I think I must be mad …

Honestly, why do I put myself up for these things??

For those of you who don’t live in Wales, we have just celebrated St David’s Day.  If, like me you work in a primary school, that means Welsh Dragon pictures everywhere, leeks, cawl (lamb & vegetable soup) for dinner, Eisteddfods (song, poetry & dance competitions) and, most importantly, little girls dressed in Welsh costumes.

Chloe in Welsh Costume around 2002

Chloe in Welsh Costume around 2002

A few of the teachers mentioned that they’d like to dress up on the day too but adult costumes can’t be bought “off the peg” and cost upwards of £150 to have made specially.  So of course I said “I’ll make some ready for next year for you”.  Nice idea but where on earth am I going to get a pattern???
After a lot of fruitless searching of pattern catalogues I decided to get some proper advice.  I emailed St Fagins, National Museum of Welsh Life who suggested I contact The National Wool Museum in Drefach-Felindre.  Apparently they make the traditional fabric there and also “made to order” costumes so they may be able to help with a pattern. 
I also emailed “Sewing World” magazine.  Julie Bonnar, the Assistant Editor, got straight back to me with suggestions of patterns I could adapt.  Many thanks Julie!  And of course Babs, my lovely tutor, had lots of good ideas too – she suggested using a simple kimono pattern and adapting that to suit. 
I’ve now got about 11 months to work on this project ~ I’ll keep you posted.

3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    topstitched said,

    This pic took me right back – my grandparents come from Ebbw Vale and of My mum sews and so my sister and I both had little traditional Welsh costumes just like this. I remember the hats particularly as my Nan gave them to us. We had plaid woolen shawls rather than paisley ones (and mine is still in the dressing up box now used by my children),
    Good luck with your pattern search – maybe try http://www.thesewingforum.co.uk the very resourceful bunch of people there may also have some suggestions

  2. 2

    busyfingers101 said,

    Many thanks for the suggestion Tracy – I’ll certainly give that a try.

  3. 3

    Pamela Jones said,


    I hope you managed your costumes in time.

    My grand daughter had a costume but the skirt was too small my daughter informed me. So …… a new skirt was made in time for St David’s Day 2012.

    Oh dear – she didn’t tell me about the betcwm. The photo told it all!!!!

    I have spent all weekend looking for the fabric so I can purchase and sew in time for next year!

    I like the idea of using the kimono pattern. Thanks.

    I should add that when I was younger and when my daughter was younger it was just a red skirt, apron, hat and shawl – so much easier to put together.
    Asda, Tesco etc. have a lot to answer for – new costume every year and everyone looking alike. (they must be making a mint). What has happened to imagination and individuality not to mention ‘fabrics made in Wales?

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