Saturday, April 2, 2011

Toddler Renfest Jacket: Finished

I've been so busy with life that I haven't had time to update here.  The pregnancy, then birth of my daughter, and my relocation for my job just ate up most of my time and energy.

Regardless, I did complete my son's Renfest "Elfling" Jacket.

Here are the pictures of the jacket when we made our trip to the Maryland Renaissance Festival in early Fall 2010.  It was mostly complete, though the leaves still needed to be attached.  I was also going to add a cluster of keys to the hood's point but decided against it.  But the couching embroidery was complete and added a really nice touch to the jacket.  (Click here to see the jacket before the couching was done.)  Unfortunately, the weather was too warm when we went to MDRF for him to wear the jacket, but playing in my oldest sister's back yard the next morning was chilly, so he got to wear it then.  He had tried it on prior to this, and loved it, but this was an even better test run of the jacket.  He was very obviously happy and comfortable in it.  Warm on it's own but also roomy enough to layer on top of a hoodie or jacket for extra warmth in needed.  The range of movement it allowed was also perfect for a very active toddler.

And below is a picture from Halloween with him wearing the completed jacket.  I hope to find (or get) more pictures where the leaves are more visable, but you can see that the texture they added to the jacket.  They were very easy to make (each hand cut) and stitch on.  All the embroidery and each leaf was were handstitched.

The jacket was a hit, both with my son and with others.  My friend who owns Artifacts Boutique said I ought to make them to sell (both for Halloween, Festivals, and Christmas) and recommended I talk to one of her friends who owns a children's clothing store.  Yet I'm in no hurry for such things.  I used to make the wandcases for Mom Crosewl's Magic Shop at MDRF every year for several years while also working on various custom costume orders for a number of LARPers, Rennies, and Ebayers... It's nice to make things for myself and my family, with no real time limits except my own, no real pressure, on a whim and just for fun.  Accepting orders because I want to.

Another friend of mine thought I actually bought the jacket at a renfest.  Now... I tend to have mixed feelings about garments you find at renfest.  A few are places I recomment (like Moresca) because of the quality of their pieces, but most are not near my level of standards.  I know this may make me sound like a snob when it comes to buying costuming especially at festivals, but it's hard not to be when I know what to look at (in design, fit, fabric... quality and durability... straight stitches, clean lines, and properly snipped thread ends... and so on).  So when I sew, I try to keep my work well above what you would find at festivals.  Most of their stuff would be below the quality of my rushed prototypes.  We all have to have our personal standards, and this is mine.  That's not to say I don't give a lot of credit to people who sew, especially beginners... I just have a problem when it seems people being overcharged at festivals for what they are getting simply because the vast majority of shoppers don't know better.  But I believe that the comment was meant as a compliment, because for most people it is.  And that's how I will take it.  :-)

Now I'm working on figuring out some designs for other projects I hope to start and working out details on ongoing projects as well.  I will write about those soon. 

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