The dress from Hel



You know when you get this nifty idea that “you should just make one quick dress before the next viking market”? You know – that genius idea of throwing together just one more piece of garb for shits and giggles? Don’t do it. Just don’t. I got that idea three days before Gudvangen and that’s when I made the mustard chemise I am wearing in the pictures above. In all honesty, the dress was awful to make. Sure – It came together nicely in the end, but it was a living nightmare to sew together…. Here’s what happened:

I used no pattern. I always, always make the pattern on the go – just out of my head. This time was no different, all fun and games. One probably thinks this is where I went wrong, but that’s not it. You see- even though the measurements were right, sewing the different pieces together was painfully impossible. I sweated like a pig during the whole process which -by the way- lasted for days (hahahaha!!). I had to re-do all the seams five(!!!) times. I have never in my life had so much Hel with a viking dress as this one, and I’ve made quite a few – even hand stitched ones. At one point n the sewing process I was certain that the dress itself was cursed and I was so angry at it that I almost destroyed my entire sewing gear. While I was sewing this horrible dress, I cursed, sweated, laughed hysterically, cried and bled. Seeing my own blod drip from the needles fueled my anger and naturally, I gushed it into the seams of the chemise with full force. I wanted to burn the dress, I wanted to bury it. Truly, I thought to myself -this dress must have been ordered from Hel.

Why was it was so difficult to make…? Like I said – I spent days working on it. The last hours of the last day before departure I was so flustered that my mother offered (or rather – forced me to allow her) to help with it. “I am sure we can figure this out quickly of we work together,” she said. Boy, was she wrong. To this day none of us can understand why this dress was so difficult. I mean – we did everything right, we even double checked each others work – but it just wasn’t going that well for us. As you can see, we managed to conquer the dress in the end. We both worked on it up until one hour before departure to Gudvangen going on no sleep and way too much coffee. Yes, ladies and gentlemen – sometimes sewing is an awful experience. As we did the last fitting, me looking as if I had survived the last warrior on the battlefield, my mother gazed at me and said; “That colour does not do you any good, my dear… It is really NOT a good colour for you.” It was dead silent for about a minute and then we both laughed so much that we cried. I think we got an hour of sleep before my friends came to pick me up.

I am sure that I’m not the only one who has been struggling with a sewing project (for reasons unknown and despite following all the right steps) – I might be one of few to speak up about how awful making simple viking garb can be, but I know you are out there, suffering in silence between needles and endless seams. Don’t give up! But please, don’t be a fool like me. Start on time before a viking event. The Gods know it is stressful enough as it is. LOL.

Sól, The Viking Queen.


13 thoughts on “The dress from Hel

  1. I do this all the time right before a faire and always have the same things happen! Everyone always compliments how well they come out in the end but they never see me seeing my fingers off until 2:00 am in the morning putting on the finishing touches! I’m so glad someone else understands my pain.

  2. ….But in the end, it is a beautiful dress.
    I like the colors. And for what these words are worth to you
    from a total-stranger many miles away; it is a success!
    I hope that helps.

  3. Whenever my wife gets out her sewing machine, I make myself scarce! Anger, blood, tears and foul language are sure to be happening!
    I think the dress looks great, maybe you just need to let the emotion of its creation settle a little? 🙂

    • I am sure your wife agrees that it is wise to take cover. (Unless she secretly wants you to give her a back rub and some tea whilst working?)
      Thank you! The emotion of its creation will never settle! I need to call it a power dress to justify the struggle but it shall never cease to baffle me… haha.

  4. It is very well made and it looks very good on you. How long do you give yourself in making and putting together any dress. How many hours was put into this one? What I find as a rule if I rush my work and there is a time limit on it, this holds me up from working properly on it, as I rush it, and make mistakes and get irritable, this applies to my painting pictures. You will find it applies to all art work. Personally I think you have done a exellent job on putting it together if it was a rushed job. 10/10 for a spot on rushed job that looks good.

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