Sunday, January 22, 2012

Homemade traditional Bulgarian costume/dress for a girl

I am so proud of myself today, so I had to share.
My son's class is doing presentations on European countries and he chose to do Bulgaria ( well, kind of obvious, but still I am very happy he is interested). So, while  we were discussing the presentation that he is preparing with his classmates, I suggested we bring some visual aid, like traditional pots, tablecloths, souvenirs, rose oil etc. We were talking about traditional Bulgarian clothes and it occurred to me that we can bring my daughter to the presentation, dressed with a traditional Bulgarian costume.
Now, don't think for a moment that I had the costume for her already made. No, no, no! As you can imagine I have absolutely no time for sowing, and there is no way I could buy a traditional dress from anywhere here, so I had to figure something out with what I had on hand.

During the summer I got from Target a thin strap white dress, a white tunic with embroidery and a white skirt with matching embroidery, with the simple idea in mind to combine them to look like a real Bulgarian dress.

Homemade Bulgarian 
Costume01Homemade Bulgarian Costume02
     Homemade Bulgarian Costume03
  Of course, this was only a part of what I needed. I had only 2 hours to finish it ( including going to the store to pick up some things).
So, Super Mom walks in, step aside, please! :-)
 I had a piece of traditional Bulgarian tablecloth, which in design resembles a traditional Bulgarian apron. So, with a little double glue tape, glue gun and some Velcro tape, this is what happened.
Homemade Bulgarian Costume05  Homemade Bulgarian Costume09
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My next very big challenge was the belt, which I had absolutely no idea how to make. These traditional belts are made of engraved iron and are called Пафти ( Pafti) .A trip to Michaels later, I had some wire, couple of extremely large heavy iron pendants, a glue gun, some twine and a lot of courage, I attempted to make something I never would have thought possible- making pafti out of common objects.

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Homemade Bulgarian Costume18  Homemade Bulgarian Costume19
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And that is how the belt looked like when I was finished with. For the sleeve cuffs I used two handmade collars with ribbon.
Homemade Bulgarian Costume21

 Then I started to tackle the head decorations. That proved more challenging because my daughter was very tired at that point and I had to bribe her with some candy.

Homemade Bulgarian Costume24

My poor sick baby was so tired of me at the end of the day that she didn't even want me to take pictures of her. Her nose was so red, like a little Rudolph, but I love her for putting up with all that today and helping her brother out.

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Homemade Bulgarian Costume28

For the head decorations I used ribbon, some feathers, coin ribbon, pom poms and a lot of glue for the hot glue gun. :-)
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So, for not having an actual traditional Bulgarian dress handy, I believe I did pretty awesome. :-) 
What do you think?

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