I'm building this costume from the inside out. Shift, bumroll, and farthingale first, then the skirt, top and coat.
The shift I made by creating straps and taking two lengths of muslin sewn together with a gore on either side to give more fullness across my hips. The front has a tuck in the center.
The bumroll was the second one I made from the Simplicity 3782. The first didn't look quite right with the finished farthingale, so I whipped up a second that's smaller and doesn't go so far around my hips.
The farthingale was interesting to work on. I printed three different sets of directions to make one, and bought my materials. They were:
1a. really nice weight sheets I've been meaning to use for something -- Not lightweight, but the heavier ones available. I'd used these for curtains and they're somewhat faded from their original color. Right now they're a yellowy green shade. I see no reason to fiddle with the color. They'll be covered, right?
1b. plain sturdy cotton for bias strips
2. plastic tubing for the hoop part -- from Lowes in the plumbing dept.
3. connectors -- You should have seen the look the guy in Lowes gave me when I told him what the connectors and tubing were for! He blinked for several seconds, then said, "Ooo-kay." Hey, he asked!
4. notions -- thread, super heavy use needles, etc.
The directions I ended up using were here, Making a Period Farthingale. I found them easy and quick. Honestly, the Elizabethan Costume Page has been the best help so far.
I did also make a corset from directions on the Elizabethan Costume Page, but I don't think I'm going to use the corset with this costume. I plan on building a corset into the top itself instead. On a side note, this corset was the quickest, easiest one I've made yet. I had it done in less than 24 hours.
Bodice: I started out using Simplicity 3782. I hate this bodice pattern with the fires of millions of suns. However, sheer stubborness wouldn't let me throw it out the window and use something else. After several muslins and many changes, I had something I was satisfied with. A picture below of one of the earlier muslins with sleeves attached. Also below are two pictures of the sequined beaded triangle in progress and completed.
Sleeves: The shape works for both the inner and outer sleeve.
Skirt: I used the underskirt pattern and have four panels total. I like how it looks.
For the couching, I enlarged photos to the size I needed, then used dressmaker's tracing paper to add the design to my fabric. The cording is rayon bourdon cording ordered online and dyed purple-blue.
The choker: I made the choker out of fun foam.
1.) Cut the pieces.
2.) Used Spectra Paints clear effect to make the 'frame' on the rectangle pieces.
3) Sealed with the glue method.
4.) Glued the pieces together.
5.) Several coats of gold craft paint.
I'm using pretty ribbon to fasten it at the back. I like it, it was cheap, it's light, and if it bites the dust at one wearing, I can make another easily with minimal effort.
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Long braid fake hair (one big braid) -- several packages
I’ll start off by saying that the glue gun was my friend on this. I used it for probably 98%.
The base for the headdress was a trial headdress I’d made of foil tape wrapped fun foam. I was in the sewing area and just started pinching the mesh to the frame, then pinning in a few areas to get the right shape. The trial frame I made for size, etc. covered with Activ-wire mesh I bought at Hobby Lobby. I then started covering it with brown fleece leftover from the cape I made to go with Guinevere for Halloween. I made the little braids to glue onto this. Each long hair section made eight braids that can make two rows each on the headdress.
I was so sick of the braids by the time I got to the back part that I just coiled them any which way. I resigned myself that this is pure interpretation, not a recreation!
1 12” x 18” sheet of fun foam in tan
Folk Art Acrylic paint:
664 -- Metallic Copper (50%)
666 -- Metallic Antique Copper (50%)
660 -- Metallic Pure Gold (just a smidgen to add gold tint)
I painted the sheet several coats of the mixed color, then measured the hair covered headdress and cut out strips.
I used 5 strips cut ¾” wide for the three wide horizontal strips, 8 ½” strips cut 12” long for the vertical strips, and 4 ½” strips for the long spiral piece. On reflection, I’d go smaller: ½” on the horizontal and ¼” on all the rest.
Once it was all dried, I used 3 pkgs of 20 count nailheads to finish it off.
The resulting headdress was fairly light and even though I constantly felt like it was going to fall off my head at CC, it didn’t, remaining firmly anchored due to a ton of hairpins of various sizes.
I ended up using:
10 yards of velvet, which was more than enough -- I still have about 3 yards of undyed white
8 yards of 45” interlining
13 ½ yards of piping
For ten yards of velvet:
I used three bottles of liquid purple RIT dye and one bottle plus one packet of navy RIT, I cup of salt and let it agitate in the dye bath for 15 minutes.
Looking at two pictures, I wasn't happy with the width of the sleeves. I didn't think they were wide enough, despite the fact that they seem humongous as is, so.... I slit up the center and started arranging the pieces to a width I liked. Okay, like is really a relative term. I guess what I really mean is a width that looked right to me! Then, I added in fabric using the pin, then tape method, which is my favorite for adding in. I then drew a freeform curve along the bottom to connect the two pieces, removed the two sleeve pieces, laid them out, tidied the curve and cut what wasn't needed. Since I decided I was now happy with the sleeve, I just added tape along the entire back where the pieces connect.
Then, I sat down and wrote out the construction 1,2,3 for connecting all the bodice pieces with the piping and the lining. *note -- please don’t email me asking for my notes or for my patterns on any of this. I created the final shapes and sizes of pieces for my body type and this isn’t an exact recreation. I’m not Natalie Portman’s body type or size!
This coat is seriously heavy! I knew it would be, but my gosh, it drags down! I had serious issues with the piping and finally solved them by pulling it really tight while sewing it, which meant I couldn’t really pin it down.
2010: I took this to Costume Con and had fun wearing it. I was happy to meet Kay_dee70 and Cleopatramwi, both of whom did kick-ass versions of this!