I've actually been doing a lot of garment construction lately. In fact, my dear friend Caroline and her adorable daughter Mayah have been wanting me to teach them how to sew (and crochet) for years. And during my recent time off the stars finally aligned and we managed to squeeze in a couple sewing lessons. Mayah really wanted to go to the Renaissance Faire and was determined to dress "authentically" so our first sewing lesson was actually an outing to Jo-Ann Fabrics to learn about picking patterns and coordinating fabrics, etc.
Mayah and Caroline were determined to make the skirts themselves. I was going to help them with the waistbands, but with limited time Caroline ended up taking the skirts on without me. And I'm extremely proud of her!
Since these costumes were just for fun, we decided to cut a lot of corners to keep the cost and difficulty level down and the comfort level up. That meant no lining or boning on the vests and using solids and sale fabrics all around.
The second lesson was all about cutting. We started with Mayah's vest and she learned how to differentiate pattern pieces, what all the marks mean and (my favorite) how to use a rotary cutter. I think I blew her mind with that one! Do you remember the first time you used a rotary cutter and how your life was forever changed? It's fun to see it happen for someone else. We were able to get all of the pieces for Mayah's vest cut and marked before the end of the second lesson. Unfortunately that's where the lessons ended (temporarily) as our schedules started to conflict and the Ren Faire was close to closing for the season.
In the end, I whipped up both vests for them. Avoiding the lining and the boning, these came together so quickly. But since we weren't lining them, I did overlock the seams to prevent the brocade from fraying. So, we'll have to resume lessons on another project, but at least they looked "authentic" at the Faire. (And don't their skirts look great?) Again, I am so proud of these ladies!