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Elizabethan on a reasonable budget
     One of the challenges of making any sort of costume is the cost. In period these people wore their wealth on their bodies. Most of us cannot afford real jewel and pearls. However, it is possible to do this sort of costuming on a reasonable budget.
      Elizabethan costuming is especially difficult because of the volume of materials required. Six to eight yards to make a dress, 20-30 yard of trim and all the other extras can add up very quickly.  I use some modern substitutes to lessen the expense (i.e. broadcloth at Walmart) Another thing I do is buy fabric on the cheap table (I have bought raw silk for 4 dollars a yard!) I have fabric that I purchased many years ago that I have yet to use. 
     This section is devoted to accounting the expense of my work. I do *not* spend a lot on my gowns. I realize that is subjective My gowns have the same cost (or less) of a modern evening gown.  I am only putting in the basic expenses.  Much of the time I will use remnants  to line cuffs or facings. All figures are in US dollars. I have indicated when fabric was a gift or traded.  It can be done with a little planning and old-fashioned bartering (which is very period!) Many times when I sew for fellow SCA people I trade sewing for fabric.

Massey, The banker and wife.
I love this painting because it almost looks like the wife has a costume she wants and is asking the husband if they can afford it!
Black brocade jacket gown

8 yds black brocade (on sale) @ 7.00
1.5 yd gold brocade 19.00
10 yds of trim @ 2.49
4 yds broadcloth @ 1.89
thread, beads and notions 12.00

My cost = 130.05

Red silk doublet gown

6 yds red silk (gift from a friend who went to india who bought it @ 6.00 a yd)
1.5 yd red brocade @ 17.98
11 yds black on back trim (originally 20.00 a yd I purchased it when the store when out of business @ 2.00 yd
5 yds broadcloth @1.89 yd
thread and notions 10.00

My cost = 68.42

Doublet gown in black satin

12 yds flannel back satin. (Christmas gift from mother-in-law) @ 9.98
1.5 yd silver and black brocade @ 17.98
72 yds of sliver piping @ .10
4 spools of metallic thread @ 3.98
3 yds jacquard lining @ 3.59
4 yds of broadcloth @ 1.89
Jewel buttons 22 @ 3.50
thread and notions 10.00

My cost = 145.42

Cream silk ropa

4 yds of cream silk @2.00 (it was damaged and I had to cut around it)
14 yds of gold trim @ .33
pearl buttons 7.00
thread and notions 5.00

My cost = 24.62

Blue silk ropa (cost includes stuff for sleeves that I have not completed)

6 yd of blue silk (again my friend who went to India) @ 6.00
30 yds of trim @ 1.69
Glass pearls 8.00
thread and notions 5.00
(lining was from other projects)
Antique buttons at estate sale for 8.00

My cost = 71.70

Grey silk gown with spiral sleeves

6 yds grey silk (I bartered for it) @ ??
10 yds of grey trim @ .99
4 yds of fringe @ 1.22
Buckram and pleating tape 10.00
2 yds grey lining @ 1.00 (Wal-mart!)
pearls 4.00 RIT dye 1.98
thread and notions 5.00

My cost = 37.76

Black and red over drum

6 yds of Fleur de Lis brocade (again bartered)
5 yds velvet @2.00 (close-out at Wal-mart)
6 bolts of metallic ribbon @ 3.00 (Christmas clearing)
4 yds of fringe @ 1.22
pearls 18.00
Buckram and boning 11.00
thread and notions 8.00
metal buttons 10.00 

My cost = 61.88

Crimson and gold gown (my most expensive to date)

6 yds @ 7.50 (Timeless Textile had a deal buy 5 get 5 free the last day of WorldCon)
3 yds of quilted lame (the closest 
I 'm gonna get to cloth of gold) @ 7.99
Silk lining and organza 23.00 (remnants)
Buckram and boning 8.00
4 yd of broadcloth @1.89
10 yds of gold trim @ .25 (again Wal-mart close-out)
2 bolts of metallic trim @4.00
Costume jewels and settings @ 35.00  Pearls 15.00
thread and notions 8.00

My cost = 173.03

Creme "riding gown"

fabric-drapes found at thrift store for 4.00
buttons 3.00 (I buy buttons in bulk in the bead secton, sort and store them)
Fabric lining 4.00
fringe 5.00 
other notions 2.00

My cost: 18.00

Efforts and patience of my loving husband: priceless!