Friday, 21 February 2014

Quick and dirty

I'm working at a historical mine/museum. Even though it's prepared so that we can take visitors down there, it's still a dirty place. I've used it to weather both my female tusken and jawa costume. It gives a perfect weathering to simulate having lived in a desert for decades. From time to time we decide to do some special events, but the problem is finding clothes for it. My tusken and jawa have doubled, but they are in fact getting a bit too dirty now, and it's a bit of work getting them there and back again.

When I cleared out my fabric stash, and it coincided with an even where we were going to dramatize part of the history I took the chance to do some quick and dirty costumes. Normally I hate when historical clothing is equal to bad quality, but this was an exception. In the end I managed to make one complete outfit,in a total of two hours or so.

The most accurate thing was the cap. I made two caps out of a former bed sheet. The caps were made according to the instructions at, so except for being sewn on the machine they are pretty accurate. Definitely more accurate than the caps I found in the museum's basement and that were made with elastic.

Then I turned a hideous halfmade tunic that I found. It looked like a tent, and was made out of cheap cotton.
This is what it looked like when I found it. I cut away the side panels and cut off the excess material in the skirt to make it pointed in the front and the back. In fact I cut out a bit too much so it ended up too small for me, but I'm bigger than most people who might use it. There was also so much excess material that I could use my 3/4-length 18th century sleeve pattern and add it to the bodice. I didn't have time to make any kind of fastening in the front, but I think it can be pinned. In all I think the general shape is quite close, and the sleeve is definitely accurate. It's all made on machine and all the edges are raw and unhemmed.

Then I found quite a large piece of grey cotton and I pleated it into a simply 18th century style waistband. The skirt style is accurate, but once again sewn on machine and unhemmed.

To finish it off I took a worn out bedsheet with a nice blue embroidery at one of the sides. I cut it up and teadyed it to make a worn apron.

So for a total of $0 and two hours I created something that was enough to fool non-costume people that we were dressed as typical 18th century matrons.

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