kareina: (me)
Last year I took the hair that my knight sent me when he cut off his pony tail and quickly attached it as two braids to a strip of cloth which could be quickly wrapped around my head and pinned on. When combined with a head scarf, as in this folk dance costume, it worked just fine, and took very little of my time to set it up in the first place, and even less to put on. However, the head scarf is very necessary to cover the brown cloth to which the braids were attached, and the lump at the base of the neck where they attached, and my own hair, which is, sadly, too short to make decent braids anymore (these days they reach only past my collar bones without help).

This year's folk dancing performances we are doing things a bit differently than in past years--we are doing it as a story--two young ladies in Norrbotten have decided to travel and see a bit of Sweden, stopping in various places and learning the local folk dances. Therefore, to give the effect of having arrived somewhere new we are doing quick "costume" changes in between each dance. By "quick", I mean changing from one head scarf to another, or taking off a head scarf and putting on a shawl, or changing from one shawl to another--each new shawl or headscarf in typical colours/patterns for the new area.

Therefore my hasty braid additions simply won't work--taking off and putting on scarves would likely cause the headband to also come off, and it wouldn't look good for the dances where our heads are (scandalously) bare. Therefore I have decided to modify the braids to make them work without a head cover.

The hair had, years ago, been divided into many small clumps, each of which were glued together at one end, and I hand bundled half of them into each braid for the quick extension. Today I unbundled them, divided them into six piles of more or less the same number of clumps of hair (10 to 12 per pile). I carefully trimmed off part of the stiff glued end (taking care to leave enough of the glue to keep the clump holding together, and then begin sewing each clump individually onto a small scrap of dark brown linen, each slightly offset from the one before so that the lumpy bit where the glue is winds up as narrow as possible.

Once the glued end of each batch of 10/12 hair clumps was totally covered with the brown linen and holding together securely I then sewed them to some blue and white hair ribbons, which I had previously sewn together at one end in sets of three.

I had enough time tonight to complete one full set of braids--three strands of the blue and white ribbon, from which three batches of hair hang. Now I can braid this into my hair and I once again have waist length braids, which looks ever so much better with my folk dance costume.

With luck I will get the second braid done tomorrow, so I can test the braids on Sunday's rehearsal, and then our first performance will be on Nationaldag, on Tuesday.

edited to add: I never did remember to get a photo, but one of my friends got one of me dancing, where one can kinda see the braids.
kareina: (me)
Years ago, my boyfriend from when I lived in Oregon (to whom I am still squired in the SCA, never mind that he is inactive, and I haven't seen him in person since I visited on my way to Italy in 2009) sent me his ponytail when he cut it off, since he had only started growing his hair out because I liked it.

These days, probably due to the dry climate here, my hair has gotten so short that my braids are no longer visible when wearing my head scarf from my Swedish folk dance costume.

Therefore, I just got out his hair from the drawer in which it was stored, braided it and sewed it to a band of fabric. Now I can wrap the band around my head and pin it into place, then cover my head with the folk dance costume scarf, and the braids hang out long enough to show.

To make it even more fun, his hair is a fairly typical Swedish dark blond colour. Therefore, when I am getting my Swedish pin on Monday (National Dag) to commemorate my becoming a Swedish Citizen last year, I will look more Swedish than I do without his braids. :-)

Would I rather my hair were still long enough to show under the scarf? Yes, of course I do. But since it isn't, I may as well borrow his, he isn't using it anyway.
kareina: (stitched)
At the Known World Dance event in Germany in April there will be a Grand Masque and Costume Ball, held celebrating famous lovers of legend and history. While costumes are not required, they are welcome. I haven't made much of a study of famous lovers of legend or history, so I am open to suggestion: Who are your favorites? Why? What would a costume representing them look like? Or, what item could one carry which was symbolic of them? Bonus points for being so easy we can complete the prep work in 30 minutes or less...

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