Bunads (March 2012)

Saturday, March 24, 2012 at Norway House

Talented seamstress Deb McConaghy from the Norsk Carolina lodge spoke about bunads. Deb also held a Make Your Own Folk Costume workshop on March 24th and 25th.

Wear Your Bunad!

Do you have your own bunad that you’d like to show off? Wear it to the March meeting! Or if it doesn’t fit, just bring it along to display.

About Deb McConaghy

Deb became interested in Bunads because her family owned Norwegian costumes which they wore in the Brooklyn Syttende Mai parade. Her family moved from Brooklyn to Florida in 1967, where they were charter members in the Sarasota Lodge.

Deb’s mother was born in Oslo and she wears the Oslo costume, made from a kit, by her mother and purchased from Steen and Strom department store the year the Oslo drakt debuted in 1947. Deb received her Hardanger bunad around the time she was confirmed.

Deb learned to construct Hardanger bunads about fifteen years ago and has now made five. Given the warm climate in Florida & North Carolina, Deb started making cotton or linen everday folk costumes (drakt) about ten years ago. She has now made about a dozen drakt. Deb has also helped bunad owners alter and/or restore vintage bunads. She is able to conceal moth holes, expand the size of garments and generate missing pieces of costumes.

Deb’s mother taught her how to sew over forty years ago. Her grandmother taught her how to knit and do needlepoint. Sewing is her passion. She loves quilting, smocking and all types of sewing. She tries to sew some each day, but work sometimes gets in the way. She claims that “fabric seems to be hiding in all the nooks and crannies of my house and I have a very patient husband with all my sewing machines (5) and so many trims, supplies, fabrics, threads, etc.” Deb is undaunted and even learned to do a little hardanger embroidery by hand. She is also resourceful and figured out how to recreate hardanger embroidery for use in aprons and such, using her embroidery machine.

Deb has a collection of books about bunads and has spent extensive time researching bunads online.
She has created a power point slide show which she will share with our lodge which is a feast for the eyes. Deb has also created a notebook she will share with us which contains the history of bunads and bunad accessory specifications of approx.45 individual bunads from fifteen different regions. Deb plans to continue to expand this volume.