The Ren Fest Sewing Project from Hell, 2012: Pictures

3 May

Sorry for the radio silence. I wish I had a good excuse, like “I was building economically and environmentally sustainable houses for impoverished families,” but in truth, I’ve been spending most of my time scouring all of the TV channels for reruns of 30 Rock, which I recently discovered is pee-causingly hilarious.

Anyway, pictures are rolling in, among them a couple of good shots of the costume I worked on for a jillion years only to eventually tire of and give up on. Allow me to share with you both pictures and technical details!


From top to bottom…

Head: Elizabethan Tall Hat from Tall Toad. I bought the untrimmed smooth velvet hat in black and added the trim myself, with hot glue. Classy! On the front is a teeny cannon I bought on my honeymoon in Puerto Rico in 2009. Come to think of it, I don’t think I bought any souvenirs on my honeymoon that weren’t for faire. What does that say about me? Beneath is a pair of fake braids from Sephora (originally purchased for this), which serve dual purposes: they look neat and add a touch of detail to the costume, and help to hide the hair clips that hold on my snood, which was purchased from my hostess for a couple of bucks, is not period, and out of which my hair is constantly poking. My next project is to construct, trim, and bead a simple caul out of some beastly inexpensive organza I got the other day.

Shirt: made of birdseye cotton, aka diaper cloth, from the Smock Pattern Generator.  Details can be found here. I recently got some narrow, inexpensive black lace with which to decorate the sleeves a bit, and I’m going to tack on some ruffly cuffs for a little more frou-frou. Because frou-frou is awesome. As to the fabric, I cannot reccommend birdseye cotton enough. It’s enormously comfy, it wicks well, it dries quickly, and it’s enormously comfy. It doesn’t react to hot washing so well and it’s prone to fraying, but if I’d bothered to 1) finish my seams, and 2) instruct the lady at the wash-and-fold to use cold, I could’ve avoided that. Hindsight.

Corset: see here and here. Proving enormously comfortable and supportive. I am very proud of it! Two grommets fell out when I threw it in the wash last week, but that’s an easy fix. If I felt like fixing it. Which I don’t.

Pants: cobbled together from a shitty McCall’s (I think? one of the big three, anyway) “pirate” pattern and then taken in like crazy at the knees to try and create the tapered look of  Venetians. Results were, um, mixed. I don’t think they always are so uneven. I have a tendency to stand at weird angles, and the site is on a hill, so who knows? Still, they fit, they are comfortable, and you can’t see my underwear through the fly (at least not after I tacked on an additional panel over it!), so I call it a win. I made them out of black cotton velveteen purchased for 50% off at Hancock Fabrics. It has a nice short pile and is soft enough on the back that I didn’t have to line it. Pants are trimmed them with Madrid (the wide) and Fine Ball Cross (the narrow), both in gold, from Calontir Trim. Speaking of which, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this company.They have amazing trims at amazing prices and amazing service.

Bodice: made with Margo Anderson’s Elizabethan Lady’s Wardrobe. The bodice you see here is the fourth version I made in less than a month. I still can’t bring myself to talk about it much. It’s the same black cotton velveteen, lined with heavy black twill and lightly boned with industrial strength zip ties. I cut them too short and so it’s a little saggy at the top, but I have yet to work up the energy to fix this. Other problems include the straps, which fall down, pulled by the weight of the cape (see below). I will need to correct the angle, but can’t do this alone and besides, am way too busy settling for Toddlers and Tiaras because 30 Rock isn’t on. Already had to take it in once–accomplished this by cutting the grommets off in a long strip and re-doing them. It worked beautifully. Trim is also Madrid.

Sleeves: simple trapezoid sleeves. Cut them too long, so they look silly when closed, but they do look nice open. Narrow undersleeves are still not done. I made them according to the size chart in Margo’s pattern, and they are WAY WAY WAY too wide around the upper arm. Anyway, it’s beastly hot, so I’ll wait on this.

Cape: see here. Also, I foolishly washed it without any color catchers, and now it’s pink. Motherfucker.

Also pictured: adoring fans

Legs/Feet: Boots from Son of Sandlar, proving spectacularly comfortable and supportive, socks, black cotton/poly tights of undetermined TJ Rosshall’s origin.

I’ll discuss the accessories, particularly the jewelry and makeup, in a later post, because I want to get some good closeups.Also, I need to rethink a couple of makeup details. In the meantime, here:

Lopsided is the new pink

Good morning, world!

And seriously, check out Calontir Trim. It is an AMAZING company.

5 Responses to “The Ren Fest Sewing Project from Hell, 2012: Pictures”

  1. annmcn May 3, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    For someone who loudly proclaims how bad you are at sewing, you do a really fine jpb of complicated stuff. I am impressed.

    • stonebiscuit May 9, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

      Thank you! You’re sweet to say so. I get happier with how things turned out the more I think about it. This is way ahead of last year’s getup, for instance.

  2. Kat aka Radclyffe May 3, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

    Yay for a new post! Sorry, I’ve been stalking your site waiting for an update :) You’re writing is highly-larious, and you shouldn’t get discouraged by “bad sewing”. I started by making shit up and doing lots and lots of bad sewing. I still do really bad sewing when I let my discipline slip or get lazy. Sewing you can learn, taste and a good eye can’t be taught or bought so you’re in better shape than most!

    • stonebiscuit May 9, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

      Thank you thank you! I’m glad you’re here, and enjoying it. :D I keep telling myself that I am learning and improving, but it’s so much easier to believe from others.


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    […] yet here I am, just after finishing one major project, planning three more major projects due by Labor Day weekend and also I’m rehearsing a show […]

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