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.
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.
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.