(for Little People)
Do you have a 10th or 11th century Viking-let? Maybe thereís a little Celt at your house whom youíre thinking Grandma will not want to watch during every medieval event you attend? So youíre bringing the kids - good for you!Unless your children are as thoroughly exhibitionist as mine (naked is very authentic!) they will need garb. The following are a few of my thoughts . . . (thatís my disclaimer that these are my own opinions. They are not representative of The Inexpensive Garber or the rest of Vykland - if you have any questions, complaints . . . yada, yada, yada . . . contact me).
Sewing machines -
A quick note. If youíre pretty thrifty OR NOT SURE HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO SEW - Before you buy, BORROW!!!! Itís amazing how many people have sewing machines they donít want or use, so ask around.
If this is a one time deal and you will not normally have the child or children with you at events - cheap cotton. Itís cool, inexpensive and you wonít cry when they outgrow it. Remnants form the fabric store or leftovers from making your own costume are also great for kids. On the other hand . . . I live with a fabric snob (Heís an all natural fiber kind of warrior). As a contradiction to the Inexpensive Garber, if you plan to take your kids to several events a year as I do, you may want to consider, well, durability. Nice cottons (a little bit of a heavier weight), linen/cotton blends, and linens are all good and strong. Consider your three-five-seven-or nine year old happily stomping through mud, feasts, water, camping ( youíre getting the picture). You will have to wash well and often. Another thing to consider is if you have siblings and/or friends to pass garb onto. If you do, then you will want to make garb that is going to age well. (Think darker colors and sturdy fabrics of things you can bleach!) One the bright side you need only a couple of yards of fabric for a kids tunic so you can get it cheap if you look. (Totally canít find anything? E-mail me and Iíll be happy to divulge a few cheap fabric sources.) About stains - learn to love them. Iím positive medieval childrenís apparel must have been stained. If my four-year-old had only three sets of clothing they would all be stained!
If you feel you must (remember theyíre outgrowing it as you sew) consider using some contrasting fabric from the scrap box to decorate collar, cuffs, and/or hem. This can be an advantage to garb life also. The fabulous pink linen/cotton blend that was only a $1.50 a yard (can you tell this is a true story?) and will look absolutely beyond cute on your little girl can probably live a much longer, less stained life if you trim it in, say, brown or grey or some color approximating the dirt through which the hem will forever be dragged.
Check out the Halloween patterns or pajamas as suggested earlier. Alternately, if you can sew without a pattern (itís worth trying), use a dress or t-shirt that fits your child loosely and use it as a pattern. See the Inexpensive Garberís simple chemise or tunic patterns for reference. Remember, the simpler the better. It shouldnít take more than a Ĺ to a whole day to make little clothes unless you are striving for extraordinary garb! (For examples of a few kids fashions check out my kids - there are or should soon be some pictures of them.)
Youíre kidding, right? OK, maybe you have super, terrific, responsible kids who are bigger than mine. Just remember if you absolutely love it and want to keep it forever, expensive belts, jewelry, and even shoes should be bought for you, not them! They might lose them while swimming, take them off to climb a tree . . . etc., etc.
Iíve never been able to get one to stay on mine (but theyíre little). Any of the previous suggestions are good - no need to repeat.
If they will wear a belt, consider the Inexpensive Garberís suggestions. If you have more of a wild thing to outfit you still might want to consider making a simple bag (two rectangles of fabric sewn together on three side and a strap or two) for your young explorer. Otherwise, you know who will be left carrying all their magical finds!
I have no great suggestions. Buy them if itís an expense youíre interested in. For nice weather and terrain, bare feet are beautiful and period. You can wrap modern shoes in fabric for a medieval "bootish" look.
(and remember youíre having fun!)
Any Questions? E-mail me, Brenna