Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Links To The Lagertha Project

Yesterday, I was one of 10 contestants that won in the History Channel's "Valhalloween" costume contest!
There were so many great entries, and while I didn't vote for myself, I still voted for a few of the other people that entered their amazing viking inspired costumes. A huge THANK YOU to those of you that voted for me and my fellow winners xoxox

When I began this journey of leather work, chainmaille and lack of sleep, I was posting about it all over at my main historical journal. Now that I've had to compartmentalize all the various hobbies between different blogs, here are the links that will take you through the process of how I built Lagertha's battledress. I could re-post all the posts here, but that's more work than it needs to be ;)
Newest to oldest (wow that's a lot of entries):

Dragon Con:

Finishing touches before Dragon Con:

The chainmaille & leather armor:

The leather work:

More Leather work:

Leather Dress etc:

First patterning for the leather pieces:

The boots:

The Chainmaille shirt I used to supply the larger sections of Lagertha's armor:

Issues with buying bits of armor online:

Gathering the bits and pieces:

Even more gathering of bits:


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

(Warrior) Girls On Film...

Another shot of my Lagertha battle dress, with a friend, as more photos roll in from Halloween ;)
Photo credit; Jenny Storm

Monday, November 3, 2014


I was lucky enough to have the chance to dress up for Halloween again this year, right before coming down with a fever just two days later. At least I temporarily dodged the bullet, and was able to have a good time with friends.
Anders and I brought out our Viking wardrobe that we had made for Dragon Con, inspired by the TV show 'Vikings'. His Floki impression is spot on, and he even gets into character (it probably helps that he is also playing Bill Sykes this year in a production of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist).
I of course, brought out my Lagertha armor, and both of us were a big hit.
I'm still amazed, as are others who inquire, at how comfortable this whole ensemble is. It weighs a lot, but the design disperses the weight in the the right anchor spots, so it's not all just hanging from my shoulders.
Here's the one photo I have so far, of me and Anders. This was right after a rather fancy Halloween dinner at The Village Cafe restaurant in San Jose's Santana Row. I huge thanks to the amazing cooks and our waitress, for putting up with us nut bags.
I'll add more photos as I get them.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Old Blog, New Theme

With all the work I accomplished recently on an outfit (much of it steel chainmaille and hand-tooled leather armor) inspired by the TV series 'Vikings', I've decided to continue my Norse/Viking sewing and crafting.
This will include everything from replicas of wardrobe items from the above mentioned show, to my own historical recreations of what Viking women wore. Perhaps even a few items of fantasy with historical Norse details?
On 'Vikings', the real historical character, Lagertha (portrayed by actress, Katheryn Winnick) has an amazing wardrobe throughout the two seasons we have seen so far. It ranges from rustic to noble, and thanks to the wardrobe fitting and on-set sneak peeks Katheryn has given us via Twitter and Instagram, the costuming for season #3 is already proving to be equally detailed and stunning.
After building a successful reproduction of Lagertha's battledress, I want to keep going; creating more replicas and my own original garments. This blog will now be my chosen venue to showcase those projects.

I already have The Austrian Woman sewing blog, Yet I've wanted to keep it dedicated to 18th century, Victorian and other sewing from the last four to five centuries since that is its overall represented theme.
Between that, the Sci-Fi, Disney's 'Frozen' cosplay, and now the Viking sewing & armor building, I have a lot of mixed themes on one blog.
Despite some opinions about having multiple blogs, it's often difficult to keep readers interested when the subject matter keeps making huge leaps between genres. This is especially so when a reader might have decided to follow my blog in the first place because they have an interest in Victorian fashion, yet could care less about Sci-Fi costuming or Vikings, and vice versa.
Elsa's Coronation gown From Frozen might stay on the AW blog. Not only does that costume have a definite late Victorian style to it (?), I'd like to do an historically accurate version using the color pallet from the film gown. In this case, that "cosplay" could work on the AW blog due to it's historical-redesign theme.

I know cosplay is a term most often used for any costume worn to resemble or reenact a character from books, TV, film, comics, anime etc.
For me personally, the term tends to spark the image of a bunch of 15 year olds dressed as their favorite anime characters. To be honest though, when I dress as Elsa I consider that cosplay. The recreation and wearing of a gown Marie Antoinette wore is something I'd personally call a reproduction or better yet; a "tribute".
Still, the act of dressing to completely resemble a character or person other than ourselves, historical or otherwise, technically places all of the above in the realm of cosplay. It's some interesting food for thought either way ;-
Additionally, since the Sci-Fi costuming will be rather intense for Dragon Con next year and take up a lot of my costuming time, I may even start a separate blog for that genre, too. This will also encompass what many see as typical cosplay, in the realm of Disney, modern fantasy etc. 

On that note I leave you with this; many Blogger users have multiple blogs dedicated to various subjects, so I see nothing wrong with being able to compartmentalize them a little. I currently have just three, compared to some users that have a long list of multiple blogs. I'm keeping mine short (probably no more than 4 when all is said and done). The links to each will show on my Blogger profile, so they'll be easy to find.

And now, onward to the North...