Monday, 19 September 2011

Chest cloth and belt for my daughter’s Hardanger bunad

Finally, I have finished the chest cloth and belt for my daughters Hardanger bunad (see first and last picture). The embroidery was made by cross stitches and not pearls, as they only sold finished chest cloths in pearl embroidery (not patterns). Since the whole idea was to make the bunad myself, this was not an option. However, I have made a pattern for a pearl chest cloth and belt based on some pictures I found on the internet. The plan is to make them as well, so that she can chose which one to wear today.

It was now time to start on the Hardanger embroideries on the apron. Since I have never tried this technique before, I asked my mother in law if I could borrow some of her books. When she came to visit, she did not only bring her books, but also a small chest cloth she had made with pearls (se picture on the left). It is a bit small, as she did not have more of the red fabric left, but if we are lucky, my daughter may use it the first couple of years before she is fully grown.

I have started the Hardanger embroideries on the apron. I started with a little purse to get some practice before starting on the expensive pieces (see picture on the right). Since Hardanger embroideries involve making holes in the fabric, it is crucial to know what you are doing. It was much easier than I expected, so I started on the linen apron right away, which was a challenge, since the stitches are much finer in linen compared to the cotton fabric in the purse. I will also make a cotton apron for my daughter, equal to the one my mother in law has. My husband’s grand aunt made the apron she wears, and it has a lovely pattern. Then they can wear them together.

My aim is to finish the aprons by Christmas, so that I can put the bunad together during the spring. If all goes well, my daughter will have her new bunad finished by next 17. May (which is the Norwegian national holiday, when all the lovely bunads are worn in the 17. May parade).


  1. Hello, I stumbled across your blog researching bunads. My aunt gave me the individual pieces, but I am not certain how to piece it together, or maybe I am missing a piece. Do you know where I can find instructions to piece the garment together. Most grateful for your thoughts!

    1. Hi

      Most bunads are assembled differently. Since you do not know what kind of bunad you have, you should probably take a look at the web-pages from Husfliden (;Dame). There you can find out what kind of bunad you have. Then you can contact them to get assembly instructions (

      The pages are in Norwegian, but if you have automatic translation on your browser it should be possible to read. If not, they also have an English page( I do not know if they have them in English, but it is worth a try.