A. and I have been quite remiss in posting here. For that we apologize. It’s not that we haven’t been working on projects. We have had quite a few, but remembering to sit down and type or take pictures of the project in progress…. well I at least have a hard time taking the pictures. That being said…. Let’s continue.

 

The Bright Blue Shirt

     In the last 5 years ,we Peasants have acquired new guild members, some of them have never been to a Renaissance Faire. In the past we just made costumes for them. They do not always stay. We are not horribly expensive, and we try to work with in a budget, but were not cheep either. This year, we decided to loan costume pieces so they could do a faire in costume, and decide if faire was for them.

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The original color of the shirt.

     A and I have been a part of our Renaissance Guild for a long time. Our costumes have evolved over time, and as we have aged We keep the costume pieces and our shape and sizes have also. We’ve also had other members donate costumes. On a few occasions we’ve also had random faire folk contribute to our collection. Shirts, jerkins, trews, smocks, skirts, and bodices. Some of these pieces aren’t quite accurate in color, or style.

     J. is one of these new members. He had never been to a faire before, but another member had brought him in as an applicant. He was quite excited about joining, but needed a costume ASAP. (Our home faire was coming up quick.) A and I needed to put a costume together quickly. We have a very small collection of pieces for men. We found a a pair of trews, or pants. We found a jerkin or vest. The only shirt that we had that would fit him was a very bright, electric blue. This blue was so bright we didn’t think it could be achieved with natural dyes that would have been affordable for an English Peasant.

We had to change it…

     A. took the first leg of this journey, but kept me updated by text throughout the process. Some

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Results of not having enough RIT Color Remover or too much water.

of these including pictures.

     Using RIT Color Remover, she tried to remove some of the color. This worked, but not as one might expect. After 15 minutes in the bath it be came a “dark ? mud? color”. 45 minutes later, it was a medium chocolate “hot Cocoa” color. She then washed it in a regular wash cycle.

     We discussed options. Run it through another cycle with the dye remover, leave it out in the sun to see what would happen, or bleaching it, as a last result. A. then decided the color was not going to get any lighter, and was going to leave it be. After washing it in a regular wash cycle, she found the color removal was inconsistent. Some of the cotton fabric was a brownish color, and other areas were still a bright blue. The polyester thread was still the same vibrant blue was originally.

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10 minutes into dye removal attempt #2

     A., re-read the directions and realized she should have used 2 packets instead of the one. She decided to run it through another cycle of RIT Color Removal, this time using less water, and agitating herself instead of letting the washing machine do it. 15 minutes into the dye removal bath, she sent me a picture . It was a beautiful rust color. She left it in the bath for the recommended 30 minutes, then washed it.

     A., later sent me this photo, stating that it wasn’t as bright in

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The shirt was still wet, and not as dark in person.

person, but the color was consistent. As you might see in the picture, the thread used to stitch it together was still bright blue.

     Once again we discussed options. The polyester thread was still that unnaturally, bright blue. We didn’t like it. Even if it is just the top stitching, that blue had to go.

     I went to A’s house the following weekend, to pick up the the shirt and work on other projects. We discussed the options for dying the thread. I had already had two packets of iDye Poly, one in green and one in gunmetal. We decided to go with the Gunmetal, but I couldn’t find it, when I got home.

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This was not what I expected.

I went with the green.

     Polyester, being a synthetic, petroleum based fiber, requires the stove top method, as the heat needed for the dye to penetrate, cannot be reached or maintained in the washing machine.

     I armed myself with a Tamale pot filled with hot water, a wood spoon and a packet of iDye Poly green dye and prepared for a hot hour in the kitchen.

     This was supposed to be a 2 hour project, from the time the water began to boil to the washing and drying of the garment. Chemistry, however, had other plans…

     The dying part went well enough. The fabric of the shirt

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First wash after Poly Dye.

got really

dark, but since the fabric was 100% cotton, I figured most of the dye would wash out. It was a dye for synthetic fibers, and the goal was to dye the top stitching threads.

     For an hour I stood in the kitchen, on a hot day, stirring the pot. When the time was up I dumped some of the liquid out of the pot and carried it out to the washing machine. I ran the shirt through a cold

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At least the top stitching is green.

rinse cycle, and once again chemistry threw me a curve ball… The shirt was now a navy blue so dark it was almost a purple/black. This was not acceptable for a peasant. The color of the time period we portray, would have been too costly to produce.

     I ran is through a hot water wash cycle, hoping some of the color would bleed out. The color

lightened, but was still to dark to be worn by a peasant. The goal for dying the top stitching worked perfectly, though. Its a beautiful green.

     I went back to the washing machine, hot water and Oxi Clean. Half an hour in, I got impatient, I added a capful of bleach, and waited 2 or 3 hours more. Finally, I had a shirt I could hand over to a peasant. This “2 hour project” lasted an entire day.

