Sideless Surcoat

By Lady Freydis Egilsdottir

Here is milady Cassandra modelling our first official Gold Key garb! This sideless surcoat has a very long adjustable belt. The head-dress is adjustable to fit a variety of sizes. The surcoat itself also ought to fit a good variety of sizes.

I was able to sew it quickly since it didn’t involve any sleeves and had minimal hand-sewing. A surcoat is a good beginner’s garb project for anyone nervous about sewing because the most complicated part is pleating the sides, and even that is pretty straightforward.

The garb is a bit hot, being an upholstery velvet originally meant for a cloak. It is washable (ideally on delicates, and dried on low heat) and should be reasonably sturdy.

Norse Tourney Chests

By House Ravenspeak

These are based off the Oseberg and Gokstad rowing chests. We copied the Gokstad proportions fairly faithfully, and after using them for close to ten years, found them a solid, practical, and lightweight chest. One of our biggest changes was to make the front and back out of tongue-and-groove pine wainscotting boards. One package makes one chest, with actual proper boards for the top and sides; the bottom, which of course is usually not visible, is just some plywood.

Continue reading “Norse Tourney Chests”

Norse Shoe Repair


By Lady Freydis Egilsdottir

Years ago, I made a pair of Norse shoes, based on one of the Jorvik Viking boot finds, that have served me very well over numerous events and many years. In fact, I wore them so much that I wore a hole through one of the soles; and the stitching, originally done in a white waxed cotton (dental floss, actually, making the shoes ‘minty fresh’) when the fake sinew kept breaking, was wearing away and looking very ratty indeed.

So, having found some nicer, slightly heavier waxed cotton at Tandy’s that matched better, I decided it was time to pull them apart, redo the stitching, and make some repairs.

Originally I was going to replace both the soles entirely, but decided that, since repairing them was period, it would be simpler (and take less leather) to just do that instead.

For the hole, I made a leather patch that went under the entire ball of that foot, shaving down the edges of the patch as much as possible, so as to make it as unobtrusive as could be under my foot. I then glued it in place with contact cement, which worked very nicely, although you could still see the hole from the outside, of course. So I filled in the hole as well, building the shallow gap up in layers with contact cement and leather shavings from the patch, and ended up with something you can barely see at all, especially now that I’ve walked on it a bit.

I then stitched it all back together, using the original stitching holes, and replaced the beat-up leather laces.

I’m very pleased with the result (and can’t feel the patch at all when I’m walking), and hope to get many more years of use out of them!

Norse CenterBoss Shield

“An eleventh I know, | if needs I must lead
To the fight my long-loved friends;
I sing in the shields, | and in strength they go
Whole to the field of fight,
Whole from the field of fight,
And whole they come thence home.”

-Havamal, 157.

By Lord Mikhail Heimdallson

Silo-flex laced edge for durability, 8 lb final weight; linen-laminated, raven-motif spine with 11-bight Turkshead knot leather grip. Unique 5-pane Spangen design riveted center boss researched, designed and originally deployed aboard the half-scale Gokstad longship replica ‘Munin’ during build with Hus Ravenspeak, The BC Viking Ship Project, and The Burnaby Scandinavian Center, which is now moored at and sailing out of the Vancouver Maritime Museum. Continue reading “Norse CenterBoss Shield”

Wooden Horse

By Lady Freydis Egilsdottir

Toy horses made of wood have been around since the Viking Age, at the least, and are still around, so I thought it would make a nice “Happy Becoming A Big Brother” present for Lord Almeric and Mave’s son Drake.

I found a design that had longer legs than the Norse finds; but the Norse finds were cut with the grain running horizontally, not vertically, so it is entirely possible the legs were accidentally knocked off after they were made; I could only find photos of two and am not able to examine the leg stubs for signs of tool shaping or breakage. However, since the horses in various rune stones have full-length legs, I don’t think it is a stylistic choice. Therefore I went with a design traced off a picture of a wooden toy horse (on wheels, which I left off) from the Victorian era. Continue reading “Wooden Horse”