In addition to my schoolwork (tons of reading!), I’ve been working on some sewing and jewelry projects.
In my last post, I detailed getting my first underdress, or kirtle, mostly finished. But before that, I got my first smokrr, or apron dress, done. These apron dresses were worn at the time and place of my SCA character, Unn Olafsdottir in tenth century Iceland, and indeed in the wider Scandinavian world of women at that time. The smokrr would be worn over the kirtle or underdress, and they were made of wool or linen, usually wool.
However, given that I’m a novice seamstress, and one without that much money, I can’t afford to experiment with wool. So my first smokrr is linen. I do have a woolen smokrr that I got from a Swedish shop on Etsy. Here’s my green linen smokrr:
And here’s my Swedish smokrr, made of wool by Ingilfridh of Sweden, who I found on Etsy:
One of the identifying marks of the apron dress, or smokrr, is the fact that it is held together by straps over the shoulders, which are pinned to the body of the dress by “turtle brooches” or “tortoise brooches,” called that because of their shape. They can be made of gold, silver, bronze or brass. I have two pairs now, both of bronze. My new pair also has a set of hangers that you use to hang your strings of beads from. I got mine from Raymond’s Quiet Press, where the set of bronze brooches and hangers are identified as Baltic, having been found in a gravesite in Lithuania. Here is a photo of my set:
The red underdress comes from Revival Clothing, where I also got my first apron dress for my first SCA event last fall, Red Dragon 2016 and Red Dragon 2016, Part Two. But I’m discovering that is is much less expensive to sew your own dresses even if, like me, you totally don’t know anything about sewing!
Now for more jewelry news: I got some other things from Raymond’s Quiet Press, which specializes in “historical recreations from jewelry to helms.” And its prices are quite moderate, expecially considering the high quality of the pieces. I got these little objects to hang off of my strings of beads that connect my turtle brooches; I plan to use two totems for each set:
I also got this dragon pendant. It did not come with a chain, but luckily I had one that matched. However, I didn’t have a jump ring big enough to attach the pendant to the chain, so I jerry-rigged an earring wire into jump ring duty. I hope it holds up!
Lastly, I got this “Viking Dragons Penannular Brooch” to hold a cloak or dress neck together with:
I also received a new shipment of beads! My favorite bead is the labradorite, which has a mystical inner fire. It kind of reminds me of an opal, which my grandfather gave me as a ring when I was five years old, but their colors are different: the labradorite tends towards the blue and green, like the Northern Lights, whereas my opal was more red. I couldn’t afford enough labradorite to make an entire necklace out of it, so I spaced those beads out with rondelles of “dragon’s blood.” (Are you seeing a dragon theme emerge? LOL).
The big focal bead is a ceramic bead that has been hanging around in my bead stash forever. The beads in that stash ALWAYS come in handy, if I just wait long enough…
Now it’s time for homework!