Sunday, September 1, 2013

Experiments with embellishment (also, Renn-Fest!)

in which I abandon historical accuracy to the wolves. *
Long and involved story short:   I usually go to the renaissance festival in late October. This year, plans changed and we went today - when the temperatures were in the mid 90s (also, humidity?  yeah. lots.)     So I figured between not having enough time to finish my massive tudor re-do and not wanting to die of heat exhaustion, I would join the legions of women who go as sort-of-not-quite-belly-dancers and generally look pretty darn comfortable.

I also decided to experiment with embellishment.    (sadly, not at all visible from a distance, as you can see below)  Both the vest and belt have free hand embroidery based on the Angie's Fall design from Alabama Chanin (but mucked about by me - I didn't trace anything, just sort of did what looked right at the time) I also added a bit of beading in the primary petals of each design -- I ran out of time for anything else)  I've never tried anything so loose and sketchy looking before, and both enjoyed the process and the result.   (i.e. you will be seeing more of this at some point)

The Good:   as comfortable as could be expected (it was reeeeaaallly hot**, and we were all sweaty greasy messes by the end.  But, as usual, it was renn-fest-tactular.)   (fun fact: some of the performers strap ice-packs under their costumes to handle the heat and the layers.)

The Bad:  black on black really doesn't show up well.   Next year! colors!   (However, given this was made of the scraps of an old ikea slip cover, I think we can give it a pass)

Best part of the day?   I was able to wander around for hours (and drive there and back) and my knee didn't bother me.   (I tore my meniscus in March, and this was a first for me.)  Its aching  bit now, but I think that's more psychosomatic than anything else.

Pattern details:
The vest is based off the bodice of simplicity 3673, with pointy bits added, the neckline lowered and the opening moved to the front.

The belt is from simplicity 2158 (which is actually a belly dance costume, shock of all shocks.  It's rare I use something as intended - I think I originally got it as a basis for a bathing suit.)

The skirt is the lining I pulled out on an 80's monstrosity and now use as general purpose I-need-a-black-skirt-and-don't-have-time-to-make-what-I-want type of thing.

*Short digression on Amanda being a hero and pulling it off despite the heat.   She is amazing and insane and knows a lot of the performers and their secrets for making it through.  Although, I'm pretty sure she was ice pack-free.  Clearly, superhuman.

** not to be confused with I-refuse-to-go-outside-and-turn-into-a-hermit-hot, which is around about 110. like earlier this summer.  (33 and 43, respectively, for you Celsius folks)

(yes. I know, lots of fuss.   but the weather was the main topic of conversation today, along with making sure everyone had enough water.   I think I'll try to go again in a month or so....)

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