Every year my university hosts Lighting of the Green, a big event for the Nashville community. Last year, they asked the theater department to provide characters to walk around. Since I'm the only person in the department who sews a lot (and I have a TON of costumes), I dressed everyone in Disney and Dickens costumes and we had a ball. It was freezing and we were rather disorganized, but it was fun.
This year, they want everyone in colonial-era clothing. I was told this on Thursday, November 12th. We already had 20+ people signed up. So I was like "sure, I can get everyone dressed." Come to find out, there was very little in the costume shop that I could pull. I had three dresses, a couple pairs of knee britches, and one super awesome faux leather frock coat and britches set. That was all.
So I pulled what I could from my collection. Still not much. My costumes are more Victorian than colonial. So what do I do to solve it? I decide to sew everything. Now I have to make:
-a blue and gold pet en l'air and petticoat
-a brown plaid shortgown and petticoat
-a blue gown and pinner apron
-a pink and white chemise a la reine
-a purple stomacher gown and purple pansy print petticoat (say that ten times fast)
-a blue-gray-lavender taffeta frock gown
-a blue and white lacy stomacher gown and petticoat
-an aqua floral gown with faux panniers
-a red and white striped zone front gown and petticoat
-a pink satin stomacher gown and petticoat
-a chemise, two petticoats, and a yellow velvet gown
-a cream and maroon floral gown and striped petticoat
-four pairs of knee britches (caramel, gray, brown, and cream)
-six pinner caps
I started the day I received the assignment by pulling all sorts of fabric from my stash that I knew I wasn't going to use, and then made a MASSIVE JoAnn's run (thank goodness I'm not paying for it!). Now I have all of Thanksgiving break to sew. Some of the steps, like the closures on the stomachers, will have to wait until November 30th when I'm back on campus so I can fit the pieces properly to the people wearing them. Therefore, the pieces I'm posting are only parts of the ginormous work in progress.
The first piece I finished was a pair of caramel colored knee britches.
I used a pattern piece for pajama pants to get the leg shape, then made cuffs so they would taper at the bottom. I'm not going for complete historical accuracy, because these costumes will probably be used in later shows, and the pieces need freedom of movement and accessibility for quick changes. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)
Yesterday, I finished two outfits: the blue and gold pet en l'air and the brown plaid shortgown.
Apparently "pet en l'air" translates as "fart in the air." Who knew?
I modified Simplicity 4092 for the bodice. The sleeve cuffs are lined in the same gold satin as the stomacher and the petticoat (which isn't pictured). I'm using my sister's mannequin Flora (named after the fairy in Sleeping Beauty) and she has only a 32" bust, which is much, much smaller than all the pieces I'm making, so please forgive the bagginess.
This is the back of the brown plaid shortgown. I wanted to show off the tabs on the hem. The front closes with white frog loops. I also finished the matching green petticoat (the plaid is brown, orange, yellow, and green). The bodice was from Simplicity 4092, but I cannot tell a lie...the dress was based on this:
Up next: the blue pinner gown, the blue floral pinner apron, and the pink and white chemise a la reine!