Handcrafted History

Historical and modern handcraft mixed with adventures


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Houppelande tutorial -part 1

Since I made my first houppelande (late medieval overdress) some years ago, I have been thinking about putting together a tutorial for you, to make it easier to understand the construction techniques behind the dress.

As it turned out, the houppelande dress is a bigger project than I thought at the beginning, so I’m doing the tutorials in different parts so it will be easier for you to find the model you are most interested in, and to get a nice overview of the whole dress style.

I start with my first woolen houppelande:

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This was somewhat of an experiment trying out both pattern, if I would like the type of garment, and what it would look like finished. I could not find my original sketch for the pattern layout, but it did look something like this:

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Some notes; this type of pattern layout work well in a tabby weave since it doesn’t matter if you turn your front and back pieces, but you can also use a twill like I did. If doing this type of pattern on a patterned fabric, you can have the pattern one way on the front pieces and the opposite on the back pieces, which work really well I think, if you want to save on the fabric.

The amount of fabric needed for this layout, in size small, is 150 cm * 280 cm (I used 3 meters of fabric, so I had a slightly larger hem.

F=front, B=back and FM= front middle gore. S1 and S2 is the sleeves. I always recommend drawing out your pattern before you do it on your fabric, it gives you the opportunity to see if all the pieces have room, and if you can add some extra circumference to the skirt. I also use to draw out how the garment will look finished, to give you an extra idea of the result. The small cut out pattern piece I use to draw the pieces faster by drawing around it on the paper.

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This is what it looked like once I had cut out all the pieces. After cutting, baste your pieces together to try them on, or sew them at once. I used running stitches and back stitches for parts were there was more stress on the seams (like around the body, the armholes, and the top of the front gore). I also pressed the seam allowances down and whip stitched them. You can of course sew your dress on a sewing machine if you would like, just be sure to pin or baste the skirt lengths first so they don’t stretch uneven.

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Always pin or baste your pieces together when they lay flat on a surface. After this is done, you can have the garment in your knee, sitting comfy in the sofa and sewing without having the seams getting all uneven. I started with the front gore, then sew the front and back pieces together. The sleeves were made after the “fitted sleeve” tutorial.

The hem is folded twice and whip stitched down, and the sleeves and front opening is lined with a soft, cut sheepskin in a matching colour.

The dress is sold since some time back, and I moved on to make another kind of pattern construction (as I usually do). I liked this one because of its simplicity, it was very comfortable and not bulky around the upper body. another pro was that it didn’t take a lot of fabric to make it. I really liked the fluffy lining since it gave a lot of extra warmth.

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The style is somewhat unusual in art, but can be seen at the start of the houppelande period, though with a tighter upper body, the sleeves were full length and often somewhat tighter. For paintings and art inspiration, check out my Pinterest board about Houppelande dresses

What I didn’t like was that I dragged the hem of the dress after me everywhere, without getting the comfort of a warm and thick enough fabric to protect me from rain and chilly winds. So the next one became a bit sturdier in fabric, and with more fabric…


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Some of the clothes I’ve made this year

Sometimes I get the feeling that I never get anything done, or that I haven’t made a piece for sale in like, forever. So I made a list of some of the things I have done this year, both for customers and for myself and love, and then I felt that yes- maybe I have been quite productive after all!

In the beginning of the year, I think I accidentally started this Herjolfnes recreation, all hand stitched.

I made our wedding outfits for our Midsummer wedding:


Supporting linen dress, white silk dress, velvet over dress, purse, belts and for love; silk shirt, silk brocade doublet and under west, woolen hose, bag and belt. Also, I remember sewing some tunics and dresses for our families for the wedding.

Did I sew this houppelande also, or did I finish it the year before? It is also all hand stitched, on wool, silk and rabbit fur.

During autumn, I apparently needed to redo my apron dress, make a whole new viking coat by hand and put it all together to a new outfit, along with some tablet woven bands.

   Also, some commissions took place, like this coat…

… as well as a number of hoods, shirts and tunics (here’s some of them along with the silk cotehardie)

I also remember some viking hedeby trousers (baggy pants)- four of them i think.

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As well as some hand sewn viking clothing…

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I updated my shop and market stall during the spring with cloths, small flags and my own logo hand painted on a linen fabric.

  Made a whole bunch of veils in linen and thin wool for different outfits;

I studied 16th century tailoring manuscripts and sewed two jackets for women, in wool fabric (one for my friend Linnea and one for myself)

Oh, and rosaries were totally a thing- I have read a lot about them, made a whole bunch of drawings, some pieces for sale and a folder about how to do them yourself, as well as holding some workshop on the subject.

This is far from everything I have made, and some pieces have not even made it to being properly photographed though I have been wearing them on several occasions.  Also, quite a few items and commissions also are just on fb or my Instagram accounts, otherwise this post would be far to long.

All in all, I think I have; 1. made quite some things and 2. need to be even better at documenting them and writing about them here on the blog.


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Visby Medieval Week 2017

This Medieval week in Visby was rather different from my previous ones; I traveled without love (who was working) and lived indoors in a rented apartment with two friends. I also had workshops scheduled for every day I was there, and just had a free afternoon the day we arrived. So, with that said, I don’t have much photos since I was working a lot, but I wanted to share some moments with you- both by camera and words.

Me and my two friends really had the best living and it was easy to share with them, but we did have different hours so often I was on my own to and from work. It actually was really nice, I had some of my best moments because I was out on my own, strolling or talking with people and new friends I otherwise wouldn’t have time to see. I really recommend having some time on your own during the Medieval Week- it’s the perfect way of meeting new friends!

And adventuring on my own also means climbing things; even if wearing a full silk dress and veils…

One afternoon I met up with Minna to take some photos in the botanical garden, one of them is now the header for my social media! Here in the late afternoon light, trying to tie up my headwear without a mirror and enough pins (it ended up hanging from one side as you may have seen…)

Minna in her awesome hood; made from a manuscript from South Europe.

Work, I say? Yes, since I run Handcrafted History as my full-time commitment, most of my medieval and viking adventures and event is about work for me. I either have my market stall, selling clothes and handcrafting materials, or holding workshops and lectures. During Medieval Week, I mostly work at Kapitelhusgården, which is a lovely place and medieval restaurant in the middle of Visby. During the day, they offer workshops and lectures, and in the evening the garden transforms to a restaurant and pub, with a picnic-feeling. I love the place!

I am holding my workshops there during the week, and this year one of my attending handcrafters took some pictures with my camera- so I actually have some during-work-photos. (This usually never happen because I get so busy with the workshop and explaining things…) So this is what it could look like when I’m holding workshops! I usually wear medieval or viking clothing when I work, but on modern locations such as universities I wear my everyday clothing (if nothing else is requested).

Linnea whom I traveled and lived with

And J, from my local group, meeting in the park for a chat and some photos


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Lästips; handbok i 1400talsdräkt för män

Because the book is in Swedish; so will this blogpost be. It is about a new book about the late 15th century clothing for men.

Jag fick hem en helt ny bok, skriven på svenska, som handlar om den sena 1400talsdräkten för män. Det är så fantastiskt roligt att en sådan här bok görs, på svenska, av skickliga medeltidsmänniskor, med syfte att underlätta för andra att förstå och skapa 1400tal. Förutom att det är en lätt väg till kunskap så är det också ett tecken i tiden på att medeltida återskapande av olika slag blir större och större i Sverige!

Boken har en lättöverskådlig layout, enkel och tydlig text, och stycken som efter en snabb genomgång ger dig koll på dräkten. Det är den typen av bok jag skulle börja med att skaffa om jag ville göra 1400tal, eller ge till en nybörjare som vet *ingenting* men gärna vill vara med. Jag gillar att den tar upp en historisk överblick och talar om formspråk, för att därefter ge förslag på plagg som tillhör perioden. Det finns inga mönster eller steg för steg instruktioner för plaggen, sådana finns istället att köpa via reconstructing history eller görs själv med hjälp av en mönsterkonstruktionskurs eller Tailors assistant. Är du en sådan som vill forska vidare själv, så gräver du i referenslistorna som innehåller både bilder och litteratur. Det är helt enkelt en handbok riktad till återskapare som vill börja med perioden- så himla smart och häftigt!

