Handcrafted History

Historical and modern handcraft mixed with adventures


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Hi! I am Linda

  Hi handcrafters!

I do realise I’ve been going on with this blog now for quite a while, without giving you the chance to really get to know me. As new readers find they way here (welcome!) I really think it is time to do a better presentation.

What is Handcrafted History?

Handcrafted History is my own, one person company, my full time commitment and my dream coming true of working with the things I love most. From the beginning I called my blog and business “Hantverkat” which means “Handcrafted” but as I started translating my content and write in English, I realised I needed a better sounding name; easy for you non-Swedish readers to find.

Who am I?

My name is Linda, I am from North Sweden (from a town called Luleå) and is a woman trying my best to find balance in a life (like everybody else really) with work, free time, dreams, commitments, love, bills to pay and animals to care for. I have a horse named Rocken, bunnies and a husband whom I married in the summer of 2017.

Rocken in his winter coat, by the river

I’ve been interested in all things medieval, viking, fantasy and adventurous for as long as I can remember; but my first historic adventure was a larp I attended at age 16. Since then, I have studied arts and handcrafts, achieved a master in arts and teaching, and working as a teacher in these subjects for several years, finally realising there might be a way to combine paid work with dreams of how my life could be.

All in all, I try to live my life the way I really want to live it, as the person I really want to be, at the same time affording my bills and the food on the table. Working as your own is really a lot of long hours, the pay is not always good, but there is love and freedom that makes it worth your while, if you are ready to really go for it and not afraid to evolve yourself in areas you did not even know existed.

Were do I live?

I live in the middle of Sweden, by the Baltic Sea just outside a town called Sundsvall. Me and love have a small house, a garden with berries and different kinds of gardening projects, and bunnies digging holes everywhere if not watched. I run my company from home, partly because I like it that way, but also for keeping expenses low.

The viking age rune stone closest to my home, pass it almost every day by car.

What’s the blog about? What will you find here?

Mostly, medieval and viking age stuff; outfits, patterns, tutorials and lots of inspiration for your own handcrafting and adventuring. Occasionally, modern sewing tips find their way here, as well as everyday happenings and personal stuff. But mostly, sewing. If you click on the “Tutorial” page you’ll find all my free tutorials there. If you want to buy ready-made things, or order clothes for yourself, click on “Order your clothes” to learn more, or send me an email if you are non-Swede and wants information in english.

Why am I blogging?

I started blogging some ten years ago, with different blogs about art, handcraft and larping. For a short period I also tried out that lifestyle thing- but really, it was not for me. Some years back I landed with Hantverkat which mainly was about handcrafting, arts and historic adventures. I have always loved to write, take photos and tell stories about what I have done, as well as teaching others about handcrafting.

My Handcrafted History blog is a way of being creative, educational, artistic and running my business, all in the same place!

How can you support the blog (without monetary contribution)?

Did you know, that if each reader would contribute with a dollar/month I could go on making you online tutorials as my full-time work. That would be like 2-3 tutorials for free each week!

But, as they say, free is always good (or in Swedish “gratis är gott”) so if you like the blog and what you see here; go to my facebook page and give it your like/follow me. If you have tried the tutorials or attended one of my workshops, it would be wonderful if you could give me a review there. I also get very happy if you share things you like with your friends.

Don’t use facebook? A comment on the blog makes me a very happy person too, or you could tell a friend about Handcrafted History =)

Why? Because the more activity on social channels the more new people will find their way here to read, order clothes or book a workshop. That means money for me, and when I have food on the table I always feel inspired to do more free tutorials! Yeay! (Due to how facebook and other medias work, more likes and interactions also leads to more visibility for more persons.)

If you feel that a small monetary contribution would be in your taste; I am working on an easy way to make that possible during 2017.

Living close to the forest

Other Media Channels

Apart from my blog, I also have an Instagram: #handcraftedhistory

Etsy shop: Handcrafted Histories

Facebook page/shop: Handcrafted History

Pinterest: Handcraftedhist

Mail: linda.handcraftedhistory @ gmail.com

 

So, that was a bit about me! It would be so much fun to know You a little more; please comment and tell me were you are from, what you like to sew and if you have a blog on your own!

