Norse purse

Finished black leather Norse-style purse with a pen for scale

Finished black leather Norse-style purse with a pen for scale

While for my female clothing, I don’t wear a leather belt with a buckle; for the male garb I’m making I will…which means I can have it actually support stuff – like a purse.

Reproduction photo found from Pinterest for inspiration

With that in mind, I made up a purse for carrying some of my stuff when I do opt to wear the male garb.

Although black leather is incorrect, it was what I had on hand for this first version, and I wasn’t up for going out to buy more leather for a first round.  Plus, I’ve opted for black a few other times just because I like it, so I’m ok with the colour of the leather (and how it was treated…etc..).

The main body of the purse is embossed leather from Tandy, while the trim is either sheep or goat, garment-weight leather (super soft and thin; it’s lovely stuff). The purse is lined in purple linen, and I’ve embroidered a red L on the inside just in case it ever gets mixed up with someone else’s.  Parts of the purse are re-enforced with glued-on canvas – in areas where I wanted more structure, weight, or to support the function (like the buckle area)

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Norse man’s tunic

Norse man's tunic and pants, with a pillbox-style hat

Norse man’s tunic and pants, with a pillbox-style hat

In the Historical Sew Monthly April post, I showed a sneak preview of this post – my Norse tunic in the style of menswear.

My underdress pattern (not to scale)

My underdress pattern (not to scale)

I used the same pattern I use for my dresses, and shortened it for the tunic. I also added a contrast band to the hem, and reverse facings on the neckline and cuffs.

The navy linen I used for the trim is leftovers from the lining of my Italian costume and the blue linen underdress, while the red is from Fabrics-store.com. The original colour was Tomato Puree (I couldn’t find it in-stock on their website, so I can’t share a link) but the colour was too pink for me, so I overdyed it to get a deeper red.

I thought about doing some embroidery on them, but I figured I’d skip that for the time being – there’s little evidence of embroidery (though there is some) so I didn’t want to put the work into a first garment.

Sorry – this time around I don’t have any work-in-progress photos to share with you! I was hoping to get this done quickly, and wanted to do it for the Historical Sew Fortnightly April challenge, so didn’t spend as much time recording the details.

Hanger-photo below.. I really should have pressed it first!

Tunic made using the same basic pattern I use for dresses, just shorter. I also tried the reverse contrast facing I've been seeing a lot of online.

Tunic made using the same basic pattern I use for dresses, just shorter. I also tried the reverse contrast facing I’ve been seeing a lot of online.

Historical Sew Fortnightly (details above the previous post)

The Challenge: April – War & Peace: the extremes of conflict and long periods of peacetime both influence what people wear. Make something that shows the effects of war, or of extended peace.

One reason women in the Viking Age might have worn men’s attire was in order to join on the battlefield.

Fabric: Overdyed lightweight linen from fabrics-store.com (the red), and lightweight linen (blue) from fabrics.com

Pattern: self-drafted, rectangular construction

Year: Viking Age

Notions: thread

How historically accurate is it? The pattern is entirely speculative, but I think it’s pretty good based on other known patterns of around the same time. The contrast fabric trim seems to be authentic based on tapestries.

Hours to complete: not sure

First worn: not yet

Total cost: The red linen was about $11.00/yard plus tax, shipping, and exchange. The blue fabric was scrap leftover from other projects, but was under $5.00/yard plus tax, shipping, and exchange.

Historical Sew Monthly April 2015 – x-dressing Norse

Norse man's tunic and pants, with a pillbox-style hat

Norse man’s tunic and pants, with a pillbox-style hat

Although I’ve been doing a bunch of research to get ready for this challenge, my research is no where ready for publication, so in order to (barely) meet the deadline for this challenge, I’m just doing a challenge post… and my research will come later.

Historical Sew Monthly April 2015

The Challenge:”April – War & Peace: the extremes of conflict and long periods of peacetime both influence what people wear. Make something that shows the effects of war, or of extended peace.”

My general starting point, is the Norse women who would have for a variety of reasons, worn typically “male” dress instead of typically “female” gendered clothing. Some of the women mentioned (in the Sagas) wore them while still being obviously female, while others wore them to ‘pass’ as men in battle. (That would be the “war” aspect to the challenge…)

The outfit is a pair of linen “Rus” style pants, a long linen tunic, and a wool pillbox hat lined in silk.

Fabric: 100% linen for the pants and tunic, wool (probably a wool-nylon blend) for the hat lined in 100% silk

Pattern: self-drafted

Year: 10th Century Norse

Notions: Thread, embroidery thread.

How historically accurate is it? The pants and tunic would have been wool in period, but I made mine in linen for summertime comfort. The hat style is actually from a Greenland find a few hundred years later… but seems to be an accepted style so far. The original (likely) wasn’t lined, but I wanted to line mine for comfort. I still need to make (or buy) a set of leg wraps for my lower legs.

Hours to complete: No idea.. the pants took a while because I tried a different pattern twice before giving up and doing them this way. The tunic was pretty straight forward, and the hat went together quite easily.

First worn: Just for photos so far – I probably won’t wear the outfit until I complete the leg wraps; maybe June Coronation weekend if I need something to run around in?

Total cost: $30 (+/-) for the pants, about the same for the tunic. The fabric for the hat was recycled/stash.

Norse pillbox hat

wool "pillbox" hat

wool “pillbox” hat

On one of the Viking groups I’m part of on Facebook, there was some discussion about the frequently seen “santa hat”, the 5/6-panel hat, and finally the pillbox hat as options for Viking Age men’s Norse headwear.

I wanted to start a menswear-style outfit for my Norse Viking Age ‘wardrobe’ (more about why later… the other post is a work-in-progress still) and decided I wanted to include a hat as well.

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