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Creating Karita Costume: any tips?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by morgan92, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. morgan92

    morgan92 New Member

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    I don't know if this is the right place for this thread, but I would like to create a costume like Karita's one (actually I would like to dress up as Karita for the Elf Fantasy Fair in Holland this year) and I was wondering if anyone has any tips? For the right fabric to use, or the right patterns, how to get the jewelry and hairstyle right etc. etc.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks :)

    Morgan
     
  2. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    Are you talking about the tavern clothes worn by Karita the Bard?

    EDIT: because if you are, I am a dressmaker by trade and have a few ideas. I also make jewelry and have worked with leather. :)
     
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  3. morgan92

    morgan92 New Member

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    Yes, that's what I would like to make :) I would love to hear your ideas! I would be honored to be adviced by an actual dressmaker! :)
     
  4. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    aww.. thanks. Ok well I'm not sure how authentic looking you want to make it but in keeping with the fabrics styles back then, they would have used leather, suede and woven materials made from natural products like linen or cotton. In saying that it would be quite easy to replicate the tavern clothes. If you want it to look as authentic as possible, bare in mind that these were simple times and they had limited resources, as well as skills. Cloth was rough and people pretty much wore the one garment every day, so there was a lot of wear and tear.

    Skirt: depends on what sort of material you want and what your budget is but try and find an olive green shade in either a linen/cotton blend, or a suede (can be a mock suede as real suede can be quite expensive). It's a simple A line skirt but with the large split up the left side and the uneven hem line. Leave the hem line raw and to make it look even more authentic, put some rips and holes in it.
    Now you can either have the skirt as a separate piece or attach the bodice to it. If you are having the skirt separate then you could get away with having an elastic waistband, as the corset will cover that anyway.

    Bodice: it has two layers to it. The bottom layer being a more heavier material, like a linen, to keep its shape, and the top layer can be a lighter cotton. Try and find a cream colour, and you can even make it look old by dying it in some tea before you sew it. If you can get a dress or top pattern similar in style then that would be fantastic, but if not, an easy way to do the bodice would be to measure your boobs :D and then make two triangles that will fit comfortably over them, gathering up the lower edge to make it more fitted. The back is a simple rectangle that you can make more fitted with some darts on either side. You can extend the bodice down to be allowed to attach to the skirt or make it a separate piece. Don't forget to either put in a zip up the back or buttons to allow it to be easier to put on. The top of the bodice on either side is pointed and looped over a steel ring which in turn is attached to some leather straps. If you want to use leather for the straps, try not to use the same leather you are using for the corset. Find something a little thinner and not so stiff, but you can also shape the straps with the same method I explain below with the corset.

    Corset: If you are able to get your hands on some real leather then that would be awesome. It will need to be in four pieces. Two for back and two for front. Cut out the corset pieces (remember to curve them in slightly at side and then back out to give that nice shape) and sew them together (side seams and back seam.) with a rough criss-crossed stitch with either leather thonging or a heavy brown thread. Then punch holes in the front and use leather thonging (cord) to lace up the front. You can re-shape leather quite easily. Just wet it thoroughly and then shape it and leave it to dry in that shape. Don't worry about any scratched you may get on the leather, the more marks, the more authentic it will look. If you cant get your hands on some leather (look on ebay, or find a saddle maker, or upholsterer, they always have offcuts they can sell or give to you) then try for a mock leather, or a vinyl and line it with a very stiff iron-on lining, so it gets that stiff, thick leather look.

    As for Jewelry you can pretty much go nuts with that. Maybe go take a look in a charity store and collect some gaudy fake gold necklaces and bangles. You can easily pull apart costume jewelry and re-arrange it to suit the look you are going for.

    Hairstyle, well they had simple styles back then. mostly hair was worn down but you can take a section from each side and plait it towards the back (or braid it) and secure it with leather cord.

    These are all only suggestions and how I would go about it, but I hope you have fun making your costume. If you have any questions or want to just talk out an idea with me then don't hesitate to ask. You can do it here, or pm me :)
     

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