Thursday, June 28, 2012

Renaissance faires

Renaissance Faires I have visited
FAIRE                                         WHERE

Renaissance Pleasure Faire             S. California                   1998-2001, 2009, 2011-2012
Bristol Renaissance Faire                Bristol, WI                                               Aug. 2002
King Richard's Faire                       Carver, MA                                       Sept-Oct. 2003
Kansas City Renaissance Faire         Bonner Springs, KS                 Sept. 2003 & Sept 2004
Minnesota Renaissance Faire           Shakopee, MN                                         Sept. 2003
North Carolina Renaissance Faire    Raleigh, NC                                       March 27, 2004
The Escondido Renaissance Faire    Escondido, CA        April 3, 2004, Nov. 1, 2008, May 2, 2009
Sterling Renaissance Festival          Sterling, NY                                               July 2004
Vermont Renaissance Festival                VT                                                            2004
California City Renaissance Faire   Calif. City, CA                              October 2008, 2011 

We are in truth the people who use up all of our vacation time and much of our savings to attend Renaissance Festivals.
 We rise hours before dawn and travel hundreds of miles just to step back in time for a few hours.
 We are the people who lovingly work on our garb all year long until it matches the image in our minds eye.  In some cases our footwear may be more costly than the vehicles that we drive!
  We are the people surfing the web in the dark and dead of a winters night, trying to capture a little warmth out of a Renaissance site.
 We are the so called "grown-ups" who squeal like children when the parade goes by.
We are the men who, in our hearts, see ourselves as Knights, defending the virtues of chivalry and valor in a modern age so often lacking in honor.
We are the Wizards and the Fairies who insist that there is still some magic to be found in this tired old world.
We are the dedicated artisans who know that they must create with their hands in order to truly feel alive.
We are the performers who've forsaken the security of 9-5 for the pure joy of standing before a roaring crowd.
We are the kids, who've known all along that this is how life is supposed to be lived anyhow.
We are the bawdy Scots.  The carefree Gypsies.  The mischievous Goblins.  The naughty Wenches.
We are in short, the people, the Renfolk, the very lifeblood of the Renaissance experience.
    Masuggah the Trader - used with permission

A collection of old costumes....


Most of them are some of my first few. Moved over from my website.

My first two projects. The blue overgown on the left and my very first complete dress on the right.
First costume piece I ever made for my then boyfriend now husband. Its a cape.

Trigun coat 

Renaissance Faire Garb

My brother and I in garb I made for the Escondido Renaissance Faire in 2004
Southern California Ren Faire

Other eras
Regency undies

Regency gown
Full length

Drunken Master/ Brad Wong from Dead or Alive 4


started June 2007
Cost so far - $82.00
17th June - I haven't really started this project yet but I have been collecting fabrics
 and accessories. Unless the design alters I officially have all the needed fabrics and the dye. I am to lazy, (because it will interfere with valuable sewing time,) to take and upload pictures of the shoes and hat but it is very Samurai Jack as my husband keeps saying. Pics to come later. *edit* pics to left and right.

22nd June - I was able to dye the fabric a few days ago. That was an interesting first.

20th July - I have been working on this. Really I have. I started with a generic pant pattern that I had made for myself for drawstring pants. Well my hubby does not have the butt and hips that I do so I knew that this would be big on him. He does have a bigger waist then I do so it was just barley big enough in the waist.  The picture to the right shows all the excess material I had to cut off to get the fit I was going for.  Basically I made the pattern super big and then pin fit it to him from there. I cut off the excess material basted it. Had him try it on again, and adjusted from there. It only took me two fittings to get the pants to look the way I wanted them too. The crotch may need some work but I would have to start over to get that right. After I got the fit right I took out the basting stitches on the sides so I could work on the knee 
pads. The knee pads are two layers of drill stuffed with two layers of of cotton batting and then covered with the fashion fabric. I swear I took pictures of this but for the life of me I can't find them on the camera now. I started to sew the pads to the pants using top stitching thread but because I had only a small amount left and problems with tension caused me to quickly ran out.:( I am waiting for an order from Jo-Anns to come in so I can finish them up. After that comes in I will be able to sew the sides together. The pants will have a waist band that will have a Hook and bar closure. I also decided that since this does not have to be historically accurate and since I know how now I am going to put in a zipper for Hubby's convenience. To the left is a in progress pic.

