Monday, March 16, 2009

Viking Apron Dresses--Early Experiments With Gored Designs

Now that I have a blog where I can easily post images, I intend to start by featuring some completed projects I have only discussed previously on other people's web sites.

One of my long-standing projects is to make a Viking apron dress for each major theory of apron dress design. Since these projects are complete, I can post them with a minimum of time and effort.

The first ones I made out of cottons and synthetic fabrics back in the 1990s, when I had no good sources for wools and linens and relatively little knowledge about Viking era costume. The one on the left, in cotton denim, was an early attempt to make a semi-fitted apron dress, based on the Hedeby harbor find. It originally had wide straps; I later created narrow single straps with loops to better match our knowledge of other apron dress finds.

Another early effort (seen here on the right) was based on a long rectangle, with right-triangle-shaped gores sewn on either end, creating a trapezoidal piece which was then sewn into a tube and had darts sewn into it. The most interesting property this dress has is that, if I had made it longer, it likely would have a short train--reminiscent of period artwork. Again, this dress had wide straps that I narrowed later on. It is made from a mystery polyester that is meant to imitate linen. Both dresses are machine sewn; even the trim is sewn on by machine. The seams are only partly finished; I wasn't very good with seam finishing, back then.

I'll talk about some of my other apron dresses in other posts.

CONTENT EDIT: All of the photos are clickable for a larger version. In some cases, the larger version has a lot more detail. In others, it doesn't because the original was crappy. I apologize in advance for photo quality. My current digital camera is pretty good (it's a Canon Power Shot A540), but almost all of the photos were taken by either me or my husband, Eric, and neither of us are photographers. :-)

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