Apron Dress Pattern:

Over the under dress the Viking woman would wear an apron dress that was held up by two brooches. There is not much archeological evidence as to how the apron dresses were put together, so all of the patterns that you can find are conjectures. Some patterns are more form fitting than others. The pattern that I have been using (also originating from Vigdis) is as follows.

Take the following measurements:

  1. Bust + seam allowance.
  2. Chest to waist + 1 inch (from where you want the top of the apron to where you want the flare to start).
  3. Waist to hem (from where your flare starts to however long you want).

Usually the top of the apron is somewhere in the middle of your chest. The bottom hem should fall somewhere between your knees and feet. You should try to have a couple inches of your under dress hem show beneath the apron dress.

You will need a piece of fabric that is as wide as measurement 1 and as long as twice measurement 3 + measurement 2. That’s 3 + 3 + 2 or twice the skirt plus the bodice.

Start by folding the fabric in half the long way. Then, using your measurements, mark out the following lines (see graphic left).

Once all your lines are marked, cut out the pieces along these lines.

Save any wasted strips and pieces. These can be used to create the straps later on. The pieces of the dress will get sewn together in the following order.

Once these pieces are sewn together in that order you simply have to sew the center back gore to the first side piece. At the top of the gore, simply continue joining the two side pieces together.

At this point you should treat both the top and bottom of the dress. We usually just do a rolled hem.

The only thing left to do is add straps. You can use some sort of trim or weaving. Tablet or inkle weaving looks very sharp. If you don’t have any of this you can make straps from the fabric scraps. First cut two strips of fabric roughly 3 inches wide by 18 inches long. The length may vary so I would actually take a flexible tape and measure the distance. Put the dress on over your head and situate it where you want it. Measure from the back hem over your shoulder to the front. Double this and adjust your strips that length.

Fold the strip in half the long way and sew it into a tube. At this point you need to turn the tub right side out so that that seam is on the inside. I found a chop stick to be a very useful tool when doing this. These straps are sewn in loops to the front and back of the dress to form over the shoulder straps. I recommend using some safety pins to find a good placement. Just be aware of where your brooches are going to end up! Form a small (about 1 inch) loop for the front, and a longer loop (about 12 inches) to go over your shoulder from the back.