I just received the last shipment of linen that I need to make garb for this summer’s Pennsic War, the gigantic SCA medieval camping event. Over 10,000 folks camp out during this two-week event in Pennsylvania USA.  My friend Tim and I are going for the second week, which is called War Week.

He is in need of medieval clothing for the event, and I told him I’d make him a shirt and a tunic and maybe some pants. I have the fabric for his tops now. Plus I got two lengths of linen for my own summer garb. Here they are:


The medum-weight dark teal linen at the top, called “Sphinx” by Fabrics-Store.com, is for one of Tim’s tunics. The middle linen, a medium weight called “Honeysuckle,” is for a smokkr for me, and the bottom light pink linen, which is a lightweight fabric, will be an underdress.

I also got some medium weight muslin for a shirt or tunic for Tim. For some reason it looks pinkish in this photo, but it is a dark beige in real life:


The clasp is something I might add to Tim’s teal tunic.

For patterns for men’s tops, I have two available from the Norse patternmaker NilleGlaesel’s book, Viking Dress, Garment, Clothing.



The pattern layouts:


The long piece is straight, but when the book is open, it looks curved. 😉

The other pattern:


I will probably go with the first one, using the teal linen.

I’m thinking about stepping outside the parameters of the SCA period, which ends in the year 1600 C.E., for Tim’s other shirt.  I’d like to attempt to construct the most elaborate garment I will have made to date, an 18th century shirt:


Not only is it a handsome pattern, but I’ve heard good things about Larkin & Smith as patternmakers.  I’m interested in making this shirt because it is something that Tim might be able to wear outside of the SCA context. But it could be too ambitious for me, in which case I will make a second Viking tunic from the muslin.

Looking way ahead, I’m thinking about making a woolen dress along the lines of one included in the book, Medieval Garments Reconstructed: Norse Clothing Patterns, by Lilli Fransen, Anna Norgaard, and Else Ostergard. This book contains patterns that are reconstructions of garments excavated from the medieval Norse settlements in Greenland.


The original dress that I may attempt to copy:


The reconstructed dress as made by the book’s authors:


My SCA friend Christa Wagner (who I went to the Vikings exhibition with last fall, see Major Vikings Exhibition 2017 ) brought her copy of this book to one of our weekly Marche of Tirnewydd meetings. Once I looked at it, I lusted after it and saved my pennies to be able to buy a copy for myself. Now I must hone my sewing skills, both by hand and by machine, and save more money to buy good wool twill in which to make this dress…. Someday! 🙂