Renaissance Fair costumes

Since it has now been a solid week since we wore them, I figure it’s high time I posted the final pictures of our costumes for the Renaissance Fair.I apologize for the delay: I had some major dentistry this week that set me back in my creative pursuits.

First up is me:


The corset-bodice you have already seen, and it was sewn from McCall’s 4109 view C, with the front opening eliminated, two extra boning channels sewn into the center front, a raised top edge, and smoothed bottom edge. I chose to wear the red side out because it was more fun.

My shirt is Simplicity 3732 view A, lengthened in the body and sleeves, with the sleeves gathered and sewn into a simple cuff, sewn in a very pretty embroidered white cotton voile from Fabric Mart. I promise a pattern review as soon as I can get some non-corseted shots of the shirt.

Here is a back view of the corset, showing the ties:


My skirt is a Scarlett O’Hara style remake of some of our old curtains, which yielded six yards of semi-sheer cotton blend fabric. Four yards went into the skirt, which I sloppily pleated into an elastic waistband. I then had to hem the whole thing up six inches, foiling my clever plan to use the original curtain hem, because it dragged on the ground when I walked. The little bag was made from scraps and ribbon.


Tim’s costume was simpler–I sewed a baggy shirt by adding more width to the sleeves and body of McCall’s 6044–which is my favorite shirt pattern for him. I gathered the sleeves into the shoulders and into an elastic casing at the wrist. I applied a placket to the neckline, eliminated the collar stand, and added buttonholes for ribbon ties. The fabric is an old poly-cotton bedsheet which had the advantage of being free and the disadvantage of being far too blindingly white for the period.

The pants I traced from a pair of his jeans and constructed with a button fly and cuffed legs. The fabric was a pinstriped bile-yellow stretch denim I found in the clearance rack at Joann for $1 a yard. He said they were very comfortable.


Tim’s hat is my pièce de résistance–without it, he looked like any random villager from the 1400s to Colonial times. Thankfully, headgear is very period-specific, and this flat cap, made using this tutorial, placed him firmly in the Elizabethan period. A couple of feathers added the necessary flair. On the upside, if I ever want him dressed for a different era, all we have to do is acquire a tricorne  or a biggen.

So successful costumes all around, though perhaps not quite as authentic as may be. I have to think that any thrifty Renaissance housewife would have reused old sheets and curtains without batting an eye.