Tuesday 17 August 2010

Medieval vacation part 2, tents, dresses and a dog

To continue the tale of my adventures in Visby during Medieval week, I give you the second part of the story! The first can be found here.

We stayed in the SCA-camp, which is a strictly medieval camp, no modern tents allowed, no modern stuff visible (like shoppingbags, sleeping bags etc). Of course there are exeptions; like baby strollers, glasses etc, but we try to let everything that is visible be at least medieval inspired.

We lived in a tent made by me (I made a tent, can you believe it?). I sewed the fabric-part myself, and a friend made the wooden frame. Some measurements: at the base it's 4 metres in diameter, the wheel is 2 metres up from the ground, the center pole is 3,5 metre tall. You can see a bit of the table and the curtain we used to conseal our sleeping-bags =)

Our neighbours. Their tent, furniture, carpets, it was just beautiful! I love this picture of Anna, sitting down for some quiet sewing (they had two small children, so there wasn't much sitting down for them =). The children were adorable, though).

A typical part of any SCA-event: court. Who "rules"/wears the crown is a complicated affair involving fighting in heavy armour but also a bit of politic, and I'll refrain from analyzing it here =) One might say it's a mix of role-playing and reality, for the people ruling do a lot of work during the months they rule but at same time it's of course a game. It's suppose to be fun, after all =) If nothing else, court is a great time to admire everyone's garb, as most people like to wear their finest then.

Dancing! I only attended one day, we had a lazy vacation =) It was fun to dance a bit, though! Esp as I, for once, didn't have to lead the dance, but could happily just bounce along to someone else's directions.

In this photo I'm wearing part (the cooler part) of my flemish gown. I left the split overdress (wool interlined with linen) at home. I love this outfit! It's so versitile, I can wear it from -15 to +30. The shift is in white linen, a t-dress. The grey dress is linen as well, the bodice is two-layered for stability, the skirt is pleated. Then there's a partlet on top of the whole thing. The bodice is one of the most difficult pieces of fitting I've ever performed, it only worked because of mom's expert help. See, they didn't use darts at the time. Nor princess-seams. And... ah, well, I think I'll geek-out about the sewing in a separate post later on =)

Ehrm... isn't it pretty? ;)

Mom and Elsa in front of a shop in town. On Gotland they're big on lambs, so of course there's lamb's fur-stuff everywhere in the tourist-district. Note the small lambsfur dog in the displaywindow. Then note Elsa. Sometimes small children mistake her for a lamb... Lol!

Last picture for today: Elsa in the tent. I might have a candy in my hand... =)

In the next post I'll take you on a small tour of the lovely city of Visby, plus share some of my favorites from the market. I had planned for that to be my last report from Visby, but I might make a separate post with just geeky details about sewing and outfits =)

Love, Erika

Medieval vacation, part 1: wedding #1 and a bit more

Friday 6th of August I left the safety of Umeå for the second time this summer. Last time the goal was quality time with the family, this time it was all about two weddings and the medieval week in Visby, Gotland (an island in the middle of Östersjön, it's a part of Sweden, but it'd be hard to find a gotlander admitting that =) )

Now, I have a confession to make: Lindy hop and vintage sewing are not my only hobbies. Before I discovered them, I was a total medieval geek! I still hold lessons in medieval dance once a week in my local SCA-group, but I haven't had time for sewing new garb or going to events (too much lindy hop...). ; ) But this year me and mom wanted a vacation together, and it was ages (5 years) since I was at the medieval week in Visby.
During my stop in Stockholm I had a cup of tea with my brother Joakim. He's leaving for a year in Japan soon, and I'm going to miss him something terrible!

Having arrived in Visby, we spent the evening at Edits place, preparing for the wedding the following day.

Edit had finished the 13 000 (!) pieces puzzle she's been working on a bit on-and-off the past 10 years.

