Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A hat for Thora

... in which our plucky heroine realises that she forgot to post this project, and decides better late than never!

I actually started the embroidery for this back in September of 2016, and took the panels with my on my cross country train journey last year. Thora chose the motif of blackberry sprigs, and liked my sketch, which, while not "Viking style" does capture some of the botanical details... The process of how I set up to do the embroidery is pretty straightforward, first drawing the design on thin (tracing) paper, then basting it in place an stitching the outlines right through the paper, then removing the paper and adding the infill stitchery
These are the last three panels for the Thora hat project:

Here is a closer look - I chose to do a variant on couching the stems, adding in some longer stitches to represent the blackberry thorns. The filling stitch is a type of Bayeaux Tapestry stitch, and the berries are stitched down 10/0 glass beads.

And, once back at home again, I also fabricated the sterling hat finial... This little granulated cone is about an inch and a quarter tall, and will serve to neatly finish the center top of the hat, once all the sewing is done. (This is the only part of these style of Viking Age hats that we have actual archaeological evidence for, although we do not know what style of hats were so decorated, as the textile portions have entirely disintegrated over the centuries).

further progress on Thora's hat... the wide sheepskin edging is halfway sewn on. The leather is quite resistant to the hand stitching, and I had to take breaks to rest my hands. Still, was good to find out that my plan of running the fur all the way around the bottom edge and partway inside worked well and the hat was not too snug to wear, just nicely toasty warm.

Once all the panels are stitched together (as seen here), The next step is for the raw edges to be trimmed to a neat and even height

with the edges trimmed, the silver hat finial can be stitched in place, and as can be seen, makes everything neat and tidy. Sometimes I will also couch a third color of yarn down either side of the seams, covering the machine stitching with handwork... but in this case, the black stitching sunk right into the black melton cloth.

And finally... the completed hat for Thora -


  1. Thanks for sharing the adult sized hat too. Lovely work and very clever use of the beads to make the berries. Th silver finial is gorgeous.

  2. So darned amazing! It's just beautiful and will adorn her gloriously.