15 October 2005
These truths i hold to be self-evident
There are five essential truths that I adhere to when creating garb for faire...
1. Good garb feels natural when you’re wearing it.
2. Good garb won’t kill you to wear in the August heat.
3. Good garb is garb you won’t hate putting on in the morning.
4. Good garb is just as durable as the other clothes in your closet.
5. Good garb weighs style against wearability and strikes a healthy balance.
Unlike many who perspire over visible handsewing and 100% period fabrics, I tend to focus more on the overall “feel” and the correct “look” of a garment. I use handsewing when I need to (usually only if it will be visible) and the machine when I can get away with it. I'll use interfacing if I can and interline when it calls for it. My fabric choices tend to be about cost, breathability and texture (in that order) and the cut of my clothes accentuate the need to be comfortable and able to move in them.
In my opinion that’s a Good Thing.
I've won a number of awards in contests judged by people who are self-appointed "garb police". I attain good results with my five little rules. I arrogate that you can too.
OH! And the best advice I can think of... Don't fret so damn much. This is supposed to be fun.
I believe that it’s more important to get the look and fit right than it is to be 100% period correct in terms of construction techniques and materials. Get the look right, get the thing to be comfortable. What good is garb that looks fabulous, is made of expensive period materials, and is as uncomfortable as the Iron Maiden? If you can't feed yourself, looking pretty won't do you any good. (We lose more nobles that way)
People lived in the stuff we're imitating here. The chased lovers, coddled children, fenced, swung from chandeliers, quaffed ales, guffawed hearty guffaws... and generally lived active lives in thier clothes... their garb. Sometimes I think we forget that in our blind pursuit of alleged 'period perfection'.
Attain the look. Make it wearable. Make it comfortable. Don't stay up nights worrying about it.
A thousand “Garb Nazis” just began gnashing their teeth as I wrote that, but it’s how I truly feel.
Oh! And stop that. It's bad for your teeth!