Friday, June 20, 2014

Peter's Faire Garb

Once upon a time a boy named Peter met a girl named Sarah, and they became friends. That is the short story and there is no fairytale end to it, because they don't believe in fairy tales and Peter has a strong objection to being called a fairy.

The only ripple in this happy sea of friendship was Peter's appalling lack of appreciation for authentically reproduced historical clothing. He would often break Sarah's heart by failing to notice or appreciate hand made buttonholes and top stitching and would enrage her by pairing a 200 year old style garment with modern shorts, or sunglasses, or flip flops.

But any good friendship is about compromise and respect and acceptance so when Peter's house burned down and he lost his garb, Sarah made him new ones that were "piratey" and did not push her agenda of being historically attired. And thus peace was maintained.

So, dear readers, this post is *not* about reproducing a specific style or time period but about making a simple and inexpensive outfit that is great for "Faire Wear".

I started off with a simple square cut shirt that is semi 18th century (indeed this method of cutting shirts was around for a very long time prior to then, as well). Instead of a button or tie at the neck I hammered metal grommets into the slit opening for a lace up closure. This seemed to be more "piratey".

The shirt was made from a thrifted cotton sheet, rather heavy with a tight weave. It was completely machine constructed which made it a very fast project. All seams were felled for a neat and smooth interior and for boosting longevity of the garment.

The sash was made from a thrifted red tablecloth. It is simply a strip of fabric about 130" long and 12" wide that I hemmed on all sides. There are many methods to wrapping and tying a sash but here it is simply wrapped twice around the torso and folded and knotted at the right hip. Peter will supply his own belt and sword.

The last thing to make was a waistcoat, or vest. I originally wanted to make a jerkin styled garment but settled with Peter on a simpler, longer style (loosely) inspired by Jack Sparrows waistcoat in Pirates of the Caribbean. It is semi-18th century in feel and made from some small fabric lengths found at the thrift store.

The fronts are cut long and slightly cut away. The back is shorter. There are two pockets at hip length on the front.

The back is adjusted for fit with a lace up belt.

The back and lining was made from a thrifted cotton sheet in sage green. Altogether everything cost under $10!

Hopefully this won't be paired with sunglasses but if it is, it is no great travesty to history. Debut tomorrow - hopefully it all works well for Mr. Peter.



  1. Fabulous! I love the colors on the waistcoat mixed with the red sash.

  2. Ooooooh....I am loving this faire outfit!!! Well done!

  3. Sometimes it's nice to just let go and make something not quite period, but still fun. I think the whole outfit looks great!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!