Commercially Alternative: November 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Borgias Renaissance Costume Part 1: The Idea

Many years ago, I attended my first Renaissance Festival. The Faire was such a wonderful experience, that I’ve been back every year it comes to town. While the performances have become a little repetitious and the wares are still out of my price range, what keeps me coming back is the fun with friends and, of course, the costumes.

I’ve never gone to Faire in civilian clothes. Of course, some years, the weather doesn’t cooperate and I incorporate what I can. Have I ever been remotely historically accurate? Nope. Do I have a great time and am learning more each year what would be historically accurate? You bet.

My first Festival, I wore a dress given to me by a friend. It was a lovely Ever After styled gown made by her Aunt and it just didn’t fit her anymore. I really did feel like a princess running around in its flowing skirts. (Despite freezing my butt off that year!) Since then, I’ve tried to be more accurate to the time and location of the Renaissance Festival. Every iteration of my costume has improved over the years little by little. Although, my first attempt missed the mark by light years.

However, this year I’ve grown a little tired of the multitude of layers and particulars required of historical wear. I just don’t feel like running around in corsets, bum rolls, hoopskirts, underskirts, over skirts, etc. I want to capture the feeling of running around in a comfortable gown like my first time again. Of course, that means making something new!

I’m using the costumes from the TV show The Borgias as my inspiration. I’ve never seen an episode, have no idea who's who or what it's about, but I’m enthralled by the costumes.

Here are some of the inspiration pictures I will be using. One thing is for sure, I will NOT be making the neckline that low.

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I’m still not sure of the complete design for my own costume. There are aspects I like out of all the dresses, but I feel I must wait until I can get to the fabric store and see what I have to work with before I make firm decisions. Unfortunately, I know I’m going to skip on the intricate sleeves this year. I don’t have the time to figure that nonsense out without a pattern. Maybe next year I can add in some detachable sleeves. I plan on making up for no gown sleeves by making a new chemise with enormous sleeves! Although, I can’t decide what material to make the chemise out of.

I don't know when this project will start, as I have a multitude of things on my grown-up to-do list first. But I hope I can begin soon as I am positively itching to sew! I'm curious if I can pull it off.