Answers for Cate
July 28, 2010 § 4 Comments
In the comments to my last post Cate posted the following:
“Would love to hear more about it all too, ie: how did you get into it? Do you wear these type of clothes? is there a good market for them?……questions, questions…….. “
So since Cate was kind enough to ask me, I thought it’d be nice of me to answer her questions.
First, how did I get into (the whole medieval costumes thing) it?
Actually, I rather think of it like the passion for it got into me and I just started expressing it. First it was being inspired to draw pictures of medieval costumes, everything from casual sketches to full out coloured pictures with back and side views.
Then one day I found an old hand me down leather jacket and right then decided to take it to the next level. It wasn’t a big leap mind you, but it was an important one.
Isn’t she cute? Not shown are her boots, backpack and leather cap which are in another box that I can’t find at the moment. At first I used one of Daughter’s dolls but eventually I went out and got my own.
After that I really wanted to make something life size and it wasn’t long before I hit my nearest fabric store and picked up a pattern and some fabric. I started with unbleached cotton muslin because it’s neutral and cheap…mostly that last thing.
Stitched completely by hand this article of medieval clothing is a triumph for me and I’m particularly proud of it. It’s nearly ten years old and has held up to countless wearings and washings and the smattering of fake blood that left a stain on it only adds to the effect.
It wasn’t too long before I felt I needed another costume challenge and the result was this…
The dress is one piece with attached sleeves and cuffs and it can be and has been worn very effectively without the matching bodice. The bodice is three pieces held together at the sides and shoulders with ribbon through grommets.
When I finished this particular project I knew I LOVED doing this. Which leads us to Cate’s second question…
Do I wear these types of clothes?
Every chance I get…which sadly in the last few years has only been on Hallowe’en. But I used to throw costume parties just as an excuse to wear them.
The truth is, if I were more confident – and I one day hope to be – I’d slap one of the bodices over a blouse with blue jeans, call it an outfit and hit the local, with Hubby of course. 😉 And certainly there’s nothing saying I can’t use my skills to modernize my stuff to appeal to a larger market.
Which leads us to Cate’s third and final question…
“Is there a good market for them?”
Yes and no.
If you know where to look and set up shop, which is with re-enactment and larping groups, I could make a killing but the market there is saturated and competition is pretty fierce. I’m not terribly competitive by nature and having to fight for customers doesn’t appeal to me.
However, the route I’m considering is more mainstream craft and folk art which doesn’t really have a demand for medieval costumes and accessories but it’s more laid back and definitely less threatening.
So there you have it. Thanks for the questions Cate, it’s been fun answering them.