Prepping For Valhalla Renaissance Faire, 2011

Jun 3, 2011 10 comments
I made this jacket last year, from a pattern in "The Tudor Tailor" (there's also one in "Cut of Women's Clothes I believe, and some other places).  The partlet is also from "The Tudor Tailor."
Those of you who do any kind of faire or reenactment know just what goes in to gathering up all your, well, stuff for a weekend in costume.  I've been prepping for Valhalla Renaissance Faire, at beautiful Lake Tahoe, CA, for a week now, pulling out costume pieces, trying stuff on, digging out corsets, shirts and hats.

There's one little problem this year.  Beautiful Lake Tahoe isn't going to be so cheery.  Instead we will be enjoying authentic "English Weather" with a side of rain, possibly snow, typical wind, and COLD.  Then there are those uniquely American bits to it, namely...bears.  I'm not kidding.

Anyway, bears aside, I'm of the opinion that a cold(er) faire is a good one, but a wet faire, not so much.  If it precips, I'm hoping for snow instead of rain, but it of course means more prep than usual...

The Lot of Items Upon or About My Body:

  • socks
  • leggings or lil' shorts (or both for cold)
  • shirt
  • payre of bodies (corset)
  • petticoats
  • red shoes
  • Footwear is always a problem with middle to upper class Elizabethan clothing.  Last year I wore my black rough Fugawee shoes but they were too small and uncomfortable.  I had to give them to a friend.  This year I'm going with the new Devonshire shoes - yes, these are 18th c., but with the latchets turned back like this, they are not entirely too far off from an approximation of Elizabethan shoes.  Low-heeled shoes were popular in the later 16th c.
Top Layers
  • yellow skirt
  • red jacket
  • caul
  • hat
  • A quick little project I like to call "The Elizabethan Ski Hat."  It's a pattern from "Tudor Tailor," but I've done mine in red wool with a white linen lining.  My research showed that hats were worn over these, so I'm going with the brown velvet flat bonnet this year.
  • black velvet shoulder partlet
  • gray wool cloak
  • Foxy Loxy cuddlefur
I bought FoxyLoxy at a costume sale up in Virginia City last year and haven't had occasion to wear him, 'cept for a vintage-inspired photo now and then.  It's his first in-costume outing.
  • leather pursey-thing
  • red gloves
  • basket full o' bitchin' noms and eating thingies.
  • A small leather purse I bought at Casa de Renfaire a couple years ago.  No, nothing remotely Elizabethan about it, but pouches and pockets are majorly handy and I like this one muchly.
And then those anachronistic things ... camera, cell phone, credit card, car keys, 2 thermoses of hot noms, and water bottles.

I think that covers it...


  1. you had me at bitchin noms. love the blog.

  2. Have you tested the shoes around water? They're so gorgeous, I'd be sad if the snow/rain damaged them. :(

    That being said, you've just reminded me that I don't think I have any shoes. Or, I do, but probably not for wet weather. Sadly I can't just make a pair like when I realized I also didn't have a cloak.. or chemise...

  3. The shoes are leather outsoles, leather insoles, leather soles, leather all around, so they will resist the water and wetness. I dyed these myself and used two different kinds of dye, one a stain that is in the leather itself, and one a spray that is more of a permanent topcoat. This weekend will be an excellent test for everything from durability, comfort, and wearability, to colorfastness of the dye, warmth, mud-resistance, scuff-resistance. This is my mess-around-with "quality assurance testing" pair :-)

  4. I love the fabric of the jacket. May I ask where you found it?


  5. Lylassandra, the fabric was a remnant I bought many years ago at I believe Hancock Fabrics? It was in a bin and it caught my eye. I'm not totally sure what all it's made up of - cotton, most likely, maybe some linen, though. It's a medium weight woven upholstery fabric.

  6. The Devonshires! Sorry, that's the first pic I've seen of them, and I'm very excited about them. Also, I am exceedingly jealous that there's a chance of snow for the faire. I would absolutely love to go to faire in the snow. It makes me wish I was closer to Lake Tahoe. Have fun!

  7. Wee! The Devonshires look fab and so does your whole outfit! Hope you're not too cold and wet in our loaned English weather ;)

  8. Which weekend are you heading up (first, second, both)? My husband and I will be there hanging out with St. Max and the lovely folks at New Sterling Arms (uber sword booth).


  9. I just had to laugh at the thought that you might have SNOW in *CA* at a Renfaire while I just survived 100+ degree heat at an 18thc fort rendezvous in IL. What I wouldn't have given for a little English weather :(


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