Monday, November 9, 2009

ren faire planning

I've been dreaming and planning of ren faire costumes since our visit last month. I've done tons of research and looked at hundreds of costumes. I've been on forums and boards, and very badly designed sites looking for advice and opinions. What I've discovered is that (and this is something all regular faire-goers know) for the most part, it is frowned upon to make a costume that isn't historically accurate. This is a problem for me, because I like to put my own twist on things. However, I do really like the historical gowns. So, I'm reaching a compromise of sorts.

I've essentially decided to make two costumes. Yep, two. It means a lot of work, but it will satisfy both of my costuming wants. I sketched out this basic costume to start with. I'm basing it on peasant garb and will be using Simplicty 5582 as a base for the skirt and blouse. Instead of a bodice over the blouse, I will be using a corset from McCall's 4861. I plan on this being kind of an adventurer/mercenary costume. Of course, there was no such thing as far as I know historically, so I will be stepping on some people's toes. But I want an interesting costume, damnit! This way I can wear cool boots, and carry weapons, and wear wrist bracers. All the stuff men get to do. But I still want a pretty corset. :)

I drew this sketch up and then went shopping for fabrics. I want to try to be realistic where possible, so no purple fabrics, and as much natural fabric as possible. I'm using an un-dyed slubby muslin for the blouse, a dark blue for the skirt, and I picked up a dark maroon that will possibly be used for an overskirt. For the corset I chose a dark brown twill for the lining and a natural dark brown faux suede for the exterior. I've wobbled back and forth about sewing a bodice that can be changed out or worn over the corset, but we will see. I bought enough of the maroon fabric that I can do so if I decide.

I'm hoping to order a pair of boots like these to go with my outfit, but I don't think it will happen any time soon because they run about $600. However, they are completely custom made, fitted to your individual foot. And of course the colors, materials, and designs are up to you. This particular pair comes from Native Earth, which is the booth I saw at the Texas Ren Faire outside of Houston. I think that they are cool enough that if you chose designs and colors that don't scream ren-faire, (like opting out of the turned down top) you can wear them for street wear as well. The idea of custom shoes on my extremely hard to fit feet makes me giddy. Maybe they'll give me a discount for my tiny feet. :)


Ooh, totally forgot to put up the pictures of the "weapon" I found at the Celtic Festival this weekend. I was looking for daggers to go with my outfit, and came across a booth with a guy that was selling some awesome replica items. He was pulling out pieces, and when he showed me this one, I was already ooh-ing. I was very impressed - and then he pulled it out of the sheath to show.....

Scissors! And I knew I had to have them. For Ren Faire, they will look just like a dagger. And at home, I have gorgeous sewing shears. I danced a little jig, and took them home.

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