| 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
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)
My cost = 68.42
|Doublet gown in black satin
12 yds flannel back satin. (Christmas gift from mother-in-law)
My cost = 145.42
|Cream silk ropa
4 yds of cream silk @2.00 (it was damaged and I had to
cut around it)
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)
My cost = 71.70
|Grey silk gown with spiral sleeves
6 yds grey silk (I bartered for it) @ ??
My cost = 37.76
|Black and red over drum
6 yds of Fleur de Lis brocade (again bartered)
My cost = 61.88
|Crimson and gold gown (my most expensive
6 yds @ 7.50 (Timeless Textile had a deal buy 5 get 5
free the last day of WorldCon)
My cost = 173.03
|Creme "riding gown"
fabric-drapes found at thrift store for 4.00
My cost: 18.00
Efforts and patience of my loving husband: priceless!