Of course she discovered that there's one piece missing. The company offered to send a new puzzle, but lay the whole thing again just to find the missing piece? Probably not =)

We were a bit nervous, it rained all night and all morning until noon on Saturday, but then the sky miraculously stopped pouring down rain! Malin and Henric were beautiful in their viking clothes. They'd made their outfits themsleves, and everything was handmade. Henric had even made the gorgeous trim on his jacket himself! Impressive!

Between the ceremony and the delicious dinner, we entertained ourselves with viking games. Archery is so much fun! I hadn't held a bow for 5 years, due to the muscle inflammations in my arms, and I had forgotten how much I like shooting. I was quite good also, striked out two peolpe before my arms gave up and my hit-range went from 4 inches in diameter to about 20. But it was fun!

Tug of war, but a version where you don't end up muddy if you loose. Me and Edit went a couple of rounds.

Our battles all ended the same way...

... with me on the ground. But it was fun to try it!

This I was really bad at! It took some physical strength in the arms, and I don't have that. At all. But I like the pictures! =)

This is a good shot of the overdress I made for the wedding. I'm usually more medieval or - even better - renaissance, but now I also have a viking outfit. The buckles and the pearls were borrowed, though. The tricky part with viking dresses is that they're not supposed to have any closings, no buttons, hooks-and-eyes or lace binding. (One can add it, but there's no archeological findings to support such a construction, that I know of). The dress is just a tube, that one wiggles into. I was wary of making a dress my curves could be wiggled into, but that wasn't a tent. It worked though! Partly due to the nice, thin wool that stretched a bit too much on the bias to be a pure wool...

It was a wonderful wedding, everybody cried, the bride and groom were beautiful, and the company the best. A great start on the medieval vacation!

Coming up: the pavillion I've made, more tents, more clothes and a cute dog. So if you liked the temporary medieval theme on this blog: Stay tuned! =)

Love, Erika

Thursday 5 August 2010

I made a dress! =)

I took an unplanned blogging-vacation during July. I'm very grateful for everybody still reding this blog after this long silence: Thank you! =) Coming into July I had lots of things planned, but then I found the perfect fabric for a dress to my friend Malin, and the rest of the world disappeared...

When Malin and her husband Johannes was married almost a year ago, they had a surprise wedding so of course we, the guests, didn't have any wedding gifts. I wanted to make them one anyway, so I figured I would sew for them! A dress for Malin and a pair of 30s pants for Johannes, was the plan. During the year we've wavered a bit about fabric and pattern for the dress, but then Malin fell for the classic Marilyn picture:

We figured a straight knock-off wouldn't suit her, so we changed it a bit, I found the perfect fabric and voilà:

Using my pattern drafting book (it has basic patterns that one alters according to the desired design) a dress was born!

Warning for geeking out! =) For those of you who have this book: I took the idea for the bodice from "Klänning med baddräktsliv" in the year 2010 edition, but changed it a lot in the shoulders and a bit in the empire line. For the back I used the basic pattern, just altered the location of the shoulder dart to the neckline. The skirt is pleated in approx 1/2 inch pleats.
Since the fabric is quite see-through the dress is fully lined in a thin white cotton. As you may know, cotton againt cotton tends to wander around a great deal, but I didn't want to make it too warm by using polyester (this dress is for summer and/or dancing after all), so I actually fastened the entire lining to the dress. All the hems, plus the side-seams, are stitched together. Overkill? Perhaps, but the top dress doesn't wander on the lining =)

The only difference between the lining and the dress is the top bodice pieces, where the lining lies flat against the body and the dress falls between the pleats in the shoulders and the pleats beneth the bust.

I finished this dress just before leaving for vacation in southern Sweden, came home about a week ago, am now working for four days and then I'm off again on Friday (tomorrow! Whoops.). It's medieval week on Gotland! Plus two of my friends are getting married, luckily not on the same weekend =) Anyway, of course I have some sewing to do before then...

Love, Erika