I’m a little bit of a costuming nerd. Maybe an intermediate nerd. What started with historically accurate Halloween costumes in grade school turned into working at Renaissance Faire in high school, and Victorian costuming for Dickens Christmas Fair soon after that. Having a mother who could plan and sew a costume with a bit of research helped, and I inherited her sewing machines, fabric, and books along with some clever costuming mojo.
I dragged my kids to Medieval, Renaissance, Victorian, and Civil War events over the years. My daughter loved it, later wearing my old costumes and looking fabulous in them. My son, not so much. He still refuses to even talk about it. This morning he informed me that he hates safety pins.
Thomas isn’t much of a fan, either, but I did talk him into going to a Victorian ball with me last year, and we had planned to attend Dickens Fair in San Francisco. Unfortunately those plans derailed when I ended up in the Emergency Room of a local hospital instead. But hey ho! things worked out in the end.
Last night I took out my old costume and tried it on over my jeans and a t-shirt, then pulled it all off to take some measurements and see what needed to be fixed on the skirt and petticoats. While my back was turned, the girls decided to take a nap.
The green velvet skirt front is from my very first Renaissance Faire costume… circa 1987. It’s been creatively reused a few times since then. The back part is a large square of plaid Pendleton wool (similar to this one), possibly as old as the velvet, that had been in my mother’s stash until she died. The wool is gorgeous stuff and flows beautifully when I dance. Not that I get to dance much. Thomas doesn’t like dancing.
Yes, I’m teasing you, dear. Prove me wrong.
Today I’m fabricating some ruffles from plain black scrap kimono silk, because I can’t costume without throwing in SOMETHING kimono-related. And guess what I’m using for a small bum roll/mini bustle? And obi makura, of course. One of those little tie-on pillows that holds up the taiko drum shape of an obi. If I don’t find a reasonably Victorian handbag to use, I might even make one from some old obi fabric, but I’m afraid that might clash with the otherwise Scottish theme of the costume.
Well, maybe. We’ll see.