FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
Auð in the Wood
Outline the story …
Entry inspired by Auð Vesteinsdottir from The Story of Gisli the Outlaw: Gisli's Saga by Karen M.P. Carlson, Christine Haynie. When my cousin announced that she was going to have a Viking themed wedding, I knew that I would want to have an appropriate dress. Viking dresses had such clean, simple lines that it gave me the courage to start sewing, and I haven't stopped since. This is still the project of which I am most proud. I went from firmly believing that I couldn't sew, that any machine I touched would break, to having a completed underdress and dress in a few days between August 13-August 28. It fits me so well that I am not wearing any bra or other supportive undergarments in the photos!
My literary character is Auð Vesteinsdottir the witty, loyal wife from the Gísla saga. She tricks a man looking for her outlaw husband and then beats him up with the bribe money he tried to give her in front of his men which caused his men to leave him. She later fights by her husband's side in the final fight. In my photoshoot, she is sneaking out to meet her husband in his hiding place under the pretence of gathering wood and herbs.
In the photoshoot, I am wearing a real Viking wedding ring on my ring finger that I bought as part of a paired set to give to my cousin as part of her wedding present. The hair sticks are reproductions by SunCatDesigns of ones found in a Viking grave. I also used a scrap as a scarf in the photos.
Outline the construction…
The first thing I ever made was the underdress in unbleached cotton muslin following Annie Brahe's instructions: Viking Underdress Tutorial - How To Sew A Shift. I used a sewing machine and I used pinking sheers because I was nervous about fabric unravelling and unsure of how to stop it. I also watched Morgan Donner's tutorial on sewing gussets several times. The underarm gussets and getting the necklines correct were the hardest part requiring a late-night phone call to my seamstress-best-friend for advice.
Then I found some lovely red cotton fabric that looked like the type of wool weave that the Vikings were using. I was really excited to find this since it was much cheaper than wool while still being a thick, heavy fabric. I used this for the overdress and once again followed along with Annie Brahe's tutorial. I ran out of fabric for the gores and had to order it online, slightly delaying the finishing of my gown. I used my sewing machine for most of it but I did hand sew the hem with a whip stitch since an SCA page said that that's how they would have hemmed their garments.
I then got some bleached linen and used the water I had soaked black beans in, along with a small amount of alum, and used it to dye it a light blue. I decided to make this into a cloak instead of an apron dress due to fabric and texture.