Costuming for the Norse Viking Woman
Pattern Development
by Katla járnkona

I have created the articles in this section on costuming to assist folks in making their own patterns, particularly for the early Norse / Viking woman, particularly if you are, like me, a somewhat large woman.

There is nothing particularly new about these articles (see the references below) except one detail: the three primary articles allow you to input a few simple measurements and preferences (such as seam allowance and width of hem) and presto! these magic pages will 'do the math' for you that will allow you to generate a pattern using rectangular construction, to make most efficient use of your fabric and make the most authentic, design-wise, costume, as suggested in current understanding.

I took on this 'puzzle' because it seemed that, every time I go to make a tunic, I have either changed size or lost my pattern calculations. But, I realized that, while I am not math-challenged, there might be a few people who could benefit in having the frustration taken out of pattern design.

I hope you find the information helpful. But, as always, I recommend that you make your first piece out of plain cheap fabric or sheets, just to confirm that the sizes are correct.

The Norse Undertunic pattern asks for several sizes, showing you how to 'do the math' on page one, but giving the layout of your pattern pieces after you have entered the required fields.

The two Apron Dress patterns (3 gore and 4 gore) are single-page forms that, again, 'do the math' for generating your own pattern.

Even though the pages will do your calculations, they are also intended to teach you how the figure it out for yourself.

While the assumption is made that you are not a novice tailor, rectangular construction may be a new concept to you. With this method, the pattern pieces fit together to make squares or rectangles, minimizing the waste of fabric that so often occurs in modern patterns. Fullness at the hem line is made by inserting triangular gores.

The other issue that can be somewhat confusing is where to place your neck hole, the circular or oval shape that your head fits through when you pull the tunic on over your head. A circle placed at the cross line between the shoulder seams and the center fold lines will not accomodate you: the circle needs to be moved forward so that the neck line doesn't tend to choke you off.

Happy sewing! And, feel free to let me know if any of these pages were helpful to you!



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