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Topic: Texas Ren Fest 2010  (Read 3869 times)
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« on: February 04, 2011 10:58:15 PM »

...I'm only three months late!

These are the costumes I made for my friend and I to go to the Texas Ren Fest last November.  Hers is roughly 4 yards of the most PITA blue brocade with a gray cotton lining and some ridiculous number (~20?) of yards of lace, blessedly machine stitched.  I deconstructed a McCall's pattern which was intended to be all one dress and made a separate chemise, overdress, and tied on sleeve bits.

It took HOURS to stitch all that lace on, but it was well worth it.  Without it, the costume looked really bland.  It's far from perfect, the bottom edges of the split front skirt kept wanting to close, while the top had a pretty gap.  But it looked okay, and she said it was comfy.  It laced up both sides to allow for fitting.

Mine I'm super proud of!  It's fully reversible.  The bodice is a Butterick (I think...maybe McCall's?) that I cut all as one piece for the front, and two for the back (construction mishap, it should have been one and one), and I stole the little peplum/waist tab bit from another pattern.  I also omitted the back lacing (it had back and both sides) and just did the two sides.  Side lacing bodices are a pain in the tush to get into, and next time, I'll omit the sides and just have the back.  And probably put in an invisible zipper in the side.  (Shhh!)  Anyway, the bodice itself was less than a yard each of black twill and blue cotton/poly blend that was called "rodeo cotton" at Joann's.  It's stiffer than the twill, and has the smallest bit of sheen to it from the poly.  I hand-stitched the three lines of trim (velvet on the outsides, and braid in the center) and beads.

The underskirt is also reversible.  The orange is on one side and the red is on the other--it helped keep the lines of the hoop skirt, which I got off Ebay, from showing through.  It's just a gathered full skirt from a Simplicity pattern.  The chemises are also both from the same Simplicity pattern.  I really wish I had clearer pictures of both costumes, but we were intent on enjoying our weekend!

Oh, and in the future, I totally need to wear a corset.  I interlined that bodice with a layer of duck, on top of the cotton and twill, and there were STILL wrinkles.  I was trying to avoid anything with boning, but it looks like I'm going to have to suck it up.  Also, I need to re-do my friend's sleeve thingies, as they kept wanting to fall down all day.  Some interfacing ought to do the trick, no problem.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2011 11:01:46 PM by Aislynn » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2011 11:24:34 PM »

ooh nice! I've been obsessing over garb all day. That lace really makes the dress, though I hatehatehate having to sew trims! And the colors are great on both dresses. And reversible! That's impressive!

Boning isn't so bad after you get the hang out it. I use (industrial) plastic cable ties from Home Depot cause they're light and washable and you can cut them with craft scissors. Some costumer's blog mentioned it once and I've never even considered metal ever since.

Nice to see another TRFer too! I go for my birthday every November. Smiley

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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2011 11:35:19 PM »

I love love LOVE your reversible dress. <3

Have you considered a hemp "boned" corset? Sooooo friggin' comfy and no wrinkles. Plus washable and cheap.
Here's a link to the tute I used for mine: http://www.festiveattyre.com/research/cording/cord.html 

The cable ties is another good idea... I still need to try that one. Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2011 11:53:30 PM »

Thanks guys!  And yeah, I've done a ton of research on corsets and 16th century clothing in general, I was mostly trying to cut out the layer of constrictive clothing, given how hot it tends to be in both Texas and Louisiana (where I live) during faire season.  It really wasn't so bad this year, though, so I think I'm going to bite the bullet!  I don't know if I'll make my own for this coming season, I may just use the store bought one I got for my wedding, but I'll make one eventually.  I like the idea of the hemp boned one.  I first heard about it on sempstress.org.  They sound really comfy!

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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2011 12:45:18 AM »

They're both incredibly beautiful! I love the colors you chose & can appreciate the work that went into them.

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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2011 02:12:26 AM »

I've worked with several different types of "boning" in bodices and corsets and I think the hemp is my favorite. If you use a slightly heavier weight material in the bodice, you could skip with corset by putting the boning layer in the bodice itself.

Having both back and side lacing is crazy over the top. I used to prefer side lacing back when I wore this style of dress.

Your friend's blue dress turned out lovely! I hope she appreciates the effort it took to make it. Smiley
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2011 07:56:17 AM »

Nice.  I like them both, but I like yours better.  Smiley  I do, however, like your friend's rock on picture.  Very Middle Ages.

I'm wondering if the wrinkling come from the bodice being longer than your torso.  If it was, it'd naturally want to scrunch up throughout the day.  Not that you'd want to pull apart what you've already made, but it'd probably be worth looking into on the next thing you do.

A state of confusion is unpleasant, but a state of certainty is ridiculous.  - Voltaire.
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2011 11:13:44 AM »

Wow, I stand in awe of all the wonderful work you put into those two outfits!
They are gorgeous!
Your own dress is my favorite (I find it more stylish, but that is just a matter of personal taste). And yes, I think it would be even more perfect with a boned corset structure.
Yay for you!

« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2011 11:42:10 AM »

Very beautiful, intricate work. It definitely paid off-you guys looks great! And the two totally different costumes in one with the whole reversible aspect- quite brilliant!

I understand the sacrificing of the undergarments for comfort. I was considering a full Victorian dress for my birthday this year, and now I'm wondering about whether I'll survive in July with chemise, corset, bloomers, petticoat, skirts, shirtwaist, and jacket....

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« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2011 12:19:17 PM »

Aw, thanks everyone!

And yes, graverobbergirl, even though the festivals down here are October-December, the weather is so up in the air, we try to keep as many layering options open as possible.  One of the things I absolutely loved about the hoop skirt was that, without any bloomers (or shorts, let's be honest!) underneath, it was quite breezy, and very comfortable.

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