What I Entered Into 2010 Costume Con

by Erin Schneider

A Brief Explanation, AKA What the heck was I thinking?

A few years ago, my friends and I developed an interest in costuming; primarily costumes appropriate to wear to our local Renaissance Festival.    While discussing noble or court gowns, my best friend (Laura Ulak) and I found ourselves standing in the printed cotton aisle at a discount fabric store.

Laura – “I should totally make an Elizabethan out of camo fabric (she had been in the Army).”

Me – “If you do, then I get one in Packer fabric.”

Laura – “I don’t think that would be a wise choice for a Minnesota Ren Fest.”

Me – “Damn the Vikings!  Whatever, I’d DO IT ANYWAY.”

Laura – “It’s your funeral…”

I might be paraphrasing, but that is essentially the scope of the conversation.  At that point, Laura and I, along with most of our costuming friends, decided we needed Twisted Historical costumes.  But where would we wear them?

Fortunately, Kirk Johnson of the Bristol Renaissance Faire told us about their Day of Wrong.  Laura and I immediately planned a trip to the Faire for the summer of ’09.  And I started work on my costume.  It debuted in August of 2009 to mostly positive reviews, except for a few bitter Bears fans.

I would like to dedicate this costume to my Grandma Schneider, a diehard Packer Backer, and Laura Ulak’s Grandma Grace, who taught her how to sew.

Title of Costume:

Green Bay Packer Elizabethan Court Gown

Name and address of the person responsible for the entry (or the spokesman for a group):

Never you mind.

Name(s) of designer(s) and maker(s):

Drawers – pattern by Simplicity, made by Erin Schneider and Laura Ulak

Farthingale – pattern by Margo Anderson, made by Erin Schneider and Laura Ulak

Partlett – pattern by Laura Ulak, made by Erin Schneider and Laura Ulak

Corset – pattern by The Elizabethan Corset Generator, made by Erin Schneider

Bodice – pattern by Alter Years, made by Erin Schneider and Laura Ulak

Underskirt – self patterned, made by Erin Schneider and Laura Ulak

Overskirt – self patterned, made by Erin Schneider and Laura Ulak

Sleeves – pattern by Laura Ulak, made by Erin Schneider and Laura Ulak

Hat – purchased at Rybiki’s Cheese Shop at the Mall of America.  Decorated by Erin Schneider

Earrings – designed and made by Ashley Walton

Girdle – created from gold football-shaped beads, buttons, a bottle opener, and a shot glass by Erin Schneider

Brief identifying description of the costume’s historic period, geographic origin, social class and so forth. This description should include the historic basis for the costume:

The late 15th century, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth the First.  Country of origin is England, social class is Noble.  In short, this is an Elizabethan court dress made from modern, licensed sports team logo materials.

This would also be the point to notate any substitutions of historically accurate materials used:

I used 100% cotton, a natural fabric, for the construction of the garment, however, the pattern is not period appropriate.  I used plastic cable ties in the corset instead of metal.  I used hoop steel instead of reeds in the farthingale.  Accessories are completely made of artificial materials.

Bibliography of sources:

Janet Arnold, Patterns of Fashion

Jean Hunnisett, Period Costume for Stage and Screen

Juan de Alcega’s Tailor’s Pattern book of 1589

Herbert Norris, Tudor Costume and Fashion

Ninya Mikaila, The Tudor Tailor

Margo Anderson’s online List Serve

The Green Bay Packers and the State of Wisconsin

And the outcome?  I won Most Humorous Presentation.  Adding to the honor and GLORY of the Minnesota Society of Costumers.


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