Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Elizabethan dress is finished!

I knew that time was running out to finish my costume in time for the Maryland Renaissance Festival, so I spent one weekend in September sewing my butt off! First, I had to attach the sleeves to the bodice. After that I handstitched the burgandy trim around the neck.

Next, I gathered the skirt as much as I could. It was so thick I was worried the my sewing machine wouldn't go through all the layers of the skirt and bodice. Attaching the skirt and bodice was easier than I thought--my little sewing machine is amazing! It's a Kenmore from JCPenney and it cost less than 100 bucks.

I was so excited because now it actually looked like a dress! The only thing left to do was finishing a few details. I added the shoulder rolls and the buttons to the sleeves. I ordered a hoop skirt from to complete the look. Once I could try it on with the hoop skirt, I hemmed the burgandy underskirt and the dress.

Here I am at the Renaissance festival!!

I completed my look with a large ivory cross on a gold chain, which my grandma gave me years ago. I decided to go with the frizzed look with my hair. The night before I separated the front section and made about 15 pin curls. In the morning, my hair looked really crazy when I took out the bobby pins. I patted the curls down and pinned them in place.

For the back of my hair, I decided to make a caul or a "muffin cap" in the same blue fabric as the dress. This type of headpiece can be made out of basic cotton or linen for a peasant costume and silks or brocade for a noble woman's dress. I found instructions online, which said to cut out a circle about 16 inches in diameter and a strip of fabric 3 inches wide for the band. I gathered the circle all the way around and then attached the band.

Everyone loved my dress! I received so many compliments from people of all ages. My favorite moment was when a little girl who was about 4 years old came up to me and curtsied. I asked her what her name was and she said, "Belle." She was so cute!

I can't wait to wear it again on Halloween!

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