Renaissance Man

My renaissance man (all from Simplicity 4059) turned out to be an interesting exercise. Each piece went together very differently.


The doublet – fancy gold paisley on shiny black brocade and black liner and thread from the stash, plus ten phenomenal gold buttons my sister picked out at Field’s. I faced quite a dilemma cutting this one, since the armpit/shoulder angle is quite different for each size, and I had to make a multi-size fit. As with Sherlock’s vest, I cheated and didn’t line this piece, so it too is a bit flimsy. I ended up taking in a bit at the back of the neck to improve the fit, but we’ll need to switch from loop attachments for the buttonholes to actual buttonholes, which should snug up the fit some more. I’m going to recruit help for those.

The shirt – off-white cotton purchased for 14124450_10100534014921766_8135100569807480212_othe project, plus white thread, interfacing, 2 mother of pearl buttons, and lace from the stash. This piece was a joy to build. The fabric moved so consistently through the machine that I felt like I’d suddenly gotten massively better at sewing. I hand sewed the cuffs and hem just like I was supposed to, and it is clearly the most proficiently-built piece from the entire weekend.

The breeches – green fabric, interfacing, lacing, and thread from the stash, plus 3 neat black buttons my sister found at Field’s. After the shirt, this piece was a nightmare. For some reason the fabric was double thick, but when you pulled the layers apart (which was quite easy) it was no longer fit for use. Luckily I figured this out before cutting. The grain would not behave, and I had the darnedest time telling what the pattern was asking me to do. I put the yoke together wrong – wrong pieces, and sewed terribly off-kilter. The best that can be said is that I got to practice putting in grommets with the tool I’d bought over a year before (and I had enough sample grommets to do
them 14086278_10100537213252286_8151797378300252391_oin green!). Oh! And I discovered that the best way to thread lacing through the hem at the knee is to take a USB to mini-USB cable and inch it through, then tie the lacing on and pull the cable back. At least they fit, and the yoke is more or less hidden by the doublet, not to mention accessory #1:

A sword – what can I say? Jeff likes swords. They’re proliferating, so it’s nice to have an appropriate one he could simply pull out for this costume. We belted it on with a regular belt and some kind of cheap holster-y thing off Amazon that you drop the scabbard into. Of course he also wore:

Hose – from the local costume shop. Not actually hose, he tells me. They’re socks. And he’ll probably need points or garters or something because they kept drooping. Anyway, the point is his lower legs were covered. And he also wore:

Shoes – we didn’t like the options at the costume shop, so picked up a pair of jazz shoes at the dance wear store. But of course nothing is complete without:

The re-used hat and high school renaissance outfit.

A hat – we actually used the hat from his last renaissance outfit (which since it was from high school no longer fits). It would be good to rebuild it in a nicer fabric, but in the meantime I picked up a peacock feather and sewed it on.