I made a Varangian Guard tunic for my now ex-boyfriend. To my knowledge, there have been no findings of one. They have been described as red with gold-braided trim. I also can’t remember where I heard this, but I believe it was stated somewhere that they were also in the style of the local Byzantium tunics. So I decided to have it as described (red with gold braided trim) and with embroidered roundels in the.Byzantine fashion.
To personalize his roundels, I decided to make two of his fighting unit, two of his kingdom heraldry, and two of the heraldry of the army he fights with.
I have been keeping track of how long everything takes. Not everybody gets just how long it takes to complete a project like this (which is why I don’t do it often).
1 hour – CDIV roundel 1
1 hour – CDIV roundel 2
8 hours – EK roundel 1
8 hours – EK roundel 2
10 hours – Southern Army roundel 1
10 hours – Southern Army roundel 2
1 hour – measuring and cutting fabric for tunic
2 hous – sewing seams
5 hours – braiding 10+ yards of metal thread
8 hours – whip stitching the metal thread to the seams around the gussets, gores, and arms
3 hours – embroidering herringbone around the seams at the bottom and at the edges of the arms
4.5 hours – whip stitching braided metal thread around the roundels
3 hours sewing, ironing, pinning, and finishing the neckline with a herringbone stitch
1 hour tucking all of the metal threads under the surface and finding ways to keep them from unraveling
65.5 hours – total
Note to self (and everyone else) I am NOT going to make any extensive projects like this for anyone I am dating. It took too long and we broke up when I had about 60 hours of work put in to it.
I made a belt favor with my arms on it. This is one example as to how sometimes embroidery takes MUCH longer than one thinks it will. That is the reason why I don’t sell my embroidery. Nobody would pay me an hourly rate to do it, even if it was just minimum wage. I machine sewed the fabric into a belt favor.
Here is how it looked about 4 or 5 hours through:
The finished embroidery
The back of the finished embroidery (for those who care about such things)
And the final product
Materials: two strands of silk thread on linen
Stitches used: split stitch
Time taken: 10 hours for the embroidery, about 30 minutes to machine sew the belt favor
I added a small amount of herringbone stitch to a tunic. I did NOT make the tunic. There were only two seams, one on either side extending from the bottom, up through the armpits, to the edge of the sleeves.
Here is how the final product looked. Again, I did NOT make the tunic.
Materials used: two strands of silk thread on linen
Stitches used: herringbone
Time taken: 2 hours
I made “trim” using embroidery. The idea was to do the entire warrior’s poem from the movie 13th Warrior in runes for a fighting tunic. I did NOT make the tunic. I just embroidered and attached the “trim”. The text is translated as follows:
Lo, there do I see my father.
Lo, there do I see my mother.
And my sister and my brother
Lo, there do I see the line of my people
Back to the beginning.
Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them
In the halls of Valhalla
Where the brave may live forever.
This project took MUCH longer than I anticipated. I couldn’t say how many hours of work was put into it. I machine sewed the “trim” onto the tunic. Since it was for a fighting tunic, I thought it should be secured better than my hand-sewing could do.
And how the tunic itself looked after it was done. Again, I did NOT make the tunic.
Materials used: linen thread on linen cloth
Stitches used: chain stitch
I bartered a linen tunic for a c-belt for my armor. I also added herringbone stitch on the seams for (what I thought was) a nice touch. I made the tunic and sewed the seams together using a sewing machine. The finishing of the seams were done by hand. I hope to receive the c-belt some time after Gulf Wars is over.
And here is a close-up of the neckline
For my mom and step-dad, I decided to make them ornaments for Christmas. As with most projects of this type, it took me MUCH longer than I anticipated. It took about 7 days with 8-10 hours of embroidery each day to finish. Here is the finished embroidery:
And here are the finished ornaments
Materials: dmc thread (strands varying from 1-3), aida cloth, red felt, glue, cardboard, and quilt batting
Stitches: cross stitch, straight stitch, and french knots
Time taken: Approximately 11 hours per ornament for the embroidery
I decided to make a dress and apron dress in my household colors for Crown Tourney. I hand-sewed all the seams and finished them with herringbone stitch.
Here is a detail of the embroidery
Here is a picture of the whole ensemble
You can’t see it, but the apron dress also has the seams finished. Here is a detail of that embroidery.
Materials: linen thread (for seams), two strands of silk thread (for finishing the seams) and linen fabric
Stitches used: running stitch, back stitch, and herringbone