This blog post is made with the support of my Patreons
According to my notes, I made an update on this sewing project when moving it to the current blog address, in 2014. 2014? That is some time ago… With that said, I hope you have patience with this old version, and hopefully, it will help you make one of your own.
Materials and tools needed:
- Fabric 150 cm width, 200-240 cm length
- Measuring tape
- Threads + needle
- Long ruler or a stick
The measuring and construction for the Euradress are quite a bit different than other viking and medieval garments, but it is a fun project. The first measures to take here are the base and lenght of the sleeve-piece, everything else will be based on these measures
Hold the measuring tape in the middle of your throat and measure along your arm to the thumbnail. This measure will give you a little bit of extra range of movement to avoid making too short a sleeve.
My measure is 74 cm (my regular sleeve pattern is 66 cm long.)
Measure the base (width) of your sleeve by holding your measuring tape one hand width below your collarbone, drape it over your shoulder towards your back, and take the measure from the back when you are parallel with the start by the front of your body (a friend might be useful here).
My measure is 40 cm, this might be a good measure for size small-medium, while larger sizes will probably have a longer measure (if doing this pattern with measures that differs greatly from mine, be sure to draw your own pattern pieces in a way that works for you. This might be quite different from my draft, but the principle would be the same).
Note: the base of the sleeve is also the upper measure of the front and back pieces. “15 cm” is where my wrist would be, it is not the whole circumference since I will have a long gore adding width for my arm to fit. As a reflection, I would probably have made this measure at least the circumference around my wrist (can’t remember why I did not) but I advise you to do that.
This is my draft of the pieces, on a folded fabric. The width is folded in halv (75 cm) and the dress pieces are drafted along the length of the fabric. Here you can see how much fabric you need after taking your measures: the length of the sleeve + the length of the dress from 1 hand below your collarbone to the bottom hem. Remember to add SA, I have not done that on this old draft.
How to make a draft of your own:
- Fold your fabric in half
- Make a line to mark out the middle on the fabric’s surface (red dots).
- Draft the width of the sleeve around your wrist by the start of the line (highest up) 1/2 width on either side of the line.
- Mark the length of the sleeve from the wrist to the base (green line)
- Draft the base of the sleeve where the green line ends, 1/2 width on either side of the line. (purple line) make sure the line is at a 90degree angle to the green line.
- Draw out the rest of the sleeve (blue area) by drawing lines from the edges of the purple line to where the wrist is (thin lines surrounding the blue area).
- Draft the front and back body pieces (pink area), starting from the sleeve base edge, down to the corners of the fabric surface, basically continuing on the lines making the sleeves (pink lines). The measuring tape or a long ruler is a great help here.
That’s it! The blue is your sleeves, the pink your front and back piece and the yellow area being “leftover” is your side gores, you will have 1 whole and 2 halves. Cut the pieces out through the folded fabric, if it wants to move around you may pin the fabric layers together with pins along the lines.
- One side gore is cut out in halves; sew this one into a whole gore. You may also make a false seam along the middle of the whole one, creating two identical side gores. “False seams” are seen in finds, made by sewing a very narrow seam in a whole piece, to create the look of a symmetrical garment.
- Sew the base of the sleeves against each other, but only a short seam of 1-2 cm on each edge. This will make it easier to sew the rest of the dress. The opening left on either side of the sleeve bases is your neckline. Finish that later.
- Sew the sleeves to the front piece, I find it easiest to start in the centre front and sew the sleeves out to the edge of the front piece on either side. Repeat with the back piece.
- Add the side gores. I started by the hemline of the dress, sewing in the gores from the bottom and up to the wrists. I did this to be sure to get use of the whole width of the base of the gore since the gore might be a bit longer than the pieces it fastens against (I guess this was also the reason I made my wrist cf so small, I got additional width from the side gore before I cut off the abundance. Looking back on this method, starting by the wrist and sewing down you would get a better opportunity of shaping the bottom hem evenly, by trimming away the corners of the side gores). I would recommend pinning/basting the side gores in place first before sewing.
- Try the dress on, and adjust the bottom hem and sleeves before folding down the hem and whipstitch it in place.
- Adjust the neckline on your body by deciding how low you want the opening to be front and back. I closed mine in the back around 4 cm from the base and then hemmed the rest of the opening with whipstitching.
Adjustments and fitting:
- The side gores might be a bit too long; check before sewing and cut off the abundance after the wrist.
- This garment might be a bit loose-fitting; adjust the seams between the gores and the front/back parts if needed.
- Check out the bottom hem by putting the garment on and measure + adjust to make it look good.
About the find:
The Eura finds are from Finland and dated to the Iron Age. It is a great find with lots of information about the Finnish clothes and how they were worn, and have been documented and recreated mainly in the Finnish historical clothing culture.
The Eura dress is a different outfit than the Swedish and Norwegian viking outfit, but the peplos/overdress is similar to other early finds on peplos and to the Gotlandic early viking outfit. The Euradress in the tutorial above, with its special construction method, do have similarities with other finds from Scandinavia, such as the medieval Uvdal find from Norway.
“Ancient Finnish costume” by Pirkko-Liisa Lehtosalo-Hilander
Article on the Uvdal dress
“Prehistoric Eura” offers some insight into the region and photos of the recreated costume