Slashed Silk Man's Elizabethan Outfit

This was my first full costume, long distance projects. I have done hats and smaller things for remote clients but never a full costume. I learned many things one of early lessons was, insure everything. We started out the project on a good note. I had the client make a tape and tee shirt torso. You can see it below, I put it on one of my dress forms and padded the difference. I also had the client have someone that knew about sewing take measurements. Things started going bad when I mailed off the first muslin, it had all the pieces, including the cape, in yellow wool. The client called to say that it never got there. After checking the tracking, according to the post office, they had delivered it, the client checked all his local Post Offices, we both assumed that it was lost. I made a new muslin out of the brown wool and denim you see below. (cont.)

The day before the second muslin arrived the first one show up. But, of course all this caused a two or three week of delay and of course, extra postage. A word about postage, true to form, I couldn't be just a state or two away I had to be the other side of the country. I figured that postage would add on a few hundred to the project but, I under estimated it. Don't try to guess what you think it might cost but, just stipulate that postage will be extra, no matter what that is. Not just postage but insurance as well, and know that as you get to the end of the project and it's value gets high you might be forced to ship it the more expensively, two or three day, just to be able to insure it. Below is the doublet from the first muslin, which did come in useful in the end, as I had to have the client check something and take more pictures. Digital pictures where very important to the project, not just for me to send as I went along to show progress but, for the client to photograph the fitting of the muslins. It wasn't quite the same as doing a fitting for yourself but, I did get to see most things very clearly. The muslin of the doublet is shown with the finished smock and Venetians. I liked this look so much that, I almost wished he was getting a yellow-gold doublet. (cont.)

The next set back came when, I found out that the roll of trim I was going to use, the one I had based both the design and the pricing on, didn't have enough trim on is. I needed 100 yards or more and I only had 35. To add insult to injury, Europa Trims had gone out of business (sigh). I had to find more trim and redesign the costume. So, we looked, on the web mostly, for something we both liked and I could use. I sent for samples, many didn't look anywhere as good as their pictures (something a kin to on-line dating, I'm sure). I finally found something I liked but, of course, not as it came but after I added silk bias strips behind. That added many hours to the project. It turned out to be great trim to work with but, I'm lucky I have a wholesale # because the trim place dones't sell to individuals.(more later)

Last Revision: 4 July 2005

Copyright Lynn McMasters, © 2007
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