Bunad blouse


Amli Blouse

Photos from the Bunadrosen website

The blouse is another item that you can find will cost you a great deal of money and as everything associated with the Norwegian bunad the Norwegian Institute of Bunad and Folkdrakte will want you to only purchase it from one of the approved seamstresses in Norway.  The approved seamstress must take classes to become certified and as in many places in the world they are not all native to the country. In Norway you will find, from what I understand that many are from other countries…excellent seamstresses and very well qualified to make the beautiful costumes. But if you feel brave and do not worry about being caught by the “bunad police” you could attempt to make one for yourself. The best way to do this would be to sign up for one of the classes taught by http://bunadbutikken.com/ and you will learn more than just the sewing techinques but also the hand sewing required to make the designs required for the specific costumes.

Not all the bunad blouses are the same. Most are the standard design with the dropped sleeve and the gusset under the arm and the insert at the shoulder area which makes sewing them a real interesting adventure. They also have flat felled seams, which if you have not made them a few times, can be a real challenge, specifically around the insert at the shoulder area, but make for a blouse that will last a life time.

There are many great places on the internet that can show you how to make a flat felled seam, here is a link to a youtube that was done by some which provides an insight in how to do a flat felled seam in a quick glance.


You are basically making a ⅝” seam: trimming down one side of the seam  to approx. to between ¼” & ⅛” then taking the other side of the seam and folding it in half over the trimmed down side and sewing it down…which is much better explained on the video.

The idea is that everything is enclosed on the inside of the blouse so that it will last you a life time. Which is very good because if you do choose to purchase it thru one of the many websites available online from Norway you will find that you can pay upwards of  $ 500 or much higher depending on how much embroidery is on the blouse. As you can see by the photos shown below:

Blouse with cross stitch mainly redBlouse with red flowersBlouse

These are examples of blouses that could be worn with the Telemark bunad

Voss BlouseVoss

The Voss blouse is interesting in that is has the black embroidery for a married woman and the white embroidery for a non-married woman. Also the construction of the Voss blouse is very simple, no gussets,  no inserts at the shoulder, a very simple collar and a basic opening in the front as the embroidery covers the opening…..a very easy blouse to make ….except for the time it takes to do the embroidery!


The  photo above comes from the website www.bunadrosen.no and it shows the blouse they offer for the Rogaland bunad and if you notice it has a unique way the collar is made with beautiful tucks at the neck and the a plain band, then the wonderful embroidery.Valdres blouse

Again more photos from www.bunadrosen.no (I have received permission from them to use their photos for my bunad presentation so I have them scanned etc) these are for the Old Valdres bunad. As you see this one again has  beautiful embroidery on the collar and cuffs and this is made in the traditional design with the inset at the shoulder/gusset/fine gathering at the collar and cuffs etc.

Now to show I will go to bunad jail I have duplicated this embroidery on my embroidery machine and although it is not any where near as nice as the handmade I have done it on it my version of the bunad blouse which follows the Doerring pattern Olde Country Costume  available from many places such as esty or ebay. I did not have luck in finding a link right now but you should be able to find it in most sizes girls, boys, mens, ladies and womens sizes


These patterns do not have a gusset or the set in feature at the shoulder but they make up in a very nice blouse and if you have a serger (or finish the seams with either a French seam or a flat felled seam) they will make a blouse that will wear for a very long time.  Especially if you use a lightweight linen or Kona cotton, which either fabric you can find at your local Hancock fabrics or on line. A handkerchief linen would be preferable choice but you will have to look for that on line as it is most difficult to find it your local fabric stores.

Here is an example of one of the blouses I have made using this pattern:basic white blouse

It is not as fancy but it will definitely work and is much easier to make…I have  worked on simplifying the pattern a bit more than how it is written and teach classes on it. If you are any where in the area of North Carolina and wish to learn contact me and I would be more than happy to teach a class.

Back to more photos of the bunad blouses so you can see how they are more specific to the bunad designs:

Amli Blouse

Here is a close up of the shoulder design for a blouse for the Amli bunad from Agder

Close up of Gudbrandsdal blouse

The is the embroidery on a blouse for a Gudbrandsdalen…although you will also see the same design used for the Old Valdres used by some for the Gudbrandsdalen bunad as well

Stakk-og-liv with orange blouse

Stakk og Liv from the Telemark area

If you are familiar with the Stakk of Liv costume which is worn in the area of Telemark it is one that is often worn by Nordic Dancers in this country. It has a blouse that is much like that of the Beltestakk bunad of Telemark.

