Sunday 9 May 2010

Folk Costume Progress

I've started my clinical this week, and so far so good. I'm dead tired when I get home, but it's fun - this really is what I want to work with. It's hard sometimes, hurting children so that they will get well in the end. How do you explain that to a crying baby? Also, I'd like to know more languages, so that I can talk to the children and their parents in a language they understand - we have a quite high rate of immigrants in Sweden, and many don't know Swedish very well (or at all).

In spite of all the schoolwork I’ve had lately, I’ve managed to make some progress on the folk costume: I got the blouse, opplöt, finished yesterday. It’s made from fine, bleached linen, and the collar is made from very fine cotton. It’s hand sewn with waxed linen (cotton for the collar) thread.

The sleeves and collar are hemstitched.

Silly pictures not ending up where I wanted them....

The collar was gathered by overstitching a narrow rolled hem, and pulling the thread tight, the
fabric gathered. Each gather was sewn to the neck opening, which is narrowly hemmed with the hem on the outside of the garment, hidden by the collar.

The opplöt is rather short, cut without shoulder seams, and have a seam in front, like many extant examples, which in the past was the result of cutting it so as to use the fabric to the max. The sleeves are straight, with four tucks on the shoulders, sewn down with a seam going across them. They have gussets sewn in under the arm. In my area, they where often left without cuffs, since they would be worn under the spedetröja a lot of the time.

My initials are embroidered in red cotton yarn at the bottom right corner of the front, using a design found in the area the costume is from.

The opplöt would have been the second piece of clothing to be put on (perhaps except for stockings), after the hanksaärk.

And speaking of the spedetröja – I finished the second sleeve the other day! I have started the body, but it’ll take a while to get that one finished. It’s knitted in the round, like the sleeves, but since it has short slits in each side I have to knit the front and back separately for the fist couple of inches. For the bottom of the spedetröja I don’t use the relief pattern that where included with the instructions, but rather a double seed stitch I’ve seen on extant examples. When I start knitting in the round there will be another pattern along the sides, while the rest will be plain. Pictures of that will be posted some other time, I'm to lazy to upload any more now.

Also, I ordered fabric for the skirt the other week, a heavily fulled, homespun woollen fabric called vadmal in Swedish. It’s a nice, dark blue colour, which I haven’t managed to catch with the camera. And it’s really heavy – the skirt will weigh about 2 kg (just over 4 lbs). Imagine wearing that in summer – which will usually be the case.

I now have some pressure to get it finished – I’m going to a church YSA activity in Finland this summer, and one of the evenings the dance is themed “folk summer: represent your ethnic background. Find your national clothes or wear a nice summer dress/clothes”. It will be fun (especially since people use to come from all over Europe, and sometimes other places as well – hopefully some of them in costume), and I would really like to be able to wear mine, but the fabrics for the apron and head scarf are really expensive, as are the silver to be worn with the costume. I’m not sure I’ll be able to have it finished in time, so I might have to make a nice summery dress for the occasion in stead.


  1. Hi Sarah!
    Very cute blouse!

    Sounds like you are very busy with the dance coming up and all!

    Hope you are having a nice day
    God bless

  2. It looks great, I love the fabric and the embroidery.

  3. Sarah,I would like to invite you to my blog - because it's a private one, I need to email you the invitation. I couldn't find your email address anywhere on your blog.

    If you'd rather not publish your email address here, maybe I could send you mine in a comment and then you could not publish it when you moderate it?

    Trust that you are keeping well.
    God bless you

  4. Thank you for kind comments!

    Rachel, I'd love to be invited to your blog! If you send me your e-mail adress I won't publish it :)


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