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Topic: Help me, REN FAIRE costumers? Simplicty 4940 accuracy?  (Read 2160 times)
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when_im_sixty4
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« on: June 09, 2009 05:34:06 PM »

I've purchased S4940 http://www.simplicity.com/dv1_v4.cfm?design=4940 with the intention of making it for next years RenFaire- mostly because it goes up to a 26. (I'm posting here because my question isn't size related, though. Hope thats okay!)

So- I'm trying to research the, eh, appropriateness of this pattern: What period it might be from, what fabrics would work (I'm trying to avoid the horrid stretch velvet that's recommended on the back), what colors?  Huh And I'm getting nowhere fast!

I like view A for the collar, but what I was really hoping to do was view B, but replace the 'vest' with the waist cincher- view E- (called a corset on the pattern sleeve) from this pattern http://www.butterick.com/item/B5371.htm?tab=costumes&page=1 that a friend gave me.

So, how badly am I screwing this up?  Wink

**moved from "general" after I remembered there's actually a board for costumes**
« Last Edit: June 09, 2009 05:44:20 PM by when_im_sixty4 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2009 06:40:32 PM »

The pattern you picked is loosely called a medieval kirtle or surcoat. Ive made a similar dress just from Butterick:

I took out the lace up back and it seems to work pretty well- I still need to play with how the shoulders and front lay. I made mine out of upholstery fabric- if you go this route make sure to pick something that has a higher cotton content- well and polyester wasnt around back in the day ;-D If you want to go more accurate rough cottons, linen or silks depending on the class are more period.

As far as accurate thats a whole different story!  First you need to start with a class and from there that determines fabric and accessories. Lower classes would use rougher fabrics in small amounts where as upper classes would use fabrics that were finer and possibly brought in through trade and would use more as they could afford it and upper class women didnt need to be practical- can you imagine tending a fire with those droopy sleeves?

I just bought the other pattern you picked up- looks like a good basic pattern for accessories-  Again probably somewhat accurate but when you need a bag you need a bag ;-D

Okay first is there a reason you want to be period accurate? If you are going as a playtron (someone who pays to get in) wear whatever makes you happy! If you are doing this because you want to be accurate more power to ya! The big 3 companies tend to lean more towards fantasy than reality. The general look is accurate the construction is probably not. I dont think curved seams were used prior to Elizabethan times? And maybe not until much later?

If you truly want accurate you might try Reconstructing History or Alter Years. I tried a pattern from Rocking Horse and didnt really like it all that much. Another option is to try to find a Reenactment group such as the Adrian Empire as the artisans are there to research and get as close to accurate as they can in some instances.

This would be a lower class version of the kirtle:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/14732552@N03/3282622718/

And this would be an upperclass/royal version of the kirtle:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/68669283@N00/3415478638/in/pool-tudor-and-medieval-costume

And heres another few versions of the kirtle
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sacheverelle/2658292406/

You might try poking around http://www.renaissancefestival.com/forums/ and see what you can find there. The sewers there range from accurate to fantasy and are very helpful.

And finally- you havent screwed up anything- in the end have fun at faire- thats what its about- you dont have to follow any rules unless you are on cast or want to follow them- heck Ive seen robots made out of card board boxes to a Stargate team at festivals Ive been to ;-D Probably more than you wanted but I like costuming so I had to share ;-D
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Cheyenneswthrt07
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2009 08:30:14 AM »

I went to ren faire one year and bought  my costume there. It consisted of a big nightshirt, basically, in crinkle cotton, an over skirt and a corset.  I think that was the 'wenches' outfit.  Had a lot of great fun in that outfit lol, but I'm not sure of the accuracy of the whole thing lol.   

ITA with Tea, it's about the fun most of the time and not the accuracy.  One year I went in jeans and a corset like shirt and still had as much fun as when I wore the outfit I bought. 
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2009 09:43:45 AM »

Here's a site for researching medieval costume history:  http://www.costumes.org/history/100pages/medievalinks.htm
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noelle
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2009 12:14:53 PM »

what fabrics would work (I'm trying to avoid the horrid stretch velvet that's recommended on the back)

just be aware that if the pattern is sized for stretch fabrics, you need to use a stretch fabric, or it will not fit properly!
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SkyyAngel
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2009 08:29:52 PM »

This website http://www.reddawn.net/costume/costpat.htm does a pretty darn good job of saying what is and what isn't period accurate about the costume patterns available commercially these days.

Tea's pattern suggestion is a good one. You might be able to alter the one you have with more fitted sleeves. If you still want "dangly down" stuff then I would suggest adding some tippets.

