So I’ve been absent from here for absolutely ages but I have a genuinely good excuse. We’ve finally moved house! 🎉🥳 It is a years rental so not our final destination, we need to move somewhere permanent next year, but it’s already a major improvement from London in terms of my health and quality of life. At the moment the contents of my sewing room (I have an actual sewing room now!) is largely in boxes, but after Christmas we are doing a massive Ikea order and I will have everything sorted to get on with my life/sewing again.
However I need to catch up with what I made over the summer. As I previously mentioned we went to a festival called Fantasy Forest. It was pretty much the nicest festival I have been to in years. The setting (Sudeley Castle) was beautiful, the music was very much my thing (folk rock bands like Incubus Succubus and The Dolmen) and the effort everyone put into their costumes was amazing.
So I’m really glad I decided to put a bit of effort into mine.
The moment I saw Simplicity 8866 I knew it was my thing. I love sewing with jersey and I love medieval fantasy costumes so it was going to have to be made. Ideally what I want is a black jersey goth princess version, but I needed to make a mock up first as I’d never made the pattern before and being a new pattern at the time there were no reviews on the internet, good quality jersey can be insanely expensive and this pattern is a fabric hog, I can’t remember exactly but it takes 7 or 8m, but I was lucky to pick up 7.5m of blue and white snakeskin stretch fabric off the fabric stall for £2.50 a meter which is the sort of stuff you use for swimwear or sports fabric but for the purposes of a mock up was ideal. As I only had 7.5 m I couldn’t do the version with big dangly bell sleeves, but in the end I think with such a busy fabric that would have been overkill.
The pattern was very straight forwards and fitted very well and was easy to follow. Except that my copy of it had a major flaw when it came to explaining what to do about the hood.
The hood is basically a rectangle shape and the pattern said to gather between the dots, which were on either side of one of the long sides of the rectangle, which made it look like you just gathered one side. Actually what you gather is the other three sides of the rectangle apart from that side. I’m guessing if you have a lot of experience doing gathered hoods that would be obvious, but it took me a while to figure out.
In the end as the pattern wasn’t clear I winged it slightly and ended up extending the sides of the hood down the princess seams at the front of the bodice. This looked awesome but wasn’t quite the way you were supposed to construct it.
However I wasn’t as assiduous as I should have been at making sure the centre front of the dress lined up where it was supposed to at the top, you need to take time and get it level at both sides, mine was a little bit lopsided. But it was nothing that the right jewellery couldn’t fix.
Other than that I was delighted with the result.
I made jewellery to match and decorated a pair of rams horns for my hair (which will be the next post) and did cool makeup and wore an AliExpress wig for the festival.
Didn’t take many pictures at the festival, but took a load in my mother’s garden before we left.
And here’s two with the hood up I took a few weeks earlier when I was trialing the makeup.
When I was at Fantasy Forest I entered the costume competition but although my costume wasn’t embarrassingly bad it was nowhere near good enough to win a prize. There were a lot of insanely good costumes, some of the people who entered had traveled from the continent and make costumes as a serious hobby/instagram job.
I was really proud of myself for entering though as I get terrible levels of stage fright and I had never tried to enter something like this before.
Realistically if we go again this year with all the house moving that is going on I won’t be making a new costume, I’ll be recycling an old one, but I really want to make a better one for a future year. I am already planning it. 😈