• What this page is...

  • What this page is not...

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  • Pattern drafting is not evil...

    What this page is not...

    This page is not here to teach you how to sew, or how to use your equipment. I'm going to assume that you already know how to use the tools at your disposal.

    This page is not here to tell you what fabrics to choose, or what constitutes Historically Accurate Work. I will address recommended fabrics, and put up a warning on things that are glaringly inappropriate for renaissance costuming, but on the whole there are more than enough resources on the net concerning textiles, history, and so on that I'm not going to duplicate the work.

    Concerning Plausible Authenticity

    plausible (plô'ze-bl) adj. 1. Seemingly or apparently valid, likely, or acceptable. 2. Giving a deceptive impression of truth, acceptability, or reliability.
    If we are to keep our sanity in this world of being Forever On Stage, we must remember three important points:

    • It's a show, folks. Living History,if you are cursed with that nominative, is a lie.
    • Most of the audience doesn't know what they're looking at anyway
    • There are really only two goals: education and entertainment
    Clothing is icing. I'm not saying that we need not have good costumes, but if we spend too much time worrying about the small stuff, the show will suffer. The costumes should support your character, not the other way around.

    Concerning Historical Authenticity

    Stitch Counter (stich' coun ter) n. idiomatic. 1. An individual obsessed with keeping historical costume as authentic as possible. 2. (duragatory) Said individual so obsessed that he/she never finishes a costume because he/she foolishly believes everything should be hand-sewn because "that's how it was done". -adj. Vulgar slang. Of or possessing the characteristics of a stitch counter. (see also idiot)
    Don't look at me. Look it up. I swear it's in there...

    Okay, I'm in the business of making costumes. I will not be drawn into the argument that "...if a sixteenth century semster had a sewing machine back then, he'd have used it."

    Come on. How could anyone know what he'd do? It's academic anyway. I have a sewing machine, so I use it*. That person is a fool who surrounds himself with tools and then doesn't use them for the sake of some dubiously higher ideal.

    The point of all this is: make it look good. It doesn't have to be perfectly accurate to be a good costume. Capture an idea, let your character fill in the blanks: let the audience see you as a whole.

    Brace yourself : if the audience is concentrating on your costume, it's probably because there's nothing else to look at. In other words, your performance sucks.

    * Actually, I have eleven sewing machines, but that's beside the point.


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