15 October 2005

From the sketchbook to the sewing machine...

(Please note that even though I call this a "Doublet Diary" I will be recording every aspect of the costuming of this piece from head to toe. I now return you to your regularly scheduled Doublet Diary...)

I am about to embark on my most ambitious garb project to date. Hence the desire to document it. My wife & I have decided that we're tired of always being generic "Joe and Jane Elizabethan" so we're going to be branching out. When we are not actively participating in Guild activities with St Brigid's Hearth or if we're Playing Patron to scope our a new faire, we will be far fancier than our typical Elizabethan working class. My wife has caught the Courtesan Costuming Bug and I have have consented to squire her around in a new Italian-inspired creation of my own.

Before your start in on me, yes I know that Venice was independant of Italy and an Imperial power in her own might. Also, the portrait I was noodling with when I drew the sketch above isn't Venetian either, but the overall costuming is very much the flavor I am seeking. When asked, I shall tell folk that I have a Florentine tailor... or that I am the Venetian Trade Ambassador to wherever it is we are visiting. The thing to remember about costuming for Ren Faire (as opposed to other reenactment pursuits and groups) is that you can do anything you can get away with. I tell you good sir, I have traveled the continent and one cannot expect a single set of attire to see a gentleman on his way to... on my way to... where am I again?

That isn't to say I'll be out of period, just out of place. :O)

The planning for this actually began a couple of years ago, but I had a novel to write, a new house to move into and several perfectly suitable outfits for ren faire, so it was back-burnered until a few weeks ago when I began sketching ideas and toying with the original painting as above.

And - just because - new pic! No costume involved, just a snapshot my wife took on the ferry the other day. That's me, always with the nose stuck in a book or a needle stuck in my finger! (Ouch!)

The final outfit will be colored similarly to the colored pencil sketch above, using a much deeper wine red than I had a pencil handy to illustrate and a more muted sagey green than shown as well. The red doublet will be an embroidered open-weave linen and the jerkin a sage cotton velveteen.

I plan to use a pattern I am familiar with, which I drafted ages ago and works for me. One thing I won't be doing is getting into the how-to's of pattern drafting. At least not right away anyway. There are numerous sites dedicated to just that, I suggest Googling them.

More later... I need some sleep!


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