15th August - Waistband and zipper have been added. I started on leg cuffs, adding some piping and false hem but measurements were off and it was for some reason too tight. I have to rip it out and start again.
11th September - At last the pants are done. It took me forever and several attempts to get the cuffs of the pants right. I swear my husbands calves must be changing sizes. It might still be a bit tight when he goes to sit down because that pulls everything up but he is happy with them for now and I am not going to mess with the buggers any more! The black bottom are suppose to imitate him wearing another pair of pants underneath but I just attached them at the cuff. They are made of linen with white muslin strips attached. To keep the bottoms tight but still allow my hubby to get his legs/feet in and out I attached Velcro strips that are completely hidden on the inside. I feel like such a cheat but there is no reason to try and be 'accurate' with this costume so why not!

2 November - So, with school I have been slowly working on this but have not had the time to actually update. So here is a quick update.
I couldn't figure out how to attach white sleeves without a some sort of line or seam so I made a mock white undershirt. The only part that shows in the costume is the sleeves, which is what I wanted. It might have been more work then was needed but creates the desired effect.  It ties very much like a Gi top does. 

Next time I would make it a little longer as right now it shows off my husband's belly and he doesn't like that very much.

 The good thing is the blue top goes over this and his belly doesn't show at all.  The blue top was extremely simple to make. The back is a rectangle that is a little wider around the waist then the upper back. The front is almost the same exact pieces excepts the front is  cut at an angle starting at the side of the neck all the way down to the side. I added a strip of bias to the neckline. The sleeves edges are still raw until I can distress them more. My favorite part and I must say the scariest part was burning the bottom of the blue tunic. The first attempt I was trying so hard to blow out the flames. Yea.... so you all know.... that doesn't work....  My hubby, the fast thinker he is, started to shake it out and thankfully that worked. All the other attempts were followed by a mist of water from the spray bottle which was just enough water to put out the flames but not water log it or ruin it in any way from the water. A half hour before it was to be worn for a Halloween costume contest I made a quick belt. It is probably a bit short but my hubby is trying to lose weight so before he has to wear it again it will be longer.
I still need to distress the costume more before Costume Con 2008. I also need to make gauntlets. Other than that this costume is done!

Lei fang from Dead or Alive 4

Lei fang from Dead or Alive 4

Cost ¥/$ 57.00

12 June- I started off using New Look Pattern # 6759. Two muslins later I had something that resembled what I wanted. Finding the right fabric was a bit harder. I had 2 yards of a lovely silk brocade that was 1 1/2" too narrow. :(. So I ended up having to go out and buy different fabric. I am not entirely happy with the fabric. Its not a bright red like Lei fang's is and its a poly. Another thing I am coming to find out as I take pictures is it doesn't photograph very well either.
 I choose a burgundy poly shun tang for the facings because it matched the dragon pattern pretty well. This color will also be used in the pants and ribbons.
The pants will be made out of a white ribbed material with the tops fabric as trim. The same white fabric used in the pants will be used as piping and trim in the top.
One cool thing about the top's material is it is reversible. This came in handy when trying to figure out what to do for buttons. In the end I decided to use the reverse side as the fabric, to do fabric covered buttons. I figured it would better then probably anything I could/would end up finding around here. It is also great practice for the hundreds of buttons I will end up making for the Autumn Dress. The picture below and to the left is a progress picture of the top. Basically it is just the shell but I had put it on Didi to make sure the button and loop placement looked right so I snapped a picture real quick.
22 June 2008- Since the last update I have added all the trim and piping. I put  the buttons on at first but after they were on I decided I really didn't care for the look. I felt the closures need a little more and they needed to be white like the trim. I feel the Chinese knot closures look a lot better. There was nothing wrong with the buttons they just didn't have the oomph I was looking for.
The closures look extremely crooked in the picture but its not as bad on me. I should start on the mock up for the pants next week but with the movers coming I am not sure how much I will be able to get done.
2 September 08 - This project was finished in one weekend before Comic Con. I saved the hardest part, the pants, for last. I started with a generic sleepwear pant pattern. Making a muslin out of this pattern I had a friend help me with adjusting the fit by pinning it to me. The main thing that needed to be fixed was the crotch line. I knew it would need some changes because it was a mans pattern to begin with but it was hanging down to my knees.  You would think it would be easy to just take the crotch up but I had to adjust for my bum.  After I was able to get a smooth fit there I took in the legs just slightly. The pants are suppose to be loose but not baggy.  The pants pattern called for elastic at the waist. I thought I could just use darts and take in the difference between my hips and waist. This was a clever plan until because it smoothed everything out and allowed me to put in a waistband... until I remembered I needed to be able to get in and out of the pants.... I decided I would put in a zipper but what about the excess fabric on that side? I cut out the extra fabric on that side which sort of put the fabric on a bias. That's when things started getting interesting... and frustrating. Thankfully I was working at a friend's house who helped me ease in the fabric to the zipper. My patience had run out and they would of ended up in the trash... at least for awhile if she hadn't been there. With her help at that stage things went a lot smoother afterwards. I added the waist band and legs cuffs. The leg cuffs also have ties added to them so they could be tied under the knee. The pant leg themselves have a side split. The original design calls for the split to go clear up to the hip. I changed this because of modesty and it only goes halfway up my thigh. With the binding and waist band I used the same fabric that I had used for the tunic's facings. The pants use the same fabric as the white binding I used on the tunic.
I am very fond of this costume. It is very comfy. The shoes I picked are the devil... and I still need practice with the wig but the actual costume is very very comfy.

