16 Jul 2012

Sala silver mine

Hello, all! I hope you're enjoying Summer, wherever you are.

I know I have been absent but I promise I haven't completely fallen off the edge of the world, and I have the pictures to prove it!

Johanna, Martin and Isis's Jan

I spent June 29-July 1 in the old mining district just outside the tiny town of Sala.

Sala silver mine was in use for hundreds of years and is today a fascinating monument to the ingenious work and unbelievably hard labour that filled Sweden's coffers for a very long time.

The "bucket" in which the 17th century king Karl XI travelled down into one of the mines...

Gustafs Skål and its members were invited to celebrate the mine's 18th century heritage during a small festival and our main duty was to look nice and smile for a lot of cameras (a job I'd love to have full time!).

Market place

I had a terrific time and the weekend just went by like the wind.

By way of thanks for our participation, Gustafs Skål (and a lot of other volunteers) were treated to a party deep down in one of the mine shafts - 155 meters under ground, to be precise! It was a very interesting experience - a little scary, and a little fascinating. Dark, damp and chilly - I can't even imagine what life would have been for a miner back then!

Head over to Isis blogg for some great (and some hilarious!) photos from inside the mine!

I made a new jacket to wear for this event but I lack pictures of it, so I borrowed the few below from m:lle Caroline, the ever so reliable photographer!

Not the most detailed picture, no.
I based it on the "swallow's tail" jacket from "Costume close-up" but I had just the tiniest piece of a fabric remnant to play with, so I wasn't completely true to the pattern and construction.

That's me to the left! Thank you, Caroline!
I laced it in front over a stomacher, but managed to place the eyelets very awkwardly and not at all evenly spaced - something I didn't notice until after a pretty long time! I don't feel very happy about this, especially since I can't get more of the fabric, but there isn't much I can do about it now.

Here is a bad mobile phone picture of the lovely fabric:
It was a flea market find at its origins are unknown to me.

Again: enjoy summer, everyone! I'll be back with some costume-related posts sooner than you know!


  1. I love your jacket! What I love is being able to take a scrap of fabric and turn it into a fabulous piece. You did that and I am, as usual, so impressed. I love the book 'Close-up'. I wish that we had more 18th century history here in California that would warrant the type of clothing my friends and I make but here the 18th century is more about the Spanish conquest and the missions. Its a wonderful history, don't get me wrong and I have participated in various re-enactments but my heart lies with our 18th century history focused around the colonial times which is back east. Sigh. Anyway, I love seeing everyone celebrating their history. Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. What fun! Enjoyed seeing the photos of the top side of the mine. What a pretty location. The jacket turned out so well. Hooray for scraps that go just far enough...

    Very best,


  3. That jacket looks just right and is a triumph of line. The fact that the cloth is exactly the same pattern (only in pink rather than blue) as the cover to my mother's wing chair only adds to its charm. The cloth is a smooth, lightweight upholstery weave very popular in the 1970s for slipcovers and curtains. The design was copied from eighteenth century English crewlwork and very appropriate for your period. Trying to embroider all that in would be an act of sheer madness of course.

  4. Angela: Still, you and your friends look so lovely in your 18th century costumes. Those are never out of place! Thank you for your kind words!

    Natalie: It was a very nice place with a lot of atmosphere! Hooray indeed - they make frugal but fun projects!

    nokomarie: Wohoo, I'm thrilled that you recognize the fabric! I guessed that it was upholstery stuff but I wouldn't have guessed 70's - at least not Swedish 70's, our tastes in textiles were so horrible back then!

    And as to embroider something like that... No, thanks! I may be mad at times, but not that mad :P

    Lauren R: Thank you very much!

  5. Welcome back! What a cool event. And yes, totally '70s upholstery fabric - the chintz to use if you were going for the heritage look rather than the modern look!