Completing the Brown Menswear Ensemble + Finished Photos

DSC_5288resize2This is the final post about making my brown menswear inspired ensemble. Part one went up almost ten months ago, and part two was posted a couple months ago. Today I’m sharing how I made the tunic and hat, along with some photos of the finished costume!

I started on this tunic ages ago, so I don’t remember the dimensions and measurements I used. But here are how the pieces looked after being cut out.

I used a lightweight cotton gauze for the tunic. I absolutely love the feel of this material, and it’s ridiculously wonderful to work. Unfortunately it’s delicate, so it isn’t a great choice for undergarments that will be worn a lot. I still chose to use it since I had some around and it was the perfect shade of off white.

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The first thing I did was fold rectangles in half and gather the top edge down to make little ruffles. The smaller ones are for the wrist cuffs, and the larger one is for the collar.

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The body of the tunic is made from a rectangle which is folded in half, then a neck hole is cut in the center of the folded edge. I cut a slash down the centerfront so I could easily pull the tunic over my head.

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The raw edges of the slash got turned inward by a half inch, then I covered the raw edges with bias tape.

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The collar and cuffs are made from two inch wide strips of fabric. The edges were all turned over by a half inch to create finished width of one inch.

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I sewed the ruffle onto the top edge  of the collar.
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Then the collar got sewn onto the body of the tunic. Lining was sewn in to hide any raw edges.

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After the lining was sewn in I stitched one eyelet onto either side, so the collar could be closed with cord.

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That finished off the body of the tunic, so I moved onto the sleeves. Both sleeves were tightly gathered at the cuff.

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The cuffs were attached, then ruffles got attached to the cuffs.

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After the lining was sewn in I finished the cuffs off with eyelets so they can tie closed.

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And that is where my progress pictures for the tunic end. I sewed gussets onto the tops of each sleeve with french seams. Then the sleeves were sewn onto the body of the tunic with french seams. Finally the side seams were done up, and the lower edge was hemmed.

Now, onto the hat! I decided to pair my doublet with a beret. Berets are super easy and made from three pieces of fabric: A circle, a circle with a circle cut out of the center, and a rectangle. That’s it.

I cut those pieces out of a thick brown canvas. Then I used these as a guide for cutting out the top layer of my beret, which is a brown stretch jersey. Definitely not the best choice for a hat, but I used it on the doublet and I wanted them to match.

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Here are the layers pinned together.

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With the right sides facing each other I stitched a half inch away from the edge of the inner circle.

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Then I turned the fabrics the right way out, this creates a finished opening where the hat will fit on the head. I stitched around this edge by hand.

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Then the two pieces got pinned together and I sewed a half inch away from the outer edge. Once it was turned right side out I had a hat!

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I turned the edges of a rectangle inward and trimmed it with some lace, then sewed that to the opening of the hat. This created a band/brim that I pinned onto my wig. I would have loved to decorate this with feathers, but the pheasant feathers I bought with this in mind were too large and the wrong shade of brown.

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I paired this costume with a wig from color.salon on ebay, the shoes are from payless, and the socks are from charlotte russe. This costume is menswear inspired and I tried to mirror that with the styling – the wig is still long but it’s tied back and i’m not wearing nearly as much makeup as usual.

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And that’s it! I’m not totally happy with how this turned out, but I like how different it is from my other projects. I’m planning on making another menswear inspired ensemble very soon. Hopefully my next attempt will be a bit more historically accurate because this is all over the place.

Thanks for reading!

Recreating Renaissance Fashion, Isabel de Requesens

I was doing so well with my twice weekly updates until now.

My only excuse is that this week was busy. I make a point to leave the house as little as possible, but I had nine days in a row where I had to make myself presentable and talk to people. I’ve also been trying to kickstart a lot of new projects which has been my main focus, I didn’t  try hard enough to find quiet time to write and edit anything exciting.

But I did get a few post outlines done, because I’m going to be prewriting a lot of things for the end of August, which is when i’m getting my wisdom teeth out.

Anyway, sorry for the delays! Regular posting should be back to normal. This post is the last in my Isabel series and focuses on making a ugly hat.

I looked around for Renaissance beret patterns but most of them focused on the gathered variant, which I didn’t want. So I decided to make my own – beret patterns are really easy to draft, but it’s a little tricky to figure out the sizing. Luckily my first educated guess was perfect so I didn’t have to make any changes.

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Then I cut out my pattern from velvet and reinforced the pieces with a lightweight fusible interfacing.

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The hat was way too floppy and refused to hold it’s shape. I tried adding boning, which failed miserably, then I had the bright idea to add horsehair to the seam. Nope. Bad Idea. Didn’t go well, it destroyed everything.

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I tossed that hat and luckily had just enough fabric left to make another one. This time around I lined the hat with quilt batting hoping it would add enough volume to hold it’s shape, but not too much that would make it look like a fuzzy CD balanced on my head (the effect boning gave).

I basted the quilt batting and velvet layers together.

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Then I basted the two pieces together and tried it on, and it was perfect!

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I used a strip of lace to finish the…hem? I guess it’s a hem. The opening.

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Then I rolled that over and sewed it down with a whip stitch and blanket stitch combo. I did this by hand so I could “ease” it open without puckering the fabric too badly.

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I used my machine to fully secure the two pieces together, and then I had a fully functioning hat!

There is some puckering at the opening, but that’s inevitable. It’s also not visible when worn.

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Then it was time for the beading – I didn’t follow the pattern from the painting identically, but it’s pretty close! I used beads I had on hand, aside from the weird rhinestone square ones, which I picked up from Michaels. I’d like to replace these with something more historical looking in the future, but they were the closest I could find without making an etsy order.

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I started on the nipple center part first, which I created by sewing down an 8mm pearl and stitching seed beads around it. I probably should have used more opaque beads because the red is really visible through these, oops!

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After that I freehanded the rest of it.

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And that’s pretty much it. It was a nice little afternoon project that took around two hours from start to finish!

Unfortunately the off shoulder style of this design restricts my arm movement by a lot, so much so that i’m not sure I can take my typical tri pod shots. I haven’t actually tried, but I definitely will at some point this week. If it proves successful I’ll make a separate post with those photos.

But for now this will have to do! A few mirror selfies with a wild wig I need to tame.

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As always, thanks for reading!