Sunday, April 24, 2011

Carnivale and how I celebrated Earth Day

Friday was Earth Day and I had been inspired to recycle and reuse something. My wedding dress from a previous marriage was hanging up in the hall closet in a plastic bag just taking up space. Since we have become involved with the SCA, I was inspired to modify the dress and give it new life and get more than one use out of it! ;-)

It's not totally period because of the zipper and the princess seams. The zipper shows as just a line at the back and isn't out there screaming its presence. The seam, a little more obvious. The original dress also came with cap sleeves and lace, along with lace along the neckline. Here's a poor pic of the original:
So I took off the sleeves and carefully removed the lace pieces off the neckline on Friday. I then changed the neckline into a more square one. I think I'm going to lower it a bit more. I reseamed the sleeves and then it was set. After filling five pots and getting them up to a boil we filled the bathtub with them until it was about four or five inches deep. Added some iDye (three packets), I had already salted the water so it just needed the dress. In it went. That was a bit of a breath holder, was I about to ruin a dress? It soaked for half an hour on one side with some stirring around. Then it was flipped and the other side was on the bottom and not floating up. Those air bubbles can be difficult to get out!  Another half an hour soak and some more swirling around. It was definitely looking a dark green wet. The dress was moved into a garbage bag so it could be taken out to the washer (we have a front loader and I really don't know how to get it to work for something like this. I added just a bit of soap and let it go through a delicate cycle, then on to the dryer for a similar cycle there.

I needed sleeves and had a cream color fabric in mind for them, but was going by a stash of fabric that had been donated by Debbie for the goodie bags. There was a black polyester with butterflies that I had pulled out (Angela was snatching all the other colors that was just enough for making the sleeves. Brandon cut them out and sewed them up for me. I sewed three ribbons on each sleeve and corresponding spots on the arm holes of the dress and we were ready.

I had a dress for Carnivale:
 I had my chemise underneath and my Tudor style shoes on. Hair up too. I need to work on a hair covering. Caterina has the suggestion of adding a cotton velvet trim at the hemline to give it a bit more length and make it more period. Then add some rings on either side of the zipper to then cinch the bodice down more and give support (I was wearing a bra under there). Also something about a gold belt kind of Empress style to also add as support.
Helping Sharon remember how to knit. She had learned as a child but was having problems remembering which stitch was which and tensioning. I showed her a way to keep the tension even and gave her 'bumps' and 'legs' as a way to remember her stitches. ;-) 
 Brandon's masked that he formed and cut from vegetable leather, then scored and hand painted. Very nice!
 His linen shirt that he sewed a lot by hand.
 His lined cloak based off an Italian extant one found.
The mask competition to show other people in their garb. You can also see that Brandon was wearing his kilt hose with his pants. (Andrea at the bottom right won with her peacock mask.)

Carnivale was a lot of fun. I didn't do any of the classes, but chatted with people. The feast was impressive with the number of courses served as well as the quality of the food. I had rabbit for the first time too! 

The feast had the added fun of a 'civilized food fight'. It was started by another table (we had their son at ours) with the arrival of a wooden bowl with a scrap of meat and cheese and the appropriate pun (I can't remember what it was). We then had to come up with a return with the food we had available. It kept the conversation going and laughs at both tables. We look forward to doing it again in the future.

After dinner there was more dancing and Brandon was kept busy with that. He'll also be partnering for the dance demo at Faire in the Grove next weekend.

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