Japanese Regency Costume


This Costume was made for three purposes. The main one was to wear to Costume Con 2008's Victorian Time traveler's Undies night. The other two were to use the Okinawan traditional fabric I had in stash and to coordinate with a friend of mine while wearing it.
Unfortunately there are not many pictures of its construction because the majority of the project was done quite quickly a few days before the event. Much thanks goes to my friend though. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to finish the project in time to wear it at all. As it was hers did not get done. :(
I do have a few pictures of the corset construction that I will include below. Except for hemming the bottom of the pants, and a couple parts on the seams of the kimonos, this project is done. 


Meet Henry

Henry is just as excited as I am to go to Costume Con 26. He will be competing in the Mousekerade. Instead of having a dress diary for his costume since it is on such a small scale already I will just have pics of him as he is slowly dressed.
The first pictures will not be of him completely nakie. Even though he is just a stuffed animal that seems all sorts of wrong so the first step is him in his blackworked chemise shirt.

4 February- For the past week or two I have been working on Henry's gown. I should probably be working from the skin out but I had already scaled this pattern down so I just jumped into it. The pattern comes from the instructions in the Tudor Tailor.
I used a Maroon Velveteen that I luckily found a yard of on the remnants rack for $1.05. I did a mock up first so Henry got to model his Carolya marked muslin first.  It was decided the gown was two long so I took 2 inches off of the length. That ended up being to much so I added half and inch back. After racking my brain over the instructions for the sleeves I decided to say screw the instructions I am doing it my own way. I think it still came out very well despite me skipping a few steps.  I decided that Henry needed to have beading on his sleeves even if it was scaled down. I have plenty of beads in my stash so it was easy to find some that would work.
Here is the final gown, sans a faux fur collar. I am also debating crouching some gold cord along the hem. I wish the lighting was better in my house or we would get a day that doesn't rain sometime soon. The pictures do not do this any justice!!!!

Steampunk Apron Costume

Cost: $/¥ 90.00
worn - Costume Con 2008

14 January 2008 - I actually started this costume a few weeks back but progress is slow and today is the first day I can actually show any work. My inspiration is drawn from a couple of places. Starting with, I saw this through the web on different sites from when she had worn it. Instantly I feel in love with her accessories and accruements as she puts it. Avien had also seen the same costume though I think she had the privilege of seeing it in person. She made up her Steampunk apron for Dragon Con 2007. 
I am extremely envious of hers. It is so pretty and the perfect colors. So I told her I was completely coping her. Or at least stealing her color scheme. After she told me she had some fabric in that color, though not as shiny, that I could have I was officially sold. Visions of a brown themed outfit no longer danced in my head. I had also gotten a steal of a deal off of EBay for some grey wool flannel. Its intention was for another costume but it just wasn't soft enough for that costume.  Luckily an apron doesn't have to be soft and the fabric will work perfectly for this costume.
After a bit of searching and asking around (thanks Avien) I was directed towards two patterns that would give me the perfect shape for my skirt. I loved the flat front and gathered back look I had seen in the other costumes. After reading over the directions I realized they were the same patterns for the skirts, only the bodices for the two patterns were different, so I settled on Simplicity 4078. I love the skirt though the bodice leaves a lot to be desired for me.
The first thing I had to do was make the petticoat. I don't have a lot of undergarments in my growing garb stash so there wasn't even anything I could use just to make due with. This turned out to be a bit of a problem because the lining and skirt call for 10 yards of lining fabric. I don't have 10 yards of lining fabric in my stash, that isn't designated for other costumes. With the holidays being just over and my next school term about to begin my hubby and I didn't have a lot of extra cash, so the majority of the costume was suppose to come from the stash. Makes a gal really miss the states where I could go to the local fabric store and find some cheap lining on the clearance table. Long story short after the rent and bills were paid we had about $50.00 dollars extra I could spend and I was able to find some decent fabric for $2.50 a yard. I would of preferred a heaver fabric and one that wasn't poly but beggars can't be choosers. I also picked up some knit tulle for the ruffles.
My first hiccup, because you know there was one, came with the petticoat. I didn't realize the top ruffle was out of fabric, which I had no more of, so it was changed to tulle.   I have a top layer of black flowered tulle cut 12 inches wide and a lower layer of plain tulle. I divided the width of the lower layer of tulle by three and that is how wide my strips were.  After sewing the strips together I ran a gather stitch the length of my fabric through the strips. Instant ruffles! Thank goodness the tulle doesn't need to be hemmed. That could easily be a nightmare and a half! Because the petticoat has no lining all the seams were french seams, which ended up taking me forever. The actual skirt went together much faster. The only thing that slowed me down with it was the trim. I know my luck when I try to get a straight anything so I took extra care draw out the line with a ruler and baste the trim on before I ever started sewing it on with a sewing machine. There are two corners that I am still a little iffy on and may try to make them look prettier later on down the line.
For both the petticoat and the skirt the waistbands are still unattached and they are unhemmed. I am waiting until it is closer to Costume Con in hopes of losing weight before then. I am in a body boot camp right now so its not an impossible idea. I will wait until the beginning of April before I do the waist bands. I think I have to add some snaps to the placket on the skirt and I am done! I get to start on the apron and shirt!

