Making a Tinn bunad, part 3: the skirt (stakken)

I have good news and bad news.

The good news is: making the skirt itself is easy.

The bad news is: making the embroidered border (rosesaum) for the hem will test that material of which you are made.

Sorry for dropping off the face of the earth; I was making this bunad, and I have this to say: I am in no way qualified to explain this incredibly complex and taxing process in any sort of reputable manner. This is a job for a professional. Truth.

That said, and assuming you’re still here, here’s the next step. (If you missed the first and second posts, check them out.) This is the way I made the skirt, but I will update this post in the future to say more about how this skirt is supposed to be made. But this will do for now.

The skirt will require about 3 meters of black wool melton, like the one made by Marcus Brothers. Hancock of Paducah sells it, as does Fabric.com. It can also be ordered from Norway through Tekstil.com (Bunadsklede: sort ull 11-09) and this is the most correct and preferred source, actually. If you want pockets, you’ll need a little more, like 1/4 yard/meter. Plus you’ll need a bit more for all the embroidery pieces: probably about 4 meters total for everything.

The skirt. I made my skirt before I met Rena Aandalen who lives in Rjukan, Norway. I met her through Instagram and she told me the basics of the simple pattern I will give below. (She was generous with her bunad knowledge and told me a WHOLE LOT of other things, but more on that later.) As a result of having to guess about a skirt pattern, mine has a set-in waistband and a back zipper. However, I like it because the pockets fall right where the edge of the apron hits. I used Simplicity #1369, made to the length that falls at my ankle. (I had to add 5 inches plus hem.)

Remember that this skirt’s top edge should hit ABOVE your natural waistline by just a bit- right at the base of your ribs.

Here are Rena’s basic bunad skirt instructions:Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 9.48.16 PM
If making pockets, fold the fabric in half, leaving an extra 1/4 meter to one side, cut the 3 meters into two 1.5 meter pieces, cut 4 pocket shapes from the spare 1/4 meter, sew up the side seams to include the pockets on the inside. For both styles, make an elastic waistband by folding the top edge over twice: once just a little, iron it, then fold over more- enough to cover the width of your elastic, iron, sew, insert elastic, hand-stitch seam. Hem the skirt so that it reaches just above your ankles. Simple bunad skirt. Done.

Almost.

The border. Cut strips that are about 12cm/5 inches wide, stitching them together (and ironing the seam flat) to make a strip that is about 100in/254cm long: enough to go around the hem of the skirt plus some for the joining together. You’ll want to measure the hem to make sure your border is the right length. The embroidery itself will only be about 4-5cm wide (about 1.5-2 inches). Baste around the borders of the embroidery area.

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On paper, design a pattern* that is as long as some fraction of the length. My skirt hem was about 254cm long and my pattern was 11cm, which meant I had to repeat it about 23 times. If you mark off each design-length section with a chalk pencil, remarking as needed, it should work. (Or you could baste those markings.) Adjust your embroidering as needed as you go. Note: it’s a very good investment to buy a goose-necked LED work light for this part. I began the skirt border in January and finished it in March and there were a lot of late nights.

When the border is done (celebrate!), fold the edges under the strip, leaving about 1-2cm of black wool on each side, iron it, and pin it around the hem, leaving the final seam open. Flip that seam so that rights sides are together and stitch by machine or hand. Flip back over and apply any joining embroidery that might be needed in your design. Pin. Stitch the top of the embroidered border to the skirt by machine.

Make a green edging piece by cutting 4in/10cm wide strips of the green melton wool you will be using for the vest (Marcus Dublin green, also from the above US sources) and stitching them together to make a strip long enough for the hem. Iron the seams flat. Pin the green to the bottom edge of the embroidered border, right sides together so that the green covers the embroidery. You’re going to stitch it on the underside of the green and then fold the green down over the skirt hem to make a slim edging, fold the raw edge over twice on the underside of the skirt, pin, then stitch it again from the front in the gutter of the first seam using black thread so that it catches the green in the back. Easy, right? Actually, it’s not so bad.

Aaaand, you’re done! (With the skirt!)

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Up next: *Rosesaum: how the pattern of the embroidery is designed and implemented. Stay tuned because this is the key to and the signature of a Tinnbunad.

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2 thoughts on “Making a Tinn bunad, part 3: the skirt (stakken)

  1. Pingback: Rosesaum: Norwegian floral-style embroidery | Thirty Marens Agree

  2. Pingback: Making a Tinn bunad, part 1: backstory and overview | Thirty Marens Agree

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