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Dana's Renaissance Costume 2006

I sort of skipped making a costume in 2005. Since I had so much trouble with the silk in 2004, I decided to simply remake the overskirt part in a similar color silk. I still had problems, but not as badly. This year, however, will be the final coup de grace. I just don't know that I will have any more creativity left in me for another costume. Of course, I think I said that in 2004 with the antique copper silk. When I first started as a cast member at Scarborough Faire in 2003, my prop was blackwork. Someone suggested that I create a black and white gown to go with all the blackwork. The problem is that a very dear friend of mine had a cream and gold gown and black isn't my best color. Now, my friend has been retired from the cast for two years and her dress has been for the most part (except when she visits) retired for three. It is time for the piece de resistance.

I found both fabrics through Renaissance Fabrics on e-bay. Of course, so has everyone else. The overdress will be the cream with the gold metallic threads running through it in a vine scroll. The trim down the side is loosely basted on because I am still on the hunt for something better. I chose the ivory because had I gone with a true white, I would have looked like death warmed over for the run of faire. The ivory brings out my autumn skin tones. And oyster color would have been better, but that is not a very popular fabric color.

The underskirt will be the black on black brocade that you see here. It is a very popular fabric and I saw a lot of it at faire this past year. Therefore, my goal is to embroider it to make it less recognizable. Here is my first go at the main portion of the design. I have used a black thread to couch Krenik Braid #16 102 Vatican Gold around the clover leaf. I then made that X in the middle to change the shape a bit. There is a Swavorski Crystal inside of a pewter metal piece joining the center. Around the sides are 4mm crystals and 4mm cream glass pearls. Except on the right side is a 6mm crystal. I think I may like the 6mm better on thost four sides. The picture really doesn't do the shinny parts justice.

I'll play some more and post later. I still need something for the fleur-de-lys parts. I may just do a weave with the blending braid.

February 5, 2006

I met with Marita Beth from A Wardrobe in Time a couple weeks ago. We discussed the bodice that she is making me. The tough part is the sleeves. I told her what I wanted and she suggested that I go ahead and cut out the sleeve pattern and work on the design. So, I took my black micro-velvet home, and started laying out the diamond design. Using a yardstick and chalk, I drew the lines onto the fabric. I should state that was a nightmare. Then, using a cording foot on my sewing machine with a zig-zag stitch of width 1.5 and length 3.5 (I don't know what exact measurement that is), I sewed the Krenik Braid #16 102 down across the lines. This created a quiltingish pucker that I'm not overly fond of, but I think it will still work. The diamonds are slightly uneven and have a hand done look about this. My OCD side doesn't like this, but the authenic side that tells me I cheated by using the sewing maching says this will be okay. In this pictures, I've laid the sleeve out on the ivory fabric, so you can see the contrast.

I've ordered trim from Trims and Things. It is similar to the trim in the above picture, but it is 1/2 inch wide instead of one inch. This dress will be very busy and I think that I will like the smaller trim. for the ivory.

I've named the dress the "Ebony and Ivory" dress. I start to sing every time someone asks me the colors. I've decided not to bead the underskirt as shown above. I haven't decided exactly what I will do. It will depend on how it looks once I add the criss cross striping fully across the pattern. I've gotten several of the clovers done so far, and should probably think about finishing that off.

February 20, 2006

Here is the latest picture of the skirts as they stand. The overskirt is done all but the pearls down the trim and the grommets and lacings at the waist. (I've sewn a couple of ties on the top for now to hold it together because MaritaBeth made me promise as her friend not to use a hammer on my grommets when she has a foot press machine.) I have 19 of the 49 clovers on the front panel of the skirt done. I doubt I will do them all because I will run out of time. However, I feel that I should press on as if I were going to be able to do them all. Once I am done with the clovers (or when I run out of time), I'll cord lines of metallic thread in a criss cross pattern similar to the sleeves (above) crossing on those points of the clovers. All in all, it's coming along quite nicely. Still to do is the scary bodice (which hopefully MB will be able to do), head piece, and pouch. I've spoken with Dragonwings about making a fan and a feather set using my fabric. I'm also in touch with Rhonda at Sapphire and Sage for designing the usual jewelry. On the bottom of the skirt you can see a brooch that my mother gave me for Christmas. I'd like to incorporate that into the jewelry or maybe into my feather set if possible. My only concern with the jewelry, is everything on the dress has gold accents. The brooch is silver. I am thinking on it.


March 20, 2006

I've started work on the false chemise sleeves. I am working on the blackwork for my cuff. to the right is the original pattern from a 15th century sampler as charted by Linn Skinner. To the left is my modification that adds beads. I'm deciding between the two. You can click on the pictures for a slightly larger image. Which do you prefer?


July 6, 2006

So, like usual, I got bad and forgot to update my blog when things got into crunch time. So, brief note, I chose the beads on the chemise sleeves. Marita Beth only had time to make my sleeves removable, so I made the base part of my bodice. I feel that is important to note since the bodice would look better if she had been able to do it. I spent each week of faire adding a little bit to the costume. Finally, but the last weekend, I added the final touch of the pearls around the bottom of the underskirt. I can tell what week a picture was taken by the look of my costume. Anyway, here is a final picture of the dress in action because I haven't had time yet to let Bob Floyd take a studio shot. Maybe sometime this summer, I'll get around to that.

Photo by DigitalSimian






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