Sunday, January 5, 2014

Jake's Hedeby-ish Coat

Both Jake and I absolutely love this garment, but I would like to find a bit more in terms of documentation before I make it again.

I've been eyeing Nille Glaesel's book Viking: Dress, Garment, Clothing for a while now, but there's no way we can afford $150 for a single book, no matter how cool it is. I was cautiously excited when I noticed the $10 Kindle break-out editions of specific garments from the book, but I'd rather just buy the $55 Kindle edition when times are a little less tight.

That being said, the garments were nicely pictured on the cover, so I decided to model his new tunic on the torso design shown for the Viking K Coat with Hedeby Sleeves

I went looking for some more concrete resources, and landed on Þóra Sharptooth's "Viking Tunic Constrution" which offers a lovely illustration and states: "Also found at Hedeby is late tenth- or early eleventh-century evidence for a short bathrobe-style jacket with overlapping front panels. Similar garments are known from earlier Saxon graves on the Continent and believed by some to have had some military or ritual significance (Owen-Crocker 1986, 114-115); they are also depicted in Migration Era artwork such as the Sutton Hoo helmet plates..."

But that didn't offer quite as much fullness as I wanted, so I kept looking for other examples.

On pg. 116 of Thor Ewing's Viking Clothing, there's an illustration of what he describes as a coat. He says it comes from a helmet plaque found in Vendel, Sweden. There's not much detail, but it does show a nice overlap with some kind of decoration.

At this point I felt like I had enough to start with. I went back to my good 'ol reliable Bocksten Bog format and then started fiddling around with the diagonal cut.

I had a couple irregular pieces of the wool I wanted to use, so I had to be a little creative in how I planned to cut it. This was the plan before I had him try on the muslin, which helped me decide to increase the depth of the diagonal sides.

Here's the finished tunic laid out. The trim was as close as I could get commercially to something inkle or tablet-woven, but it does make a good impression. The blue wool was left over from my apron dress, and had to be pieced together.
A close-up of the top and sleeves. While I did do the hidden seams on the machine, all top-stitching is by hand. I flat-felled where I could, but for the most part I used the style Østergård describes on pg. 99 of Woven Into The Earth
I may replace the trim later with something more authentic, but this is working for now. In this image you can see both the stitching holding down the blue accent and the double row of stitching holding the trim in place.
From here, you can see inside both sleeves to how I sewed down the seam allowance. Except for the basic line stitch on the sleeve ends, it's pretty much all the same stitch. What can I say? If it works!

Because we are both so partial to this cut on him, I am going to keep looking for better documentation. But for now, Jake has some great threads to wear to events!


Ewing, Thor. Viking Clothing. Gloucestershire: Tempus Publishing, Inc. 2006. Pg. 116.

Østergård, Else. Woven into the Earth: Textile Finds from North Greenland. Denmark: Aarhus University Press. 2004. Pg. 99.

Priest-Dorman, Carolyn. "Viking Tunic Construction." Þóra Sharptooth's Resources for the Re-enactor. 1997. <> 5 January 2014.

No comments:

Post a Comment