Who Do You Think You Are

Friday, March 21, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. at Norway House

Our March Program guest speaker, Ms. Deb McConaghy did a program based upon the popular TV series "Who Do You Think You Are." Members were requested to complete a tent card where they are from or their family is from in Norway. Then, the fun began with additional activities for members to interactively participate for their region of Norway. At the conclusion of our "TV Show" exercise, Deb showed photos of the bunads for the various regions of Norway that our members' ancestors lived.

She encouraged everyone that has a bunad or folkdrakt to wear them to the meeting.

Photos from the meeting:

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.