Spara

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Medieval wedding outfits

Working on my wedding outfit and thinking about all the accessories. Belt, purse, hose or socks, shoes, jewelry, hair-do. There really is a lot of choises, we have decided to not go all historical on this wedding, but I still want to keep the outfits based on historical paintings and finds. The most modern things will be my hair and makeup, since I wont be shaving my forehead and eyebrows…

A couple of days ago I finished weaving my silk belt, started half past nine in the evening… One should not calculate new projects during the evenings when one is tired. Lenght of belt; perfect. Threads left to weave; about 0,5 cm. I could tell you that this was all intentional because I’m such a bad-ass at weaving. But the truth is that I miscalculated and should have added an additional 10% of shrinkage to the varp threads. But, everything went well.

I have also finished of the belt with freshwater pearls and a strip of silk on the back, to make the belt more durable and stiffer. Bronze clasps is going on the ends, and then it’s all finished! I also made som pearl hangings to finish of the cords at my dress.

I have actually finished most of my outfit by now, with over a week left to the wedding. Of course I wont show you the whole outfit before midsummer’s day- that would be cheating. But undershift with extra skirt is all ready, as silk dress, overdress and most of the acessories. The shoes are already ordered from one of my favourite shoemakers; Stefan Eriksson and will be based on 15th century finds.

For hose, I have asked my grandmother to knit me some. It’s not historically accurate, but she really makes the best socks and I wanted to wear something she made since she is something of an idol on the handcraft area.

Also, I have found the perfect (ok, it’s a bit early in the history for pearl necklaces but it’s a wedding…) necklace to wear with the dress. Bought it at Double Wars SCA event. It is the one at the bottom on the picture.

Now, I´m up before 6 in the morning to have some internet time with a morning coffee, and then I will continue with love’s silk doublet, which he teared apart when trying it on. (“I hardly stretched my arms at all” he claimed when the arm seams at the back stretched apart and I got several hours of extra work trying to mend the extreme flimsy silk fabric. I don’t believe him…)

 


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Medieval wedding dress

I’m in the process of making my wedding dresses, which will be from the late 15th century.

Of course I want a nice looking wedding dress, but at the same time I want to be able to wear the dress on more occasions than the wedding. So I wont be having a pure white dress, since that is really unpractical. Instead, I have bought some lovely green (yes, I know I already have that green shade on several garments…) wool, a darker green velvet and a creme coloured silk fabric. This combination will be the wedding dresses, but it’s hard to decide exactly want I want to do.

But I have started with the basic dress in the creamy silk (or is it more like ivory perhaps?) cutting out the skirt and drafting the pattern. Now I have a bunch of orders to tend to, but after that I’m planning to sew wedding clothes only for a couple of weeks!

I also plan to make H a new outfit fot the wedding. We will match, of course, so I’m looking at the late 15th century and planning a doublet in silk (see below), hose in black wool, and an outer garment made of the same green wool that I bought for myself. The shirt will be in white linen or silk.

Anyway; I’ve made a pinterest folder with some inspiration and the different fabrics I’ve bought; https://www.pinterest.se/handcraftedhist/medieval-wedding-ideas/

If you have any input on design or practicality- feel free to send me a note here or on facebook!

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To the Spring Crown Tournament!

Yesterday a snow storm svept in over my hometown, so everything is covered by a layer of snow. Pretty nice, yes- but I’m so longing for spring!

This week I only have time for a very short update, since I’m packing for our local SCA group’s big event the Spring Crown Tournament. It will be one of the biggest SCA events here in the northen half of Sweden (since like, ever) and will probably be a lot fun. Counting over 200 participants, a lot of activities, a tournament and some nice feasts we will have a full weekend. The event is mostly fun, of course, but also a bit of work for me. I’m planning to hold a workshop in rosaries and how to make them, and am also packing my shop to go along.