Beltestakk with red blouse

Beltestakk from Telemark

The difference on this bunad and specifically the blouse is that it is worn in many different colors and I believe that is what makes it so

beltestakk in golddesirable to so many young women in Norway. It is also very flattering yet very different to most of the blouses that you will see. It is usually not made out of cotton or linen…often made out of silk or some type of fancier fabric. It has a “bib” type insert in the front and then if you notice it has a bit of elastic along the neck. It still does have the dropped sleeves and large cuffs and often worn with cufflinks as many of the blouses are…but it definitely does have quite a more unique look than any of the other blouses. Now not everyone that wears the Beltestakk wears this blouse some wear the more traditional Telemark look but in the colors that are in their unique costume as seen below.

Beltestakk in blue

As you may know this bunad comes in a variety of colors….red, blue, gold, purple etc. So I again I am sure this is why so many young girls when they are getting ready to choose one at the time of their confirmation are so attracted to this bunad.

Again the bunad blouse  is a very in-depth subject and one  that I will discuss again at a later date…but this should give you an idea of how much “fun” it would  be to make a bunad blouse. If you are interested in a basic pattern let me know and I can send you very very basic pattern for the general bunad blouse and surely we will all be in trouble with you know you!

13 responses »

  1. Thank you for this post! I would love to have a pattern. My 13 year old daughter wants to make her own bunad and this would be of great help.

    • We can talk about a pattern for a bunad blouse, but unfortunately there are not patterns for a traditional bunad. You can make a drakt or festdrakt and for that I suggest using the Doering Nordic Style Olde Country Costume pattern. In order to make a real bunad the only way to make it is to order the kits from Norway (which are cut for a specific size and include the embroidery work stamped on the wool ) or you can order the pre-cut kits from Bunadbutikken.com which is in the US and you will save on the shipping from Norway. But you may want to consider making a festdrakt which will not cost you the $ 1800 + of the kit…and you can use the Doering Nordic pattern to make the dress and the blouse. Please let me know if I can help you out in any way….

  2. I would love to learn to make something like this. Every few months I teach my daughter about a new culture and I would like to make one for her. I understand that these are extremely expensive, so I was curious if there was something similar that’s for everyday use and would be much cheaper? I live in nc so I’m not too far away 🙂

    • There was a recent comment about a pattern for a children’s dress and I mentioned the patterns by Doering Designs called “Nordic Style Olde Country Costumes” that are available on line either thru ebay or etsy. These patterns come in boys and girls styles and are available for children as well as for adults.
      This would allow you to make something out of cotton for your daughter and it would be in the Nordic style either Norwegian or Swedish and it would be considered to be like a folk or a festdrakt.
      The true bunad from Norway are extremely expensive and are only made by either approved seamstresses in Norway or by ordering a pre-cut kit from Norway and even then they can run upwards of $ 1,200. (there are some available from Norway that are made in the Far East but they still run in the thousands of dollars)
      I believe what you are looking to make you could do from this pattern and it would allow your daughter to have something that would be in the Nordic style. If you live close to either Raleigh or Charlotte there are Scandinavian festivals in both of those cities in the late fall and you can Google “Scanfest” to see when they are in your area. We have Sons of Norway Lodges in both Charlotte and Raleigh (as well as one in Myrtle Beach, SC) and they would love to have you visit with them if you have an interest in this. The lodge in Charlotte is http://www.norskcarolina.org and the lodge in Raleigh is http://www.northcarolinavikings.org. If you live near Charlotte there is an International Festival in the spring as well as one in late September that we participate in.
      Hope this help you out…let me know if you need more information.

  3. I have the pattern shown above and love it. I am not attempting to be traditional, but suit it to my own tastes which is a linen blouse and a skirt made of a rather primitive homespun of lavenders and grays. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I find it interesting that the whole concept of official bunads is an 1880’s or so thing and yet the old pictures of my family and other Norwegian immigrants had similar nonstandard outfits. No doubt the official ones are beautiful and are of a very high standard of workmanship. I do love my own style though too.

