Monday, October 25, 2010

Reformation Faire costumes

Here are our outfits from the Reformation Faire! They turned out pretty "costume-y" but it was fun to be dressed up.

Our medieval family

Douglas was supposed to be a 14th century Oxford scholar (although he says everyone thought he was a monk). I had asked my mother-in-law to dig out his graduation gown, which she was unable to find -- but she did find his grandfather's robe. It was a little too short and didn't fasten all the way down the front, so I made him a long, sleeveless gown of cheap black suiting to wear under it. The hood is of black linen/rayon blend and I based it off a drawing in The Medieval Tailor's Assistant by Sarah Thursfield. When he wears it over his head, he looks like Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars. Soooo funny.

I made my sleeveless surcote by following instructions on The Medieval Tailor. I ended up using a pale blueish-grey pique knit in my stash for the faux kirtle. The fabric was given to me (free!!) and I wasn't going to use it for anything else. In the end, the knit ended up being a boon since I didn't have a pattern (the stretch is forgiving). Oh, and did I mention this outfit is nursing friendly? I cut two slits slightly off center in the underdress, which were hidden by the surcote unless I pulled it aside to nurse. I realized after I made the costume that the colors are kind of reminiscent of an outfit worn by Eowyn in The Two Towers. I honestly wasn't trying to copy movie costumes; it just happened! ;)

Clapping to the music
[Douglas helping Edmund to clap along to the lively music of Charlie Zahm.]

Edmund's baby dress is made out of the same linen as my surcote. I dyed it indigo, hoping for a dark blue, but I got more of a greyish blue that blends in with his surcote. His surcote is made out of an old skirt I made in high school that no longer fits me. I just based his outfit off of a drawing in The Medieval Tailor's Assistant. I wanted to make him a hood or coif but I ran out of time. He was probably happier without, anyway.

Lord and Lady (with grandson)
[This is the best full-length photo we took! How remiss!]

My parents also came and got into the spirit by dressing up. Dad wore his Tudor-style costume from madrigals group in college. Mom made herself a dress from a pattern she's had since the '80s. If I remember correctly, it is supposed to be a 15th century European noblewoman's dress. Mom sacrificed her eyesight for authenticity and went without her glasses for most of the day. If her eyesight is as bad as mine, I have no idea how she did this without running into a wall.

We really enjoyed the weekend -- great lectures, great music, great dancing, great worship, great fellowship... you get the idea. I also had great fun meeting and chatting with Karen and Lily, two friends from the Sense & Sensibility historical sewing board. Their entire family had the best costumes, which perhaps they will post photos of on their family blog? We shall see. :)


  1. You all look simply breathtaking! Wow! The surcote looks really wonderful and you look perfect. Your husband and little Edmund look darling too - as do your parents. Wonderful job, everybody!

    Do you plan on making this a yearly event? I was so disappointed to not make it this year (I even cried over the weekend for a bit!) I love your hair. So lovely!

  2. Oh my! I just found your blog(s) old and new. What a treat for me to read through the archives! After reading about Colette patterns on both your and Anna's (Pleasant View Schoolhouse) blogs I think I'm going to have to get one. I've never sewn *real* clothes before; only dress ups and costumes where lining and hems didn't matter so much.

    Thanks for the lovely reading and inspiration!

  3. Thank you, Sarah! You are kind. :) If we are still around this area next year we would love to attend again -- so I guess the short answer is, we would like to be there, Lord willing! Just so you know, in case you are able to make it next year, you need to pre-register to attend the Faire. They closed registration early this year (late September, I think it was) because all the slots filled up quickly. If you go, your family will definitely be some of the best-dressed guests! I have really been enjoying following along with your (more authentic) medieval sewing. :)

    Welcome, Elizabeth! I'm glad you like it here. :) A Colette pattern would be a great first "real garment" to try. I found the instructions very clear. Happy sewing!

  4. You all look great! Edmund looks like he was enjoying himself, and I love your costume - it does have a bit of a LOTR feel to it.

  5. Adore your costume! That's my favorite of Eowyn's garb (even if it was unintentional! :) )

    Looked at wedding photos--I had a silver tussie-mussie holder for my bouquet as well. So lovely!