Handcrafted History

Historical and modern handcraft mixed with adventures

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Historical reading tip- part 7

This is what I read right now; The first book of fashion. It is really two surviving dress diaries from the 16th century German, that has been put together and analyzed with comments and introduction to both the art and the time and period. It is a really well put together book, full of interesting reading.

If you are interested in recreating male clothing from this period, it is like a dictionary or bible full of clothing examples, with comments about what materials different garments were made of. It also have a recreated outfit at the end, with lots of information.

This is part 7 in my “reading tip/book tip series”, the earlier posts are in Swedish and you can find them here. Or just type in “dagens boktips” in my search field on the blog. Today’s post was rather short, because the sun is shining outside for the first time in forever, I’m heading out with the horse on an autumn forest ride, and then I’m of to visit some friends for the weekend. Hope you will have a wonderful weekend!

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The green houppelande

I recently made (ok, rather recently…) this new green wool dress. It is an overdress for the 15th century outfit, and is commonly called a houppelande, which is like french for just ‘overdress’. The fabric is from Medeltidsmode, it’s a tabby woven fabric with a soft rich fall, and quite warm. The lining and the whole sleeves are lined with silk ( which is both fancy and in the case with the sleeves, very practical as the dress gets easier to take on and of) and the front is lined with a rabbit fur, that is from an animal/ecofriendly farm, and tanned with plants in an old-fashioned way. The dress is completely handsewn.

I wanted to show you this, because it’s a dress I’m very satisfied with, and also – I’m planning on a later tutorial about houppelandes and how to draft patterns for them. So, enjoy – here is a picture post about the green houppelande!

Great amounts of fabric gives you nice, deep and dramatic folds.

Under the houppelande I wear a blue silk dress, and rasberry-red shoes that I traded with Hans-Gunnar.

The belt is made of black leather and bronze fittings from a 15th century painting. The purse holder (to the right) is a way to be able to wear a purse in the belt- but I have not found that exact solution in any sources. It seem to be more common to carry your purse under the dress, in the belt of the kirtle. I had my Very-Fancy-Purse in the belt that day, but if you want to strive for a more historical accurate look- go without any visible purse.

Holding up the fabric is almost a must if you want to move around


Here you can see one of the gores I put in to save fabric, but expand the width.

The houppelande is a fancy dress, and should pool around your feet when you walk, if you don’t lift it of course! If you want to make one yourself- do it overly long. When I stand still, the dress arrange itself around me in deep folds.

Another thing is the width of the dress, and the amount of fabric it takes to do it. I had around 4 meters of 1,5 m width, but could definitely have used more fabric. As you can see, the dress gets very wide, and dramatic when hold up.








Hur mycket tyg behöver jag till min dräkt? /How much fabric do I need for my outfit?

Här kommer en enkel lista som kan hjälpa dig när du ska köpa tyg till olika plagg. Givetvis beror mängden tyg på din storlek, hur du klipper ut bitarna och hur brett tyget är. Se det här som en ungefärlig guide för dig som är kvinna och har storlek small-medium eller man med storlek medium-large, där tygbredden är 150 cm innan tvätt.

Here is a simple list of different garments and how much fabric you need to make them. The amount of fabric depends on your personal size, how you lay out your pattern and how wide the fabric is. Look at this as an approximated guide for a woman size small to medium and a man sized medium to large, with a fabric width of 150 cm. The guide is in centimetres and meters/metres.

Please note that the measurements are estimates and always calculate your own pattern from your measurements before you buy fabric. For example, I can make a simple dress with over 3 meters of shirthemd from only 2 meters of fabric, but I greatly prefer to use 2,8-3 meters for a full dress with sleeves. If I need wider arms, a longer dress or a more luxurous one I need about 4 meters of fabric. If the fabric have a pattern so you have to lay out all your pieces from one direction, you may need even more fabric.

When you buy fabric, also add an extra 10% for washing shrinkage to avoid unpleasant surprises, and always wash your fabric before sewing.

Medieval/Viking woman:

Shift (underklänning/särk) 2-2,5 meters of linen

Dress w.out sleeves (ärmlös överklänning) 2,5-3 meters of wool

Dress w sleeves (överklänning med ärmar) 3-3,5 meters of wool

Hoses (hosor/strumpor) 60 cm of wool (I prefer twill)

Hood (hätta) 40-60 cm of wool

Apron (förkläde) a square of 60*80 cm of linen will give you apron and ribbons.

Weil and wimple (slöja och haklin) 100*80 + 80*40 cm of linen or silk

Cape (mantel) 1,5 meters for a waistlong one, around 2,5-3 meters for a half cirkle cloak, doubble (6 meters) for a cirkular one.

Warm dress with lining (varm överklänning med foder) 3-3,5 meters of wool + samt amount of lining.

Houppelande (vid överklänning) 3,5-4,5 meters of wool

Cottehardie (snörd/knäppt överklänning) 3 meters of thin wool (twill)

Sleeves (lösärmar) 80*60 cm of wool or silk

Aprondress (hängselkjol) 2-3 meters

Kyrtil/dress with sleeves (mellanklänning) 2 meters for an Euradress, 2,5 meters for the yellow dress, 3 meters for a fuller dress.

