Some friends and I decided, with only a few weeks to go, that we wanted to attend Sydney's Winterfest and that we wanted to go in costume
I began looking around the internet for suitable patterns and tutorials for a medieval ensemble.
I began my outfit with a chemise, using an old, off-white cotton sheet and this tutorial for an Italian Chemise. I was slightly limited with my fabric, so my sleeves are unfortunately not as delightfully full as in the tutorial, but they will do. I french seamed the entire thing. I'm not sure if that is period correct, but as overlocking the edges would be so very historically innaccurate, I decided french seams would at least have been possible. I also did not have enough fabric for the binding along the neck edge, so I just used some pre-made bias binding, which I think is close enough to the fabric I used to not stand out.
While simultaneously working on my chemise, I also began working on a kirtle. As I was just working from my stash, I chose a plain brown heavy cotton type fabric (that I think I got from my mother-in-law) as I had just enough to cut out all the panels I needed. I decided to go for an open front kirtle, which while it wasn't a very common design, it did exist, as researched in this blog post that I found. I wanted princess seams, so I used the bodice pieces from this Burda pattern for a Dirndl, taking away the overlap for the buttons, shortening the bodice pieces and extending the pattern down into a full skirt.
Once I had all the side seams sewn up, I tried it on over my regency chemise for a look. While it was awkward to hold for this photo, the waist fits well, and the bust section will do up for a nice fit once the lacing is added.
When I knew the bodice fit well, I went and cut it out again from some calico to line the bodice with.
With the half made chemise underneath.
I hand sewed a boning channel either side of the front opening, then began hand sewing my lacing eyelets. I found some tutorials through pinterest, to sew these with a sort of reverse blanket stitch, so these ones look much more polished than the ones on my regency stays
I also hand hemmed the front 2 edges. My thread colour matches so well, that it is invisible from the right side.
As I like to finish my historical costumes fairly accurately, I have hand stitched all of my seam allowances down to stop any fraying, instead of using my trusty overlocker. To do this I used a blanket stitch, catching the outer fabric to keep the seam laying flat.
Here is how the outfit looked, laced up with some cotton tape from my stash (I will try to find something more suitable later) I decided to go for a more period correct lacing by utilising spiral lacing.
Ideally I would like to also sew up a heavy petticoat skirt to wear over the chemise but under the kirtle, and also a nice cloak to wear over the top of everything if it is cold, but I guess I will have to wait and see if I can find the time!
Anyone else coming to Winterfest or working on any costumes lately?