Norse Hood

My life will now be spent making these as beloved husband wants one, as does a friend of mine who is willing to trade for period style sewing pins. So I will sew, but first I document. I am basing my hood on the 11th century Skjoldenhamn find. Namely this:


(image found here:

Note if you will the one long rectangle in the center to go up and over the head, note the gore on the back and the non-intact gore on the front that presumably would have looked the same.

Also note the tie that appears randomly near the center back of the head. The intent (near as I can figure) was to make the hood slightly tailored by letting the wearer adjust the tie. Thus keeping the hood from closing around the wearer’s face while not making each hood custom for a single person. I, however, think this looks dumb and thus am electing to ignore it. I’ll add a tie for the sake of accuracy if either recipient wants one, but they’re not being added by default.

This is the simplest pattern ever. It is literally a rectangle with two squares. That’s it. This is easier than a coif or a hat.Trust me on this, you can do this. Here is my step by step.

Step 1: Measurements.

Measure from the top of your head to as far down as you want your hood to sit on your shoulders. Measure from the back of your head to as far forward as you want your hood to sit. Double the top of head to shoulder measurement.

Cut out your rectangle (trust me, I won’t lead you astray I promise).

Drape your rectangle over the top of your head so an end is resting on either shoulder. Pinch in the front about as far down as you want the opening to be. I pinch right under my chin, but for the purposes of the fighting hood I left it open a bit more so it could easily be pulled back and a helmet put on.

Now, measure the length of rectangle you have between where you’re pinching and the bottom edge. That gives you the length of each side of your gores.

Cut out your two square gores.

Step 2: Assembling. 

Front: Fold your rectangle in half like so:


Take one of your goes and set it diagonally so that it forms a diamond between the rectangle. Like this:


Back: Same as front, except you will also pin the rest of the rectangle together like so:


When sewing the hood together start from the point of each gore and sew down, this will help keep your edges smooth and even. When sewing the back start at the top and sew down one side of the gore, then the other.

Step 3: Finishing.

Here’s where you have a lot of freedom and options. You can do just a simple flat fell along the seams and no other embellishment, like I did on this hood: (which is mine)


Or you can do things like lining, trim, and seam treatments like I did on this one: (which is a gift for a friend of mine to fight in)

Or you can get super crazy and do seam treatments, trim, embroidery, lining, ect. Depends on how fancy you want to try to make your rectangle and pair of squares.

There you have it, that’s all there is to making these things. Go forth and sew!


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