Category Archives: 1500’s

HSF #10 – The Rose Red Upholstery Skirt

I managed to almost make this challenge on time. Much closer at least.

I’ll confess that the art part of this challenge was difficult for me. I very much twisted this challenge to suit my needs. So I found a few paintings that more or less correspond to my project. To be quite honest, I’m ready to move on. To start on some fun summery dresses and things I can wear in my real life.

There’s the painting that I referenced in my last post. This and the following one are more or less is about the bodice and shirt.



rose red inspiration2


I used this picture to help me decide where to put the hem of the skirt.


rose red inspiration

Look at that red! It’s so close to my chosen fabric.

rose red inspiration4

Besides the super heavy (a.k.a. difficult) upholstery fabric I used, this was a pretty basic skirt. I followed the pattern pieces exactly, didn’t use interfacing, and used hooks instead of a zipper. The waistband proved unwieldy going through my sewing machine (the three layers of upholstery fabric almost didn’t fit under the presser foot) so I’ve definitely sewn straighter lines before. Otherwise it went together quickly and easily.

With only a week left of the school year, things have been busy. A school dance, field trips, project grading, a talent show, end of the year grades, and Florida Folk Festival all conspired to delay any sewing projects.

The finished project with everything put together.



From the front I look a bit thick waisted, mostly because I once again made something that laces so that it meets in the middle. And then lost weight.

The Challenge: Art

Fabric: dark red upholstery fabric, there’s most certainly unnatural fiber content

Pattern: Simplicity 3809

Year: 1500ish

Notions: size three hooks and eyes, red heavy duty thread

How historically accurate is it? The skirt follows the rest of this outfit, which means not very.

Hours to complete: About 5?

First worn: For pictures today, but I plan on wearing for real at the next Renaissance Faire.

Total cost: The fabric cost me about $40, the thread about $3, and the hooks came from the stash.

HSF #9 – The Rose Red Wench Shirt

This is the second delayed posting thanks to FCAT. Also I had to further delay posting due to an injury due to my clumsiness. I fell, twisting my ankle this weekend, which meant that any pictures I wanted had to wait until I could put weight on my foot again.

I used the same Simplicity pattern for the shirt as I did for the bodice. Although I modified the pattern. I used view A but I didn’t put in any of the elastic. Without the elastic, the sleeves were gigantic so I trimmed about an inch and a half off from the seams and then increased the seam allowance to one and a fourth inch. And still you can see how billowy the sleeves are. I completely ignored the wrist hem instructions, sewed eyelet onto it, put a gathered seam, and handstitched a thin black braid over the eyelet/sleeve seam.


I again ignored the instructions for the elastic, this time in the neckline, because despite the fact this is only kind of historical I wasn’t quite willing to put elastic into a garment that was supposed to be historical. I did follow the directions and used bias tape as the casing for the cording.


It turned out kind of wench-y/pirate-y. However it’s pretty awesome. A more grown up version of the original inspiration illustration.


The sleeves are gigantic, so I’ll probably be using them as a pattern for Civil War undersleeves. They’re a much more satisfying volume than my previous efforts.

The Challenge: Black & White

Fabric: white cotton

Pattern: Simplicity 3809

Year: 1500ish

Notions: white thread, white cording, white bias tape

How historically accurate is it? Eh, maybe a bit more than the bodice, but not by much. So…let’s say 40%.

Hours to complete: 3 hours?

First worn: For pictures, but for real at the next Renaissance Faire

Total cost: a total of maybe $25, they eyelet was the most expensive because I used stash for everything else

HSF #8 – The Rose Red Bodice

I’ve been consumed by the craziness of FCAT, but we’ve finally come out the other side. I’ve been working on things, but not had the energy or dedication to make myself sit down and blog about it. We’ve got three weeks left of school, which means that I’ll get to finally get some nonhistoric sewing in. Possibly even some summer dresses.

But moving on, I’ve got plans to come back and complete HSF #7. I had a lack of inspriation/I was determined to get The Rose Red Bodice finished. This was what I originally intended to do for the Fairy Tale Challenge, but due to construction difficulty and my stubborn desire to hand stitch the lining I wasn’t able to finish it in time. But I finally finished it!


In case you’ve forgotten, here’s the inspiration, this one is a different page from the same picture book I used in the last post.


The bodice turned out to be an amalgamation of the original pattern, standard Renaissance faire dress from my memory, and a painting.



It’s not the most historically accurate thing I’ve ever made. But since I only plan to wear it to the local Renaissance faire in a purely spectator manner, I’m not too worried about it.

I’ve been planning this outfit since the challenges for this year were released. I looked high and low for the perfect shade of green. In the end I found the perfect shade in a random sale bin. It is definitely not a period accurate fiber. It’s some kind of horrible, snag prone, polyester blend. The original pattern only called for layers of fabric, the fashion fabric and the lining. I decided that while I didn’t want to be wearing a pair of stays or anything too corset like to be running around a Renaissance Faire, I did need a little more stiffening. So I used scraps from the 1860’s Wine Dress to give a little more stiffness to the bodice. The lining is also leftovers from the same project (which I also used to line The Maroon Makeover Bodice). I started out by trying to flat line the lining to the middle layer, but that didn’t work out too well. So to make sure the slipper lining layer and the middle layer didn’t wiggle around I did a kind of modified quilting thing, which you can kind of see in the picture below.


I put more boning in than the pattern called for, basing the placement on what made sense to me. There are bones on either side of the grommets, along the the bust darts, and the side seams.

I freely admit this plays a bit fast and loose with the historical aspect of this challenge. But my goal is to get the outfit to look as close as possible to the inspiration.


The Challenge: UFOs and PHDs

Fabric: A random polyester green that I found on sale. The maroon lining is a poly blend. The inner stiffening lining is a cotton bottom weight material.

Pattern: Simplicity 3809

Year: 1500ish

Notions: Red and green thread, black cording for the lacing (which is already starting to fray so it’s going to have to be replaced with a sturdier braid), silver grommets, and steel boning.

How historically accurate is it? Eh, I freely confess not a lot. I’d say 30%, it’s more accurate than the original pattern, but I didn’t do a whole lot of research about how it should look historically.

Hours to complete: Lord, I couldn’t even tell you. It took 3 months of working on it off and on. The grommets alone took three hours, my punch didn’t want to go through three layers of fabric.

First worn: For pictures, I plan on wearing it to the next Renaissance Faire.

Total cost: The only thing I really had to pay for was the fabric, which was about $15. It’s got about $10 worth of boning. $3 worth of thread and $2 worth of black cording for lacing.