Character number 4, The Priest; Making the costume.

Since I did not yet have this blog when I made the priest costume, I will talk you through it.

I started with making a calico toile, and I made several versions of the toile with a few alternations from a flat pattern that I made. The pattern consists of 13 pieces, to give the costume a medieval touch, since this is the time of this character.

I did a lot of sourcing for fabric. At first I planned on using a linen fabric, to be accurate to the time frame of the material. But hen I found a perfect medallion polyester satin, that was perfect for this outfit and matched my design perfectly. That it is made from polyester doesn’t matter since it reminds of a shiny silk, which is accurate to the time.

Since the fabric has a medallion pattern, it is important when cutting out the pieces, to match the pattern. You do not want to cut the pieces out without paying attention to the fitting of the pattern, in all pieces. This also results in that you will need a lot more fabric, and plan the cutting out of the pieces very carefully. I managed to calculate wrong at first, so I had to go and buy 4 more meters of the fabric, luckily the shop still had it in stock so it wasn’t any problem, but what if they didn’t? I needed 10 meters in total to make this costume, and the fabric was £4 a meter.

I sew the costume together using my sewing machine and straight seam. But in all places where the seam will be visible, I have hand sewed it, since I do not want any machine sewn stitches to show on the image, this would look very bad.

The costume has a half lining, to make it less transparent, and more comfortable to wear. You can also line it all the way down, but it is not necessary, since the costume is made from more than 8 meters of fabric, it is good to save money where you can, even though the lining wont need any pattern fitting, and you will only need probably half the amount. I have lined it with anti-static polyester lining of a nice quality, cheap and static lining is useless.

Since the costume is inspired bu the native Americans, I sourced a great deal for the perfect ribbon that would interact with both themes. Eventually I found it at Shepherds bush market out of all places. It has the native look to it but the silver that reminds of christian church clothing. The ribbon was only £1 a meter, so I was very lucky!

The ribbon is attached to the costume by hand sewing, I love doing this fine and detailed work, it is fun.

On the back of the costume a cape is attached on top of the robe, that has the shape of wings and is attached all the way to the end of the sleeves and around the neck.

The cape is lined with chicken feather fabric, to give the costume wings. This is a priest worshipping the God of Birds, and his outfit is made to fit this image. For this I needed 1,5 meters of the feather fabric that is £ 45 a meter. I have attached the feather fabric to the costume by hand sewing around the edge, and a few point stitches here and there to keep the two together all over.