Estonian folk fashions for children!
Archived Articles 21 Jan 2009 Ellen LeivatEWR
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 - pics/2009/01/22562_1_t.jpg
Now for the first time, the Estonian Ethnographic Society
in Canada is offering courses!

Does your child or grandchild attend the Estonian kindergarten program (lasteaed) Saturday mornings? And you are worried that they cannot participate in the folk costume part of the Lasteaia spring fashion show because they do not have folk costumes? Worry no longer, help is on the way!

Does your child or grandchild attend the Estonian Heritage Language Program (täienduskool) on Monday or Tuesday evenings? And you are worried that they do
not have the necessary folk costume attire to sing in the school choir at Laulupidu in Estonia this summer? Worry no longer, help is on the way!

Yes, the Estonian Ethnographic Society in Canada (EERK) is ready to help you! A four-week course is being offered this spring on the following four Saturdays - February 7th and 21st, March 7th and 21st from 1 pm to 3 pm in the Gallery Hall at the Estonian House at a cost of only $35 for the course.

The Ethnographic Society has the expertise to offer assistance with pattern making and with sewing. For boys – shirts and traditional knee pants – no problem!! And for girls - a shirt can be a shirt or a shirt can be a dress, depending on the length. Belt it up with a beautiful woven belt, and “voila” a shirt becomes a traditional summer folk dress! And if you are unsure how to make ethnographically correct braided drawstrings (näpunöörid) for the shirts or ethnographically correct braided garters (sukapaelad) for the pants, then instruction will be provided in the art of braiding as well.

Planning to sing at Laulupidu this summer, but your folk ensemble is incomplete because you have no apron? For married women the apron is not an accessory but an integral part of the folk costume. The Ethnographic Society can help you with your apron needs – just sign up for the course and your ensemble will be complete in time for Laulupidu.

And here comes the really fun part of the course – stringing glass beads to make necklaces to adorn your folk ensemble. Although glass beads of different sizes and colours have been part of Estonian folk costume ornamentation since the late eighteen hundreds, this particular kind of ornamentation has, until now, not been widely used by Estonians in Canada. But glass beads are pretty and are said to ward off evil spirits and who of us does not want that!

Beads will be provided or participants can bring their own; all fabrics for shirts, pants and aprons to be provided by the participants; sewing machines will be available on site. For further information and to sign up for the course, please contact Helle Arro, 416-449-4209, .

E Leivat, foto M Matsoo
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