Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hanacky Kroj (part of it)

When making a reproduction kroj you will find that it takes a long time. The reproduction of a Kyjov kroj took Sarah and I 1 1/2 years. So far on the Hanacky kroj I have only completed the blouse and the apron but Sarah really wanted to wear it to the Austin Czechs dinner so I made her a simple yellow skirt out of a very beautiful yellow fabric with little sparkles in it. My plan is to make a yellow and/or white skirt with hand embroidery but I do not want to rush it. A reproduction costume can become a family heirloom so take your time. Sarah wore a vest that I made last year. It was a very quick, simple design but made out of a rich, rust-colored brocade with gold accents. So even though it was just a simple vest it really looked great with the apron and blouse. Sarah chose a white belt made out of ribbon from the Czech Republic. I made this belt last year for another costume and was a great accent to this costume.

I found these beautiful buttons at our local fabric store but they were made in the Czech Republic.

Austin Czech Historical Association Dinner-Food

The Austin Czech Historical Association dinner is always wonderful. Great music, fun, friends, dancing, but the best thing is the food. The chef and hostess for the evening was Pavla Van Bibber. She is an amazing lady and really knows how to throw a party.

Austin Czech Historical Association Dinner-Chris & Edita

We were so pleased to see that Chris Rybak was performing at the Austin Czechs dinner. He is Sarah's favorite Czech musician...she has many of his CD's. Ed, Sarah and I met Chris and his beautiful wife, Edita, on an Alaska Polka Cruise in May 2007. They are not only very gifted performers, but the sweetest people you will ever meet. They have a very busy schedule. You can see their schedule on Chris' website:

Would you like to learn Czech culture, the language and the music? Czech out Edita's new website:

Austin Czech Historical Association Dinner

Sarah, Ed and I had a wonderful evening at the Austin Czech Historical Association Dinner on Saturday, September 27, 2008. Here are just a few of the many pictures I took. The event was held at the beautiful Westwood Country Club in Austin, Texas. For more information on the Austin Czech Historical Association, log on to:

Friday, September 12, 2008

I was given a very dear gift, a book on antique embroidery designs. This collection of designs date back to 1858 and were found in an attic, in an old trunk. The collection was published in book form in 1989. The book is wonderful to use with a spiral binding that makes it easy to copy or scan for easy use. The book includes a section of designs specifically for clothing, even vests. I look forward to using it on a costume.

Progress on the Reproduction of Hana Kroj

Well, as some of you know, I am working on a reproduction kroj representing the region known as Hana (see additional posting). I am making progress on it. Currently, Sarah and I are gluing on Swarovski crystals. A friend of ours, Maggie Grmela, suggested using Swarovski crystals because of their clarity and beauty, and she was right. They sparkle and are really beautiful. We will have a few different shapes and sizes. Maggie also suggested this brand of glue because it is made to withstand regular use and even cleanings.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Beautiful Czech Costumes

For anyone who would like to make a Czech costume, an Americanized kroj could be the most practical. The Americanized costumes are truly lovely and, oh so practical. However, if you would like to make a reproduction of an authenthic kroj, the first step is to do your research. Look for books on Czech costumes. I found this one at Westfest at the Czech Heritage Booth. This book is in the McLennan-Hill Czech Heritage Library. I would recommend for you, look in your area for a Czech club or perhaps your local library. Another place could be Ebay. Good luck...don't be afraid to try. A handmade costume can be an heirloom you can pass on for generations. For Sarah and I, it has really been a learning experience. You really appreciate the authentic costumes, when reproducing it. Best of luck...and send me pictures of your costume. Sharon.