Embroidered Apron Panel

Open-front apron dress with embroidered front panel

Open-front apron dress with embroidered front panel

This is one of those… grudgingly approached projects. If you remember from my Open Front Apron Dress post, I have some qualms about how period-correct the idea of wearing an open-front apron dress with a rectangular apron panel might be. The open-front apron seems totally impractical (although yes, it might have been something worn for special occasions) though at least the panel seems a bit more practical – as long as it’s belted that is so it doesn’t fall into the fire when you’re leaning over the fire!

Still, once I made up the dress, I needed to make the panel, so I figured I’d just go for it.

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Open-front apron dress

Open front apron dress

Open front apron dress

I’ve seen a lot of women online in open-front apron dresses with their Viking-age costumes. I understand that they’re getting the idea because some brooches were found with many different fabrics in them, and thus there’s speculation that more than just one apron (dress) may have hung from one set of brooches – but I don’t know… the whole idea seems very impractical to me – it’s basically like a coat that is open in the front and doesn’t cover your shoulders or sleeves. The open front also means it doesn’t protect the garments under it from smoke, dust, dirt, etc… Still, there’s argument to say that it may not have been an ‘every day’ garment, but rather something for special wear…

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Black Linen Apron Dress

New black apron dress, worn with new brooches, a new key, and a new festoon.

New black apron dress, worn with new brooches, a new key, and a new festoon.

 

After successfully putting together my red linen apron dress, I wanted to complete my wardrobe with a black one.

In terms of authenticity, I know that black is incredibly hard to dye naturally, and that linen wouldn’t easily take the black dyes that are out there – but still…  WANTED a black linen apron dress! Continue reading

Viking “roach” brooch at the Saga Museum

Mother figure wearing a folded apron dress held with "roach" shaped brooches

Mother figure wearing a folded apron dress held with “roach” shaped brooches

After seeing the large tortoise (oval/ turtle) brooches from Viking Age finds, I was struck how distinctly different this brooch was, from the Saga Museum in Iceland. The character portrayed is supposed to be a Celtic woman taken as a slave/wife by a Nordic Viking Age man, and taken to Iceland. The brooch is much, much smaller than the other brooches displayed (either the originals as seen elsewhere, or the reproductions in the Saga Museum) an has a pattern, size, and shape that reminded me of a cockroach! (Hence, I’m calling it a “roach brooch” even if that’s not the most flattering name! Continue reading

Red Linen Apron Dress

Red linen apron dress - just missing the brooches!

Red linen apron dress – just missing the brooches!

After making the blue linen apron dress, I wanted to adjust the pattern and make it up in red as well. This also happened to coordinate perfectly with the Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge #16! (Read more about that at the end.)

I used the Fabrics-store.com 100% linen IL019 – multi-purpose linen in a 5.3 oz/yd weight, in colour Biking Red – its a bit less cranberry than the photo online (at least on my monitor) and pretty much exactly the colour I had in mind. (Shown with the black linen underdress from a previous post.) Continue reading