Amateur cosplayers and ren faire goers are easily spotted by their lack of proper undergarments. You see paintings and pictures of the outer most layers, of course. And to be fair it takes a bit of research to find appropriate underclothes, but that's where I started on "L"'s dress.
To keep costs at an absolute minimum I just used inexpensive percale flat sheets purchased from hotel suppliers on Amazon. Seriously - if you can break away from the traditional fabric store format of 44" wide fabric, sheets are a fabulous way to go. Some of the better ones are cut more on the grain than others, so I highly recommend taking out the hems and straightening the fabric right after washing in the hottest water possible. It may be plain, but these underclothes can undoubtedly take a rough beating and stand up to wear for years and years.
The original pattern I found for making a hoop skirt used a VERY LARGE rectangle with channels sewn in at intervals for the hoop insertion. The hoop material I was using wouldn't stand up in a channel on its own; it was made to be sewn down to the fabric directly. So, I though I'd use separate strips that were gathered at each level. In the future I'm not sure I'd use this method again, but it worked out ok this time.
I didn't take a picture of the top of my last-minute floating dress contraption, but the set up happened because I have a lower part of my ceiling that is covered duct work. I was able to put a nail in the trim and suspend an embroidery hoop, which I then used to hang the hoop skirt at the right height for "L"'s actual measurements. I used heavy duty button thread actually sewn through the hoop skirt waistband and tied plus taped at the embroidery hoop at the top. The polyester sew-in boning needed time to adjust to the skirt and I didn't want to leave it flat on my floor.
But on to the chemise.
I had offered both the gathered raglan sleeve style above and a skinny arm version, and "L" chose the raglan sleeve. It really does fit better around the arm, and allows for lovely poofy bits on the outfit later on.
Of all the pieces that make up a ren faire outfit, the underskirt is by far the easiest. In fact, I recommend it to beginning tailors who are comfortable buying other elements of their costume. It was the final piece of "underwear" for this costume, and came together in just a couple of hours.
First, the chemise added to the outfit.
There really aren't any construction photos of the underskirt, so here it is together on the floating thing.
There are two reasons I didn't build this on a dress dummy:
1. Kate has my real dress dummy at her house still, while she works on other dresses.
2. That dress dummy is a plus size model and "L" is a size 6-8. No way I can squeeze it down far enough!
After a while my contraption suspended from the ceiling became known as the "floating lady." It worked just fine as a stand in dress dummy and even doubled for the basement ghost for a while! The dog kept walking underneath it, setting it twirling and spinning just out of the corner of my eye. However, this is actually preferable to the dog laying on the incomplete dress, which certainly would have happened otherwise.
Next post will be the pretty stuff!
Twins each with half a brain in reality; the other half displayed here!