December 16, 2014

Maid Marian Dress

Child 1 said she wanted to be Maid Marian for halloween. I said Yes, let's Make it!

I had previously tried to make a dress for Becky on the 1910s Tea Gown pattern from It used up a ton of fabric from the stash, in the form of a sea green grayish-blue length of fabric I had had for years, and the end of a bolt of white fabric originally bought for curtains. Both in a cotton/linen blend.

Unfortunately, the pattern just was not a good match for Becky's body, so all the pieces have been sitting in the cupboard. I thought this would be a good color scheme for a Maid Marian dress, and a way to use up much of the fabric from the chunks of the tea gown.

First, I made a sketch, and took some body measurements from the customer. Child 1 thought three decorative buttons on the front bodice would look good for final trim.

Next, I made up a rough pattern and a bodice muslin from the measurements.

This was adjusted until it looked reasonable, then taken apart and made into a pattern. I went with a princess seam design on top, with the seam delineating the border between green and white fabric in front. The bodice is fully lined with a white fabric version of the design. The sleeve pattern I just sketched up from measurements; it is very like the sleeve used in the Regency Girl's Dresses I've made before in both pattern and construction.

All parts were then cut in real fabric, with seam allowance added.

I started putting the pieces together.

For the skirt, I didn't bother with a pattern. I just made the pieces a bit longer than needed and as full as I could given the fabric pieces I had to work with. There is a partial coverage green overskirt, and a full white underskirt. I ended up hand hemming the green skirt, since I thought it would look significantly better.

The back closure is three buttons on the bodice, linked to a simple placket in the skirt sections. I need to overcast the inner edges of the placket; they started raveling a bit last time this garment was washed. Buttonholes were cranked out with the Greist on the Singer 99, how all our buttonholes are made these days.

I think the sleeves turned out well too, and I do like this color scheme and fabric.

My sister Annesly was up for a visit a few days before halloween. We love it when she comes to visit!

One of those days I took as vacation and we worked on costumes all day long. She took on the hairpiece project with Child 1. It consists of a core of the white fabric formed into a head ring, spiral wrapped with a sea green strip. A length of silk gauze I had completed the look when knotted around the band.

It looked good when they were done with it. Child 1 wanted to use the library bag she made earlier this year for candy while trick-or-treating.

In action
Child 1 was very happy with this costume and couldn't believe how good it looked. I'm happy how it turned out, and also with how making it went so smoothly. That is not too common an experience for me on sewing projects I must admit!

She asked me to be Robin Hood when accompanying them on the trick-or-treat rounds. The last few years I have not had a costume at all; the kids' costumes seem to use up all the time and energy I have to spare. But Child 1 really wanted me to be Robin Hood, so I ordered some cheap green wool blend felt from Prairie Point Woolens, and quickly made myself up a robin hood-ish hat.

In case anyone is wondering, I made that plaster cast of my head when I lived in a garage in central square in my 20's, which perhaps I'll blog about another time.

The original purpose was to serve as a form for making technological attachments for myself, but now it sits on our bookshelf in the living room. Sometimes the kids color on it or talk to it as if it is me. It does come in handy for millinery.

The feather is from a bluebird. I borrowed it from the wind chimes the kids made last time we visited my mom in Oregon.

I made some little boot toppers from green felt, and glued more green felt around a hastily constructed arrow sheath.

Child 1 wore a stretch knit long sleeve shirt and thick tights under the dress to provide more warmth while outside at night in the fall new england weather. Fortunately it was not too cold. Here she is enjoying the spoils.

She has actually worn the dress on several occasions since halloween, which is gratifying. It is a nice dress, aside from being a good costume, and fits her well.


Anonymous said...

What, no picture of Robin Hood and Maid Marian?

SJ Kurtz said...

You are correct, it would be interesting to see your process for the cast of your head, and of course what you'd change about it now.

Costumes always good. There's always a good reason for dressing up; Halloween, Thanksgiving, dinner.