August 7, 2013

Elizabeth Inspired Ren Festival Outfit

My brother, myself and my friend Gina!
oops sunglasses!
So as I mentioned yesterday, this weekend I went to the Colorado Renaissance Festival and made a new outfit for the occasion. As you can see above it was only mildly successful, I didn't have time to make sleeves, press my hem, find shoes that would work or realize my stay straps would show but I actually really loved wearing this! I have work to do still, obviously, but I felt pretty in it at the time which counts for something. I also noticed from seeing these photos later that the bodice is too short on the sides but you cant win em' all. Also I have learned that I really do not like a center part in my hair, I tried to get a reasonably Elizabethan hair style and I think I succeeded but its not very flattering!

it doesn't fit my dress form very well!
just pinned closed on the mannequin
This ensemble was inspired by one of my favorite costumes from the movie Elizabeth (1998) with Cate Blanchett. In the scene where you first see princess Elizabeth with her ladies in waiting they are all wearing a variation on this look with a velvet bodice and different skirt. The outfit the girl in the center is wearing, the green ensemble, has always been a dream costume of mine so I was inspired to go for a similar look. I used fabric from my stash to get as close as I could without spending any money!

still from the film
still from the film
still from the film
The bodice in the film closes with two sets of laces in the back and is gorgeous in my opinion! Unfortunately I knew I wasn't going to have time to make hand bound eyelets and I didn't want to ruin the look of the back with big metal grommets so I decided on center back lacing and to cover the grommets with gold trim. I eventually want to add the same gold trim going down the back mimicking the originals princess line seams. I also need to add the puffed/scrunched velvet sleeves and sheer chemise like undershirt/sleeves. I also wore my bodice over my 18th century stays because that's what I had on hand but I would like to make a more rigid, and strapless, pair of Tudor/Elizabethan bodies to wear under this bodice. Finally I want to make a corded petticoat or something similar to wear with this skirt.

 I was really happy with how this costume came together for spending zero dollars, using up some of my stash and only having less than two days to complete it! I can see the mistakes but it was very nice to wear and now I feel I have a better costume for any Elizabethan or Tudor events in the future.

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