How A Ukrainian Costume
Was Made By My Mom

by Olga

Ukrainian Costume

Ukrainian Costume

I spent my childhood in the Ukraine, where every Ukrainian family had Ukrainian costumes. When I came to Canada, I found this to be the case here, too. Ukrainians are proud of their heritage.

We were Russians, new to the culture and to the town. In short, we were starting from scratch. I had a party at school, where I had to wear a Ukrainian outfit to play my part.

What you probably find hard to imagine is that at that time, there was no fabric at the stores. None, whatsoever, with the exception of several lame prints of cotton. Communism did not kick in yet, socialism was not all that abundant. Costumes at the souvenir stores were extremely expensive, so a simple Soviet engineer was not able to afford it. ( Sounds crazy, eh?)

A Ukrainian outfit includes a cross-stitch embroidered blouse, pleated skirt, and a complicated head-wear with flowers and ribbons.

My mom always loved sewing.

She shocked me by going to the souvenir store for tourists and buying 4 Ukrainian wedding towels. The towels are used to serve bread to the newlyweds (or to the famous guests to the town). They were not embroidered but printed in national Ukrainian patterns.

In two days, both my mom and I had beautiful blouses. From the distance they looked richly embroidered.

We kept our outfits for years as they were only used a couple of times a year; and when I came to Canada, my daughter had my blouse in her luggage.

Now if this is not a carbon-friendly frugal idea, I don't know what is!

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