I am a longtime costumer, but this will be one of the biggest challenges I've ever attempted. I am one of the head costumers at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival in Tampa, FL and this will be my 9th year doing the show. I am hoping to make the first few challenges a part of my costume building for festival, to make my life easier. There are just a few important things to note about how I have to build costumes for my show.
This is a 7-week show. Costumes have to last seven weekends in Florida sun, heat (and the occasional cold spell), dirt and grime, and overzealous actors like myself. In addition, I am also a fighter at this show. If you've ever been to a festival that had a human combat chess match or a sword fighting show, that's what I do. So the costumes must stand up to running, jumping, rolling, swinging swords, and flipping off of structures. This means I have to balance historical accuracy with what is safe and comfortable. So I use plastic boning instead of steel, metal grommets before their historical use, elastic on occasion, and several other non-historical shortcuts.
The Challenge: Make Do and Mend
Pattern: A blend of Simplicity 8881, 3782, and Janet Arnold patterns
How historically accurate is it? See above; the silhouette and silk fabric is pretty historically accurate, the metal grommets and plastic boning, not so much.
Hours to complete: The repair took only a few minutes.
First worn: Bay Area Renaissance Festival 2013
Total cost: Nothing at all, for the repair.
I made this costume last year to play Jacqueline de Longwy at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival. This is one of the most expensive costumes I've ever made, because I fell in love with $25 a yard fabric. I'm really happy with how it turned out, and it stood up to a lot of punishment. However it is one of the longest gowns I've ever had to fight in, and I stepped on the hem more than once. Thankfully, it ripped along the waist seam and the fabric itself remained intact. So it was just a simple little repair to start off the year.
And a couple shots of the dress in action: