Friday, May 31, 2024

When a Battle Raven is not a Battle Raven, because you're 5

We are going to ignore how long it has been since I have updated this blog. Thank you for joining me in the delusion as to my ability to document my projects in a timely manner. 

A friend of mine, Æsa feilinn Jossursdottir, was elevated to Pelican in February 2023 at the East Kingdom Rapier Champs hosted by Quintavia. 

So her elevation garments were being handled by her household, Darostur, but someone needed to do the garb for her child. And I, gentle reader, love making garb for children as I don't have to stress over it being destroyed on its first foray out, or outgrown after being worn once. Mom has an Icelandic persona, so we made a very tiny Smokkr or Hangerok (but we're going to use the more popular term in the SCA of apron dress) and panel. 

Viking Hangerok / Smokkr (apron dress) for a child with a Big Bird from Sesame Street apron panel based on the Raven Penny
Finished Apron Dress and Panel

The Apron Dress

We used the left over wool from Mom's underdress and used the Vigdis Overdress pattern, just for someone under 3 feet tall. 

The dress itself was designed to have the apron panel overlap and snap together so that as her chest measurement expands the dress can grow with her for at least a couple seasons. I absolutely should have gotten pictures of how I did that, and I absolutely did not. 

Then thinking about seam treatments, I didn't really want to do embroidery on something that will likely get laundered often. I remembered reading about yard or cord being used to couch next to seams and found some delightful pink rattail (absolutely not period, but we're 5) and used a long zig-zag stitch to couch it down over the seams. I tried to make sure I was using long lengths of cord so there wasn't At the places where I had to start a new section of cord I first did  a few straight stitches down the length of the cord to anchor it down, then did a much tighter zig-zag at the start (basically a satin stitch) to ensure it would not come loose through wear. 

Close-up of couching on the pink cord

Stitching around the tips of the gores wasn't the easiest, but meant
that the tips wouldn't come loose and fray from wear and laundering

The Apron Panel

I wanted to make her an apron panel with a symbol all her own and looked at documentable symbols of the time. We are a big fan of Sesame Street and it came down to either Elmo modified from the Aarhus Runestone or Big Bird modified from the Raven Penny of Olaf Guthfrithson. The raven design also shows up on the Raven Banner Penny.

So I copied the raven design over and started to modify it to look like Big Bird with the 3 little head feathers, the more cartoon-y beak, fluffier tail feathers, and the distinctive banded legs. 

Sketch of the raven design with overlay of the modifications
 to bring some much needed Muppet to this anachronism

Sketched out the design on white linen

The finished design in reverse chain stitch

The finished apron panel with more couched pink cord and
a little scrap of woven trim to cover the machine-stitching on the hem

The apron panel finished had two little loops on the top to be attached to the tiny turtle brooches we had for her. The scrap of trim was too little to go on anything else, and thankfully was able to be used here. I also ironed on top of the design, the heat helps set the thread into the design and helps alleviate the curling that sometimes happens with chain stitch on tight curves. 

The Finished Garment

Turned out super cute and she had a great time twirling in it. I ended up making her several more dresses in the next few months as her Mom became Princess of the East about 3 months after this event....

Stay tuned for posts about those clothes as well.