Much like this look:

http://www.revivalclothing.com/ProductImages/tippet.jpg

The collar for C is the most accurate (although I personally rather like A myself too) and the corset/waist-cincher is a no-no. The kirtle was the start of the whole corset movement and properly constructed, should hold everything in but not super tight (think, medieval sports bra). As far as colors, pretty much everything goes. Blues, reds, greens, browns, golds, oranges are all good. Stay away from maroon-y purples (usually reserved for upper-class/royalty) and yes, pink is period accurate (many insist it's not).

This site might be helpful in drafting your own pattern as well: http://cadieux.mediumaevum.com/frontlaced-kirtles2.html

HTH!
« Last Edit: June 11, 2009 05:21:21 AM by photojenn - Reason: edited to remove hotlinked image » THIS ROCKS   Logged
Alexus1325
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2009 01:39:03 AM »

I want to use this site for when/if I ever get to ren faire:

http://www.elizabethancostume.net/custompat/

You use the corset pattern to draft a bodice pattern:

http://www.elizabethancostume.net/kirtlepat/

Which you can attach to a petticoat:

http://www.elizabethancostume.net/petticoat.html#make

To make into a sleeveless kirtle:

http://www.elizabethancostume.net/makekirtle.html

Lots of side-links along the way, and overall I like the whole website! I think there's also links to drafting shifts (undershirts) and partlets, plus lots of historical info. I'm sure that it'll help you make decisions about how to alter your store-bought pattern. From what I've read, sure there are accuracy-police *rolls eyes* but apparently most people will value the effort you put into a costume so long as it looks like you tried. Cheesy

OOOOOOR!

You could simply use it as the basis of an elf or fairy costume and accuracy-police be damned!
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« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2009 08:27:02 AM »

I want to use this site for when/if I ever get to ren faire:

http://www.elizabethancostume.net/custompat/

You use the corset pattern to draft a bodice pattern:

http://www.elizabethancostume.net/kirtlepat/

Which you can attach to a petticoat:

http://www.elizabethancostume.net/petticoat.html#make

To make into a sleeveless kirtle:

http://www.elizabethancostume.net/makekirtle.html

Lots of side-links along the way, and overall I like the whole website! I think there's also links to drafting shifts (undershirts) and partlets, plus lots of historical info. I'm sure that it'll help you make decisions about how to alter your store-bought pattern. From what I've read, sure there are accuracy-police *rolls eyes* but apparently most people will value the effort you put into a costume so long as it looks like you tried. Cheesy

OOOOOOR!

You could simply use it as the basis of an elf or fairy costume and accuracy-police be damned!

www.elizabethancostume.net is a great site- I've used the corset pattern generator a few times and I always get a great corset out of it. And yes there are tons of side links to follow on that site.

But as far as I remember the content of that site is related to Tudor/Elizabethan styles which was after the medieval time frame the kirtles we are talking about in this thread. They did have kirtles but they were a little different- mainly in the silhouette they provided- which in the end is a portion of what defines styles- think Elizabethan compared to Victorian- triangles versus curves...

I forgot about half these links... so thanks for sharing them- Dawn's is a great page.

And as Alexus1325 says there are snarky costume people out there but in the end have fun and let the snarks be bitter if they want to. Please keep us posted on your progress...
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when_im_sixty4
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2009 05:10:07 PM »

Wow- you people are saints!! Grin This is more info than I ever expected to get.

TeaCouture: I guess 'accurate' was the wrong word? I'll only be attending for the fun of it, but wanted to make sure I wasn't completely butchering the outfit (crazy peices from all different periods, etc.). Mostly I was having horrible images of the 'playtrons' giving me grief for messing things up- not that they're mean people, just that I've never gone in costume before and I'm horribly self-conscious.  Roll Eyes

I'll probably choose a simple fabric, in a green or navy maybe. Nothing shiny, heavy or highly embellished. Actually, Joann's has their "linen-look" fabric, which is what I was considering...

Can't wait to get home and check out all these links! Thanks for your responses!
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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2009 08:03:18 AM »

Wow- you people are saints!! Grin This is more info than I ever expected to get.

TeaCouture: I guess 'accurate' was the wrong word? I'll only be attending for the fun of it, but wanted to make sure I wasn't completely butchering the outfit (crazy peices from all different periods, etc.). Mostly I was having horrible images of the 'playtrons' giving me grief for messing things up- not that they're mean people, just that I've never gone in costume before and I'm horribly self-conscious.  Roll Eyes

I'll probably choose a simple fabric, in a green or navy maybe. Nothing shiny, heavy or highly embellished. Actually, Joann's has their "linen-look" fabric, which is what I was considering...

Can't wait to get home and check out all these links! Thanks for your responses!

Ah in that case have fun! And damn the snarks to hell! Like we've all said most importantly have fun and dont' worry about what others say ;-D Keep us posted on your progress!
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