The truth is that I have a lot of handcraft materials and medieval + viking stuff at home in my basement that is not available on my webshops. Instead I’m bringing them to different markets and events to sell- because it is fun but mostly because keeping a webshop is a lot of work for quite a wee bit of money.

So I’m packing and packing, and since H is at work I got the honour of packing the car to. Really. I’m not much good at packing cars, I think I’ll have to practise some tetris moves if this is going to work in the future… But the event will be really fun, and my friend K will help me with keeping the shop during the weekend. I’ll come back to you with lots of photos and a raport of the event afterward, hope you will have a nice weekend!


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New tutorials/booklets

Finally!

I’ve been working on this new booklets for months now, and now they are finally done and ready to send out. I know that many of you readers have asked me about new tutorials, preferably in English, but the truth is that tutorials takes a lot of time to make. I’m counting on around 8 h/tutorial and that doesn’t include the time it takes to handcraft the actual things. As you can imagine it’s quite impossible for me to continue to make a lot of tutorials for free, though there will be some new ones at the blog this year.

If you like the tutorials page and want to support it, or if you want to learn more about sewing, I can offer these new booklets as a way of doing that. They have basically the same structure as my online tutorials, but are even more hands-on and easy-following with text, pictures and useful tips. I include both instructions for hand sewing and machine sewing in each one, and you don’t need any previous sewing experience. They also include patterns in full size and a list of what you need for each project.

I’ll put them here, but you can also buy them on my facebook page or at my Etsy shop (for shipments outside Sweden).

Prices: 5 E/piece + 2 E shipping (so for two 5+5+2 E and so on) Sv: 50 kr + 15 kr frakt inom Sverige.

Spara

Spara


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Which tool’s do I need for sewing?

This is my favourite tools for making medieval garments.

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Fabric scissor, paper scissor, thread scissor. Use your best scissor for your good fabrics, and the paper scissor for toile fabric, paper patterns and everything that is not so important. A small thread scissor is easy to bring along and spares the other two from to much carrying around (and laying around the house were other family members may find them)

Measure tape, long ruler and a small measure stick (in Swedish mätsticka, sömometer or fifficus). The long ruler (or just a straight stick) is very useful when drawing out long lines on the fabric. I have one at 100 cm, one at 60 cm and a couple of shorter ones, but 100 cm is best if you have to pick one. The small measure stick is very practical for folding edges, putting on trims or details and adding seam allowance to your pieces.

Fabric chalk for drawing out your pieces on the fabric.

Pins for holding pattern pieces toghether or marking things out without chalk (for example) and sewing needles of different sizes- I like to sew my pieces together (running stitches) with a slightly longer needle than I use for casting edges with whip stitches.

Safety pin to pin down sewing projects (it´s easier to sew if the seam is pinned down to something)

Seam ripper- do I need to say more? Thimbleful (fingerborg) for sewing (click at this post and watch the video if you want to know how)

Threads of different materials and sizes. The lump is bee’s wax and is used for coating the linen threads when sewing. Makes them last longer.

Spara

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A new and slighly More Hood; The Orchid Hood

So, I really didn’t need a new hood, but I hade some holidays coming up (this Christmas) with free time and I had planned on doing something nice and sparkly with the piece of fabric that I didn’t use for my new gollar (no, that one is not finished yet… Don’t mention it, ok?)

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This is my new hood, it’s hand stitched and made of high quality woolen cloth and handweaved silk as lining. The embroidery is made of silk thread and small freshwater pearls, the handcraft being all historical but the motive (orchids) being modern in the sense that I haven’t seen anything like it in historical paintings. So why put down this much effort in something that is not historical accurate?

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Because sometimes handcraft is more about feeling, adventures and beauty than following the traces of old. And it was time I reminded myself of that, after having made so many historical clothes this last autumn. So, this is a project just for my own inspiration and well being.

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Also, it will be the perfect party hood.

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Psst- Did you know that I am currently selling out parts of my viking and medieval wardrobe? Check out my fb page https://www.facebook.com/handcraftedhistory/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1113779398677681 for good quality clothes!