My Askola skirt

My Askola folk skirt

This time my Askola folk costume gets a skirt. For that, I used my hand-woven fabric and sewed the whole thing by hand like it was traditionally done. The folk skirt itself is pretty simple. It’s a basic rectangle skirt with three metres of fabric pleated to the waistband. I had just about enough fabric as my 1 metre wide fabric shrank when I took it out from the loom.

Here is the video on making the skirt:

If you look at the extant skirt in the National Museum, you can see a stripe of linen fabric between the waistband and the skirt. My skirt doesn’t have that, as it has been added probably to lengthen the skirt at some point. As the vest covers the top of the skirt, it makes sense to add length just below the waistband rather than add a strip to the hem.


I love how the skirt turned out. I must admit that it is very warm now during the summer and it will be much nicer to wear during the winter. The hand-woven fabric has just the right amount of body to have the skirt drape well. I also wear a sturdy linen petticoat underneath.

The only problem that I sometimes have with this skirt is that it is heavy and tends to creep downwards. I may have to add some suspenders to keep it sitting at my waist level as I don’t want to make the waistband any tighter. Still, suspenders are not unheard of in Finnish folk costumes and they will be hidden under the vest anyway.

The vest is then the next project. Compared to the skirt, the vest has much more work as it has pad-stitching, lining, and hidden cord closure. Follow me to see how I make those!

Happy sewing!


I am a mother of two. I sew, knit and create and blog about it.


  • Isabella

    This is gorgeous and has inspired me to get my loom out of the shed. I have two questions –
    1. How much fabric do you need to weave?
    2. My loom is only 80cm. Would it make a big difference to use a striped warp and have more seams? Or would it be better to add a panel at the top like the museum piece?

    Also, given that I’m Australian with Irish, English and Swedish ancestry, should I even be aspiring to something Finnish?
    I will eventually make Swedish garb, but not till I’ve done the research to find out where they actually came from.
    I found you while in bed with covid, and it’s been a wonderful distraction, but it strikes me now that making Finnish garb might be cultural appropriation if traditions I’m not entitled to, especially given the history of Sweden/Finland…

    • kk

      Hi, Isabella! Three metres is enough for most but you can add a bit extra as the fabric will shrink a bit when you take it out from the loom. Some bigger women make skirts out of four metres but it is your choice. I’d rather add a bit to the top. The warp is supposed to be linen or cotton. A wool warp can’t take that much beating as those stronger fibres and you can’t weave the fabric tight enough if you switch the warp and the weft. However, if you aren’t planning to make an exact copy, I know that Estonian folk fabrics are often made in the way you describe. The weave is usually twill, though. I wouldn’t worry about cultural appropriation here. The Finnish culture is not a culture that is under any kind of threat and you are definitely not trying to take advantage of us! It’s cultural appreciation! This costume is from the time that Finland had just been separated from Sweden. I definitely can’t tell Finnish and Swedish costumes apart if they aren’t any of the popular ones! You could check the folk skirt in Nordiska Museet. They have a very nice digital collection and I often visit them for inspiration. Finland and Sweden have a very long history together.

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