15 for 15: Headgear

Lately I've started on the HEADGEAR portion of the 15 for 15 challenge I've set myself.. I've made one list of things I've thought of.. this might not be the final list though.. I planned on making a D-veil in this wool.. but instead I cut out a round one..

1. Cap from Maciejowski bible 1240s
2. 3 more caps from the Maciejowski bible 1240s
3. Detail from Tacuinum Sanitatis 1370-1400
4. Birgitta's cap during conservation after the silk cover was removed, as published by Aron Andersson and Anne Marie Franzén in Birgittareliker.

Birgitta caps can be seen in various illustrations from the middle ages. It's called a Birgitta cap due to an original medieval cap (dating between 13th and 16th century) kept at the Birgittine Convent in Uden, The Neatherlands. It is believed in belonged to the Swedish saint Birgitta.

An EXCELLENT post about the cap is on Isis Sturtewagen's blog Medieval silkwork.

It's a VERY practical piece of headgear that keeps your hair in check (and hidden even when you have a bad hair day..) and you can pin your veils and other head coverings to it.

There are PLENTY of patterns out there, but my favourite is the one by my good friend, and textile curator at The City Museum in Gothenburg, Gunilla Andersson. (NOT to be used for commercial gain!)

The finished Birgitta cap with the strap long enough to go two times around my head.

The top has been sewn with a tiny running stitch. I used a black thread to gather the fabric at the bottom. (Ignore the sewing machine.. only used as a lamp..) 
Adding the strap. I made this thinner than the original since I wasn't adding any embroidery on this cap.
Felling all the seams (should have done this before adding the strap though..) 
The straps are tricky to get the right length.. first I measured and it was PERFECT! Sewed it together and it was too small! Added the piece missing at it was too long! Now a third adjustment and it's perfect! 

Start with longer straps and pin it the correct length whilst wearing it..
Fell the top seams before adding the strap
I will also make an embroidered version.

White 125g linen (Linnehem.se)
35/2 white linen thread Bockend (sold by me 55sek/roll)

Now here's something I've been wanting to make for quite some time!!
This first version is a classic: use what you've got! (The recycle series)

First things first..
1. Barbara Von Erlach with daughters ca 1480 (Schilling) 
2. The Bern Chronicles vol. 3 1478-1483 (Diebold Schilling)
3. Mechthild Von der Pfalz 1452 (Hans Ingeram)
4. Can't find the original source..
5. Medieval woodcut, can't find original source..
6. Detail from "Niederwildjagd" after 1489, (Housebook Master of castle Wolfegg, South Germany). The fringe is very wavy here!

A gefrens is a head decoration often found in paintings depicting German women from the 15th and early 16th centuries.
It's basically a cord/ribbon with a fringe covering your neck from ear to ear.
A lot of my friends who make them weave the ribbon and add longer weft for where they want the fringe. I've also seen people using cords/strings and adding their fringe to that instead.

Anywho.. some years back, when my hair was still dark red and not a soft pink, I found a fringe used for furniture or tapestries.. and I thought "I could use this for a gefrens!"..
Now, 5-6 years later it finally happened!

Before: common wool fringe
After: a curly gefrens! 
It was too wide at first so I needed to narrow it a bit. Since I already cut the "sausages" I had to trim it by the fastening points. The cord isn't fastened in its original state so I could just pull until I got the length I wanted.

On the next one I know the width I need and I will also try and straighten the yarn for the fringe somehow. Although there are some pictures with a wavy/somewhat curly gefrens.. (pic above)

Ca 30cm wooden fringe (5sek/m)
Fastened with dark red Gütermanns sewing silk

Having switched from "acceptable" hair colour to a soft pink.. and also lacking the proper length of hair.. I wanted/needed some fake hair, and not the synthetic kind..

I've always admired Elina's (Neulakko.net) linen flax braids so that's what I set out to make.

Finding linen flax.. that can be really REALLY expensive!! Unless you have a plumber supply store near by.. or in my case, Biltema ;)

Craft store: 4-600 sek !! 
Biltema:  VVS-lin 26,90-29,90 sek

The Biltema price made me ok with buying the flax just to try it and if it didn't work it wouldn't be the end of the world :)

I bought the roll with 80g of linen flax.
I divided the roll in two parts and then folded them so I had three "strands" that I could braid.
The smell is.. interesting.. so I left them hanging outside for a while.. I will make a lavender lined bag for them in the future though..
I held the braids folded) from slightly over my temples to decide on the length I wanted.. then I cut the extras off.. I could have calculated this to begin with.. but with such a tiny price tag I didn't bother!
I cut off a ribbon in proper length (I've misplaced my linen tape so this off white cotton had to do this time..) and marked where the braids should go.
Since I want to be able to adjust the braids to different hairstyles I'm not wrapping them together like Elina's or like the London finds (Textile and Clothing page 132). I will however make a linen flax cord for them so that I can wrap them when I want that look.
I chose to make mine much thicker than the findings too, but that's just the look I was after. (I also want to make a zopfe in the future too!)

If there are ANY doubts these braids are mine.. I added a little tiny invisible detail.. a winged skull 💀
You can also see the stitches better on the ribbon. I sewed tiny stitches straight through the braids to keep them in place.

I'm happy with these but I want a better ribbon next time.. perhaps even try to weave a silk ribbon!
Also contemplating making a wulst or zopfe with thick braids too.. easy material to work with, but it gets everywhere!!

80g linen flax (VVS-lin) 29,90sek (Biltema)
35/2 white linen thread Bockens (sold by me 55sek/roll)
Tiny bit of golden buttonhole silk

Done, post to come..
A circular veil and wimple
Elina Sojonen's - of neulakko.net - excellent post with simple pattern, the one I've used! (yes, she will be mentioned quite a bit throughout this blogpost because she's awesome at this!)

I want to make as pretty hems as her Excellency Aleydis..
No changes needed to Elina's excellent "pattern". Works GREAT!

1m (146cm wide) very thin almost silky linen
60/2 linen thread Bockens (sold by me 55sek/roll)

Cut out veil
Wimple done (by the Baroness Aleydis of Gotvik since she ran out of things to do at the sewing weekend I hosted..)


No changes needed to Elina's excellent "pattern". Works GREAT!


1m (ca 146cm wide) wool muslin from medeltidsmode.se
Offwhite sewing silk from Gütermann

8. Veil pins

9. Birgitta cap with embroidery

10. Rectangular (long) veil

11. Wulst 

12. Steuchline (striped?)

13. New German hat

14. "Fruhätta" with fur lining

15. Open hood without lire pipe

16. Veil with sewn pleats

17. Frilled veil

(yes I know I said 15 but a wish list is just that.. a WISH list..)


Lady Æ

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