As a child I spent hours dwelling in the forest, singing to myself and the trees. I have always felt different somehow. Ever since kindergarten I knew that my interests and mindset was different than others. I rember feeling so old…So alienated, and at times- alone🌑 When I grew up, it wasn’t cool to be different. It might have been the time – it might have been place – or it might have been the people. Maybe things would have been easier if I grew up in a bigger town, who knows. All I know is that the small town life can be harsh… I remember people pointing at me and laughing, talking behind my back or shouting at me simply because of the way I looked. What did I look like? I dressed pretty much like I do now – which was quite the contrast to what other youngsters dressed like back then. (We’re talking years back in time here.) People weren’t that open minded. And what do you know, Suddenly, it’s fashion! Suddenly, it’s more than okay to shop at second hand shops and to wear the weirdest creations you can possibly imagine. The things I used to get such a hard time for is suddenly haute couture, so to speak. The weirder, the better. Movies and TV series like Lord of the rings and Game of Thrones made it cool to be a fantasy geek and you know what? That’s great! As a grown up, people are approaching me and giving me compliments instead of laughing and pointing fingers. I will probably never get completely used to the acceptance because the child in me remembers what being different used to be like. Though it is odd, I am glad that people are more accepting of different styles.
I still feel old, but I never feel alone. I learned to appreciate silence and solitude, and through that I found my tribe. Why do I write this? Why would I share it? It is certainly not to portray myself as pitiful. I write this because I know I am not the only person to go through childhood and adolescence feeling like a complete freak. I write this because seeing so many young people striving so hard to fit in makes me feel sad. If any of you feel lonely – remember that there is someone for everyone. It may not feel like it right now, but I promise you there is. And if someone is giving you a hard time for being you – remember this: IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S THEM. Stay strong and fierce – be yourself and don’t give any fucks about fashion or trying to fit in. You are better than that. I am rooting for you!
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.