Skjoldehamn Undertunic

I can’t remember when I last wrote about this project. It has been quite some time, I know that much. The thing with lockdowns is that shops are closed, as you know, and that the thrift stores were hit as well, as in not being able to go there to find the much needed fabric for this project.

Somewhere in October of this year, I got the word out to all of my fabric friends that this project was on involuntary hold and that I would be happy to buy left over fabric from them, in exchange for some cash or a Tudor Cheese Tart. This, sadly, went nowhere and I wondered if I should pause the project until the unforeseeable future, that is until AFTER the plague.

Then my husband went to pick up something at a friend’s house and came back with the items wrapped in a large sheet of cream coloured poplin. Big enough for sewing, but were they willing to part with it? A phonecall answered that question and the fabric was mine! YAY!

I know, I know, poplin is far from authentic material for historical clothing, but the goal of the project was to make something that *looks* authentic and is affordable. Perhaps you remember that my budget was €40 (roughly $46). The colour was good enough, but the material…. I didn’t debate with myself for very long though, this was going to be my Skjoldehamn undertunic. I also want to use this as *work garb* for events, running around, helping out in the kitchen. I figured poplin would at least survive food stains and the obligatory turn in the washing machine thereafter…

I went to look for the academic master thesis by Dan Lovlid but the Academia.edu no longer features it, so I cannot show you the pages I have used for this undertunic. I have a copy at home, of course! Yikes, another setback! Now what?? How can I link & share this with you? I did find the English summary but that isn’t entirely what I was looking for in terms of demonstrating where I found what exactly. The original thesis is more elaborate and has therefore more details on the excavated garments.

Well, I am not giving up! I have fabric, and I SHALL create the undertunic. There, I’ve said it. I went a-googling for a few moments and found several websites with patterns for the untertunic, this one should work best for you if you want to recreate with me: https://www.medieval-baltic.us/skjold.html

If you DO happen to have a copy of the original thesis, please go to page 81, titled Skjorta. Being the plus size goddess that I am (ahem…) I had to ignore the measurements because it would nowhere near fit me. On page 83 is a diagram/pattern of the undertunic.

Diagram Skjoldehamn undertunic

A, B, C and D, E, F are the side gores. When I made these, they didn’t sit comfortably, so I left one side gore out, leaving 2 on either site. Hereunder what I have come up with. I took very careful measurements of myself and then cut the fabric. Front panel, back panel, 4 side gores, 2 sleeves and 2 gussets. The long seams are machine sewn, the visible seams were done with linen thread in light brown.

I have yet to decide on how to do the collar and *front flap*, but I will figure that out soon, here is what the actual excavated garment looked like, on page 97 of the Master’s thesis.

The original budget that I gave myself was €40.

  • The hood cost me €3,50,
  • The socks were made of old left over white wool I still had,
  • The trim for the breeches was also made from left overs,
  • The fabric for the undertunic was a gift
  • The fabric for the breeches cost me €6 (I still have to start sewing those!)

I have €30,50 left right now and I still need to make

  • Woolen overtunic, fingers crossed I can find wool but I could now spend a bit more….
  • Woven belt

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