Back in 2012 I made a wool dress based on folk costumes from the very south of Sweden. These dresses were called livkjolar, literally “bodiced skirts”, and were worn over long sleeved linen shifts. I liked the dress, but after a few years, it needed a makeover, which I undertook at the beginning of 2019.
The biggest problem was the bodice being too tight, making me spill out of it. Breastfeeding can do that to a woman, and it’s not pretty. To sort this problem out, I made an insert of the same green wool as the skirt, pleated for visual interest. It’s stitched to one side of the bodice opening, but hooks down the other side.
I had originally made the skirt shorter than I liked it to be, as I did not wish to stand out too much (how I thought a shorter skirt would make a dress like this less odd I’ll never know), but now approaching comfortable middle age when you care little for the opinions of others, I decided to lengthen it. I love long skirts. The hem was neatly faced, and I did not wish to waste that effort, so I cut the skirt off and inserted a strip of the fabric.
To hide the joins, I made decorative tucks. I also added a pocket, because obviously you must have pockets.
I love how the livkjol came out and have worn it frequently during the colder months since.
In fact, I like it so much that I recently made another wool dress from the same pattern, and have considered making a summer version in linen and/or cotton.