Reenacting is a fun and rewarding hobby. Whether you portray famous historical figures or your own fictional character, reenacting is a form of time travel for those of us who feel they were born in the wrong era. However, reenacting can be overwhelming and very expensive. I hope through this blog to help those new to the hobby, or even those veteran reenactors, to enjoy reenacting without breaking the bank. Blog posts will address things like developing your character, traditions and etiquette for different time periods, and affordable but accurate clothing options. So step back in time to days gone by...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

From Rags to Riches

Recently I was asked to make a period outfit for a young lady of thirteen.
The outfit began with a trip to Goodwill where I found this checkered bedskirt
 (I actually got two of them).
As you can see Lizzy is helping with the presentation:).
I found a lovely white blouse at another thrift shop.

Here is the final result.
I made the skirt from the bedskirt and then used some blue fabric leftover from another project to make the belt.
I altered the sleeve cuffs and added some lace to the white blouse.
Altogether the price tag is low:
$6 for both bedskirts,
$2 for the blouse,
nothing for the leftover blue fabric.
I am going to make her a matching petticoat from the other bedskirt and a shawl from the leftover ruffles.
What thrifty projects have you completed lately?

Monday, July 25, 2011

What Do You See?

So what do you see?
I see a bargain!
This lovely dress was a find at Goodwill for $5.99.
But I didn't see a dress.
I saw seven black frog closures, a zipper (well you can't see that because it's on the other side:), and lining for a bodice that is being made.
Yup, this dress resulted in frog closures for future projects. These frog closures sell for about $3.50 each. The zipper sells for a couple of dollars. The fabric for lining the pagoda sleeves of my bodice would have cost a about $5. So for $5.99 I got about $35 in supplies.
The best part is that the money spent on the dress is helping others:).

Friday, July 22, 2011

New Suit

After two weeks of battling patterns Christine and I finally finished a Victorian suit for my hubby!
He tried it on for the first time today (it was a surprise) and with the exception of needing a nip and tuck to the trousers it fits well!
The pinstripe fabric was $1.50 per yard from Walmart (it took about 10 yards).
Buttons were discounted 40% from Joann's with coupons.
The vest fabric was $4 a yard from Hobby Lobby (the fabric is leftover yardage from a dress I am making).
We used a McCall's pattern for the trousers, Simplicity for the vest, and a Burda pattern for the coat.
The Burda pattern was very difficult to follow but produced a lovely coat.
Leftover fabric was used for the coat lining.
Hubby will look very nice at the next reenactment in his new pin stripe suit with hat, gloves, and tie:).
We literally saved hundreds of dollars making his suit.
It was a lot of hard work but worth it:).

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pink Brocade and Lace

Well another dress is finished and made it's debut
at our Pick Pocket Plantation tour today.
The pink, actually it's more of a mauve, brocade fabric was on the discount fabric rack at Walmart for $1.50 a yard (the dress needed about 7 yards plus the lining fabric which was also $1.50 a yard but only required about 2 yards).
I used a Simplicity pattern and trimmed the sleeves with some leftover tea stained lace from a previous project.
The frog closures ($3 for both) are also tea stained and the bodice is trimmed in a pearl trim (also leftovers).
The chemisette is an antique piece found at a local antique store for about $12.
 Altogether the dress has about $35 invested and a couple of days time.
 Don't forget to consider leftovers from previous projects when sewing a new project as it helps reduce costs greatly:).

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Gone With the Budget!

Gone With the Wind is one of my favorite movies!
I am actually fluent in GWTW being that I can quote most of the film:).

In addition to being a fan of the movie I also enjoyed reading the book as well as reading books about the making of the movie.

Aside from being a big fan I also love the dresses.
Of course, my favorite is the BBQ dress.

So I decided to make the BBQ dress.
 Reproduction fabric is available but at $35 per yard with 18 yards needed another option had to be found.
And so the search began for a fabric close in appearence to the original. I decided to find a comparable green and white fabirc and cover it over in sheer white organza in hopes that it would have the same effect as the original dress.
I finally found a fabric that would work at Joann's on sale for $5.60 a yard.
The organza was also on sale and I chose to use dark green crushed velvet for the belt instead of real velvet (a difference of about $20 a yard:).
The boning was leftover from a dress I purchased at a thrift shop for $1.

I used a bodice pattern from an old Simplicity ball gown pattern and made the skirt without a pattern.
This allowed for only about 7 yarrds of fabric as opposed to the 18 yards required for the actual BBQ dress pattern (yes I have the reprint pattern which can be purchased at the gift shop at the GWTW/Marguaret Mitchell museum in Atlanta).

It took some creativity but I think the overall effect is very similar to Scarlett's BBQ dress.
Instead of spending $600+ to make an exact copy, my dress came in just under $100.
Frankly Scarlett, I saved some money!

What's your favorite GWTW dress?