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torsdag 19 mars 2009

My cold weather coat

I have made a coat for cold watches during summer nights, or frosty autumn marches. The coat is based on two of the Herjolfsnes finds - the no. 45 and the no. 63, plus numerous representations of clothing with paired buttons. It is made from coarse, thick woolen cloth and lined with softer woolen cloth.

The garment is really based on the Herjolfsnes 45, above left of this text. I borrowed the pic (and the pic representing the Herjolfsnes 63) from this page:
It really is a tremendous page. If you haven't visited it, now is your chance. And if the owner of the page gets mad at me for using these pics, I would be happy if he told me, so that I can remove them.

Now. Back to the no. 45. The construction, including the pocket slits, is more or less exactly like the no. 45. I chose to make long arms, though. I made the fake gores (seams sewn in the middle of other gores to make the impression that there is actually more gores than there really is), but I can't say that it made much difference, as it is barely visible. Never the less.

From the no. 63 (to the left) I borrowed the collar. I have never made a garment with a collar, so I thought it might make a nice change. However it became a bit too small - it nearly chokes me when I have it buttoned. Hopefully it will give way in time.

That is really the main problem - the coat is a bit too small. Because I was going to have a lot of gores and seams, I used 25 centimetres of seam allowance, because I wanted the coat to be roomy. When it was finished, I could barely button it though. But I hope that it will stretch as I use it, plus I could lose some weight :-)

Below are some pics of me in my spanking new coat and shoes. The hood isn't that new, although I made it last year.

Here is a closeup at one of the pocket slits. They are quite handy when you want your purse, or if you would like to grab your dagger quickly for some reason :-)

Closeup of the choke-collar. Note the colour of my face - it is starting to turn a bit blueish.

Close up of paired buttons upon a belly that grows fatter by each day in the office... Luckily, I've started excercising.

And lastly - here is me, with my shiny shoes, my hood, my spanking new coat and a spear, to ward of the wolves in the Kivik forests.

Finally - shoes!

And now - what you have all been waiting for: My shoes! It is not much to say, really. They are finished, and I am kinda happy with them, although I would like them to be just a bit more pointy. And next pair will.

onsdag 18 mars 2009

I am a tentmaker, episode 02

Of course we didn't start stitching until about saturday noon. It's so typical - when you set out to do something, it is always those little things that get in your way. We shopped a couple of beers and a lot of food, so that we could have a pleasant time while working; if it's anything you need when putting your back to it, it is proper food and drink.

The work force was a bit crippled, due to my daughter Isolde - one of us always had to keep an eye out for her. She loves the following:

- Knives (and other weapons)
- Every other little thing she can use to harm herself

It sounds really awful, but neither me nor my wife have actively encouraged her. She has found her way all by herself. It was not until evening, when she went to bed, that we could really start working. By then Lunda had joined us, and we were building up severe pressure in the kitchen of Simon's parents.

First of all, we measured up the cloth. The tent is made up by triangles with a base of 160 centimetres, and a height of 344 centimetres, so we started working on the floor, cutting the cloth into what we wanted. It was clear that these tents will be a lot bigger than our previous ones, which is a good thing. Now we will finally have enough space for everyone. And then the stitching commenced. And it went on until 2 in the morning...

We continued for some hours the next day, but the tent was only about half finished. That gives us the opportunity to meet again in april to finish it, and to have another fantastic time. Thanks guys, and Simon's parents, for a great weekend with excellent food, lots of laughs and good company.

fredag 13 mars 2009


On another note, I've finally started to work on a couple of chests. I bought the wood years and years ago - fine oak from the northern parts of Skåne - and thanks to Daniel of Fraternis Militia Carnis, who is a woodwork teacher at a school nearby, I have access to a fully equipped workshop. Furthermore, he can advise me when I am about to make terrible mistakes - as you all know, I am not a craftsman, so these mistakes do happen, more often than not.

I have been shaving about 50% of the planks (no, not with a razor but with a plane - not a flying one, but one that you use to make wood smooth), and they look severely nice. I am content the chests will be really sweet as soon as they are finished.

Magnus, also from Fraternis Militia Carnis, has been nice enough to show me his thoughts on construction. He and I looked through about a 100 pics of chests from my PC, and then we shared ideas. As he seems to be better at "constructive thinking", he eventually sketched up a blue print for our chests. Both his and my chests will be constructed in a similar way, so it was good to have the opinion of someone more "crafty".

There is a lot of work to be done when building a chest, I'll tell you. I'll be posting some pics now and then, as my work progresses. Stay tuned!

I am a tent maker, episode 01

Today I am leaving town to go with some of the other guys of Albrechts Bössor to the small town Kivik, which is located in the absolute south of Sweden. We are going to hand-stitch a new tent at Simon's place. The guys in the "northern section", around Stockholm, are going to do the same, which means that we will finally have lots of space when going on events.

I searched high and low for good fabric, and I finally found a sturdy, white linen. It is cloth for making sails, more or less, and will live through most weathers.

We will be making the same old tents that we alreday have three of. They are called bell-tents by some. They resemble a teepee, and they are the only tents, except for regular pavilions and some other tent types with a frame, that I have seen during our period. There are LOADS of pics of pavilion, but more or less NO pics of tents of smaller type - soldier's tents. We feel it would be inapropriate if common soldiers lived in a pavilion; lots of things point to that tents weren't very common at all during the 14th century, even for officers. It is more likely that soldiers took shelter where ever they could, and if they didn't find a roof, they would simply sleep under the sky, wrapped up in blankets. That is my opinion.

But. As most reenactors are utter weaklings (including me and most of my friends), we choose to have tents. And to make it credible, we only have tents that we could transport ourselves. This makes the teepee-tent ideal for our needs, as it is very easy to put up and to put down, and it is light to carry. There is no need to bring the center pole; as long as you know how tall it needs to be, you can simply grab the nearest fence pole of appropriate length and - voila!

I have been looking forward to this meeting a long time now, and it will be glorious to meet the guys again. I have a feeling it will be a great weekend, filled with good friends, laughter, stitches, hard work, sweating, snapping needles, swearing, cursing and at least five different "I hate this crap! I give up! I'm going home!". Then again - there will be pizza and beer... And I will be getting away from Växjö for a while :-)