Today, I was thinking again about my project for making a reconstruction of the Pskov clothing. It occurred to me that there are a limited number of choices to make in its design, and the find itself provides excellent information to decide upon three of them.
One is, of course, the sleeves. The silk-trimmed cuffs that survive suggest that the sleeves were long, straight (with perhaps a slight taper; I need to look at the photograph of the cuffs again), carefully hemmed and, of course, trimmed with a broad strip of silk. That tells me most of what I need to know about the sleeves, except maybe the appropriate seam treatment (and I believe the NESAT X article describes that).
The second is the neck-opening. It is clear from the surviving neck fragment that the body was pleated, affixed with a narrow strip of the same linen as the body that extended into tie strings at the opening. The picture of the Slavic woman on the Adamklissi monument (reproduced here) suggests what the body of such a shift might look like. (The Adamklissi shift, however, is short-sleeved.) But was that opening placed in the center or on a shoulder? As I've said previously in this blog, I can imagine a shoulder-opening pleated shift being made from a body cut from only two pieces of fabric, a front and a back. However, to put the opening in the front would take at least three pieces; a back, and two equal-sized pieces seamed together in the middle, up to the point that the opening for the head was to begin. I can't see any clues from the fragment as to how many seams the body had, and the NESAT X article does not really address this issue. I will probably go with the three-panel, front slit approach because it's clear from the neck fragment in the find that the neck opening was meant to tie closed, and it is more awkward to tie strings located on your shoulder than it is to tie strings on a front-facing centered neckline.
The next choice is the length of the shift. Usually, an archaeological find as fragmentary as most Viking age finds provides no information on this issue. However, the Pskov find includes a piece of hemmed linen with more of the silk trimming sewn to it. As I should have realized when I composed this post, these attributes suggest that the shift was long enough that the silk-trimmed hem could be seen below the apron dress. It also indicates that the hem was *meant* to be seen (why else trim it with expensive silk?). These facts tend to reconfirm the reconstructors' conclusion that a shift of at least ankle-length would be appropriate, and I see no reason to argue with that conclusion.
The one major design choice I can think of as to which the Pskov find provides no information whatsoever is whether the garment is made with gores to widen the body or not. However, the Adamklissi shift appears to widen significantly at the bottom, suggesting that the garment at least has side gores. I will go with that approach and see whether the result resembles the Adamklissi image.
EDIT: I've looked at the picture of the Adamklissi shift again, and it seems to me now that if the fabric from which the body of the shift was made was wide enough, no gores would be necessary to get the appropriate effect. Simple experimentation may be in order.