Monday, August 2, 2010

Renaissance Festival Costumes

Some time ago, I interrupted my To Sew list of
projects to start on the girls' Renaissance Festival
costumes. I didn't really want the whole King Henry VIII -
Anne Boleyn look - I thought something Queen-Guinevere-
meets-Lucy-Pevensie might be more fun for small
children. Found this illustration in one of our books
and decided it was exactly what I had in mind.
Minus the velvet/velour/crushed panne look,
though - it is the middle of summer, after all.

So used jersey knits instead - like Tshirt fabric, but slinkier -

and whatever trims I could find at Joann's

and went to work to make a Small,

a Medium

and a Large

Very fast work, as far as costumes go. The kids' slopers
were current, and all it took was to adapt the neckline and
the sleeve block into a long fitted sleeve slightly flared
at the elbow, inside an outer bell sleeve.

A bit overachieving in that they are done about a
month before the actual festival (hurrah), but I wanted
to finish them and share them in the middle of our
drafting series as an example of what a sloper
can do, even for two-year olds,
and even in stretchy knits.

I love the fit of a custom draft -

and the drape and movement of the fabric

- cool and comfortable like an old T shirt (literally!) and
yet with such a nice weight. The girls thought they felt
like nightdresses and wanted to wear them to bed.
I don't think I'll even bother to finish the hem since it doesn't fray.

The plan is to wear them to the festival and have the
girls pick out their own crowns (they're wearing
last year's crowns in the photos).

When I was sewing Emily's, I couldn't believe how much
hers looked like an adult's. When did she get so tall?
She's only five! I need to stop time.


  1. Your girls are lovely! The dresses look wonderful on them. :D

  2. As ever absolutely beautiful and inspiring! Love it when your blog turns up in my Reader list!!

  3. LiEr, they are gorgeous and look so comfy! I love the way the jersey knit drapes. Your post inspired me to look at some photos of one my favourite films for costumes (Shakespeare in Love '98).

  4. Oh, my goodness. Beautiful! And I am so glad to hear you can buy those kinds of slinky fun fabrics at Joann's. I've been wondering where one buys fun fabric in the U.S.!

  5. Wah, so nice!! A million times I've wished that we had renfaire here. But alas, wrong culture. And by 'wrong' I mean 'different'.

  6. Beautiful !! I love these dresses !

  7. These are beautiful! And, you are definitely converting me over to the idea of a sloper instead of my usual "copy the pattern of some outfit that pretty much fits right now" approach.

  8. These are seriously cute and look lovely. I never thought I'd call a renfaire costume cute but on your little girls it looks just that.

  9. Any chance you might post a rough pattern for these? They look like just the perfect costume for my daughter for our Renaissance Fest which can be quite hot!

  10. Your kids are so cute I can hardly stand it. And the dresses are great, too :) I'm a little envious of people who have girls to sew for... I don't think either of my boys will ever want such a fabulous dress. Although, I guess you never know.

  11. Wow, wow, WOW!!! I'd go to the Renaissance Festival just to see your girls! :) Couldn't be any cuter... the costumes or the girls!


  13. Delightful! They look gorgeous and meet kid comfort standards--what a stunning success!

  14. These are just lovely and so perfect! What a really inspiring post - you make it look so easy.

  15. wonderful job as always.

  16. What luck!! We are going to the renaissance festival next month, too, and I thought it would be fun to make costumes for my girls and was looking for ideas! I already have one costume bought for Halloween a few years ago when my Oldest (now 8) was 4. Made of crushed velvet and oh-so-lovely, but I think it would be a bit hot for a september weekend. The dresses you made would be perfect for my girls! I have 3 too! Off I go to the fabric shop! Thanks for the inspiration! :o)

  17. Had problems signing in yesterday so not sure if my comments got through.

    You always seem to have lovely stretch print fabrics for things like the shorts you made - where do you get such lovely fabric.

    I am in the UK - can you recommend an internet site for such fabric.


  18. Hello! The dresses are spectacular! I have a 3 year old girl and I want to make a dress like this. Can you send me the pattern? Thank you. email:


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