Lydia Katerin of Brus – Viking-inspired Handfasting Ensemble

For your consideration, this is a viking inspired handfasting ensemble. The undergown is a t-tunic, with a smokkr, and hand-spun hand-woven apron panel.

This project started because I had recently fallen in love with spinning cheviot fiber from my favorite indie dyer. After a little digging into the breed’s history,  I found the cheviot sheep can be traced back to these time periods and regions. I then looked for a dark fiber for contrast and as serendipity would have it, the herdwick sheep arrived in the Danelaw around the same time and are thought to have been brought by the continental vikings.

In my little fairy tale, my northman brought me a few herdwick sheep to add to my flock and I combined that wool with wool from the cheviot to weave an apron panel for a Viking smokkr. He also gifted me the wolf brooches. This was my garb for the rehearsal dinner before our wedding on the summer solstice this past year!

For this apron panel, I sourced wool that has its origins in the geographic region and time as my persona and combined it with wool that aligns similarly with my partner’s persona. I started with roving, which I spun, then wove into fabric. I drafted and sewed the undergown and smokkr dress. I dyed silk with indigo, then used it to embroider the undergown and smokkr. 

The new skills I learned for this were weaving with handspun yarn; spinning yarn with a specific target gauge; natural dye with indigo; hem stitching woven fabric; embroidery stitches. 

More information is available in this slides presentation.

8 thoughts on “Lydia Katerin of Brus – Viking-inspired Handfasting Ensemble

  1. Lovely ensemble, and your handfasting pictures look great! I especially love your indigo-dyed embroidery and the details you added about why you used those particular sheep breeds for your beautiful woven panel. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Absolutely fantastic backstory to work with your weaving. I love it! Excellent work considering sheep breeds and incorporating them specifically. Fantastic entry. Best of luck!

    -Magistrissa Anna Syrakousina, OL. Trimaris.

  3. Nicely Done! One of the nice touches is your use of a bone needle for the hemstitching.

  4. Nicely Done! As a handweaver I appreciate your care. One of the nice touches is your use of a bone needle for the hemstitching.

  5. This is beautiful! I love the story that goes with the outfit! The hard work and skill you have with your materials are evident in you piece. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  6. The care and love you put into this garment shows clearly in the photos. I’m impressed with your work, and I look forward to seeing it close-up. Thank you for sharing this project with us!

  7. Such a lovely outfit and a lovely persona story to go with it. Thanks for showing your work!

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