Fast "Faire Legal" Garb for Menfolk
Has this ever happened to you?
Two days before Faire, you have a friend say, "Gee, I'd go with you but I don't have a costume."
Well, fear not! It is not impossible to outfit someone in twenty four hours, even if you possess only the most rudimentary of sewing skills.
Disclaimer: This is not meant to be guide for a historically authentic costume! Still, this quick'n'dirty Ren garb should pass muster for a boothie at most smaller Faires. If in doubt, check with the faire management. And if you just wanna "play" faire, you can wear darn near anything anyhow.
You will need:
- An oversize dress shirt in an appropriate fabric and color (check thrift and Salvation Army/Goodwill shops).
- Loose fitting pants in an appropriate fabric and color (drawstring surfer type are great. Sweats or even jeans will work.)
- Two to two and a half yards of medium weight fabric (in an appropriate fabric and color).
- Optional: Needle and string/twine/cord, fabric glue or fusible seam tape (Stitch Witchery is great)
The simplest piece of garb, and one that conceals a multitude of sartorial sins, is a loose jerkin worn belted and sort of 'bloused' over the belt. This tunic can be made long enough to conceal the pockets and fly of modern pants. The basic shape is a rectangle. Measure around widest part of torso and add six inches. This will be the width you need for the tunic. Measure from top of shoulder down to desired length and add eight inches and multiply by 2 to get the length you will need. Cut the rectangle to these measurements. Fold the future tunic across the short measure. Now fold the long way. Cut a neck line as follows:
Starting at the long side of the folded corner, about an inch down, cut a shallow curve up towards the folded short edge, about 3 inches long. Unfold the second fold you made. You should have a rectangle with a shallow "u" shaped neckline.|
If you have a few more minutes to spare, then sew side seams starting at twelve inches below the shoulder fold and ending at four inches above the bottom. If you don't have (or can't use) a sewing machine, take a large needle and some string or twine and sew with big X's or a whip stitch. Use about a half inch seam allowance. (Better too big than too tight!) Leave the bottom edges and neckline unfinished, whip stitch, or "hem" with fabric glue or fusible tape.
|Decide which is the front side of the tunic and from center of scoop cut straight down until head can fit thru the neck hole thus created and sew a thong or some twine "shoe lace" style across the opening if desired. . If you're in a desperate hurry, this can be belted together as is to form a tabard-style garment...|
Cut the collar off at the top of the neck band, conceal the buttons on the cuffs by rolling the cuff or sleeves (or remove the plastic buttons and replace with wooden ones.) Pull on the jerkin over the shirt and remove the top buttons from the shirt if they show.
|Now the Pants:|
Wrap the pant legs from ankle to knee with crisscross strips of fabric (use the scraps from the jerkin), twine or leather thongs. Make sure there's enough looseness to bend at the knees.
Belt the jerkin over the shirt and pants, tie a square of plain cloth "pirate style" on your head in lieu of a hat, find some foot wear (moccasin sans fringe, "Kung-fu" shoes) and a drinking vessel and you're set.
Again, this is not period, it is only meant to help with those last minute garb emergencies.
Huzzah and off you go to enjoy Faire!