Ren Fest 2018: M7763 Angela Clayton for McCall's
If you know me at all in real life or have been following me for a few years, you know I indulge in one unabashed weird thing every single year: The Sterling Rennaisance Festival. Not only do I "attend" the festival, but I go all out. All the fuck out. No stops. I've been making full-blown gowns for 4 years now, and a few haphazard costumes for years before that. I usually attend with my best friend Stephanie (of firedfigments fame) and her partner Adam. This year we lost Adam to the trauma of lots of work, but I finally got to drag Sam.
I don't usually post to the blog about my handmade festival gown because I never really thought anyone was interested! But I got a lot of great response from people on instagram wanting to hear more about the process of making the dress, so I figured I'd lay the whole process out for those who were curious!
Every year I usually Frankenstein a bunch of patterns together and this year was no exception. I leaned very heavily on Angela Clayton for McCall's M7763 new pattern. The entire bodice and multiple skirts are made from this pattern. I measured slightly incorrectly (in my defense, I haven't made a wearable garment in months) and ended up with an inch gap between the two bodice front pieces. I drafted a kind of apron style front section to attach the underskirt to give me some protection in the frontal area. Angela recommends making a full coverage smock to go under the bodice but I don't live that life. I'm telling you now, you aren't at a renaissance festival if you don't feel like you've got too much cleavage hanging out.
I also very lazily redrafted these sleeves from a tutorial on Angela's blog about a similar dress she made. I was super lucky that the poofy sleeve you see in the picture of this pattern is a layer on top of an entirely finished long sleeve, so it was VERY easy to slash the sleeve into two pieces and add the gathered pieces. You can see the elbow poof (for lack of a better term) is a little low and the shoulder poof is a little wide and takes the brunt of the rotation of the arm. Things to think about for next year!
I also was too lazy to put a facing all the way around the bottom edge so I just hemmed it. The entire dress and facing are made out of the same navy shantung and the bodice and the sleeved have a layer of navy 3D lace I picked up at Joannes on sale. The underskirt and poofy bits are all made out of white muslin because I'm poor and also lazy.
The bodice is lined and boned in the laziest and cheap way humanly possible. I always line a renaissance gown bodice with canvas to give it support and... no judgment, but I use zip ties taped together as boning instead of steel. I know this is sacrilege in the sewing community, but I don't have the time and money to drop on steel boning on a gown I'm going to wear once and feel uncomfortable in regardless. I tape 4 zip ties together for one channel and it's working great for me. I also used metal eyelets because, again, lazy.
Anyways, I'm happy to answer any more questions about the dress is you have them. I also made Sam's poufy sleeved top which is... not the world's best work but it did the trick. We missed Adam but we had a great trip this year, ate a lot of turkey, drank a lot of beer, and had a lot of fun.
Do you guys visit a festival in your area? Or do you spend a lot of time on something weird that you love and other people might not understand? Let me know!