Iron Age costume
Leather working,  My projects,  Sewing,  Shoemaking

Time-traveling to the Iron Age with my daughter

It is not as fun to time travel alone. Luckily my daughter is often willing to join me. That means that I needed to make her a dress suitable for Iron Age as well. As the events tend to happen mostly during the summer, I figured that a simple linen underdress with a wool apron would suffice at first. I can then keep adding parts to her costume later. As S is still growing, it doesn’t matter if the linen underdress becomes a bit too short.

Helping S with the dressing. The stubborn belt didn't want to stay tied.

I got this nice sturdy linen fabric from my aunt who didn’t have any use for it (Thank you!). The surface of the fabric looks rustic and rough but we found out that it didn’t feel coarse against the skin at all. It was thus perfect for this job.

I made the iron age underdress using the exact same pattern I used for my own underdress. I even kept the width as little extra width didn’t look too disturbing and makes the dress fit much longer. I only needed to shorten the sleeves and the hem in order to fit the underdress for my daughter. This dress also works for the medieval era, so it is very multifunctional.

S's dress.

I found the wool for my daughter’s apron at a flea market. It was a small piece but one doesn’t need that much for an apron. I didn’t have time to weave the edges but I just hemmed them neatly. However, I added small decorative fans out of brass rings to the lower corners of the apron.

Luckily I have some extra tablet-woven bands that I could lend to my daughter for the belts. Still, my fingers are itching to weave some more belts.


Kurpposet shoes.

Of course, she needed some shoes as well. Someone pointed out that those old shoes I wear were more Irish than Finnish so I decided to make something simpler but based on the same pattern. I just didn’t cut the leather into strips at the toe. Instead, I took away a V-shape to reduce the bulk and threaded a long cord around the edges. I don’t think that these shoes are particularly pretty, but at least they are functional.

Leather purses

I have also made some little purses so that we have something to carry our money and other things with us. This tiny coin purse was made to the pattern I found here on Etsy.

A small oak leaf coin purse.

It’s not as pretty as the image on Etsy as I don’t have that much experience with leather working. Still, I found making it fun! I didn’t want to have a snap at the front as it is not very historical. However, I had some reindeer horn pendants and I decided to use one to make a closure you can see above.

The purse opens like this.

This purse was pretty small so I made another one that is bigger. This time I played with leather stamping. I don’t have that many official leather stamps but I have plastic stamps made for decorating cookies and such. Especially, I found that one could use the baking letter stamps pretty easily for leather. I also tried spreading a patterned silicone mat on top of the (wet) leather and pounding it with a hammer to transfer the pattern. It sort of worked but the imprint was faint. I had to go around the pattern with the end of a knitting needle to bring it out more.

A bigger purse.

I darkened the natural leather with brown shoe polish which brought out the stamping detail beautifully. I forgot the polish on for a long time before I went and polished it so it left some uneven stripes. Those will probably fade in time but the next time I will remember to do it sooner.

The final remarks

I can’t wait for us to attend an iron age event soon! We were about to go to an event but then S hurt her foot and couldn’t walk properly for a week. Luckily the following August and September are filled with fun events and we only have to choose which to attend.

A mom and daughter picture.

The blueberry season has started. While we were taking the photos we had to stop for a snack. These blueberries are quite small which is probably due to the dry June. Or the place on the hill isn’t optimal for blueberries. However, there were plenty of them and I will surely do some gathering later!

Picking blueberries.

Thank you for reading and see you soon! Happy sewing!


I am a mother of two. I sew, knit and create and blog about it.

One Comment

  • Judit

    You are so beautiful together, it is heartwarming to see how you pass on the passion for history and tradition to the next generation. 🙂 🙂 I started to make iron age shoes like yours a few weeks ago. I thought they were generic early middle-ages shoes, that were worn all over Northern Europe. Apparently I was wrong too. 😀 Have fun at the events!

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