Polish National Costume

I don’t do a lot of national costumes but what I like most about them is the research. My client sent me a few pictures of styles she liked and we settled on this one because of it’s beautiful bright colours. It was a terrific opportunity to fire up the embroidery machine.


bodice detail

The bodice is heavily embroidered with flowers and trimmed with gimp braid. The bottom of the bodice has little embroidered tabs. This sits over a gauze apron and floral skirt.


apron detail

More embroidery on the back of the bodice.


back detail

The white blouse has a deep, wide lace collar and puffed sleeves and the headpiece is made of flowers and a long red ribbon to keep it in place.


Polish National Costume

All that is needed is a few strings of red coral beads for a truly authentic look.


Swedish National Costume

Dance eisteddfods in NSW, my home state, don’t have National Character sections in their syllabus, so it’s lovely to get interstate requests for these costumes. I try to make them as authentic as possible but recognising the constraints that some of these costumes have for dance. In this case the long smock style Swedish in the national colours was translated into the dirndl style worn in regional Sweden. I thought that wasn’t stretching the national idiom too far.


starting point

The key characteristics of this costume is a blue dress with white embroidered flowers on the bodice, teamed with a white blouse and a yellow apron patterned with a blue stripe and more flowers.


apron detail

I cheated a little and used organza appliques for the flowers but I think you’ll agree they look sweet.

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corset lacing

For the laced front I put light boning into the bodice opening and inserted corset grommets. The boning helps keep the lacing from tugging at the bodice and maintains a smooth centre front.


Bodice and apron

The colours are very striking together. I also particularly like putting this one together because the colours are those of my favourite football team too! Go the mighty Eels! I digress.


It’s a very sweet little costume.

There is a petticoat to match and the full circle skirt allows for freedom of movement.