Legwraps are a Thing. And why not? They make perfect sense! They allow for for pants to be made slightly less tailored, while still keeping hems from getting snagged or dragged while walking or working. They add an extra layer of warmth around the shin and calf and an extra layer of protection against thorns, snow, and such like that. They blouse the top of the pant leg slightly (or a lot depending on how wide the pants are to start with) which helps trap warm air along the thighs and crotch region. They’re also a good place for some color shy men to start experimenting with something bright and cheery that doesn’t involve a large investment in terms or materials or body display space. People expect bright colored legwraps.
All that being said? I don’t like the look of them. I know, I know I just committed Norse garb blasphemy but I can’t help but feel like I’m looking at colorful and cheerful ace bandages. It also doesn’t help that I hate hemming. A lot. I don’t know why, it makes no sense to anyone (including me) I just have an irrational hatred of sewing hems. And (until I get a loom upon which I can weave ace bandage width legwraps) making legwraps for Scarp involve Nothing. But. Hems. The prospect of which gives me a bit of an eyetwitch.
So what is an authenticity minded lady to do when she’s outfitting her Norse husband?
Make these legwraps:
Those are legwraps (with bonus mummified foot) from the Viborg find in Denmark. Note the lack of ace bandage look, also note that there is far less hemming involved here!
I had two large rectangles of scrap fabric left over from making Scarps tunic. They were, in fact, the perfect size to wrap around his legs like what is shown in the picture above to make him Viborg wraps. Each one had a long edge that was selvage. In an hour I had two hand stitched legwraps for my husband that I finished while watching Lord of the Rings. A quick run to my local craft store yielded leather ties for him to use to mimic the cording above (once I finish his trim I’ll weave him garters for them) and he’s all set.
So the Oseberg trim is super simple (theory). Thread 10 cards, turn them all forward until the yarn is too twisted to turn the cards anymore, then flip the cards to unwind the yarn. At least according to this pattern recreation:
Notice how the same warp produces either a slanted square with a contrasting color dot in the center AND a greco-roman looking series of crenelations depending on the starting positions of the cards. Very neat, very cool looking, this is the trim I decided to weave to edge the bottom of my lord’s tunic. Seems fairly straight forward right?
I started with the crenelation starting position. Instead of nice neat boxes I have this:
Why? Who knows. I don’t. But Scarp likes it better so that’s what he’s getting.
Today I’m doing something different. A photo tutorial for making pants based on the Thorsbjerg find. These are a more modern looking cut of pant rather than the poofy burka pant.
These pants: (minus the feet, at some point in the future I will make a pair for myself out of the most obnoxious plaid fleece so I can have documentable footie pajamas, but that day is not today.)
Step one: (not pictured) get the required measurements. You will need:
Around the meaty part of the thigh
Around the waist where you want the pants to sit
Around the wide part of the calf
Around the ankle
From the waistband to the ankle
Waistband to the center of the crotch area (front and back)
Hipbone to hipbone
and width of crotch
Step two: Lay out your washed and ironed fabric folded in half. Note: Mine is not ironed. Do as I say, not as the lazy seamstress does.
Step three: outline your pattern. (I retraced over my chalk lines in the ultra high tech MS paint so you can see what the pattern looks like)
Step 4: Cut out your pattern.
Step 5: Assembling.
Not pictured: waistband.
Step Six : finish seams and hem. I’m not there yet.There will be finished pictures when I’m done.
This is it, it’s done!
I based my dress on this illumination:
So here are the challenges here: I can’t see her neckline. I went with a notched keyhole neckline because that’s what I’ve seen done most frequently. I’ve got nothing to work with as far as colors. But it looks like she’s got an underdress with long fitted sleeves, her over dress has wider and shorter sleeves than the underdress and there looks to be some kind of trim on the edge of the sleeves.
I used the Mammen tunic:
to make the argument for harringbone embroidery along the seams for added seam finishing and embellishment.
I wove the trim for the neckline and hem using the two pack Saxon technique I’ve cited before. The trim on the sleeves is wider and thinner using the same warp but turning all the cards together instead of turning them in the two pack method.
The fabric itself (along with the trim) is wool. The dress is slightly fulled so it’s a thick and warm garment. So now pictures!
In order we have: Front, back, sleeve trim detail, neckline trim detail, embroidery, and embroidery detail . Also featured: my apprentice belt which I did not make, my laurel did. I just got excited and wanted to see what my dress looked like with some of my performance favors and the fancy smancy belt.
So here it is guys, I finished it. I’m really proud of it and can’t wait to wear it and perform in it.
So I failed my saving throw vs. shoes and now am the proud owner of a particularly silly looking pair of bog shoes. But they’re pretty good for a first attempt. These fit a bit like leather slippers, they’re very thin but surprisingly protective. I think If I wear socks/stockings with them they’ll be about as protective as ballet flats. Even with flat leather soles with no traction or grippies I’m about as sure footed as if I were barefoot. These are warm (suede side in) and as comfy as socks.
That being said: these are as supportive as socks. If you need orthepedics I’d suggest making these big enough to cover your inserts. The good news is this pattern is so stupidly simple that altering to fit over insoles doesn’t add anything to the complexity.
Because of how thin these are (and how limited my budget for getting replacement hide is) these are going to be strictly indoor shoes for me. But I can easily see adding a thicker sole to them and wearing them to outdoor events.
Now for pictures:
As I said: silly looking, but awesome. I’m happy I failed this saving throw. These look almost identical (when you account for novice skill) to these:
This is a shoe in the British Museum that dates to the 14th century that was found in the Armagh Bog in Ireland. While these date to the 14th century they are so simple that there is no way they aren’t based on an older design. They are simple, inexpensive to make, easy to size, and don’t require a breaking in period. I’m sold.
An update on my clothing progress:
I have one seam left to finish adding gold to then the embroidery is done.
I have finished the trim weaving and need to attach it to the sleeves and then the whole dress is done and I can post pictures.
I just realized I have another week (yes all of the in progress projects were on the assumption that I needed them in 9 days). I have budgeted out my time for having them all done in 9 days. With that I give you a recounting of my morning:
“Oh, I have an extra week. I guess I could make shoes or something so I’m not going dressed to the 950’s with glaringly modern shoes. Wait self, this is a bad idea. Besides, making shoes is hard. I mean I guess I could look up a pattern for bog shoes…
Well those look simple. And I have a leather awl. Wait! I can’t make shoes, I don’t have leather… WHY IS THERE 3/4 OF A CALF SKIN AT THE TOP OF MY FABRIC STASH?!”
So We’re having our first foray into shoe making this weekend I suppose. The pattern above is also fairly close to the pictures I’ve seen of bog shoe finds. Closer than the gillie reproductions I see at events. Not that there’s anything wrong with those! There isn’t! Go for it and get on with your bad selves! I’m just saying this pattern looks more like the shoe I’m familiar with seeing. Best case? I’ll have a pair of period shoes I’ve made myself and then everything visible will have been made by me by hand. Worst case? I’ll have a mangled mess of surprise leather and have to wear the shoes I was planning anyway.