The folk dress (dräkt) worn by Tim and Kathy is from the province of Blekinge, in the southeastern corner of Sweden. Blekinge, along with the provinces of Skåne and Halland, passed from Denmark to Sweden in 1658, and in common with their Danish cousins, the dräkt of the Blekingar is eclectic. Thus, it bears elements of imported fashion as well as from local tradition. Many of Tim's ancestors hailed from the area surrounding Jämjö, in eastern Blekinge, and for that reason, Tim and Kathy have chosen to wear Blekingedräkt. The provincial colors are pink and baby blue, and are reflected in the folk dress. Both Tim's and Kathy's attire are formal, festive costumes that were designed using old garments as patterns, mainly from the Medelsta region of Blekinge.
Kathy’s dräkt is one of a number of provincial variants from the eastern portions of the province.
Kathy's blouse (överdel) is of finely woven, soft cotton, with delicate white embroidery, topped with a separate, embroidered collar. Both the sleeves and the collar are edged in lace.
The vest (livstycke) is of silk brocade, and is light blue with floral highlights of pink, yellow and green. Pink, blue and green floral brocade ribbon, matching Tim’s hatband, outlines the edges of the garment, except the bottom, where a gold cord finishes the edge. Both the blouse and the livstycke were sewn in Karlskrona by Irma Enarsson in 1999.
The shawl (schal) is of dark blue silk, with highlights of pink, green and yellow. The second shawl is also silk, but the colors are more subtle: gold, green and red. Both shawls came from Blekinge Hemslöjden in Karlskrona, in 1998 and 2000 respectively.
The collar, blouse and shawl portions of Kathy’s costume are held together by a pewter brooch (brosch) with three small discs suspended from the bottom arc. The letters IHS (i Hans servis/In His Service) are inscribed in relief on its face.
The apron (förkläde) is pink, blue and white striped, and is of heavy, but soft, hand woven cotton. The brooch and apron, purchased in 1985, represent the first two pieces of Kathy’s dräkt.
The skirt (kjol) is of heavyweight, hand-woven wool, and is plum (lila) in color. Even though the skirt is officially plum, the folds emanate a dark blue haze, creating a shade of the provincial blue. The plum-colored wool skirt is an alternative to the dark blue skirt seen in many Blekingekvinnodräkt. The silk brocade band at the bottom of the skirt is green in color with highlights of pink and yellow.
Kathy’s purse (löslömma) was made and purchased in Karlskrona in 2000. The purse matches the silk brocade of her vest, and attaches to the waistband of her skirt with a pewter clasp.
The bow-shaped brooch (brosch) on Kathy’s collar is a piece crafted in Våmhus, Dalarna. Kathy offered her own pony tail (cut in 1960) to the hair weavers, and the result was this work of art.
The crocheted cap "styvmösse" is of cotton, and was made in the late 1920s by Tim’s grandmother (mormor--born in Hjälmsryd, Blekinge) for Tim’s morther. The second, more formal, headgear is an antique found in a dockside shop in Karlskrona in 2000.
The final dräkt piece added was the shoes, custom made at Ekströms Skotillverkning EFT in Falun, in the province of Dalarna. Kathy calls these her “princess shoes”, since Mr. Ekström also has made costume shoes for the Swedish crown princess Viktoria. Between Ascension Day and St. Michael’s Day, white stockings are worn. The rest of the year dark blue is the proper stocking color.
Tim’s double-breasted wool vest or waistcoat (mansväst) was made to Tim’s specifications in 1998, and is a purple smoke color, with vertical stripes of pink, white, yellow, dark blue and green, and is made of hand woven wool. It is lined with tightly woven linen, and buttoned with a double row of pewter buttons. The mansväst is completely hand made, including hand-sewn buttonholes.
The yellow knee pants (knäbyxor) are of moleskin cotton, a common substitute for the older chamois leather, and the leg bands (strumpeband) are hand-woven cotton in yellow, blue, red and white. The byxor were purchased in 1996. The knee bands (strumpeband) were obtained from Blekinge Hemslöjd in Karlskrona in 1998. The brass buttons (knappar) adorning the front and sides of the pants, Swedish Naval uniform buttons, were purchased from an antique store in Karlskrona in 1989.
The navy blue wool socks (strumpor) were obtained from the Blekinge Hemslöjd in 1998. White socks may be worn when Kathy changes from blue to white stockings on Ascension Sunday, but the blue socks appear again after St. Michael’s day (shortly after the fall equinox). Unseen, but giving support to the knäbyxor, are navy blue suspenders.
The soft, finely woven cotton shirt (skjorta) was purchased in kit form in 1985 from the Hemslöjd in Karlskrona, and features a stand-up collar. It was sewn in 1989, and contains white embroidered cuffs and chest plaque, in addition to embroidered initials “THC” and the date of assembly. The red cotton kerchief (halskläde) was purchased from the Blekinge Hemslöjd in 1998, and another identical scarf, but green in color, was purchased in the summer of 2000.