Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Commedia Costume: Guerilla Costuming #1

The pants were super easy--just a basic pajama pant with zillions of bits of green trim along the outside legs. I put elastic in around the waist but now that Chris has worn them, I'll probably change the elastic out to something a bit more hefty than the pj elastic I used (I have a ton of it).

Now the hat I had to fuss with a bit more only because Chris and I were having a debate about how washable it could be. My personal preference would have been to use buckram along the brim, shaping it into a curve so that it looked more like the picture:

But Chris really didn't want to worry about it, he thought a Renaissance style flat cap would be just fine. And hopefully washable. However, I didn't like the way it looked with no shaping at all so I threw in a bit of millinery wire along the brim to make it a bit more structured. I also interlined the brim piece with a flat, synthetic batting to give it some body. I don't know that we will ever be able to wash it, but after the first weekend I was able to handwash some spots off of the crown. Compromise!

I used ye olde Renaissance Costuming book by Winter & Savoy to get some quick measurements going for this style of cap but the circle I cut for the crown turned out way too large, making the hat look cartoonish. Luckily, this was easily fixed by chopping off 2" all around the edge of the circle. Here's what I ended up with:

At this point, I decided to add the wire to the crown too just to help it keep it's shape.

 I kept going all evening until Chris got home, not even waiting to try it on him because we were getting too close to the deadline. And guess what? When Chris tried it on it was a bit too big! Argh! Next time I'll use a brim from another pattern to make sure I've got the perfect size. But what could I do in the meantime? Ah, there are ways to get around potential pitfalls when you are Guerilla Costuming...

First, I flipped the edges of the gathered crown under and hand sewed it to the outside right along the wire edge. Next, I cut a circle out of muslin for the lining that was smaller than the outside circle so that when he wore it his head would hit the top of the lining and the hat would stay where it needed to be instead of sinking down. For this piece, I handsewed the gathered edge along the bottom of the brim along the wire line, covering the wire and also adding a bit of bulk. We decided this looked finished enough, there was no need to add a petersham band to the inside. When Chris tried it on again it fit fine--a little bit loose but that would be okay because it was perched on his head in the right place and he'd be wearing a mask anyway. Success!

Next: Guerilla Costuming continues...

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