Thursday, February 26, 2015

HSM Challenge #2--A Blue Iron Age Skirt, Completed!

Remember the last project about which I said, "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy'?  Well, I had another "battle plan" moment when I tried to make my Vendel period apron dress.  

After I had hemmed all the edges of my fabric and sewed it into a tube, it became brutally clear that the amount of fabric I have was simply too narrow to make a properly draped peplos for me to wear--unless I pinned it on only one shoulder, and I know of no archaeological support for a one-shouldered overdress in 7th-8th century Norway. 

But I quickly discovered that the tube was perfectly sized to make a long drawstring skirt, of the type found on the woman found in the bog at Huldremose.  That seemed appropriate to me, particularly since it has recently been discovered that the Huldremose plaid skirt was actually a  blue plaid, and not the brown plaid that it appears to be today.  

The Huldremose skirt has holes carefully made a little below the top edge of the skirt and a thong threaded through them to serve as a drawstring, but my blue fabric is too thin to tolerate such treatment.  So I settled for shortening and evening out the top edge of the tube by cutting off about three or four inches or so, folding down the edge and sewing it down to make a drawstring channel.  Then, I cut down and sewed the cut-off fabric piece into a drawstring using the same sewing technique that is used to make apron dress straps (i.e., cut a strip of fabric a bit longer  and about three times wider than you want the string to be, fold the sides inward, and whipstitch the two folded edges together so that the raw ends are enclosed inside; push the ends into the narrow tube you've created and stitch each end closed). 

So for the second time this year, I've completed a challenge with an item that isn't what I intended to make for the challenge.  Still, I'm happy with the skirt; that color is too lovely for the fabric to have continued to go unused.

HSM Challenge #2--Colour Challenge Blue

Fabric A yard of 60+ inch wide vintage wool fabric in a period twill weave.

PatternNone needed; this skirt, like the Huldremose skirt, is a tube with a drawstring at the top.

Year:   Sometime between 160 BCE and 340 CE.

Notions:   100% silk Gutermann thread in a similar blue shade.

How historically accurate is it?   Only somewhat.  The weave is period, the basic tube shape is period, and the color is not too unlike what might have been obtained with woad in period by a patient and skilled dyer.  But the original skirt didn't have a drawstring channel, and I've never heard of a period garment that used either a drawstring channel or used a cut-and-sewn strap for a drawstring.  So maybe 50-60%.

Hours to complete: About 2 1/2 hours, though I didn't keep track of my sewing time very closely.

First wornNot yet. I haven't even tried the skirt on; I've been too tired to do much as I'm fighting off what appears to be a bad cold.  Photographs will be coming soon (unless I've *really* screwed up and the skirt is unwearable).

Total costEffectively zero.  The fabric cost me less than $10 USD nearly 5 years ago, and I've had the silk thread for a long time from other projects.

EDIT:  (2/27/2015)  Huldremose is an early Iron Age find, a fact I keep forgetting, for some reason.  Since it's the inspiration for this costume item, I've corrected the title to reflect that fact.

EDIT:  (3/13/2015)   Corrected description of how I made my drawstring by deleting the word "four" and replacing it with the word "three", in boldface, in the description above.

No comments:

Post a Comment