Ukrainian Sources

Suzanne M. Cicolani-Czyzowsky
I found you through the South Bay Costumer's Guild web page. Editor Note: The South Bay Costumers' Guild no longer exists. I am interested in obtaining/creating a traditional Ukrainian folk costume. I can't embroider, and am generally limited to button sewing. However, I am willing to give anything a try. I have until October.

I tried Szwede bookstore in Palo Alto; no books with traditional dress. I've tried Neva dance troupe in San Fran; they only create their own needs, and not generally traditional. Any leads?

John Blaker
Didn't Folkwear have something like this? AlterYears may be able to help.

Carolyn Kayta Barrows
Carole - pass on to Suzanne M. Cicolani-Czyzowsky that the folks up at Fort Ross have done a lot of such research. Also that she can always contact her nearest Russian Embassey (nearest to here is San Francisco).

Laurie Satre
I order Ukrainian Easter Egg supplies through a Ukrainian gift shop. I've got all the information at home. They actually sell these embroidered outfits... and they sell all kinds of books on making them, too. Leave me mail at home if you're interested...

Richard Payatt
In regard to your query on Ukranian costumes:

The textile typology for the Ukraine is not one that you are likely to find in the U.S. There are some Russian specialty stores in S.F. and San Jose, but they are unlikely to have what you want. And if they did, you would pay an unseemingly high amount for them. (This is made worse when you consider that one can buy a fabulously beautiful complete outfit over there for about $20 American.)

I have travelled the former Eastern Bloc fairly widely, and have a few samples of textiles from there. (I won't part with them. Sorry.) They don't even weave fabric like that over here. I doubt that you could get such fabric here for a home-made attempt at your outfit.

My best advice: Go to a Greek specialty store like Kyriakos of Hydra, in Ghirardeli Square, in S.F. Get a simple, embroidered cotton shirt, a simple skirt, and a woven fabric belt. It won't cost you too terribly much, and the fabric and pattern typologies are sufficiently similar to pass inspection by anybody but an old Greek, or an old Ukranian.

By the way, what do you need the outfit for? I'm dying of curiosity.

Deborah Gail Choate
I would recommend doing a search with Yahoo or webcrawler for Ukrainian costuming.

Have you tried any patterns by Folkwear? They cover a wide variety of periods and ethnic groups. I've heard rumor that Taunton press is selling the Folkwear portion of the business but that's only a rumor. Lots of specialty pattern companies are still selling Folkwear patterns. The last address I have for folkwear is:

The Taunton Press
63 South Main St.
Box 5506
Newtown, CT 06470-55

I hope this is helpful.

I bought two folk costume patterns, as suggested by one of your members. It was simple enough to follow for a non-sewer such as myself. There was a shirt and sash for my husband and dress and blouse for myself. They were trimmed with a black and red ribbon tape that had a very Ukrainian 'flavor'. I had a flower headband we made in a church craft workshop last year. My husband had black boots into which he stuffed his pants.

We wore the costumes to our church's annual Russian festival in October, which was the usual success; about 3,000 attendees. Perhaps in another year or two we can afford something a little more traditional or elaborate, in the meantime our costumes were attractive and appropriate.

Please extend our thanks to your guild members, once again.

If you have any further information to share about this topic, please e-mail Carole Parker, for inclusion.

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