January 2, 2016

Live from the Renaissance, It's Us

Ok, tell me honestly - have you been to your local Renaissance Faire yet? And if you have, did you go in costume?

We've gone to ours the last two years. Last year? Weak, last-minute costumes that made us feel like straight-up jerks. I mean, there are people there who look like they hand-wove the linen for their traditionally made sarks, and we bothered to show up with a couple of sideways bandannas and claimed to be pirates? Seriously uncool. So this year? No more uncoolness. We planned, we sewed, we painted, and we... looked amazing.

We crafted this dress together. The dark blue bottom layer was made from a very long, very billowy maxi skirt. The over-layer was first a dress that I cut very low on the chest, and then cut up the middle and laced up. To do nice lacing in the dress (and also in both knights' shirts), I used grommets. Her lovely diadem is some very basic wire work. She is no ordinary damsel, but a deadly and skilled huntress, with a bow crafted from the finest tree branch and quiver of arrows sewn from leather pieces and suspended by a belt. I actually strung this bow with enough tension that the arrows could fire a solid 25 feet or so!

This fierce knight wears a billowy shirt and a tabard featuring his Blue Pegasus sigil (with a stamp pattern that he made himself). His arms and armor are the envy of the shire: a wooden shield with leather handle, and a sword and helmet made from the finest cardboard and leather and spray-painted to look metallic. Here's a closeup:

We used this amazing breakdown of the process for both, and they came out truly excellent. Pro tip: to give the sword longevity, we put wooden dowels in the center, glued sword-shaped cardboard around them in a sandwich, and then used masking tape to bend the sandwiching cardboard together to create sword edges. It's been several months now, and the thing is still going strong despite having been in many a battle.

I was a Lady of the Woods, which meant a dress with very long sleeves and a headdress made from willow branches and beads.

The dress is actually extremely easy to make, and ridiculously comfortable to wear, since it's made out of jersey. I used this idea as the basis of the design, but added a wide corset-like belt.

Mr. Forty-Two Roads had the least developed look this year, but he did look very dashing in this lovely be-ribboned shirt with a lace-up opening. We attempted a shoulder pauldron in the same style as the helmet, but it came out as a learning experience for next time.

Now is a good time to start planning your Ren Faire look for next year, friends - lest ye be threwn in the hoosegow for your pribbling guise. But we? We are busy thinking up outfits for a Steampunk convention this spring.


sustainablemum said...

Your costumes look amazing. I am not sure we have Rennaissnace Fairs here in the UK but there are a lot of re-enactment groups here is that the same maybe?

Unknown said...

I think you're right about the UK being more into reenactment! But I did just find these:


Not sure if either place is near you, but the Viking stuff sure looks fun!