For our more colonial/RenFaire performances I'm aiming for Seventeenth Century clothing. I know I probably shouldn't have chosen what seems to be a difficult era, but it appeals to me somehow. I spent a week or two doing research(many thanks to helpful people) and came up with a basic bodice pattern I can use for the ladies' bodice. About half of the ten ladies are sewing their own outfits, so I needed something simple to give them to sew on their own.
Bodice back: altered from my Colonial gown pattern. This is made out of some cheap Wal-mart fabric I bought some time ago. There are three layers of fabric here, so the bodice is fairly stiff. I'm not sure if I want to keep the tab or not. This is the test garment; the linen is supposed to arrive today. I pushed hard to get my group wearing mostly linen this time around; maybe next year we will be able to afford wool as well. I have hope.
Sewing historical clothing to be used as rental costumes greatly changes the pre-garment planning. The ladies who will be wearing the costumes will not be wearing stays; and the costumes need to be worn by different sizes of ladies throughout the season. To that end I'm going to have them lace up the front to be slightly more adjustable.
The front before sleeves and eyelets.
Once this project is done performance group will have two standard rental costumes in stock: Regency, which comes in handy for the usual Jane Austen/fancy dances, and Colonial, which works well with the RenFaire/rustic performances. I'm hoping that these costumes will be adaptable enough so that I won't have continue to have such an enormous sewing workload.
In other news, my quilted petticoat is nearly done!