Hand Sewing a Viking Dress Using a Viking Age Sewing Needle

Video link: https://youtu.be/X_U8dLd6LAw

It is summer! And for the first time in quite some time, that means market season. It has been so long since I attended a Viking market with my friends and I really wanted to share a little piece of the experience with you all.

So here’s my long-sleeved Viking Age/Early Medieval and working-class appropriate wool dress. As fabric saving as I could manage. Both because that is my method, but also because this fabric is absolutely precious and I did not want to waste a single thread.

I hope you enjoy. When I watch back the market clips I can still smell the bonfires. 🙂


  • [1] Skjoldehamn reconstruction http://www.vesteraalen.info/reportasje_andoy_skjoldeforedrag_09.html
  • [2] Reconstructions of tablet woven bands from Oseberg https://osebergvikingarv.no/eng/the-oseberg-ship/the-oseberg-find-in-short/viking-textiles/
  • [3] Reconstruction of Oseberg tapestry fragment by Stig Saxegaard from the book “The Oseberg Tapestries” by Marianne Vedeler. Scandinavian Academic Press / Spartacus Forlag AS, 2019, ISBN 978-82-304-0243-6

Here’s a short clip I couldn’t fit in the main video where I talk in more in-depth about the pattern if you wish to make something similar 🙂

The pattern I used in the video (amendments/suggestions below):

Note: I realized later that I could have made this even better and more fabric efficient. See the long side gores on the left? I am taking off at least 20-25 cm on either end to accommodate the armhole, but I was nervous about including that in my planning if I miscalculated. I needn’t have been though.

If I do this again I would intentionally make the long side gores at least 20 cm shorter (so 130 cm instead of the full 150 cm that the body pieces require), and I would move the sleeves to occupy the space directly underneath (where the side gore sits on the right side), because the sleeves were a bit short on me, and might be for others too. This would add 10 cm extra to each sleeve and reduce the already small fabric waste even more. Hooray!

My sleeves also fit just barely the way I cut them in the video, so the pattern has wider sleeves, giving you the option to cut them more close fitting should you desire, rather than being sad that they didn’t quite fit. No guarantees though as people are different, so please remember to measure and add seam allowances. 🙂

I made a quick edit to hopefully show you what I mean with changes highlighted in green:

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