On Saturday, Griswold and I went to the Sands Point Medieval Festival. Like last year, the festival was small with only a few venders and acts (compared to some of the larger festivals we go to!) However, it’s clear that the Kingdom of Acre has a lot of heart, and that they send a lot of time putting together the best faire possible. And they do it in such a beautiful setting, too!
This year, a week before the festival, I suddenly felt the need to go on a costuming blitz and throw together something completely out-of-the-ordinary for me. Originally, I was working on my new gambeson to wear with my armor, but once that was completed and I realized that it didn’t quite fit correctly just yet, I decided to go a completely different route.
I ended up putting together a costume with the idea of an Elvish Merchant in mind; possibly, I think, keeping the thought of Ari’s mother with me and what she might have worn as the daughter of bakers. Obviously Sheyda’s family wouldn’t have been able to afford to outfit themselves spectacularly. However, being that they could afford to live in the capital of the Elven lands and that merchants are pretty much a step up from peasants–and that they are, in any case, Elves–I decided to be a little liberal with fabric and color choice.
My inspiration for color and shape actually came from an eBay auction I was following (and lost interest in once it went above $20). I loved the combination of a bright, vivid blue, paired with a crisp white. From there, I had the notion that a mint green might make a good color to offset the blue. And the outfit grew from there.
The major part of the costume is made from a royal blue bottomweight cotton, using the McCall’s 4107 bodice pattern as a guide. I made the bodice as directed (ignoring some steps, of course, as I tend to do) and added the overskirt to it in the spirit of the original costume I had followed. To that, I added a four paneled mint green satin skirt, which I think helped the blue to pop. Since I couldn’t complete a proper chemise in time, I wore my customary embroidered Ukrainian folk dance blouse. To finish off the costume (as if the colors weren’t obnoxious enough for a Medieval festival) I decided to wear my cherry red dance boots and beads along with my string of India silver bells around my waist. My pewter tankard finally came in handy, and I actually found myself drinking (water) out of it quite often during the day. And towards the end of the day, when I began to get heat stroke, I donned my gunmetal gray taffeta cloak to complete the ensemble.
Was I the only elf? Of course. Was I dying of the heat; between the satin, the bottomweight cotton, the loose hair, and the taffeta? Definitely. Would I wear the costume again? Absolutely!