Handcrafted History

Historical and modern handcraft mixed with adventures


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The Viking Amber Project

This is my latest just-because-it’s-nice project. I wanted to make a viking outfit on a certain theme; so I chosed my amber necklace and worked from that one to create a whole outfit.

Some pieces you might recognise from before; the shawl is my first handweaved project, and the apron dress is in fact the orange dress that I have cut out and redid into an apron dress since my shoulders and back have become a bit bigger (hello gym!) To make straps and a supporting band around the upper hem I made a tablet woven band and sewed it into place.

I also made a bit extra to wear as a headband, looks kind of cute, and is practical for keeping your hair in place and for pinning a veil to it. It is tied in the neck with a knot. I got the idea from a grave in Birka/Björkö were there was a find of the same band on both clothing and skull, though I didn’t read how the band on the skull was arranged or if it was sewed onto something.

The hairdo is inspired from an Iron age find of a woman having her hair in plaited buns (aka Leia buns almost) but to achieve a more historical look, a bit of fake hair could be applied (women seem to have had more and longer hair when washing and chemicals weren’t the thing). It is also a bit messy from having a rest in the tent earlier.

The jewelry is based on findings from mostly Sweden, the brooches from Öland, and some of the bronze items like the needle case is from Historiska Fynd. The glass beads I have made myself, the amber necklace and some other jewelry is bought on different viking markets. Amber beads is found in several graves; if you want to use amber in your viking outfit look for big, regularly shaped beads, or faceted ones. The small nuggets are very modern, the viking lady seemed to prefer her beads big and luxurious.

About the layers: the linen shift is barely visible and over that is a hand stitched woolen dress of uncoloured wool from Medeltidsmode. The apron dress is made of thin wool and have tablet woven bands on it. The coat is made of a wool, also from Medeltidsmode, and hand stitched with woolen thread. Wearing several woolen layers is a good way of staying warm in the autumn season, but they get a bit heavy, so for comfort I used my tablet woven wool belt to fasten the skirts at the waist, so my hips could carry some weight from the outfit.

To keep the shawl in place I fastened it with the brooches; in this way my neck stays warm but you can still se the rest of the outfit and the jewelry at the front. For a warmer look, I use a small brooch to fasten it at the front beneth my breasts.

Historically? There is sometimes a different amount of loops or fabric underneth the tortoise brooches in finds, indicating that several layers of clothing was held in place by the brooches, and sometimes more layers on the bottom or the top of the brooches. But there is also several graves with clasps or brooches at the front of the body with fabric in them, suggesting that the woman wore an other garment that fastened at the front, like a cloak, shawl or coat. But really, there is much we doesn’t know for sure- so this is a “suggested way of wearing viking clothes” and not a “we now this for sure-outfit”.

Without the coat and with the shawl pushed back. Still comfy and warm, without having to hold the shawl in place by myself.

 

Putting on the shawl. Here you can also se the knot at the neck for the head band.

Dramatic and cool viking woman! Yeah! (I was having a bad cold at the moment, but you can always pretend)

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Vikings at Årsunda

Oh, look! Some more photos from the autumn market at Årsunda vikings. It really was such an awesome and inspiring event so I wanted to share it with you as much as I can!

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The amber viking dress.

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R in his viking outfit, were most of it is handstitch by him

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Cooking without digging a hole in the ground

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Hanging out by the house

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What a nice tent and camp!

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Look at the red shoes- so awesome!

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H playing games

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Me and M trying to be still long enough for taking a photo.

We happened to wear matching outfits. I’m blaming it on both of us having really good taste in fabrics…

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Autumn with Årsunda Vikings

Autumn meeting at Årsunda with market, cooking over the fire, coffedrinking, chatting with old and new friends, party with lots of food, songs, bonfire in the night… What more could you wish for?

This last autumn we visited Årsunda vikings for a viking weekend. One of the best things with late autumn and early spring events is that it’s cold enough to actually wear all your layers of viking clothes. Which is both cozy and pretty! So this is a photo post with lots of viking inspiration for you – maybe to make some clothes of your own, or just dream away for the event season to begin?

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I call this my amber viking outfit. The garments are both new and old, mixed together for warmth and for the lovely colours.

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M/G and M (all my friends names start at the letter M?) in their warm outfits

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M in her newly made, hand stitched outfit.

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M/G in her party outfit

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The market area during the day, were both trading, games and good conversation happened all at once. The tents were put up during Friday dag and evening, and on Saturday the area was filled with people cooking breakfast, playing and talking. Magic!

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By the camp fire. Crafting, writing new songs and eating some lunch. And coffee.
(No, coffee is not viking age, but it’s really good for keeping the mood up and making new friends)

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M and his very fancy beard. The tablet woven trim is made by the other M

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View of the market area from the house

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Met some new friends =)

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Fresh food waiting to be cooked, outside one of the tents.

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And lots of nice camps!
These group also had some nice ceramics for sale. I really like this kind of markets were hanging out with old and new friends is the most important, and bringing your wares for sale is just a reason to be there…

Keep in touch- there will be more photos from Årsunda this spring. If you appear in a photo and doesn’t want to, or if you like a photo and would like to use it, send me a mail and we’ll work something up!

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Vikings at Årsunda

This April our group visited the vikings at Årsunda and their event “Vårblot”. They have such an amazing site with a viking house and an open area for tents and a market. I really liked their efforts in keeping all modern things hidden away, water posts, cleaning areas, car parking- everything was hidden away so the experience was really 100 % viking. I was pretty sure I already had post about Årsunda, but apparently I only posted some photos of friends before, so here’s more at the actual site and what we did.

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Making breakfast and coffee is sometimes the most important…

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Neighbours

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Hanging out, eating, drinking and braiding hair. That pretty much sums up our weekend.

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Digging a ditch, or hiding something?

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Inside the viking house after Saturday festivities.

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Outside the house

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The site was completely “all-viking”, until Sunday when we practically packed away the camp while sitting in the car. I like sites where the distance between packing-the-car and inside-the-tent are shorter than my belt…

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Camping and market place

They also have an autumn event, so in a couple of weeks we’re going viking again down south 😉