Viking reenactment – what do you think of my Apron Dress (aka Smokkr, Hangerock) ? What other suggestions would you have for future improvements? Let me know in the comment section below!