Anna, som är en av två författare, har jag träffat flera gånger på event och hon är en skicklig hantverkare och återskapare, som också bloggar om mycket 1400tal (Willhelm känner jag inte än, men ring mig så tar vi en fika och nördar 1400tal!) Boken innehåller, förutom referenslistor, också massor av bilder från perioden. Bredvid varje avsnitt om plagg/material osv hittar du alltså både historiska referenser, bilder, skisser och materialförslag från ett modernt perspektiv. Mycket bekvämt med andra ord, eftersom mycket arbete som du behöver för att kunna återskapa dräkt redan är gjort i boken.

Rikard och Helena från Handelsgillet är också delägare i Chronocopia som ger ut boken, och arbetar (förutom att sälja material och produkter) med att sprida kunskap om återskapande. I boken finns det en del produkter från deras shop, vilket kanske kan ses som reklam- eller ett praktiskt sätt att få tag på bra material att fota för att belysa tygfärger, material och vad man kan hitta för att praktiskt återskapa perioden. Jag tycker att det är ett bra initiativ, jag vet att de gör mycket efterforskningar kring färger och val av material de köper in för att allt ska vara historiskt, och här är deras shop Handelsgillet för dig som vill hitta material från boken (den tunna kyperten som syns har jag använt till flera av mina dräkter).

Nästa bok behandlar kvinnodräkten- gissa vem som ska klicka hem den också…

 

 


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November update

A post about shopping, giving discounts and what I am up to now.

Today it is black Friday, and you are apparently supposed to buy lots and lots of things and all companies are having lots of sales, special offers and the like. Not me. Why?

As a small business runner, I have discovered lots of thing about selling and producing things, and about the market in general, so to speak. One of the things I have learned, is that to have sales and discounts on things, you will have to either 1. earn less (not an option for big companies) or 2. earn the money in other ways. So if your favourite store or brand have large discounts and sales all the time, it means that it isn’t really a discount but the regular price – the price they want for the product to sell it with profit. All the other times when they sell on full price is just an extra income; more profit for each product. It really is very logical; why should a professional company sell things that they do not profit on?

This means, for me to have regular sales, I would have to rise my prices with about 20%, and then sit back and enjoy every time a customer bought a piece on full price. But that doesn’t feel very honest. So every time I do offer something on sale the cut goes on my income; it basically means I have been working hours for free. Sometimes I take that cut; to sell items that has been in stock for some times, or to give a close friend or a regular some discount. But I will most certainly not do it because it’s a shopping day, on which people are supposed to buy things just because…

working at home is fun, but also tiring when the work spreads through the whole house

With second-hand things it is a bit different. I often sell items after just a couple of uses, and that is mainly because they are experiments on new materials, technics or garments that I really wanted to make, but maybe not needed. Also, some items is getting sold because they don’t fit, or don’t get used enough. These items I do not sell as a part of my business main income- but to give myself space and income for a new project to take place. For me it is really important to not just make pieces on order, but allow myself to get inspired and creative in order to grow as a tailor and seamstress. For this reasons, you can often find barely used garments for a much better price at my facebook page.

This time of year is a bit slow for reenactment business, and I finished my last orders a couple of days ago. So now I am writing on new blogposts, working on new tutorials, reading books and sewing some new things for myself and the shop. Like this hood; just a small piece that turned out quite lovely, and is going up on the fb page for sale.

Do you want a special item made for yourself, as a Christmas gift or for next years season? Now is an excellent time to order; by late spring I usually have quite a delivery time if not fully booked. Hope you are having a nice weekend- with more snow than drizzling rain.


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Great reading inspiration

Recently, I was at the SCA event Kingdom University, and there I met lots of really good handcrafting persons. As a result, I got lots of inspiration, new knowledge and good tips on where to read and look for new inspiration. I wanted to share some tips with you, so here is some really good links to other people’s research and blogs;

Textile time travels is such an excellent blog by Annika where she generously shares her knowledge and projects.

Historical textiles have a very interesting blog about different historical finds and such, and a completely awesome dictionary with textile terms in different languages; perfect for reading blogs or books in a foreign language!

