Sunday, March 4, 2012

dress them well : 14th Century Pre-Schooler

I wanted to share with you the outfit my oldest son wore to the event this past weekend, to share how easy it is to create authentic garb for kids.  I can't claim this outfit as my creation- it was made entirely by my mother in just a few days using fabric from our combined stashes.  You've probably read before on this as well as my other blog that my son is very well suited to 14th century.  I realized several weeks ago that, if this was true, and since he's potty trained, it's time for him to be upgraded to a look that's a bit more authentic- namely the introduction of braies and hose.

1. White linen "braies" with attached gold linen hose.  The braies are simply shorts (cut to knee length) with an elastic waist.  When he gets past these early years of using the toilet on his own and learns how drawstring works, we'll upgrade him to drawstring braise cut in a more authentic fashion.  The hose were patterned after an old pair of my mom's hose (placed on his foot and sharpie'd the heck out of to get a smaller pattern.)  They are stitched into place at the front peak and again at the back to keep them in place.  Again, when he's a bit older and can understand how they are supposed to work, we'll actually tie the hose to the braies.

2. White linen shirt. A straight-seam constructed shirt, about hip length.  This was simply made according to his measurements, with gores added to the sides.

3. Brown wool blend cotehardie, lined with natural-colored linen.  This ended up a bit snug, and we ultimately had to simply sew it together up the front middle since we didn't have the time to do eyelets for a real lacing.  It ended up a little crooked in that processes, but he moves around so much, I doubt anyone really noticed!  It has set-in sleeves and a slight curve cut at the hip for the appropriate fitted look.

4. Addition of a fancy metal belt.  The belt was pieced together from two different types of metal pieces to form a long enough belt.  It has a hook fastener in the front with a bit that hangs down.  It ultimately busted during the day, but while it was on, it helped complete the look.

5. Addition of a brown wool hood (which I had previously made). No special tricks here- it's just a 13th century hood, sized for a young boy.

6. A pair of modern brown suede dress shoes (with rubber soles!) were added for his safety.  In this picture you also get a better sense of how he wore it- he's comfortable and suave!

He did get a little confused at home before leaving, thinking that he wasn't wearing pants, but we were able to convince him that he really was, and that it would be OK for him to go out of the house like that!  I think it's a great outfit that he'll get some use out of this spring, and will go a long way to introducing him to the way authenticity applies to himself.  These early days of slight cheats to get the correct look will go a long way to making him feel comfortable and accept that, if he wants to continue with a 14th century persona, this is how he'll need to dress.

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