Modification Madness

There were quite a lot of changes that I made to the two costumes I made for the Renaissance Faire last weekend.  I started with Butterick 4571 for the dress and Simplicity 4059 for the men’s costume.  Here is a shot of the finished costumes.


The dress was constructed with plenty of time, but when I had a few issues when I took it to be fitted on my mother-in-law.  I used a satin to line a nice stretchy crushed panne, and the sleeves wound up a bit restricted.  Additionally, I had an issue in that the top of the dress at the waist wound up larger than the skirt did at the waist.  So after doing the fitting exercise, I came home and made some significant changes, deciding I had to not care what the inside of the dress looked like if I wanted it to fit and be done in time.

Dress Changes:
– Removed lining in back of bodice and top of sleeves
– Added panel in back
– Loops and tie back

Below you can see the added panel and the loops & tie closure I added in the back.  This is actually closer to the original design of the pattern, which I had decided to forego in lieu of a zipper. When the zipper didn’t work out, my friend, Suzanne, suggested something like this, and it was a fantastic idea.


My biggest note on this dress is that the sleeves don’t play nicely with the square neckline.  At least with the fabric type I chose, velvet and crushed panne, the sleeves wound up being so heavy that they tugged at the shoulders of the dress, making it hard to stay up.  We wound up securing it with fashion tape (love that stuff) and added a safety pin at each shoulder to keep the dress where it was supposed to be.  The sleeves were a little bit long, too, so we pinned them up a bi underneath the oversleeve.


In terms of the men’s costume, I did very little by the book.  I made a version of this costume that combined some elements from View A and some from View B.  I also took a lot of shortcuts to make the costume easier to sew, since I had a very short amount of time.

Peplum coat:
– bias tape armholes and collar

– no lining
– removed sleeves (hence the need for the bias tape)
– stitched front together and fake buttons (you’ll have to see those in the finished photos)
– loop tie back


Neither of these costumes was meant to have a zipper.  This one when in very nicely, but when I went to zip it up, the zipper came off the track.  It was all I could do to seam rip it, and I gave the coat a tie closure with loops much like the ones on Debbie’s dress.

– elastic

I basically made a pair of short capri length pants with elastic at the waist and bottom of the leg.  This was way easier than the fancy pants that came with the pattern, and likely saved me a ton of time.


– no lining
– no interfacing
– elastic cuffs
– bias tape
– shortened sleeves


Turns out I didn’t have enough fabric to make the shirt completely long sleeved, and I certainly didn’t have enough fabric for a lining.  Since it was going to be worn under the coat anyway, I decided not to worry about it.  I threw a strip of bias tape across the front of the shirt because the seam wound up on the outside (ooops), but it was gonna be hidden under the peplum coat anyway, so why not?

Hopefully Debbie and Wendell can reuse these costumes somewhere – Halloween or a future Ren Faire visit.  They looked great in them! Here’s one final shot of the whole family.



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