Three years ago, the first time I ever fully garbed my family for the Faire, using only my own sewing skills.
Clumsy. Good effort, but there were a lot of problems, mostly due to my lack of time, clumsy sewing skills, and eagerness to take the short cut whenever it presented itself.
I admit, I am kind of proud of the overall Flemish outfit effect. I used the oh-so-wonderful bodice pattern generator from elizabethancostume.net--truly a huge gift to the clumsy-sewing community! (Probably also very handy for those who actually sew decently too.) The dress didn’t turn out the way I’d planned, though–initially it was supposed to be an “irish overdress” kind of thing, but it looked like crap. The Faire day I spent wearing it involved lots of layers to cover up the incredibly ugly front, which was also too loose. (Not the pattern generator’s fault; the cloth just stretched too much over the course of the hot sweaty day. I didn’t have anything with boning, so there wasn’t much I could do. Clumsy. Shortcuts. You get it.)
A note about the Flemish outfit–the standard version we see people making involve a side-or-back-lacing underdress, with a second front-lacing overdress over that. But Kass McGann has speculated* that at least sometimes there was no underdress, just a stomacher in the front. So…that’s what I did. Thank God for the apron; covers a multitude of sins and bad sewing. And the “stomacher,” by the way–it’s just kind of a piece of cloth tucked into place, held there by the lacing.
The smock was the only thing I really did right–handkerchief linen, close-fitting, rectangular construction, all that. And I love it. I’m getting tons of wear out of it.
The hat–both straw hats, actually–were thrift store finds. Couldn’t get my son to wear a hat for anything. I’ll talk about their costumes in another post…but don’t you love the gym shoes?
*by “speculated,” I mean “examined all kinds of stuff with her usual impeccable research.” Just to be clear.