Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Next Up: The Lambskin Hood

A hood I made many years ago.
The socks are done, the mittens are (probably) under control, or will be soon.  Now I'm thinking of the next item I want to make for my völva outfit--the lambskin hood.

At least one translation of the Saga of Eric the Red describes the völva as wearing "a black lambskin hood, lined with white catskin."  I have a sizable piece of white faux fur, purchased to make the mittens, and I recently found on Etsy a vendor that is selling pieces of black lambskin suede at a very affordable cost--perfect for what I have in mind! 

I even have a pattern.  When I first started making historical costumes, many years ago, I made myself a fully reversible medieval hood, using a fine red silk-wool twill fabric on one side, and a heavier black crepe (probably polyester, I didn't care about fiber type then) on the other.  It resembles the Skoldehamn hood a little, but it does not have either the ties or the cord edging that shape the Skoldehamn hood.  The photograph shows the hood in question.

When I made this hood, I knew nothing of how medieval fabric was woven, or why most early medieval garments are made entirely from geometrically-shaped pieces.  Thus, my hood used a straight piece for the hood proper, buy a rounded piece for the bottom.  However, it should be possible to tweak the design slightly to make a very similar design entirely from geometrical shapes.  I will want to make a pattern from the hood, rather than dismembering it--it is still very usable and too nice to destroy! 

Once the pattern is completed, sewing the new hood should be much quicker than making the original hood was.  All I'll need to do will be to sew the faux fur lining and the leather, insert the lining into the leather, and sew the two together along the bottom and edge of the hood.  All of the stitching will be in straight lines.  It *should* be simple, but it would not be surprising for unexpected difficulties to arise.

Watch this space for future developments.


  1. There are always unexpected difficulties, but you'll conquer them. I await future developments with interest!

    1. Thank you! I really appreciate your interest.

      I have made a rough pattern for the hood, with an eye to (1) sticking to geometrical shapes, and 2) the amount of faux fur I have left. It's a 4-piece pattern; one piece to wrap around the head, one to wrap around the back, and two roughly triangular pieces to cover the front. My old pattern was generous in size, so I have room to cut things down and want to do so to make a closer fitting garment (which would still go over the top of the head).