At #4’s school, every November they have an Elizabethan Feast. In the history classes about this time they are hitting that era in history, and it’s one of the fun things they do. So, I got to break out sewing and design chops, do a bit of Looking Up Of Stuff, and make a couple of Elizabethan outfits…except one of them was Not Elizabethan, more on that in a minute.
The way they break it down, the lower the grade (Upper School is 7th-12 grade, about 60 kids), the lower the social status. Thus, #4’s class (7th grade) dresses as peasantry and the Seniors get to do up as Royalty. So, he borrowed a Jacobean muslin shirt from Dad, who wears it with his kilt for informal events, and I made him a vest that laces up the front and a matching hat. I made the vest a bit large, thinking (WHAT was I THINKING?!) that perhaps he could wear it again next year. It was made 2 weeks ago. 14 days ago. It came down and covered his hips, with a point in the front that came about halfway down his thighs. It was large across the back through the shoulders.
Then I laced him into it this morning. The back, which came down to his hips and covered the waistband of the chinos he was wearing with it 2 weeks ago…barely came to his waist. The point in the front, which came to halfway to his knees…barely cleared his crotch.
He has grown 2 inches in the last 2 weeks…and no, it didn’t shrink because I didn’t wash it. What. The. Heck.
Now for the Not Elizabethan outfit. We have friends with a daughter at that school, and she asked me to make her a dress. Simplicity Patterns has a collection they call The Renaissance Collection, which are historic outfits, covering early middle ages through Civil War. However, the teacher (an excellent teacher of political and religious history, tho not so up on cultural and social stuff) gave the girl a pattern to use for a dress. It’s Not Elizabethan, it’s Regency (think Napoleon, Jane Austen, that era) which is a solid 200 years later. BUT, this is the dress she wanted and frankly, it’s adorable and looks awesome one her, so that’s what I made, attempting mightily to make it as Elizabethan as I possibly could with backlacing instead of tiny buttons and separate lace-on sleeves instead of tiny puffed shoulders…and she is very happy with it. What I am GOING to do now is purchase a whole series of patterns that *ARE* Elizabethan (ish) and donate them to the school.