A Winter Hunt



Katherine Dearden

(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

My inspiration for this is the Norse goddess Skathi, goddess of winter, vengeance and the hunt, as depicted in several sources but primarily "The Prose Edda of Snorri Sturlusson". Skathi was the daughter of the giant Thijasi. Thijasi was killed by the gods after kidnapping the goddess Idun.

In her grief for her father, Skathi set out to Asgard to seek vengeance for Thijasi. As compensation for her father she accepted the sea god Njord in marriage, and her father’s eyes were placed among the stars. The marriage between Njord and Skathi was unhappy, she could not bear his home by the sea, and he could not bear the cold of her home Thyrmheim. After trying to split their time between the two places to no avail, they separated, and Skathi returned to Thrymheim and her winter kingdom, where she waited.

I chose blue and grey as my colour palate to reflect the wintry landscape and Skathi’s chilly nature. In the sagas blue is often associated with those seeking revenge, as she seeks for the murder of her father, and later waits for her chance to punish Loki for his role in the death of her father. Blue is also expensive as a dye, and difficult to do well, reflecting her status. I also wanted to use my understanding and study of Viking era women’s clothing to make garments that were as close as possible to my interpretation of Viking sources and archaeology.

Outline the construction…

I set myself some personal challenges with this. I had 3m each of grey wool, blue and grey diamond twill and 3m of hand-woven blue/blue diamond twill at approx. 20” wide. I wanted to make the garments; a dress, a hangerock (suspended apron dress) and a trained cloak with a back shawl often seen on high status women in Viking art, with as few cuts and as little waste as possible. I wanted to use, and preserve the fabric as well as I could reflecting it being a precious resource. The cloak was made a couple of years ago, but with the same set of criteria in mind. The only cut is rounding at the corners.

I created all the patterning freehand straight onto the fabric using my measurements as a guide and used the straight grain, and straight cuts only, so rectangular construction with triangular gores (pieced under the arms on the grey dress, creating freedom of movement and volume in the gown to accommodate a woman’s potential to change shape) to create shape and space. I used weaving thrums to stitch the garments where I had them, and used linen, for straps and reinforcement and tablet weave for decoration. Cartridge pleating created the shaping on the cloak at shoulder height, and I used whipstitch, back stitch, felling and running stitch at various points, all of which can be seen in archaeological finds of the period. The entire outfit is hand stitched, reflecting historical practice.




  1. Avatar Lauren T on March 11, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    This is amazing! I love your color choice and that wool looks so cozy. And thanks for teaching me some more mythology!

  2. Avatar Katie Middleton-West on March 11, 2021 at 9:49 pm

    Bra jobba Kat, this is awesome 🤩 I love the evocative colours and can really appreciate the hours of work necessary to learn the necessary techniques and produce these wonderful, historically accurate garments. Understanding just a little, some of the personal challenges you face, I think the outfit is extraordinary and beautiful, and you are a remarkable, skilled, determined and talented seamstress.

  3. Avatar Eileen Appleby on March 11, 2021 at 10:34 pm

    These are beautiful and so wonderfully put together. Amazing work.

  4. Avatar Jocelyn Lofstrom on March 12, 2021 at 1:41 am

    I’m here for the goddess chic! Lovely creation!

  5. Avatar Sparrow on March 12, 2021 at 3:13 am

    *heart eyes*

  6. Avatar sarah on March 12, 2021 at 7:39 am

    brilliant work keep it up

  7. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 12, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    Brilliant! Looks amazing

  8. Avatar Camille on March 14, 2021 at 11:38 am

    the cape and gown (and all, really) are SO GREAT – it falls really nicely.
    The colors are a really good match, too.

  9. Avatar JAYE SUDAR on March 15, 2021 at 3:56 am

    You did a beautiful job on this outfit. Extrapolating Norse garments isn’t easy. I do 900’s Eastern Swedish garments normally, so I understand the challenges. 🙂 Your choice of fabrics and construction are lovely.

  10. Avatar Rebecca on March 15, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    I love your fabric choices and the careful simplicity of your look. That shot in the snow is so pretty! moody folk style…

  11. Avatar Stephanie Tietze on March 22, 2021 at 6:52 am

    I appreciate the care you took in your construction and research. Making the most of limited yardage can be so satisfying. I also appreciate your color choices. Deep blues were popular in medieval times and among my favorites as well.

  12. Avatar AnnaCatherine Sendgikoski on March 24, 2021 at 5:25 am

    Wow, such a lovely garment. Very imaginative. Those colors are great! Thank you!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.