Every troop is assigned a different country and they wear costumes, put on a performance, exchange SWAPS, and share food from their given country. I have shared our previous year’s Thinking Day ideas for the countries of India and Guatemala (which were the counties we were assigned in previous years.)
This year, we have the pleasure of representing the wonderful country of ICELAND.
I am once again responsible for the costumes, which are very similar to costumes from other Scandinavian countries:
In fact, this costume would be great if you were assigned not only Iceland, but also Norway, Denmark, Finland or even Switzerland, Germany, Poland etc. Since all of those countries have had (at some point) traditional clothing with similar patterns or motifs. It would definitely be passable for Thinking day!
To create my own version of the costume, I had some tough requirements. My knockoff costume needed to fulfill 3 criteria:
1. It had to be easy to make: I need to make a dozen of them so it couldn’t take me hours and hours to make each one.
2. It had to be inexpensive: We are only going to use them once and the supplies come out of troop cookie money, so I didn’t want to spend more than a few dollars per girl.
3. It had to be adjustable for fitting: The girls in our troop vary widely. Instead of making different sized costumes for each girl, I wanted to make something that was flexible in it’s sizing.
And here is what I came up with:
I knew I could have the girls wear white shirts and dark bottoms, so I just focused on the lace aprons.
I used Simplicity Pattern 2555 “A” as the basis for the apron (with slight modifications). It is the child sized apron on the left:
For each one I needed red and black solid fabric (I used broadcloth at $1.99/yard) and costume lace ($3.99 yard)
White Easy Weed Heat Transfer Vinyl (I used (2) 12x14 sheets for 12 aprons)
The original apron pattern is made up of a skirt section, the strap, the bib and the facing.
I didn’t use the facing, instead I just hemmed the edge of the bib. To get the look of the laced front panel I wanted to make the bib two colors instead of a solid single color. So I split the bib pattern piece and added seam allowances on the cut line.
Because the original pattern has you placing the pattern pieces on the fold I created a whole new template and/or cut out the pieces in duplicate.
This is what I ended up with. Two outer sections of the bib (red), the center of the bib (black) and the skirt of the apron (lace) When I sewed the bib back together down the cut lines, this is what I ended up with:Then I attached the lace by hand gathering it as I sewed it on. You can see I used a zig zag stitch to prevent the lace from tearing out. Finally, I created the straps. Using 2 inch wide strips, sew into and tube and turned with a large safety pin. I needed four strips per apron. two shorter ones for the neck and two for the waist. I folded over the edges to form the hem and sewed in the straps: Here is the final apron. I didn’t finish the edges of the lace because it wasn’t fraying. If I had long term plans to reuse these aprons I may have considered it, but they didn’t need it for this purpose. Finally, to make it look like the traditional lace up bodice, I cut out some ‘laces’ and embroidery from heat transfer vinyl on my Silhouette Machine. If you haven’t worked with HTV before it is really cool stuff. It comes on a sticky heat resistant plastic sheet.You just stick it down, iron it.. ..and peel away the plastic transfer sheet.
Of course, if you don’t have a Silhouette machine or HTV, you can always use something like fabric paint or even just sew down some thin ribbon.
My 1st grader seemed to like it and I got the seal of approval.
The total cost (per apron) was about $3. It took me a little less than a day to make all 12 costumes.
We are going to have the cutest little group of Icelandic kids ever!