Viking Dress (Part 2)

Jewelry and the Green Apron Dress!!

Remember that pinterest page I put together? And remember all the “Viking Swag”? Well. We’re going to certainly have fun with that 😀

First, we got a glass bead collection at Michaels (yay 50% off coupons!). Really any glass bead assortment would work. Viking burials are the perfect source for research on this subject, and beads were found made of glass, stone, semiprecious stones (like carnelian), and could also be leafed in gold or other metals. We plan on using literally all of these….


…plus some earrings we got at Body Central for $.99 each. The gold set will be re-purposed in to the two brooches with epoxy and pins. The silver ones will be cannibalized for their metal cones, which bear great resemblance to tinkling cones (which, while best known as decor in early colonial periods, had been around far earlier than the french fur traders who popularized them among the native american populations).


The Apron Dress

It’s actually a re-purposing of my housemate’s first ever medieval skirt. I tore out the drawstring, cut out two of the smaller panels to use as fabric for the rest of the construction, and pinned it in to place on the dress form for length measuring purposes and tied a rope belt around the waist. We both liked where it falls, so no adjustments were needed there.


Both of us being relatively well endowed ladies, we didn’t like the idea of just having what is essentially a bag with arm straps hanging loosely from the bust area. So how to take it in and still remain true to the patterns and silhouette? I sketched this up after a lot of daydreaming about this conundrum while on break at one of my places of work.

We could gather up and apply loose lacing to each side!


Trust me, I’ve tried smocking. It didn’t turn out well….

Begin what has so far been by far the most time consuming part. Making the lacing parts. Below is the progression of strip (top) to loop-material (bottom). Fold, iron, fold again, iron again. What I wouldn’t give for a bias tape maker!! (Sewing goals).


Fold in on themselves as loops, stitch, then cut as separate bits each. I used white thread in this step because I am running a little low on green at this point and no one will ever see this step anyway.


Pretty soon you end up with quite a little collection! But what to attach them to? You’ll need something stable. Something that won’t pull too horribly on the garment and create stress lines where there should not be any.

I created highly reinforced guides in which to place the loops. The are formed in the same way as the loops above, but thicker and with two strips of interfacing each. Why two?


If you’ve ever worked with interfacing, you know it has a grain and can be tugged and stretched in one direction, but not the other. So for this step, I cut two sets of interfacing strips – each band got one strip in each direction. Observe the grain in the detail below:


Fold over, iron over, and you have a decent band on which to mount the loops


Of course, I went back to the green thread to stitch them all together. Here are two of the final four side pieces.


And oh hey look! Back to ironing! This poor garment had been in storage for years and through numerous moves.


Even the shoulder straps to the apron dress have been reinforced with interfacing. If you haven’t already converted to the use of this magical material, I highly recommend doing so. Joann’s sells their featherweight bolts at 99 cents / yard. With a 40% off coupon, there’s no reason at all not to constantly have a decent supply in your fabric closet!


And that’s as far as I got tonight! Updates to come as work progresses ….


Our dog is unsure of what to think about the project. Obviously sewing is not as interesting as any action involving food. 

Part three here!


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