Saturday, 26 September 2015

Finished(ish) Hedeby Underdress

At the Garb Workshop hosted by Dun in Mara last weekend, I had thought since no-one had requested my aid, that I'd be able to spend the weekend concentrating on my own stuff. But three impromptu classes and a whole lot of sewing and cutting advice later, I still managed to I made respectable progress on my Hedeby Norse costume.
It's amazing how much focus a room full of like minded people with similar tasks to hand can provide the drive needed to get moving on a project. For me this involved winning the fight I'd been having with the dress gores, drafting a sleeve pattern and setting them, and finishing the neckline. I had a bit of a Moment when cutting the sleeves and managed to cut them without seam allowance. Given that fabric was short, I decided to cut some gores from the scraps and added these at the top and bottom of the sleeves, reasoning that even this would have been more reasonable in period than scraping the whole thing. I had been concerned previously that the dress would end up too short, but the hem just overlaps the top of my najlbound socks slightly, so it's worked out rather nicely. Overall I'm rather happy with how this is coming along. I believe my construction is reasonably accurate, and it's a very comfortable garment to wear. 

The final underdress has some slight shaping on the torso to make it a little more fitted; with an hourglass figure there's only so much fitting you can do if you still want the dress to pull off over the head without any additional openings. The dress has side gores to the waist line and front and back gores to the hip line. The hem at the wrist and end of the dress was cut on the fabric selvage to minimise work with hemming, though this is my own invention. I haven't seen any evidence to support the idea, but I can see no reason why they wouldn't have done it if they could. The sleeves are gored to make up for my earlier mistake, and are fitted as per the Hedeby finds, though apart from the last minute gores, I decided to cut the sleeve as a single piece, so without the secondary piece seen in the Hedeby sleeve finds. Similarly, the neckline is a shallow scoop shape found to be particular to Hedeby rather than the keyhole shaping found in other towns. If I'd used a wool I may have been able to get a better fit, but given my fabric restrictions, I think it's turned out well. The arms and side gores still need to be felled, but if I run short on time, I at least have a wearable garment for the event.