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Finally!! Its an acceptable color.

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Everything about this post from Witness2Fashion is so true for all custom garments.

Bonus – it’s got sewing photos and ads from the 1930s.

Source: Good. Fast. Cheap. Pick Two.

IMG_20150316_174002637aSometimes it’s a little difficult to get excited about the upcoming faire season, but not when you’re sewing costumes months in advance! This month we completed basic peasant costumes for a very nice couple. They were pretty please with the outcome and looked great in their new garb.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pieces we made were:

For him:

  • a collared shirt in natural muslin
  • a brown linen flat cap
  • brown linen trews
  • a dark green linen jerkin with plain epaulets

For her:

  • a banded collar shirt in natural muslin that has more feminine gathering into the neckline (but reduced bulk in the body) and a ruffled cuff (making it higher class than peasant)
  • a full circle, six gored skirt in chocolate brown linen
  • a custom pattern bodice in (reversible) dark green and rust linen with plain epaulets and tabbed skirting

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These are the basic pieces for the peasant wardrobe, though women usually wear two skirts or an ankle length shirt and one skirt. Adult women also always wore some type of head covering (only young/unmarried girls and loose women left their hair down for all to see). Other basic items include a belt, shoes/boots, a belt pouch, eating knife, and mug. That’s all you need to be an English Elizabethan peasant – and likely all you had clothing-wise.

(more…)

Complete except for the pinned spot which is where one fold will hide the starting point of the drawstring casing. It’s terribly difficult to take a photo of your own head when you’re not looking at the camera.

New Photo Post: http://ift.tt/1nEm1gv

I just found a pic of our illustrious Lord Mayor on Ravin’ Mayven‘s Pinterest board for ren costumes. She’s got links to some nice costumes, though not all are Ren or historical. There are a few custom order listings for Ren/Tudor/Snow White costumes, among others. She also links to some other Ren / SCA costume boards that seem to be worth taking a peek at.

Thanks to Ravin’ Mayven (and Rachel for originally pulling the pic of our Lord Mayor onto the realm of Pinterest).

Update: Here is the Alameda Vintage Fashion Faire’s blog. The next event after June is Nov 14-15, 2014.


 

From overdressedforlife (6/11/14):

Coming up this weekend is the Alameda Point Vintage Fashion Faire, Friday and Saturday, June 13th and 14th at Michaan’s Annex Auction Showroom, 2701 Monarch Way, Alameda, CA.

Produced twice a year by Sandra Gordon Michaan, who also co-founded and runs the popular Alameda Point Antique Faire, this is more than just selling vintage fashion treasures, it’s a happening.

“This event is the fastest growing vintage clothing event on the West Coast,” says Ms. Michaan. “We provide our customers and the fashion industry with high-quality, rare vintage clothing and celebrate vintage with a different theme party every 6 months.”

The theme this time around is 1940s/WWII/USO and on Friday evening, 6pm to 9pm there will be a vintage fashion contest. First prize is a $100 voucher to shop the show. Plus enjoy food and a no-host bar, and live entertainment by Tin Cup Serenade featuring singer Emily Ann Reed.  Fifty dealers will be selling items from the Victorian era right up to the 1990s (I guess that’s vintage now). Please note that Friday evening is 21 and over only.

Saturday is the big shopping day but the theme continues for anyone wanting to dress in their 40s best. Or any era or even better, get creative and mix it up. Dealers include my pals Barbara Grigg from Vintage Vogue and Jula and Roberto from City Vintage.

The Alameda Point Fashion Faire – Friday, June 13, 6pm-9pm and Saturday, June 14th 11am-5pm. Ten dollars on Friday, which includes reentry on Saturday. Five dollars on Saturday. Michaan’s Annex Auction Showroom, 2701 Monarch Way, Alameda, CA.

Be there or be square.”

Link Love: Alameda Point Vintage Fashion Faire via OverDressed For Life

thimble_med

Medieval Thimble (or Thymel) on Fettered Cock Pewters

This interesting little number is a Medieval Tailor’s Thimble. It’s a ring-type, meant for sewing heavier materials. I put mine on my index finger and it stops on the second joint. The location and depth of the little indentations makes it perfect, and in my opinion, better than its modern counterparts. The modern ones tend to have shallower indentations that let the needle slip out to jab you with its still sharp butt end. It is a reproduction, but my only complaint is that the bottom flange that sticks up from the surface makes the thimble a little annoying to wear as a ring, which is a great place to put it so you don’t misplace it. It’s also a tad tight for my pinkie finger as a ring.

The thimble can be purchased at Westair Museum Reproductions (I believe it was originally made for them), Fettered Cock Pewters, on eBay and at several other sites for about $8 USD. Other sites, including Etsy, have similar thimbles for sale at different price points.