Saturday, 12 May 2012

Hardanger bunad in a hurry

One of my ongoing project this year has been til make a Hardanger bunad for my daughter. However, since she started in the marching band this fall, she will not need her bunad for the 17. May parade, since she will be wearing a uniform. Thus, I was in no hurry to finish her bunad. However, we received an invitation to a confirmation in the beginning of May, and I decided to try to finish the bunad before then.

The only problem was that I had only five days to finish the bunad. I had finished all the embroidery on the chest cloth, the belt and the apron, which where all finished. I also decided to purchase a shirt, as my 11 year old daughter is still growing quite a bit. So the only thing remanding was to assemble the bunad itself. I was a bit unsure whether I would be able to make it, but I decided to give it a try. I have to admit that I was working from I came home from work and until late in the evening every day that week. When I was finished I was tired, but I made it!!!!

I had some serious challenges making this bunad, particularly since my daughter is only eleven and I bought the materials for a grown up bunad. I did this to avoid making a children's bunad which she could only use a couple of years. The challenge lay in assembling the bunad in such a way as to make alterations to the size simple. This meant that I had to deviate from the guidelines somewhat, but it was easier than I feared. The main problem now is that there is a lot of fabric in the skirt for such a small girl (it is made of heavy wool), and she does not fill inn the area behind the chest cloth very well. I guess this will be better as she grows older.

As I was going to buy the shirt, I expected this to go without a hitch. Unfortunately, this was not so, as both the neck line and the manshetts around the wrists were too tight, even if I bought a small sized grown-up shirt. So I had to increase the size, resulting in the arms being far too long. So I had to adjust them as well.

Finally, I have to tell you about the apron. It is a copy of an apron made by the sister to my father-in-law's mother. She was from Eiterheimsneset in Hardanger. I do not know how old this apron is, but moster Mari (as she was called) died of old age in the mid eighties, so it is probably quite old. The apron is made in cotton, as the original, and has a very light and beautiful Hardanger embroidery in the border. My mother-in-law is waring the original apron on her bunad, so now grandmother and granddaughter have matching bunads with identical aprons.

It was a very exhausting week, but I am very pleased with it. The house looked terrible, and my husband was not thrilled by having to do all the chores in the hose for an entire week, but it does not matter. I still have a deep feeling of accomplishing something good. Now, I only have to make a linen apron and a linen shirt with elaborate Hardanger embroideries, and to make a new chest cloth and belt with pearl embroideries, before I consider this bunad project for officially finished. Luckily for me, the rest of the work can wait a couple of years until my own daughter's confirmation.



  1. How very beautiful! A wonderful accomplishment. :))

    And, regarding that house work: I had a very wise aunt who would be 100 now if she were living. She said the housework isn't going anywhere and will always be there when you get back so go ahead and do what you would rather do first. ;) She was an engineer with IBM, a liberated woman long before the term was coined, who designed guidance systems for US Navy helicopters. Yes, a very wise woman. :)

    You'll always remember and have the beautiful bunad. You and your husband will forget about the housework. :))


  2. How beautiful! What a labor of love - definitely worth the time and your husband having to tackle the housework alone. :)