Since I won’t have the spedetröja finished in time for Midsummer’s Eve tomorrow, I’ve made a stomacher to fill in the wide opening in front. Stomacher doesn’t really seem like the right word, but it’ll have to do, the purpose is the same. In Swedish this particular piece of clothing (at least when talking about folk costumes) is called a bröstduk or bröstlapp, which could be translated with bosom cloth. It’s embroidered with glass beads in red, white and black, and both the colours and pattern is inspired by a picture of one I saw. The beads are sewn on with grey linen thread, like on one in Nordiska Museet. The material is black velvet sewn to green wool, and between them are a few layers of newspaper glued together with glue made from flour. Most period bröstdukar where stiffened with newspaper, but one or two had love letters sewn into them. Sweet. Rose coloured silk decorates the top.

The sewing along the edges and back looks crude, but it’s not supposed to be seen, and is also true to the examples I’ve seen pictures of.

The embroidery is really simple, compared with most bröstdukar. Most of them have a pattern of stars, hearts and flowers, but unlike the one I used as inspiration, most have beads in blues, greens, reds and whites, and using different kinds of beads. Like the one I used for inspiration, I have my initials and the year embroidered on it. A bit hard to see, unless you know what it says… First it says SAD and below that 2010.

Now, there is a problem: I haven’t been able to find any pictures of bröstdukar from my area. They weren’t worn at the same time as the spedetröja, but I have read that they did exist. The spedetröja were not always worn during the very hottest days in summer, and the bodice had to be filled in with something else. So, what to do when you can’t find the right thing? You look at what was worn by others, close by. If you go a few miles to the east, there are plenty of bröstdukar to be found, and I used one of those for inspiration. It doesn’t feel quite right, but it’ll have to do for now. I will much prefer to wear the costume with the spedetröja

I have resewn the hems and waistband on my apron, with linen thread this time. It looks so much better now.

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