  5. I would love to get the pattern for the blouse where she is standing side ways and the collar is up and it is trimmed with tatting. Also you gave reccommendations for fabric. Do you have the basic adult pattern for it. How do I get a pattern for childrens bunad? I spent hours on the internet last night trying to find what I want in Norway and they want $110 for a prefab blouse.

    • You can order a children’s costume on line from Norway or on ebay from folks that have brought them from Norway and are selling them in the US. In my opinion it better to buy a festdrakt/costume for a child as the money spent on a bunad for a child that will grow out of it so quickly may not make sense. You can check on ebay and find a complete set for children of all ages in the festdrakt. They are the same ones you will find if you go on line in Norway and you will not have to pay the shipping which can be quite expensive from Norway. If you are looking to make a blouse that is not the “100% correct bunad blouse” and will do just fine for a child I suggest looking for the pattern by Doering called “Olde Country Costumes”. They make them for children (boys and girls) dolls, Women (regular and large sizes) as well as men’s sizes. You often find them on etsy or ebay or you can order them from a store in Stoughton, Wisconsin called “Saving Thyme “http://www.savingthyme.net/….if you are looking for fabric they also have fabric there as well. In the past they have had some nice woven cottons that you can buy to make a nice folk or festdrakt. If you really want to more “correct” on fabric you can order from Bunad Butikken http://www.bunadbutikken.com/. They have the fabric directly from Norway as well as the kits you can make a true bunad although it will cost you quite a bit of money. The fabric from Norway will run at least $ 36.00 or more a yard for the woven cotton and the kits to make the ekte bunad will be in the $ 1,800 and up range. To order the pewter buttons you can get them from either of the two earlier mentioned places or try Patterns of Time http://www.patternsoftime.com/ as they have quite a selection of both buttons as well as pewter closures etc…..Hope this helps you out. If you order the pattern from Doering and have any trouble making it, please contact me again and I can send you my instructions for it for a small fee to make the color copies…..let me see photos of what you decided to do…

  6. Hi I would really like a pattern for a bunard shirt. My son lives in Norway and I would like to have a bunard. I am finding it difficult to get any were with purchasing a second hand one. However I would like to start my own new tradition.and a shirt seems like a good place to start. Do you know where I could get a bunard dress pattern from. Thank you.

  7. I would be very interested in the blouse pattern, and also I would love to know which machine embroidery patterns you are using for both the blouse and the Bunad. I am specifically interested in the Hallingdal style of embroidery, and while I can find the symmetry of the swirls and leaves, I am unable to locate a dressing with the density of the samples I am seeing.

    I would also be interested in knowing about any classes you may be holding in2016. I live in Georgia and could,bet to you.

    • Hi
      How wonderful that you are interested in a Hallingdal bunad. For that type of bunad all the embroidery would need to be done by hand. You can order a kit for it from http://www.bunadbuttiken.com that would include the fabric as well as the supplies necessary to do the handwork. They hold classes to show you how to do the wonderful handwork as well as assemble beautiful bunad.
      I can help with doing restorations and also making of festdrakts or folkdrakts and blouses. The classes I teach, usually run thru a Sons of Norway lodge or other organizations. But that is not to say if some folks who would be interested to come to Charlotte, NC to take a class that I could not do one here. I would also suggest that you go on line to http://www.finn.no to look for some of the used Hallingdal bunad that are some times for sale in Norway. That particular website is some what like a cross between ebay and craigslist here in the US but you would be buying directly from a person in Norway. Therefore you would have to work out the details on the payment as well as the shipping but often they will much cheaper (all relative) than buying a new one. Also right now the Norwegian Krone is in your favor so the prices are a little bit less. But if you have interest in making one yourself then I am afraid you must think about doing it by hand if you really want the ekte bunad from Hallingdal. If that is not “your thing” then think about having a Festdrakt as they are quite popular and can be done on the machine. Hope this helps you out…You may also want to look at my Pinterest page as I have quite a few photos of the Hallingdal bunad on that page as well as the hand work also on the page…https://www.pinterest.com/dlmcc/norwegian-bunad

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s