Monday, 2 July 2007

Visiting the 14th century

Yesterday a friend and I went to Varberg on the westcoast of Sweden. There was a "medieval market" at Varberg Castle (where they also keep the Bocksten Bog Man, complete with his well-preserved 14th century clothes). The event was mainly aimed at families and tourists so there wasn't much there for serious re-enactors, except an excellent lecture on 14th century clothing by costume historian Eva Andersson. Still, I got the chance to dress up and spend a lovely day off in beautiful surroundings, so I'm happy. I also got some pretty good pictures taken of my handsewn "Herjolfsnes dress". The cut with 4 narrow panels in each side giving it its shape is based on one of the dresses found in the medieval cemetary at Herjolfsnes, Greenland. Whether or not this method of constuction is representative of medieval clothing elsewhere is much debated by costume historians and re-enactors, but I think that the silhouette it results in is perfect for the 14th century (and no, I'm not pregnant - my hand just happens to fit nicely there!)! It's an extremely fabric-saving way to make clothes too - my dress only uses 3 m of wool (150 cm wide) and the circumference of the skirt is over 3.5 metres! It took just about forever to finish all the side seams, though...

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