Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dreaming of sewing > Actual sewing

I've been sewing like crazy this week trying to get two of Colette Pattern's Beignet skirts finished. One of red corduroy turned out fabulous. I'm wearing it tomorrow so there should be pictures of it. The other went very smoothly, until I went to install the snaps that I opted for instead of doing another 12 bound button holes. Oy. First I couldn't get the things to snap together. So my hubby stepped in to do it for me. He got the fronts on and then it was time for bed. Sweet, I'll finish it in the morning. Hubby gets a couple of the backs on and then decides to test one out. The stupid snaps don't snap together. He bangs at them with the hammer to no avail. Luckily, the next couple snaps did work. Yay! Progress continued until we decided to pull some apart. The stupid thing pulled the front half apart instead of having the two halves separate. Grrr! Needless to say I didn't wear it today. So now I have no idea what to do with it, especially since it has 11 holes on each side of the closure.

Anyways, those of you who have been around for a while may remember when last September, having sewn only an apron, I decided to sew a dress for the Renaissance Festival at the end of September. Not my smartest sewing move ever, I know. But it did turn out pretty well, despite me having choose a completely non-historically accurate pattern. It was a fun dress. See more here, here and here.

I picked up a couple of the more historically accurate Simplicity Renaissance patterns to have a better go this year when I was out getting those pesky snaps.

My options are A) a Tudor style gown

Or B) a more Elizabethan style gown

My Renaissance Fair is 16th century England so either work. And, of course, I got underpinnings patterns too.

Both gowns have the square neckline and should work with this pattern. I'll do a bodice muslin first to double check.

And I picked up one for the man in case he decides he wants one this year.

I'll go with view b (left) for him since he refuses to wear anything "fru-fru".

So to console myself, I've been dreaming of Renaissance gowns, browsing others creations and searching for suitable fabrics that aren't $30/yd. I'm leaning towards the Tudor gown. The head piece is just lovely and convenient for my short hair. Plus it looks a lot like this dress up for sale in that huge old Hollywood costume auction going on (although I think either pattern could be used as a base to recreate this):

The man likes the gold Elizabethan gown, but I'd definitely take the shoulder rolls off.

Anyways, if you've ever historical costumed in this period, tips and thoughts would be appreciated.


  1. I have used all three of these patterns. The biggest tip I can give you is make sure you give yourself plenty of time. The first time I made the Elizabethan style gown I made it from cheap fabric just to practice. I know it sounds crazy but I had bought expensive fabric and trim and had never made a dress with this many details. I was not risking anything.

  2. Wow, awesome gowns! Bugger about the snaps... How about a lovely (flowery?) contrast button placket, like you seen on some of those cute designer shirts...?

  3. I made each of the gowns in the center pattern. These were my first big costume projects. I got my fabrics with sales coupons at JoAnn and Hobby Lobby. I looked at home decor fabric which is often on 40-50% off. I also looked through the clearance fabrics.

  4. ah, that is really intense sewing that you want! wow.