Sunday, July 13, 2008

Yes, I'm a big nerd.

I admit it. No, I'm not talking about Harry Potter, or my love of puns, or the way I inherently know where to put commas. I'm talking about the fact that I go to Renaissance Faires.

If we had more decent ones in Colorado, I'd probably go to them. As it stands now, though, it seems that Coloradans don't know how to throw a decent Ren faire. Californians, now, they know what they're doing. A friend of mine is in one of the guilds there, and they dress as historically accurate as possible, and even try to eat historically accurate food while at the faire. Their guild often represents a noble family, or sometimes even the royalty, and puts on "skits" of historic events for the public. I got to go to a faire with her a while back and see how it's really done. They mocked the other guilds portraying the king of France and his retinue, and the king of England and his retinue. (They were reading their lines off of computer print-outs inside folders that still had the UPC sticker on them--*gasp!*) They talked about "mundanes," i.e. people who don't dress up for faires. They pointed out who had on the wrong kind of shoes, or who had laced their bodice wrong. This was (pretty much) all in good fun, of course, but I thought it was very interesting to learn who sat where at the dinner table in the 16th century, how and where young ladies were allowed to go shopping, and what were considered appropriate pasttimes. (Apparently "battledore and shuttlecock" is one of them, and we had a lot of fun playing!)

The lame little faire in my town means well, I'm sure. But it's a mixture of pirates (around about the early/mid 18th-century) and the Renaissance (14th through 17th centuries, generally with a focus on the late 16th century at faires), so that tells you how much they care about historical accuracy. There's medieval (1100-1400-ish) sword fighting at the SCA tent, and booths selling everything from swords to clothes to pouches to glass roses. There were such things at my Californian friend's faire, too, but they (her guild) did it "right." And the fact that I care about this shows my intense nerdiness.

It's not feasible for Matt and I to dress perfectly accurately for the fair we're going to in a few weeks (which is a bigger, neater one than my little hometown faire) but I'm doing the best I can. Everything is machine-sewn, of course, because I would go stark raving mad if I hand-sewed everything. Finding the actual correct fabrics and such would be very difficult, and extremely expensive if I could find them. Not to mention sewing with period-accurate patterns, which make less sense than modern interpretations. But as I said, I'm doing my best. We'll see how much actually gets done by the first weekend of August, when we're going, but I hope to have at least a few new pieces for each of us to wear. Ideally, I'd like to have:

For Matt:
-breeches (done tonight!)

For Heather:
-bodice with attachable sleeves?
-forepart? (kind of a fancy apron that goes under a split skirt so it shows through)

Wish me luck, eh? I think I'll need it.

1 comment:

mikkers said...

good luck getting that long and daunting list done in time! I know you can do it through as you are a sewing fiend! I still enjoy my cute little knitting bag you made me a year or so ago!

As for the inaccuracies of small town events...well, it's the spirit that counts right? As frustrating as it is, it would be a pity if it became all or nothing and you suddenly had nothing :).