In an earlier post, (about my new blue wool apron dress) I mentioned that having been laid off from my job, I had some time on my hands to sew. (Funny enough, right before I was laid off, I posted about getting new fabric and needing more time to sew… hadn’t wanted it to be fulfilled that way though!)
The next complete garment after the blue wool apron dress was a green wool underdress. I’m hoping that this dress will transition nicely between my Icelandic Viking Age wardrobe, my emerging Finnish Viking Age wardrobe, and perhaps could also go under some of my other over-dresses like my sideless surcotes.
The fabric is a tropical-weight dark green tabby weave wool. I’d love if this were a twill weave, but tabby is also period-correct. The colour is a bit more brown than ‘hunter’ green, in daylight it looks green, while in low light it looks much more brown. I bought it at Fabricland in August 2015. The regular price was $42.00/meter, but I bought it on sale for 70% off (before I got laid off, and didn’t worry about buying wool at $12.60/meter. I bought 4.5 meters, and have a bit left over; possibly enough for a small accessory.
I pre-washed the fabric in cool water, spun it out, and hung it to dry.
The sleeve trim is the hand-dyed herringbone weave wedgewood-blue silk that I’ve used for trim on previous projects – the blue linen underdress (on the sleeves) and the wool coat (on the front reverse facing as well as the sleeves).
Just like with the blue wool apron dress, I needed to re-size the pattern for my underdress, so re-measured. I did make a minor mistake, but it just meant that I had a little too much on the sides rather than too little.
I used the same basic pattern for the underdress that I’ve used over and over, adjusted for my new size. I thought I had given myself enough for a hem on the sleeves, but actually needed a bit more so did a reverse facing on the sleeves instead to keep them nice and long. Likewise, I had intended the skirt of the dress to be quite long, but it was just long enough, so I made a bias-cut hem facing in self-fabric to keep as much length as possible.
Embellishment & finishing
I had originally planned to use some lovely green-on-green tablet weaving along the neckline, but once I had the dress made, the weaving just seemed too thick and too wide to use on this.
Like the blue apron dress, any more embellishment is sort of on a holding-pattern right now. I might opt to add a bit of embroidery to the neckline and sleeves at some point, like the red stitching on my black underdress, but for now I like it the way it is.