How do I make my own Ren Faire outfit?

In this thread, the OP is asking for ideas on a Ren Faire outfit. I think that’s the coolest idea. Rather than hijack her thread, though, I thought I’d start a new one? How does one make one of these? Any links? Any suggestions? I am NOT a good seamstress, so I can’t really sew one, I’d have to use existing materials.

Do you still have any of those dance outfits you posted pictures of a while back? Short of sewing, or unless you happen to have a pirate shirt or peasant blouse and a big swirly skirt, that’s probably your best bet.

Well, that Lady Godiva idea I posted in the other thread’s really easy to put together…


Define good seamstress.
You really don’t have to be fabulous at sewing to make a skirt, chemise, and bodice. Many times it’s as simple as sewing straight lines and threading ribbon through seams for a drawstring. The bodice would be the most difficult part, but it’s very similar to making a really tight vest.

A lot of ladies don’t even bother with a bodice. The make a chemise (basically a large white tube with sleeves, drawstrings to gather), then make a skirt (another big tube, drawstring at waist), and then they buy a wide leather or fabric belt to cinch up the waist. Of course, that’s more the wench look. If you want elaborate, you’ll need to practice your sewing or be prepared to pay major moolah for someone to make it for you. You can buy separates, though…especially on ebay.

I do have a perfect skirt that would work! I’d just have to figure out a way to do the blouse. How about accessories?

Turtle-man, I’m pretty sure you’re at least half-joking. It’s the other half I’m sure of.

FCM, I don’t trust my sewing skill, but I have stitched up seams, sewn buttons back on, and once, just once, I made a duffle bag.

Well, if you want to buy the chemise (shirt), I recommend Misty Thicket Clothing. I’ve purchased chemises from them before, and I’ve been very happy. They also run auctions on ebay, so you can get their things cheaper than they list them on their site.

My favorite Ren Faire costume involves no sewing. You’ll need lots of period fabric. Leave the fabric out in the elements to fade in the sun, spot in the rain, and get dirty. Wear the largest piece of fabric as a crude hooded cloak. Using twine, wrap all other exposed parts of your body in fabric. Practice saying “Alms for a poor leper?”

The other option, of course, is to see if your local drama dept/ theatre company sells old costumes. Can sometimes find bargains that way…good enough to attend as apatron if not as an employee of Faire.

Also, faire itself would be a good place to buy something to wear, if you have the cash.

:dubious: I’m a girl.

I’d like to look sexy, not filthy.

well, probably not that kind of filthy, eh? :wink:
Having said that, depending on where you are located, you might want to speak to these “ladies”

Anaamika What? There were no female lepers? Imagine the comedy! Try to hear the following in a slobbering, hissing, unclean voice “Hey big boy! Fancy a go? Just five pounds. Oh, me right breast fell off last week. But, I’ve got a left breast that puts all other left breasts to shame! What do you say handsome?”

Exactly! If I’m going to look filthy, it’ll be the “roll-me-in-the-hay” filthy.
DocCathode, that’s nasty.

Anaamika, I think it would be awesome if you went as something other than the typical ren faire getup. Perhaps as a Moorish Woman ? I think that look would suit ya really well :smiley:

Why just woman? I say, go as a Saracen princess. Bring some guys along as your eunuch bodyguards. Demand any cute guys you meet kneel and kiss your hand.

If you want to make your own chemise, The Smock Pattern Generator gives a nice, period chemise that’s all straight lines. The gussets can be kinda tricky, but you can cut them so you just sew a single line from hem to sleeve hem. This is also a nice, easy pattern. Easiest of all is a raglan-sleeved chemise. It’s not exactly period, but that doesn’t matter if you’re being a wench. If you want really puffy sleeves, you should make the sleeves measure a few inches past your fingertips.

For bodices, The Corset Pattern Generator can provide the base for a pattern. There are directions on the site for doing it. Somebody’s probably going to hit me if I mention hemp cording again, but, my god, the cleavage and hourglass figure that stuff provides. I have a hemp corded corset that’s the base of my pirate costume and I like it a lot.

Don’t be afraid of sewing it all together. A chemise is all straight lines. If you made a duffle bag, you can make a chemise. The corset/bodice is a little trickier, but not too much. An Elizabethan corset was one of my first sewing projects. If you lived closer, I’d offer you a sewing lesson, but I think we’re quite a ways apart.

Those links above are all free, but Simplicity has a few wench/pirate patterns out there that will work for renfaire. They all call for Rigeline boning – skip this. It’s nasty and frays and pokes through the lining fabric. Use the longest cable ties you can find, instead. Seriously.

As for dress from other lands, 16th century Persian is all rectangular construction, meaning it’s all straight lines to sew. You can base them on t-tunics, I think. Otherwise, if you want to go as a harem princess, you want a Ghawazee coat, a veil some harem pants, and some fancy shoes. Folkwear Patterns has a pattern for a Ghawazee coat. It’s under “Caravan” in the Pattern Collections heading and it’s called “Turkish Dancer.”

You can also go as a “bellydancer.” You’d fit right in and you wouldn’t have to sew a thing. Just a choli and your floatiest skirt.