The Last Unicorn at the Renaissance Faire
Hello again! Second blog posts in a while, and what an exciting one! This was actually my first time at the Renaissance Faire and what a great time I had! But before I get into my actual Ren Faire experience I want to talk about my outfit, and a little bit on the process I took to make it.
Since, it was my first Renaissance Faire I knew I had to dress up! But I was unsure at first about what I should dress up as/wear. I was at first going to try and use costumes I already had, however I realized quickly that I didn't have anything that was "Ren Faire" appropriate. So, the quest for making something began. Before I began figuring out how to make my outfit, I had to figure out what I wanted to dress up as. Originally, I was planning on making an outfit like Guinevere from the TV show Merlin. I was really inspired by her when I watched the show and really wanted to make her dress, but then I went shopping for fabric (and I was determined to make this a "cheaper" build) I found this fabric and immediately fell in love. Once I saw this fabric I knew I had to make a dress inspired by The Last Unicorn. The only downside is that the fabric, while unbelievable affordable ($3 yd, it was considered damaged/faded), there was only 5yds of it. But as Tim Gunn says, "make it work!" So I did.
To make a pattern for the bodice of the dress I used a dress I already owned that had a similar build (no stretch, and lining) to the dress I wanted to make. Using the dress I created a basic bodice pattern and then added a bit to make it seem more fantasy oriented. Once that was done I used the pattern to create an inner lining layer that would have plastic boning channels and my outer layer with my pretty iridescent fabric. And this is where I made my first hiccup. While the lining layer came out fine with the boning, if I did this again I think I would have done the boning channels on a more heavy duty canvas type fabric rather than the actual lining layer, and I when I cut my outer layer I did not cut it "big" enough. LESSON TIME! When working with a more delicate/fray prone fabric like this you should cut the pieces a little bigger than your lining fabric, which I did, but not big enough...because of this I had some issues with some of the seams pulling and being able to see a bit of fraying. To prevent further stress on the seams I actually put on some Fray-Away. Learning experiences! Take your mistakes as learning experiences!
After finishing the bodice, then it was time to work on the skirt. This is where the lack of material became an issue. My original plan was to make a full circle skirt in two pieces, but after cutting the front piece I quickly realized I wouldn't have enough fabric left to make the back piece...that's when the voice of Tim Gunn appeared again "Make it work!" After the voice of perseverance/Tim Gunn I decided to make the back piece a half circle skirt with a small train. While the skirt shape looked crazy when sewn together, it actually looked pretty good when sewn onto the bodice, so yay!
After attaching the bodice and skirt (and the sleeves which were actually were much easier to do then I expected, I even got to use some of the fancy stitches on my new sewing machine!), it was time to add the appliqués. So, one of my one qualms with The Last Unicorn/Amalthea was that when she is transformed into a human her dress was not glamorous enough! When I imagine a unicorn personified, I like to think about them in a beautiful gown that is dripping with fantasy elements but sadly Amalthea dress did not have this. So, to make it more fantasy like and "Ren Faire" like, I decided to sew appliqués from some fabric I had bought for my Sorceress Kiki cosplay onto it. Hand sewing all the appliqués took quite a while but I love how much it dressed up the dress! The faux pearl trim on the sleeves also really helped with dressing up the whole look! After my dress and horn/flower crown were complete I sat down and figured out how much I spent in total on the dress. If I include fabric, lining, boning, zipper, thread, and faux pearl trim I spent about $30 in total on the dress. Which is pretty goddamn amazing to me! I was so happy that I was able to make this dress on a budget and learn A LOT while making it. Every time I sew or make something I like to take it as a learning experience, because while some people are able to do something right off the bat some of us need practice to get it right, and this is just part of my journey.
Well, after finishing the dress it was time to actually go to the Ren Faire! Oh boy, I didn't realize how popular it was! This my first time at the Ren Faire and my friends were so nice and let me take everything in. Another amazing part was that the weekend we decided to go, it was actually the cosplayer weekend! So, as expected I ran into a few cosplayers including Van_Kelsing, who was so incredibly sweet! After cosplay shenanigans we of course, had turkey legs and drinks, but we also did Knife Throwing! Which was amazing because I was the only one in our group to actually hit the target and have my knife stick! I will definitely be posting my reaction on my Instagram (so make sure to look out for it!). The only sad part is that we missed the jousting but we will definitely see it next year! I am so excited that I am already planning my outfit! Check in on my Instagram to see what I have planned soon! Well, overall the Ren Faire was an amazing experience and I can't wait to go again! Until then, TTFN ta ta for now.