Sunday, September 7, 2014

Renaissance Faire Costume, and Some Other Things.

Hey everyone! Er... sorry for the absence. Between moving and starting law school and all that jazz, I've been super busy and have neglected updating. I'm terrible, I know.

But, as a special "I'm sorry" gift, I have a special post on the outfit I made for the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire that I attended two-or-so weeks ago with my mom, sister, and brother. I don't have any pictures from the faire itself, but I do have my outfit in my closet, so I can take pics and show you!

Base Layer: The Chemise
The chemise was the hardest part of the costume to make. I (roughly) followed the fantastic instructions from Diary of a Renaissance Seamstress. I didn't follow the instructions exactly, because I'm a terrible instruction follower, and as such probably made the process a little more difficult than I should have. But... here it is.
Basically, a chemise is just a very long nightgown/underdress. It has two long sleeves, and is supposed to hit the ankles. I gave mine a slit on a side to facilitate movement. It's not terribly period-accurate, but I'll take movement over accuracy.

Here is a terrible picture of me in the chemise. Like I said, it's a long nightgown. I also gave mine ridiculously long and wide sleeves, even though I dressed up as a peasant. I really liked the sleeves, and they added extra ventilation, which is nice when you're wearing long clothing in 80+ degree Fahrenheit weather.

Next layer: Outer Skirt

This layer was easy to make. I bought two yards of a cotton fabric that was on sale at Joann's, cut out a strip so that way it was a nearly-floor-hitting skirt, sewed one seam down the side to make a tube, and then sewed in a waistband and added an elastic waistband. It's actually a little too big for me, because I lost weight (the exercise/being healthy things is working out-- heh, punny-- really well for me.)

(Yes, I did take the picture upside down.)

And here is a picture of me with the skirt on over the chemise. I don't have a full-length mirror in my apartment, nor am I inclined to buy one, so You'll have to suffer through pictures that don't show my whole torso.

And yes, a view of my bedroom as well. The downside to a drawstring/elastic waistband skirt is that if you lose weight, it sags, and it's not terribly good at staying put. Ah well. Such is life. 

Next layer: shirt/bodice

So I had every intention of making a period-somewhat-accurate bodice. Or a kirtle. I wasn't sure which I wanted to make. A bodice is what you see most women wearing at Renaissance faires. They serve as both a shirt and a corset and makes the outfit really streamlined. However, due to a lack of time (work, packing, moving, etc), I had to make do with a gorgeous renaissance-style tank-top that my mum got me as a gift. It doesn't give that streamlined look that the bodice does, but the color is gorgeous, and the outfit actually looks semi-period.

Such a pretty shade of blue!

And that's with an added belt, because no proper lady went without a belt. Yes, it's terribly unperiod, but the brown looked better with the colors than black and it kept the skirt up, as it was falling off of me.

The final piece: A Hat

All people in the Renaissance wore hats. If a woman went without a hat, she was called a harlot. True story. I was going to go without a hat, but as chance would have it, when I was at the faire, I found this gorgeous hat that happened to almost perfectly match my outfit. It was a sign. And I bought it. It actually really added something to the outfit, and I want to giggle every time I wear it because it's so "foofy" for lack of a real word.

And that's my Ren. Faire outfit!

I had a lot of fun, and would love to have a chance to go back.

Other Things
I will try to keep doing posts, but they might be rather infrequent. I'm currently making a skirt out of red felt, so I just need to take pictures, and once I'm finished I'l try to post that up.

I'm also making a Thor cosplay for Halloween. It'll be a prototype for Comic Con next year. I'll take pictures as I go, and explain the process. Since this is a prototype, this is really more about me getting to know how to work with certain materials like Craft Foam! I've never made armor before, so this Halloween really gives me the chance to practice my technique. I can already tell that the hardest part will be the helmet and the breastplate, which is why I'll be making a super easy version of both for Halloween. The picture below is an early release of Marvel's redesigned new Thor. And yes, Thor is a woman now. No I don't know how. All I know is that I'm excited to make this costume. I'll be making a headpiece that's more less helmet-like and more like Wonder Woman's tiara. Yeah. Should be fun. And the breastplate... well, you'll see. :P

(Property of Marvel)

Speaking of Comic Con, I went to Boston Comic Con this past summer with my sister. We went as DC characters. She was Harley Quinn (a la Batman: Arkham City), and I was Zatanna Zatara, a member of the justice league. Here's a picture that my brother was kind enough to take of us before we left the house for the day.

Aren't we cute? 

I'll probably put a hiatus on book reviews, because most of what I'm reading are... law books. Not very fun. Hopefully I can do one or two, because I'm planning on not spending 100% of my waking time dedicated to studying. All work and no play makes Nicolette a very unhappy person. 

That's all I've got for now, I'm afraid. It's time to hit the books some more!