Birka garb challenge

I wasn’t going to do the Birka garb challenge. Challenges (at least dictate by other people ones) aren’t really something I generally enjoy. I’m much of a “I do what I want!” kinda girl. So I didn’t look at the theme. Which has been posted for a while.

I was talking to one of my favorite enablers on Thursday, and found out she was doing it, and decided what the hell? I’ve got some fabric I’ve been meaning to make a dress, this is as good an excuse as any. I decided I’d make a machine sewn wool apron dress on Monday, as I had a memorial out of town that weekend. It’d be maybe an hour of work and I’d be all set.

You all know how this goes. We’ve discussed scope creep before. Don’t even pretend to be surprised.

Currently I have a wool apron dress, hand stitched with my own hand spun Icelandic wool top coat. That I processed using combs and the appropriate weight and style of drop spindle.

Because that wasn’t enough I’ve run two lines of herringbone stitch down each seam in silk. Still using a bone needle. I’m currently working on a running stitch of gold silk where the lines of the herringbone cross. No metal needle yet.

Once that’s done I’m going to warp purple and gold linen with my own dark blue wool hand spun (done on the same soapstone spindle) and weave 150 inches of tablet woven trim for the hem and straps.

I also have a purple and gold iridescent striped silk front panel with a knotted fringe. That I wove. With a starting band so it looks like it came off of a warp weighted rather than horizontal modern loom.

Yesterday I started what has now become a 4 page mini research paper, with a page of sources and a bunch of photos. I’ll post that on Sunday.

The challenge is on Saturday. As in I have 2 more days to finish this to avoid sewing in the car.

Thanks scope creep imp. I was doing just fine without you.


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