Frog and Toad, Anne and Diana, Laverne and Shirley...I think a lot of us have that one friend that you find you can't say "no" to; the one that's always leading you into adventures. So of course when my bestie "H" said she had an idea for a viking costume and could I help, I wasn't about to refuse her.
For once, I can't rightly say this was "my" project. In this case, I am playing atelier for my friend's designs, and for once it was nice to be along for the ride instead of in the driver's seat.
=The main inspiration for this design is a character from the TV show Vikings. H found a pattern in McCall's new cosplay line of patterns that had the basic elements that she wanted, and forwarded me a screenshot of the character that inspired her. We worked together to pick fabrics that would be appropriate for wearing all day outside at a renaissance festival, and also gave a nod to historical accuracy. She had already sourced a chemise style top and appropriate leggings, had been working on crafting a wide leather belt/cincher for her waist and bracers for her wrists, and made weaponry that would pass festival security. Where my work was needed was for an over-tunic and open-fronted skirt.
We settled on a beautiful buff/tan linen for the tunic and a medium dark blue linen for the skirt that would provide enough body yet also drape well for dramatic flourishes. I also added in some faux suede to make trim, as a nod to the abundance of leather in viking costume. For once, I had a commercial pattern to follow that only needed a few tweaks to fit her size. The other change I made to the pattern was to use a thin cotton voile as lining for the top, rather than using the same fabric for both front and lining fabric as suggested by the pattern. One layer of linen still had enough body to give the garments shape, and the thin cotton lining allowed the top to breathe.
As this wasn't fully my project, I didn't take as many pictures. But I will note a few features that aren't immediately visible. The outer edges of the tunic and skirt are trimmed in the faux suede that is sewn on much like bias tape, but only folded on the outside edge. Sewing through more than three layers of faux suede would have been nearly impossible for my little machine.
While the tunic is lined, the skirt is not, so I used french seams for the skirt, knowing they would be fully visible as the skirt is open in front. The tunic laces up the sides with grommets, the skirt laces together at the front waistband with grommets, and I put studs at the inner neckline corners for reinforcement at the stress point. Thanks to procrastination, I was putting in the grommets and studs the night before the fair.
The costume came together beautifully. H wasn't interested in taking pictures (and after all, this isn't her online blog!), but she made quite the sight at the festival.
This was also the festival that saw the debut of our pirate costumes, so we made quite a band of marauders going though the festival. I do hope we can all get together and get more mileage out of these costumes and characters.
Twins each with half a brain in reality; the other half displayed here!