The Renaissance Festival Sewing Project from Hell: 2012 Edition

9 Apr

After several months of sewing, I finished most of Esperanza’s garb on Friday.

All those people have been rendered unconscious by the amazing persistence I have displayed throughout this project. Or perhaps the sight of JGL in a suit and tie. But I prefer to think it's the former.

It was a hard road. I don’t want to talk about how hard it was, except to say that the bodice I wore this weekend was the FOURTH bodice I have made since Lent began. It looks lovely, and it damned well better, because I MADE FOUR FUCKING BODICES. FOUR. FOOOOOOOUUUUUURRRRR.

Yeah yeah, I know. Anyway, I have some minor alterations to do:

  • bodice: take in to account for recent weight loss and Ye Olde Faire Fitness Regime, as well as weight of cape attached to back
  • pants: lengthen opening of fly and reinforce to prevent further splitting, widen panels to prevent “I can see my lady’s underthings” syndrome
  • maybe hem my headscarf, but let’s not get crazy
  • find a pair of bike shorts or something to wear under my pants to prevent chafing. My thighs look like they were attacked by a cheese grater.
  • revisit my belt and pouch situation
  • reattach one of the ribbons for the sleeves

I also have some pieces left to finish:

  • the second shirt! I only got around to making one. :{ Fortunately, I have extras from last year, but they’re from a crappy costume pattern from one of the Big Three and also have rust stains, and I hate them. With luck, I will get around to whipping up another shirt this week.
  • another pair of sleeves! I made a gorgeous pair of oversleeves in a trapezoid pattern that are designed to be worn open over a pair of fitted sleeves. I may take them apart and add some trim, I may not. We’ll see.

I need a new pair of tights, as all the tights I own have gone kaput. Every single pair. It’s like whatever psycho went at my thighs with a cheese grater then went after my tights stash. I’m going to solve that with two pair of footed cotton thigh-highs from Faire Paire Tights. They don’t call them thigh-highs, and I don’t remember what they call them, but that’s basically what they are, so we’ll go with that. They only sell them at their stores, and happily, they have a store at Scarborough! I bought a pair of their cotton tights last year, and while they are ridiculously comfy, they’re also white, which means my legs vanish, and footless. That would be fine with boots, which most sensible actors wear at the renaissance festival, but I am nuts and have been trying to make Mary Jane style shoes work for two years, and if I’m going to keep that up, I need footed tights.

Speaking of which, Mary Jane style shoes are not working. They just aren’t. I wanted them to work. Desperately. They are much more correct for the period than boots, and they show my fabulous legs* to great advantage, and they’re just more correct for the period and the style of the Spanish soldiers on which I’ve (loosely) based this costume. But they are also hell on rain days, prone to collecting rocks, and see again re: requiring footed tights. I wore boots exclusively for my first 6 years at faire, and I’m returning to my roots. By which I mean boots. Hah! I made a rhyme. Anyway, I’m sick to death of having to get new footwear every damned season, so I’m looking at Son of Sandlar.  I’m thinking the four-button boots in black and grey so they’ll be neutral and interchangeable, but it will depend on what’s in the store. Which they have at Scarborough. Next weekend is going to be a shopping weekend! I have never heard anything but praise for this company, and everyone seems to wear them. If you’ve got comments one way or another, please let me know!

I am worried about my hat, from Tall Toad, which took a bit of a hit during Sunday’s sudden downpour. It seems to be drying alright, but has lost some of its crispness. I’ll keep an eye on it and reorder if necessary, but I’d rather not, as it was expensive and hot-glueing the trim on it was a bitch.

Oh, and my chalkboard broke. Off to Michael’s!

Overall, I’m extremely pleased with how it turned out. The faux-Venetians are a little snug around the thighs, and sort of jerry-rigged, and I wish I’d put more trim on things, but the effect of the whole ensemble is good, and a hell of a lot more sturdy, comfortable, and better-looking than anything else I’ve ever sewn. Comparing to last year’s garb, in particular, I’m pretty well pleased.

Aaaaand without further babbling, here is a picture. It’s the first I’ve found, and you can’t see much of anything but my chalkboard (before it broke). Still. More will follow, ideally, because if there’s one thing actors-slash-costumers love, it’s pictures of themselves in their creations.


*I’m not even going to pretend to be modest: I have great legs.

4 Responses to “The Renaissance Festival Sewing Project from Hell: 2012 Edition”

  1. FeedtheBirds April 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    Oh – I thot I’d see the outfit close up … well I suppose you wouldn’t like to give away your secrets … LOL! Looks love on you .. FOUR TIMES! Wow – I gave up on a costume recently – of course I did NOT like the way it fit or looked on me – after the 1st try. :) Congratulations!

    • stonebiscuit April 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

      So sorry! I would love to show closeup pictures, but I haven’t found any. Although…I suppose I could put the thing on and take some pictures, right? :D Maybe I will. Just not today, because today I’m busy cleaning my makeup brushes and not putting on corsets.

      Thank you!

      • FeedtheBirds April 10, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

        Not putting on corsets – I can understand THAT …. okay – never wore one – but I have an imagination and wore a girdle a couple times. The color looks LOVELY – and then in the one pix you put up – you have a sign in front of the BODICE … LOL! ;) So looks like you had a great time. When you get a chance in the next couple weeks …. :) God bless!


  1. Poll Time: A Followup « What Is This I Can't Even - April 10, 2012

    […] What Is This I Can't Even Another damn costuming blog HomeAbout RSS Feed ← The Renaissance Festival Sewing Project from Hell: 2012 Edition […]

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