Cultural Festival and Regency Dance

Yesterday it was once again time for the annual cultural festival in our town, and I had agreed to join the historic dance team for their recital. Last time I’d performed on the festival was about 8 years ago, together with my friend of the young national dance team (and when I say young, I basically mean any dancer under the age of 40).

This time though, I would not wear my national costume, but my new regency gown compleat with velvet west and bonnet.

I started getting ready by curling my wet hair the evening before, and let it set over night.IMG_1682This is how I looked when I woke up (way to early on a Saturday), and started to get ready.

I did some light make-up and fuzzes around with the hair, to get something similar to curls in my short bangs.IMG_1688

All dressed up and wearing my new bonnet, I thought it looked pretty decent.IMG_1695Then it was time t take the bus downtown to the meet up point for the festival.

Sadly the weather was not at all co-operating.IMG_1706
And the dance area was cowered in water and extremely slippery.

Two wet gents testing the floor.

The teams about to perform all gathered and made them self ready, while huddling beneath rain coats, umbrellas and shawls.IMG_1777
Clara and Maud, in matching self made bonnets and happy despite the weather.

Then the dance program started.
Beginning with the classical dance team, in their lovely national costumes.

The two ladies in this pic are wearing identical jackets and two variations of the “Skedevi” costume. (left: the summer costume in white and pink cotton, and right: the sunday costume in red wool). I would love to make that jacket for myself – I do have the pattern…

Then it was time for the kids
You need to be pretty devoted as a parent to agree to do this things.

The next team was the “polske – team”, with their beautiful and addictive dances in 3/4 beats. IMG_1725My friend Annica (whose wedding I attended in late may).

Then it was our turn.
IMG_1735We did a short variation of our usual routine, and were happy once we put our jackets back on.

The team I liked the most were the swing dancers.IMG_1743They looked to be having so much fun, and really rocked the style (some more then others).

Then we got a short show from a bride to be on her bachelorett party. IMG_1756And yes, of course she could swing to.

Then it was time for another old school dance team, “the Morris team”.IMG_1758I guess it could have been pretty cool, if they had all been on beat and perfectly choreographed. But as it were, the noise those bells and sticks made was not exactly my cup of tea…

We also got to see a team from Denmark.IMG_1765Look at those embroidery. So nice to see some new to me national costumes.

And a team from Norwegian.IMG_1770Our neighbors to the east, are known for their lovely red and black national costumes covered with heavy jewelry.

As you can see from this photos there was not many on-lookers except the dancers waiting for their turn. this seams to be the routine on these cultural days. And as a friend said: I have no idea why we do this year after year, since it’s just society for mutual admiration.

And I guess that’s why it’s been 8 yeas since I last did this recital.

But I did get a photo of me and two old time friends.
IMG_1727Katarina (in the middle), was my dance teacher when I was a kid. And Annika (who also was in the kids dance group), are now a board-member in the dance organisation, and dances so often and long that her shoes are falling apart…

Once home again I marveled over my extremely stupid looking “mössfrilla” (hat hairdo).IMG_1790

I also discovered I managed to tear my dress.IMG_1791Well, thats just another one for the mending pile.

Now to get ready for next weekends event.

Skedevi national costume pictures

Here are some pictures of my folk costume.

I took a few of them 3 years ago when it was brand new, and the rest is from yesterdays photoshoot.

skedevidräkt 4

skedevidräkt bak 1

skedevidräkt nära flikarClose-up on the back tabs

skedevidräkt nära sidan

skedevidräkt mamelucker närbildSneak a peak of bloomers


skedevidräkt näraI can’t belive how young I look in these photos, and it is just 3 years ago.

And here are some shots from yesterday.







Making my Skedevi folk costume

Three years ago I finally decided to make my own national costume. Being  both a folkdancer and seemstress it was long over due to return the one I’ve been borrowing for the past 5 years and start on my own.

As part of a folk dancing team it was not hard to find the right person to help me get the project started by letting me buy some home woven fabrics at a good price.

All the pieces of clothing are hand sewn with waxed linnen thread.

Starting with the shirt in a white cotton fabric I quickly got used to the handsewing way of  pleating, fellseaming and hemming. The construction was relatively simple with only squares, rectangles and underarm gores.

skjorta skedevi fram

Next up was the skirt in a striped, rather corse wool. It consisted of one big rectangle which was pleated to a waistband and closed with hooks and eyes.

kjol skedevi tyg nära

kjol skedevi tyg

The apron in a striped cotton fabric was constructed the same way: a rectangle pleated to a waistband which ties in the waist.


The neck-cloth consisted of one squared piece of checkered cotton which only needed hemming.


The only piece of the costume which really needed some thinking and fitting was the bodice. I bought the pattern and got some help figuring out the right measurments and fitting for the mock-up.

sömnadbeskrivning väst sid 1

The fabric is a red wool fabric (kind of like brothcloth), natural linnen for the linnig and some green ribbon for trimming.


väst skedevi ofärdig bak

väst skedevi ofärdig foder

For this costume I also needed some accessories which I could not or would not make.

IMG_3025Some jewelry – a brooch and a pair of cuff links.

IMG_3019And a bag worn at the waistband of the skirt.

You will also need some red wool stockings, some kind of petticoat or bloomers and a red ribbon for your hair – if you are unmarried. Married woman wear their hair in a headcloth or a coif.

Here is my finished folk costume on my dressform taken three years ago. You will get some pictures of it in action next time.

skedevidräkt docka fram

skedevidräkt docka bak

väst skedevi docka fram

Skedevi national costume

Being june 6th and the National day of Sweden it seems only fitting to tell you a bit about the fantastic display of national costumes that as a tradition are beeing worn today.

In the part of sweden where I come from (Östergötland) there are eight different folk costumes for women to wear (Gryt, Kinda, Nykil, Risinge, Skedevi, Svinhult, Vånga and Ydre). Which one you choose is based on where in the county you were born.

Being part of a folk dancing team I’ve been wearing variations of these costumes since I was about 6 years old.

The most common of all the national costumes from my county is “Skedevi”. It is the one commonly known as “Östgötadräkten” (the costume of Östergötland). If you don’t know which one you want or should wear as a woman you most certainly should go for Skedevi.

I want to show you some pictures of the beautiful and colorful variations of folk costumes in my county.



8246355_fullscreenAll the pieces of clothing for Skedevi

IMG_2955On grand rehersal for todays dance show

midsommarIn action