In my last post I talked a little bit about the reason I wanted to attempt the Skjoldehamn hood again, what I was using, and the pattern/measurements I was going to use.
Now that the hood is complete, I’ll share a little bit of how it came together.
An adventure with bias
I knew when I was cutting the hood that I’d be ‘cheating’ a bit – since I was cutting up a ready-made garment for fabric instead of using yardage, the grain would be a challenge. Rather than potentially waste a lot of fabric by identifying the grain and trying to cut totally on-grain, I opted to use the fabric as-is with an attempt to make the best use of the fabric.
This meant that all of the panels are cut somewhat on the bias (albeit I don’t think the true bias). I didn’t realize how much of a difference that would make until the first seam… which illustrated the shift and stretch – far beyond what I had anticipated. I adjusted (with a lot more pinning and double-checking that things lined up) but I imagine that this bias also affects the fit of the hood as well.
After sewing the pieces together I paused, because I still hadn’t considered what I was going to do for lining. I still didn’t want to cut into my white linen, and I still didn’t want to risk colour bleeding if I used a coloured linen for the lining. I thought I remembered reading that the hood from the find wasn’t lined, so I opted instead to not line this hood – it won’t be as warm as a lined hood, but perhaps that will just encourage me to wear the grey plaid hoods from my earlier attempts as well when it gets cooler.
Machine sewn, hand-finished
All of the seams were sewn by machine, but I opted not to finish the seams by machine/serger, and instead took advantage of the slight bias and the material itself- which isn’t prone to fraying. I decided to embellish /finish each seam by hand with contrast Pearl Cotton embroidery thread (in red) with a running stitch, and then embellish the seams of the gores further with Pearl Cotton (in grey-blue) herringbone stitches. The face opening is done with blanket stitch.
Cords to tie
Once the embroidery was done, I took another pause – because I wanted to make the cords that tie the hood (either in the front or the back – there’s speculation for evidence for both) from the same threads I’d used for the embellishment. I ended up learning how to make four-strand braid (aka whipcord) to tie the hood – though I suspect I attached them a bit higher than I should have. Something to think of for next time!
Historical Sew Fortnightly 2014
In my blog-wanderings, I also found the Historical Sew Fortnightly 2014 – of course, mid-way through the year! I won’t be able to participate in all of the challenges (and definitely won’t be going back and doing past challenges!) but I thought it might be fun to tag along in part when I can just to inspire creativity!
The challenge due November 15 that this fits into is:
#21: Re-do – due Sat 15 November. Pick any previous challenge and re-do it (or do it for the first time). It could be one that you didn’t finish, one that you wish you’d had more time for, or any time for, or one where you loved the theme so much you want to do it again.
Since I only discovered this challenge back in the summer, I’m opting to try the very first challenge:
- #1: Make Do & Mend – due Wed 15 Jan. Let’s start of the year with a clean slate, and with a bit of a tidy up. Use this challenge as an opportunity to get your historical wardrobe in order by fixing any little bits that have worn out and gone wrong. Alternatively, you could focus on the historical precedent of making-do by re-making something into a historical garments, whether it be a bodice from a worn-out skirt, a chemise from old sheets, a bosom-friend from an old cardigan, or a new historical hat from an old modern one etc. Finally, you could just those people who had to make-do by making something for a historical character who would have scrimped and saved and re-made and mended until the fabric entirely fell apart.
The Challenge: #21 – #1: Make Do & Mend – like the second part of the interpretation of this challenge, I used something unused to make something new.
Fabric: White wool – used from an old, second-hand wool skirt. The fabric is 100% wool, and the Pearl Cotton is… cotton!
Pattern: drafted from recommendations online
Year: Viking age
Notions: thread, embroidery thread, fusible interfacing (to assist with a minor mend – invisible from the outside)
How historically accurate is it?: To the best of my knowledge, the pattern is historically accurate based on the Skjoldehamn hood find. The fiber content of the fabric (100% wool) is accurate, though the cotton embroidery is not. However, the stitches used are accurate. The garment was sewn by machine, but all of the visible stitches were done by hand. The cut (on the bias) is not accurate, but was a necessity because of using second-hand materials.
Hours to complete: From cutting to near-completion, I spent an evening. I called it quits when my neck started to hurt doing the hand-embroidery stitches, and picked it up later for a bit to finish it off. I have NO idea how much time it actually took though.
First worn: Other than just trying it on, & taking a few photos, I haven’t worn it yet to an event or anything – it’s been way too warm!
Total cost: The second-hand wool skirt was given to me – so that was free. The skeins of Pearl Cotton were 99 cents each I think. It’s pretty nice wool though, I suspect that it would regularly cost $20.00-30.00/meter.