Soooo…. this is what 66 hours of work on a costume looks like!
My final spending, only on items that went into the dress as shown in this photo, was ~220 dollars.
Even though I didn’t end up being able to add as much trim as I originally planned or being able to modify the sleeve poofs, I’m still thrilled with the results! The fabric did a lot of the work for me.
I survived the blazing hot first weekend of the Mid-South Renaissance Festival in style, with a lot of help from the Porta-Cool unit in the cast tent and a whole lot of frozen gatorade.
I also have awesome friends. From left to right is Whitney (costume mentor par extraordinaire), me, Lauren (cast director and milliner), and Lauren’s boyfriend Aaron (our brave Lord of the Court).
Ever since about 9th grade, I had this silly idea kicking around in the back of my head that it would fun to dress up and be part of a Renaissance Fair. It was a fun thing to research when procrastinating homework. I never thought about it seriously until years later when my town got its first Faire! I got super pysched, signed up for volunteer positions, and was all set.
Now I just needed a costume.
I had done a small bit of sewing as a kid, and for the summer had access to a sewing machine. With a lot of enthusiasm and no clue what I was doing, I started to wander around the Internet. I decided to be a peasant, because it would be cheapest and also because Elizabethan clothing was definitely not designed to be worn in August in the American South.
The following posts will detail exactly how I put together my costume using mostly materials from Joanns and Hobby Lobby, with a few premade things like my fan, hat, and shoes bought online.
Here’s what it took to make the costume:
Budget (of materials that I actually used):
- 4.5 yards of green linen-look polyester rayon fabric at $6.99 apiece
- 1 yard blue cotton for lining at $4.99 apiece
- 1.5 yards bottomweight cotton for interlining at $8.99 apiece
- 4 yards rust-colored cotton at $4.99 apiece
- 3 yards 36”muslin at $2.99 apiece
- cable ties $5.00
- hat $12.00
- shoes $12.00
- belt $7.00
- jewelry-making supplies $8.00
- bias tape $1.99
- cream-colored cotton ½ yard at $3.99 a yard
- appropriate thread – 4 spools at $2.79 each
- awl to make holes – $8.99
- fan – $2.50
All in all, if you knew exactly what you were doing and followed the same methods I did, it would cost about $150 to recreate this costume. I paid a bit less than $100 more in supplies that I wasted on mistakes (such as my original kirtle fabric getting accidentally dyed pink instead of brown)or didn’t end up using because of changes in plans (rust-colored petticoat instead of a blue color that looked too much like medical-scrub-green, not trimming the kirtle with green bias tape, not making the partlet or cap).
compared to cost of costume components on Pearson’s Renaissance and FantasyLand Costumes:
So a comparable costume with all components purchased online would have cost over $210 ($265 if you wanted my double-skirt look) plus extra accessories, but of course taken much less time to make! it probably took me ~30 hours of work to fit, draft, and sew this costume.