Black & red early-period coat – April 2017 HSM

Black wool-blend coat to add to my Viking Age garb kit. This has a red and black twill reverse facing and hand embroidery using pearl cotton.

Black wool-blend coat with red and black trim

While most of my outerwear garments are for my Viking Age costume kit – I realized that this coat could really be for any early period that I might want to do, since the shapes are so similar across different styles.

Once I was finished with my term as Montengarde’s Emerald Rose, I wanted to shift my SCA wardrobe away from so much green, and back to my typical more goth aesthetic. I acquired some black wool-blend twill fabric, some red and black wool-blend twill fabric, and some black and grey wool-blend fabric (with an interesting basket-type of weave) from my former teacher and despite the partially synthetic content, I decided to start there.

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Black and white Norse wool coat

Black and white Norse wool coat with blue silk trim

Black and white Norse wool coat with blue silk trim

While sewing up the drab grey-green wool underdress and the dried herb linen underdress I also cut out and sewed up a black and white wool coat. I got this fabric for free from a former teacher who was de-stashing! It’s not a document-able weave, but it’s basically a striped tabby weave, where the stripes of black and white yarn create “O” shapes on one side and “H” shapes on the reverse. I opted to use the “O” shapes on the outside.

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Wool Norse coat

Wearing my second Norse-style coat (along with a hat and outfit I'll blog about later!)

Wearing my second Norse-style coat (along with a hat and outfit I’ll blog about later!)

A while back I made a coat/caftan for my Norse costume out of basketweave linen. It was very large, and although it’s wearable, I really wanted to make one out of wool instead, and more fitted.


Fabric 'haul' from the Grandmother's Fabric Sale 2014

Fabric ‘haul’ from the Grandmother’s Fabric Sale 2014

I bought some wool at the last Grandmother’s Fabric Sale (seen on the very bottom of the pile to the left) with the intention of using it for a Norse caftan or coat. It is a pale grey with a dark grey and royal blue Houndstooth plaid. The fabric feels wonderful, but a little burn test suggests that it probably has a small synthetic percentage, which I don’t love, but don’t mind.

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Basketweave linen Viking coat


A coat for my Viking “wardrobe” hadn’t really been on my mind, until I ordered some fabric from – which I had hoped would work for an apron-dress, but when it arrived it was far too heavy to hang correctly. Since I didn’t really have anything else in mind, and the Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge  for early August was for something for “the Great Outdoors” I thought I would try out a Viking coat instead.

Unfortunately, I didn’t finish it in time for the August 15 deadline, so it’s really a late entry!

Since much of what I’ve read suggests that coats would have been made of wool instead of linen, this is already stretching a bit, but if nothing else it will make a good mock-up before making a wool version if I decide to make one…

The fabric is basketweave in navy and black 100% linen. The website suggests that the fabric is just navy, but it’s actually a black and navy weave. (It also comes in ‘maroon’, ‘black’, and ‘multi’, though the fabric is not reorderable, so it may not be available later on..) The website description says that the fabric is:

“This linen fabric is lightweight with a basketweave woven texture and a full-bodied drape. Perfect for dresses, pants, skirts, jackets and even home decor such as window treatments, pillows and tote bags!
Washing Instructions : Dry clean to maintain original texture or machine wash/dry low/remove promptly to soften.”

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