Saturday, 31 October 2009

Halloween

Not much to tell, really. I went to a Halloween party last night, which was fun, but I'm coming down with a cold, so I was a bit tired. Most people had made a good job at finding/making costumes. You could meet Napoleon, a vampire and it's victim, a cat, a lumberjack, a couple of very different superheroes, Fred and Ginger long dead, Snow White, Tia Dalma (from Pirates of the Carribean) and a male fairy (not pretty, I can tell you...).

I went as a troll, which in Scandinavian folktales are not usually the big, hairy monsters most people think of. In the stories they can be ugly, and they can range in size from much smaller than humans, to giants. But most of the times they seem to be very close to human in appearance, sometimes more beautiful than any human (mostly the young females). They were believed to live their lives pretty close to the way humans did, with cooking, brewing ale, tending to animals, getting married, sewing (female trolls had a reputation of being extremely good at spinning and weaving). They usually lived in/under mountains, or under mounds, not in houses. They could be very friendly with humans, but could also be malicious. They were believed to steal human babies and leave their own young in the cribs instead (used as an explanation for deformed or mentally handicapped children), and they hated the sound of church bells. Steel was thought to protect against the trolls, so people often carried knives, and put nails or knives in babies swaddling.

Some people thought I was skogsrået, the Swedish word for a female creature, who guarded the forests. She was supposed to be very beautiful, capricious, and dangerous for men. It was believed that if they treated her respectfully, she would help humans find lost cattle, have good luck at hunting, etc. If they were disrespectful, she could be quite cruel, making people get lost, forget their wives or destroy the work they did in the woods. In some parts of Scandinavia she was thought to have the tail of a fox or a cow, and in some areas, her back was as hollow as rotten tree. I've never seen one, so I had to do the best I could ;)


Anyway, this is what I wore; a green wool tunic, really a child's long sleeved medieval cotte (worn by one of my sisters a few years ago), but it's wide enough for me to wear. Over that a wool-poly blend skirt, which I made as a "medieval" dress a long time ago, before I knew better. I cut the top portion of, hemmed it, added patches here and there, tore it in a couple of places, and frayed it a little. I sewed my tail to the back, so it looked like it was poked through a "tail-opening". I had a strip of leather wound round my waist, and added a pouch to carry my camera in (I didn't take a single picture...). Didn't get a good picture of the tail, sorry. You have to see my last post for that. The tail is made of fake suede, from an old project, and a bit of fox fur.


My hair was a tangled mess of frizzy curls (it took a long time and a lot of conditioner to wash it out today), and I wore a headband made from a flexible pine branch, complete with a nice, tight row of pine cones, to which I added a few other things, like rowan berries. To hold it all securely in place (silky, Scandinavian hair, remember?) I used a lot of hairspray, besides the hair pins. All in all, I think it turned out well.


The bodice of the wedding dress is coming along nicely, I just have to add sleeves and a zipper. Only, I can't do that till I've finished the skirt. I can't cut out the tulle for the sleeves 'till the skirt is cut out, since there's so little fabric, and I'll have to sew the bodice and skirt together before I sew in the zipper.... Meanwhile, here's a picture of how the back looks with the row of buttons. I would have liked the buttons a little smaller, but then it's not my dress.

2 comments:

  1. Your costume is beautiful and I enjoyed very much reading the legends/history behind it. Very nice!!

    The bodice back looks beautiful. I love the fabric and the row of satiny buttons looks lovely with it.

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  2. I love your costume! and the buttons in that last photo are beautiful!!

    I am visiting via Pinterest!

    Hele
    Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

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