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Easy DIY Scandinavian Costumes (For Thinking Day)

If you have a daughter in the Girl Scouts (or Girl Guides), you may realize that World Thinking Day is right around the corner (February 22nd).  If you don’t have a Girl Scout, let me explain what Thinking Day is.  It is an annual celebration when troops get together and learn about the different cultures and traditions of nations around the world.

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:
Iceland Costumes
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:

Make Your Own Scandanavian Costumes
I knew I could have the girls wear white shirts and dark bottoms, so I just focused on the lace aprons.
Easy Scandanavian Thinking Day Costume
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)
Supplies for thinking day costume
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.  Paper pattern for apronTo 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.
Expanding a clothing pattern to add colorsBecause 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. Modifying paper pattern for apron
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) Fabric for costume apronWhen I sewed the bib back together down the cut lines, this is what I ended up with:Multi color bodice on apronThen 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. Sewing Lace on Apron with ZigZag stitchFinally, 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. Turning fabric tubes out for strapsI folded over the edges to form the hem and sewed in the straps: Sewing on Straps on ApronHere 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. Lace apron for costumeFinally, 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.  Cutting HTV on Silhouette MachineIf you haven’t worked with HTV before it is really cool stuff.  It comes on a sticky heat resistant plastic sheet.Heat Transfer Vinyl Faux LacingYou just stick it down, iron it.. Heat Transfer Vinyl as Faux Embroidery..and peel away the plastic transfer sheet.
Using heat transfer vinyl on costumeOf 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.
DIY Iceland CostumeMy 1st grader seemed to like it and I got the seal of approval.
Iceland Finland Sweden Norway or German Thinking Day Costumes
The total cost (per apron) was about $3.  It took me a little less than a day to make all 12 costumes. German or Norway Costumes
 We are going to have the cutest little group of Icelandic kids ever!

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