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:
These are examples of blouses that could be worn with the Telemark bunad
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.
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:
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:
Here is a close up of the shoulder design for a blouse for the Amli bunad from Agder
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 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 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
desirable 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.
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!