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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Costume Saga

Continuing with the Medieval Costume Saga, so now I had my muslin pattern for my tunic. It fit, and I made sure the neck opening was large enough for my head, which was a concern. There were no zippers in medieval times, of course, just laces, and I knew I didn't want to deal with laces and hand-made buttonholes, so had to make sure I could pull the garment over my head.
Now it was time to buy the material. SCA members, for the most part, are a knowledgeable bunch when it comes to their garb, and I wanted to be able to wear this to SCA events too. I knew by now what color dyes were used, and that colors were limited. Another caveat: I couldn't wear purple (reserved for royalty) and I didn't want white (soils too easily). I called around town, and found no one had any linen. (Synthetics, by the way, are of course not period). Even JoAnn Fabrics had no linen. I looked on ebay, and Voila! I could get five yards (more than enough) of moss green, which was a good color. I bid, and won, so for less than $20 I got some lovely linen.
The next day, I laid it out on my cutting table (actually the bar counter in my kitchen) and used my Black & Decker cutters (a Christmas gift which I love) to cut out my tunic. After cutting it out, I decided it needed some glitz and glitter. Green linen can look awfully drab.
I went back to ebay, and this time got a scrap of copper-toned linen for neckline and sleeve trim. Halfway through the sewing, I knew I wanted something else, some kind of dressy trim on the copper linen. All the patterns showed trim, and I found some that was green and copper. I sewed it on, and then decided I wanted a few sparkles. The Costume Pageant at the Historical Novel Society conference is at night, after all, so I decided on some teensy Swarovski sew-on crystals.
Except for whipping down the collar and cuffs, and hemming the floor-length tunic, I'm finished. My hat, though, is the most fun—and another story altogether. To read about the HNS conference in June, go to


P.L. Parker said...

Very creative. I used to sew all my dance costumes when I was the choreographer/teacher/dancer in a troupe years ago. I loved creating them.

P. L. Parker

Mary Ricksen said...

I couldn't sew to save my life. But I am so impressed when I see someone who can. I hope you have the best of times at your event.

Helen Pilz said...

Very creative to keep improving the costume as you go along! I've envisioned a Tudor gown (Anne Boleyn or Elizabeth I) but I'll be buying since I can't remember where I put the needle. What? I need threat too?
Good on you and have fun at the conference!

Joyce Moore said...

Helen: I loved the sleeves (and gown) on your Henry VIII book. Now that sounds like a book I'd enjoy! What a clever turn on that infamous Tudor! Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment! You don't have long to wait for that release now!

Joyce Moore said...

Patsy: I left you a note on your web page. Thanks for stopping by!

Joyce Moore said...

Mary: Appreciate you taking time to stop by. Always nice to hear from you. Thanks for the comments!

Jen Childers said...

you will model the finished product for us won't you?
I would love to see a pic.
I love the costumes but I don't have the skill to make them.
very impressive.
have a great time at the event and give us pix of that too.
sheesh, am I bossy enough?
sounds fun

Nightingale said...

I can't sew on a button but the picture on the blog looks beautiful. I used to do English Civil War reenacting.