Coat (kappa) 2-2,5 meters of wool

Medieval/Viking man:

Hose (hosor) 1,4-2 meters of wool

Braies (brokor) 50-100 cm of linen depending on model

Pants (byxor) 1,6-2 meters of wool

Wide viking pants/baggy pants (pösbyxor) 4-6 meters of thin wool

Shirt (kort undertunika) 1,6-1,8 meters of linen (2 meters to reach the knee)

Tunic/kyrtil (tunika/kjortel) 2-2,2 meters of wool

Liripipe hood (struthätta) 60-80 cm of wool

Double/shorter jackets (kortare jackor) 1,5-2 meters of wool

Cloak (mantel) same as woman above

Viking coat (kaftan eller rak kappa) 2-2,4 meters of wool


I hope this was helpful, good luck with your sewing!


Photos from Visby

This years Medieval Week at Gotland was the coldest I’ve experienced so far. I brought all my thin woolen dresses, summer clothing and the like. As a last minute-safety option I also took my green dress as it’s a little bit warmer. Lucky thought that, because I really needed all my layers of clothes along with the hoods and my short cloak/cape.

But it was a good week anyway, apart from me beeing cold, tired and sick most of the week. Because of this, and because I was working most of the week I barely have any photos at all. But some are just too good not to show so here they are…


A windy day on the beach, a little cold for swimming but nice for wearing wool.


H had his new 14th century outfit


One must visit Kränku for tea or coffee…


…and Botaniska trädgården (gardens) for roses and different trees.


Strolling Visbys alleys.


Finding agave plants


…and lavendel.



Did some medieval braids on my (mothers) cousin Eas hair while listening to music at a picnic inside an old ruin.


Js viking outfit


M and H as vikings in the gardens. We had plans during the week to go here, there or somewere else, but we often ended up just hanging around and talking to friends and long-time-no-see-people. That’s medieval week for you, just a mix with lots of coffe and some medieval drinks…


Group photo with some friends in the gardens


The Mörk family


Y & L


Hanging out at Kapitelhusgården medieval style, I’m so glad I had time for a couple of medieval pubs this year.


 …and some very modern coffee at Skafferiet and the beautiful garden.

Last but not least some photos from the 100 landsknechts march


Me, H and some friends marched in the Landsknechtmarch togehter with 150 others. And music, never forget the music!







On the ferry home, I finally got some time to read and H took a nap.


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Medeltida jul och vinterföreläsning

På fredag flyger jag ner till Visby för att vara med på Medeltida jul och Styringheims luciaevent, hålla föreläsningar via Kapitelhusgården och även en workshop på lördagen.

Som tur är för mig och alla deltagare, så kommer både föreläsningarna och workshopen hållas på Gotlands museums uppvärmda lokaler, där det lär bli både praktiskt och mysigt att vara. Det blir lite nytt för mig att få se Visby på vintern då jag oftast bara är där under sommaren, men kurserna och föreläsningarna i samarbete med Kapitel blir förmodligen lika roliga och lika bra som vanligt.

Just nu sätter jag ihop föreläsningen och bläddrar bland alla fina bilder på medeltida kläder som jag har att välja på. Kanske får den här vara med?


Eller den här?

©Photo. R.M.N. / R.-G. OjŽda

©Photo. R.M.N. / R.-G. OjŽda

Förutom en massa fina medeltida bilder har jag också tänkt dela med mig av alla mina bästa tips kring hur man håller värmen medeltida-style, eller genom att fuska lite om dräkten inte är riktigt klar.

På lördagens workshop blir det klädproduktion från första sekunden och framåt, vi kommer göra ytterplagg och jag kommer ha med mig en massa fina modeller att välja ifrån, där sedan deltagarna får rita upp mönstret själva efter sina egna mått. Jag tänkte ta med mig modeller som håller värmen från vikingatiden och fram till 1500talet, så jag hoppas det kommer deltagare med olika favoritperioder. Sedan blir det tillklippning, sömnad och inprovning, spännande!

Om du ska vara med- så kom ihåg att ta med dig eget tyg att skapa med. Om du är vuxen och lång så skulle jag satsa på 3-4 meter ylle med ca 150 cm bredd. Jag som är 1,60 behöver sällan mer än tre meter, men man kan ju förstås alltid ta med extra tyg ifall tiden finns för att göra en hätta av något slag också. Eller varför inte gå wild and cracy och ta med barnen och göra varsin mantel till dem med hättor till?

Inget tyg i sikte men sugen på att vara med ändå? Köp med dig billigt fleecetyg eller någon gammal loppisfilt och skapa av den, då kan du alltid göra ett mer seriöst plagg när du provat om modell och perioden är något för dig, samtidigt som du får all kunskap med dig hem för att kunna rita mönster och sy i framtida tyger. Och helt ärligt, vilket barn i din närhet vill inte ha en cool mantel i julklapp?