Didi is wearing both the petticoat and skirt. To the left is the front of the skirt, right is the side back. Ignore the rest of the clothes she is wearing I didn't take my Renaissance chemise or corset off before I took the pictures. You'll have to forgive the lighting also. My apartment's lighting is lousy and will make a person go blind.
I love how the fabric picks up the shadows, and think the black velvet trim is a very nice touch especially from the back.

27th February - Work on this project has been slow but steady. I am almost complete with the basic construction of the apron and as of today have figured out what I want to do for the top of this outfit. The skirt of the apron went together very quickly and easily. Can't get much easier then a sewing a straight stitch with a sewing machine.  The bodice was fairly easy also. I added my own touch my hand sewing the seams together at the bust dart so that you can see a down slopping v made by the stitches. I made it harder on myself by accidentally sewing the same side twice... So I had two Right sides but no Left. *grumble grumble*  I also made it harder, well not harder but it took longer because I had to sew by hand the casing that holds the waist strap to the apron. I couldn't figure out how to do it with the machine without the stitches showing and hadn't left myself enough room to topstitch on both sides. I added single fold bias tape to the sides of the skirt and used fabric on the bodice top. So its not fully lined, just enough to give the appearance of a nice edge. I still need to iron everything down and attach the straps at the sides before the shell of it is done. Then its time for adding pockets, gears, hooks, clasps and what not. My one grip right now is it looks more like a high waisted dress then an apron. I am hoping when I add the extras especially the pockets that will change. Otherwise I will be very unhappy with it.....  Okay I do like how the skirt of it falls... and the gears I am embroidering for the pockets.... and the bust darts.... but the top is just.... I don't know.......
As for the top of the costume I have decided I am not restrained on time enough *rolls eyes at self* and I need to make a Victorian under bust corset and a bolero jacket to go with. That way if worse comes to worse and I just plain out hate the apron I can still wear the other parts of the costume, and try again on the apron later. I was thinking maybe gear for buttons on the sleeves... The colors is the only thing holding me back right now. Black velvet bolero? Then what color corset. I have a bit of the skirt fabric left should I use that? Or would it be to much of that color then. Use the grey wool from the apron? Not exactly soft and doesn't pop against the skirt.... *le sigh*
16th May - This costume had its first outing... or at least version one did. There is so much I want to change. I ended up adding a black velvet strip at the waist under the belt band. It changes EVERYTHING. I am in love with the apron again! Now I just have to steampunk it... and add pockets and straps for actual apron use. The corset has turn out to be a total bust. My hubby laced me into it the first time and he tugged much to hard and split the fabric at the seams. I had to redo that panel which I was very not happy about. I wore it at Costume Con but by the end of the day it was starting to split again. Soooo the corset will have to be redone. The plan is to follow the instructions again but flatline it with drill or some other really sturdy fabric. The chemise needs to be redone. There simply was not enough poof in the material at the chest, nor was the shape just right. And of course the bolero needs to be done. Its a must now. The photo shows it without the apron. It was at the end of the day and the wool had begun to get on my nerves.

Due to many technical difficulties I can no longer update my webpage like I want to. Part of it is I don't have the time or patience to learn how to update it any longer. Its been a few years now since I did last update so I think I should let it go. I am going to keep my domain name, and hopefully I will be able to start it up again, new and improved of course. For now I think I will follow like a lemming what many others are doing and start my updates here. I am also going back and copying what I enjoyed about the webpage.