Anyway, the singing groups I am a part of, Soliloquy and Broadstreet, are performing in a Madrigal Feast at a local church. Having never done singing other than broadway style in high school, I had heard the term "madrigals" talked about by the chorus students, but I didn't really have any idea what it meant. So don't feel alone if you don't know what I'm talking about, lol. According to dictionary.com: noun
- a secular part song without instrumental accompaniment, usually for four to six voices, making abundant use of contrapuntal imitation, popular especially in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Before I could pick a pattern, I had to figure out my fabric. I dug through my stash and set aside anything and everything that could work, but nothing really jumped out and inspired me. I decided to go thrifting and see what I could find, and over the course of a few weeks (and a few trips to different stores) I was able to find almost everything I needed for this outfit. I Know! Crazy. The biggest find was the fabric you see in this post. A local thrift store was having a clear out sale and marked everything in their back room at 50% off, plus they had a bag sale going on for their cut pieces of fabric (of which they had tubs and tubs full) where you got a grocery bag stuffed full of your choices of fabric for $5. I hunted through the tubs and managed to find some neat things, but nothing big enough for this project. That is always the issue with any dress of this time period - it takes a lot of fabric. Most patterns called for 5 to 7 yards just of your main fabric, some even more. There were a few rolls of fabric in the corner, so I walked over to check out that situation and what should I find but 2 rolls of real raw silk! I Know! I couldn't snatch them up fast enough. I walked out with 7 yards of tealy green and 2 yards (marked as 3 yards, but whatever) of white silk for $17.50. For 9 yards of silk! lol I'm still a bit in disbelief. The fabrics are very slubby and textured, particularly the white. I'm not sure what type of silk it is, but I didn't care. I knew they would be perfect for this project. So now I was able to make a medieval dress in fabric that was true to the time period - pretty cool :)
Next step was to pick a design. I had a few actual costume patterns, but in the end I decided to use Kwik Sew 3381. I picked this pattern up at a thrift store a few months ago for 50¢, and it's a nice formal wear design with a top and a full length skirt. I liked the idea of separates, mostly because that way I could wear this skirt in a non-costume setting as well if I wanted to. A skirt like this is a bit fancy for everyday, but it's a versatile thing for other costumes or if I need a fancy dress for another event or something. I used the green silk for the skirt (since I had plenty for that) and the white for the top.
- I took it up at the shoulder joint of the neckline about 2.5" on each side for my hollow chest
- took the shoulder seams in 1"
- scooped out the neckline to compensate for raising the shoulder seam
- added 3.5" in length at the hem, extending the darts
- cut in armscye 1" on each side
- took in sleeves 5/8" at seam
- shortened sleeves by 4.5"
- took a 3" wedge out of upper center back seam angling to nothing (for "dowager's hump", lol)
I'll be wearing the completed costume tonight, so I will be able to report how it wore in my next post. So check back soon to see how I jazzed this baby up to look like a costume!