Anna/Renika has a nice blog about 15th century clothing, full of both research and sewing tips.

Lia is a skilled crafter that has a blog about her many projects; read and be inspired!

Eva/Aleydis has a blog about her costuming work, apart from some really cool silk dress projects, you can also read some more about Kingdom University there!

Right now, I’m working with the photos from Kingdom Univ, sewing on some projects, and trying to stay alive in the cold, dark November of Sweden. When I have worked through all the pictures I will show you them, along with some really great paintings ans sculptures from the Rijksmuseum. See you!

 


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Hur du använder ett modernt mönster

This post is in Swedish, since I made a sketch for it really long ago, but never came around to finish it. It is about how to use modern patterns in an easy way, and some good (swedish) clothing patterns that I like.

Har du precis köpt ett fint nytt mönster, kommer hem, packar upp det och inser att du nog är världens mest ointelligenta person? Jag tror vi alla varit där, men att tyda köpesmönster så som Burda behöver inte vara omöjligt svårt.

Tips:

  1. Bestäm dig för vilken modell du vill göra och vilken storlek du har. Kontrollmät på din egen kropp och anteckna om dina mått inte verkar stämma med mönstrets (mönstret är trots allt bara gjort för en modellkropp och sen beräknad i olika storlekar).
  2. Du får klippa, rita och kludda på ditt mönster. Jag lovar! Klipp ut de instruktioner du vill ha (om möjligt) så slipper du råka läsa spanska tips mitt i allt… Tejpa ihop viktiga texter med varandra. Markera med en penna de ord och ställen som du tror är viktiga.

  1. Inte allt på en gång. Mystiska teckningar och instruktioner du inte förstår? Det är inte meningen att du ska förstå allt på en gång! Börja från steg ett och arbeta dig igenom beskrivningen så kommer det vara mer logiskt när du kommer fram till punkten och har ditt arbete i handen.
  2. Fuska. Inte sugen på att lära dig sy passpoalfickor just nu? Hoppa över dem då och sy det du är sugen på. Personlig design kallas det att göra mönsterändringar.
  3. Mönsterpappret från helvetet. Sömnadsindustrin vill gärna att det ska vara så svårt som möjligt att sy, eller så är alla mönsterutvecklare snåla- jag vet inte. Grejjen är att mönsterarken är gjorda i världens tunnaste skräpkvalité, och om du frågar på tygaffären så kommer de sälja dig en rulle mönsterpapper i samma tunna skräpkvalité. Gå inte på det! Köp istället byggplast, sådant som du har för att skydda golvet när du målar väggar, eller köp non-woven mönsterpapper som är lite mer som ett tunt tyg i kvalitén. Bägge är genomskinliga, går bra att rita på men går inte sönder lika lätt som vanligt mönsterpapper. Nu kan du rita av alla delar du behöver på bättre material, och skratta medan du gör det.
  4. Svårt att veta vilken linje du ska följa? Fram med en markeringspenna igen! En glad röd linje längs med alla rätta linjer i din storlek på originalmönsterarket kan verka tråkigt att göra, men gör det så himla mycket lättare att rita av bitarna sedan. Lätt är rätt.

Sist men inte minst; välj vilka märken du köper dina mönster ifrån. Vissa märken kan vara svårare att förstå än andra, och vara gjorda med olika standardmått (ja, det finns olika) beroende på var de är producerade. Ett av mina favoritmärken är Svenska Mönster, vars ägare Stina jag träffade på en Symässa. Svenska Mönster har storlekar anpassade efter svensk (europeisk) standard, lätta mönster och beskrivningar på svenska som är enkla att följa. Men framför allt är grundaren en sån himla cool kvinna som gör allt själv, driver sitt företag på svensk mark och är både kunnig och trevlig. Jag rekommenderar!

I bilderna ovan har jag använt ett mönster från Burda som exempel, de är internationella men har svenska översättningar på sina mönster, och ett enormt utbud. Det finns också många små mönsterutvecklare som säljer via internetbutiker på tex Etsy, och där kan du hitta formgivare och designers som utgår från speciella mått, kroppsformer, stilar, nivåer på sömnadskunskaper… Allt du kan tänka dig, och sjukt mycket mer.

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