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Renaissance Faire garb element - ladies' skirt

Added Apr 28, 2010

by mitzisewzalot

Chapel Hill, Nor...






Every spring, there is a huge Renaissance Faire in the very next town over from me, and every year more and more people go and have a lovely time in the imaginary village. Plus they sell roasted turkey legs! So this year I determined to go.

Faires are set in different times and places, and the authentic clothing of that setting would be the most appropriate thing to wear. This particular faire is set in the late 1600s in England, so when researching clothing I stuck to that period. I chose to make peasant clothing because I only had about 2 weeks to make everything. I did all of my research online, although there are several very good books on the subject in print.

the overall project consists of the following elements:

male biggins
female biggins
male shirt thing
shin wrappings
male hat

Needless to say the past few weeks have been a sew-fest, as the Faire is this coming weekend.

To our modern eyes, these are not the most becoming clothes in the world – they are not particularly fitted or body-conscious – an element of many folk patterns! The typical skirt of the time period for a peasant would have been as full as she could afford, gathered onto a waistband, without pockets. It would not have been floor length, but rather hit about mid calf. It would have been completely hand-sewn.

I did not make a full-on, museum quality reproduction garment, but one that would appear to a casual observer to be fairly authentic. I did add elastic to the waistband for comfort but I put it in the front where it would be covered completely by another part of the outfit (rather than in the back as is standard on most RTW.)

Material Notes

Fabric of the period would have been linen, wool, or linsey-woolsey, fairly coarse hand spun and dyed with vegetable dyes. I chose a cotton sheeting cloth in a color that might have been created using madder and indigo dye baths.

In the very late 1600s they discovered buttons, which they used copiously. The upper classes used metal buttons but the lower and middle classes used wooden buttons covered with fabric. I covered some manufactured plastic buttons with cloth to duplicate this look.




Garment Type
Other, Romantic
Cotton, Blends, Linen, Wool

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    May 5, 2010, 12.07 PMby dkocsis45

    Good job doing the research and going for the authentic look! I hope you had a great time at the faire!

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