[HNW] Hybrid folk costume

Carolyn Kayta Barrows kayta at frys.com
Thu Jan 24 18:41:11 PST 2002


><Giggle!> Yes, I'm familiar with Ruritania, and have used the term to mean
>"generic folk costume" for a long time. What a stitch (pun intended) for
>you to use this term to describe a fun hybrid outfit. Wonderfully silly.

I have copies of both 'The Prisoner of Zenda' and the sequel 'Rupert of
Hentzau', both of which have the original Charles Dana Gibson
illustrations.  Princess Flavia is shown, and uniforms, but no peasant women.

>I was boggled to see lots of cross stitching on
>one costume, and it was *not* done on evenweave, yet it was lovely and
>fairly even. Obviously a woman who had many years of experience just
>eyeballing it. As if.....  *big sigh*

I know that some of the Palestinian dresses, the ones with all the cross
stitch, have been done using waste canvas, and I can show you the photos to
prove it.  So I don't know how the ones you saw were done, but I have to
wonder.  I did my apron this way.

The closest to real my outfit comes is Bohemia (Czech Republic these
days).  Coin jewelry make things look Balkan.  Too much cross stitch makes
things look Romanian or Ukranian.  Too many ribbons from a wreath headpiece
looks Polish (to me).  Thin white cloth with tiny pleats and good lace, for
a headpiece, makes things look French/Belgian.  Floor length skirts look
1700's, and skirts just below the knee look 1950's or later.  (I highly
recommend The Folk Dress of Europe, by James Snowden, 1979, ISBN
0-8317-3422-1, as a good first book on the subject - lots of pictures.)

The blouse needs some handwork on it, and I'm thinking smocking and some
machine-made bobbin lace on elbow-length sleeves.  The headpiece needs to
cover the fact that my braids won't be long enough, and probably should be
the specific weird shape from my village, with bits of something sewn all
over it, and have a bandana under it all.  The skirt should be between
ankle length and mid-calf length, and the apron a little shorter than
that.  The shoes and stockings I wear with it should push it anywhere from
the early 1800s to the mid-1900s, depending on the event.  (Skirt length
seems to vary without reference to what fashionable women are wearing, and
I'm checking back as far as the late 1700's.)  The skirt gets a band of
several red floral trims together, edged with red ric-rac with just the
points showing.  I have a lot of beads to choose from, and a few metal
necklaces.  The bodice will be conspicuously corded (I am semi-copying a
cool one of these I have, provenance/province unknown) and probably ought
to fasten with chains, or hand-braided cord thru metal rings.

Lots of fun here.  And by next week I may even have the rudiments of my
website up (about #$*%&# time).

Kayta
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