Sunday, March 31, 2013

Historical Sew Fortnightly: Accessorize

Actually, this should probably be called the Historical Glue Fortnightly, as there was almost no sewing involved in this tricorn; it's mostly hot glue holding the trims on! The only sewing I did was to attach the feathers.

Awkward selfies with the iPhone.

For this challenge, I wanted to embellish a tricorn to go with the pirate costume I want to make one day. I already had a cheap tricorn from a costume store (originally marketed as a Pirates of the Caribbean costume piece), so it was just a matter of looking up historical engravings of pirates to see what kind of trims would be period-appropriate.

A pirate scrimshaw, from the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, Maine. [source]
Frideric Guillaumlii Roi de Prusse, c. 1744, by Joh. Martin Will, Augsburg. [source]
Electeur de Brandenbourg, c. 1714. [source]

I boiled this down to gold lacy-looking trim on the edge, ribbon with a button on the right side, and a large bunch of ostrich feathers on the back left side.

The Challenge: Accessorize! Granted, this is for a costume I haven't started yet, but it's still an accessory, right?
Fabric: None.
Notions: Gold metallic trim leftover from my Regency ball gown project, red-gold polyester ribbon from my stash, a large gold button that matches my steampunk gun, and four large red ostrich feathers.
Pattern: None, but I used the above engravings for reference.
Year: Early 18th century, the Golden Age of Piracy.
How historically accurate is it? My base tricorn (and the hot glue) is ridiculously anachronistic, and my trims aren't much better, but at least my placement of things is historically accurate!
Hours to complete: 1! Gosh, I love fast projects.
First worn: For pictures today, but I'm trying to figure out if I feel like making it out to the SoCal Ren Faire for Swashbuckling Day.
Total cost: $40...$10 for the tricorn, and the rest for the ostrich feathers. Those things are pricey! I'm counting the trims as free since they were all stash or leftover from other projects.

Serious pirate face. 
Oh, you wanted a look at my fake pirate costume?  
I wasn't sure we had enough light left to take pictures so I just threw everything on quickly, hence the improperly tightened corset. The dress is a thrift store find (only $15, and breathable rayon to boot! Possibly one of my favorite finds ever.), the belt is from Ross several years ago, and the thin belt/harness thing is from Cotton On. 


  1. Ah, low budget costuming! It can be so fun! I love what you threw together!

    Funny thing is, I made a tiny tricorn pirate hat for a low budget movie that I work on and it looks very similar - with gold baby rickrack trim. (I stitched it together from black craft foam & attached it to a headband.) I got to keep it and I usually pull it out for Halloween when I don't have a costume for a party. I'm usually lazy and pair it with a striped knit skirt and jolly roger t-shirt. Your corset & dress look much better than what I throw together! =)

    ~ Brooke

    1. Hehe, craft foam is definitely low-budget! But perfect for casual costuming; how nice that you got to keep it!

  2. What a brilliant hat, and yikes to the price of the feathers!

    1. Seriously! I had no idea ostrich plumes were so pricey! But I collected them over the course of a few months, so it felt less painful...ah, the things we do to trick ourselves :)

  3. Good thing Dad doesn't know you spent thirty dollars on ostrich feathers. They're not even pants D:

    1. Hahaha it was only an hour of tutoring to pay for the feathers...

  4. It looks great! Wow, I didn't know feathers could cost so much.

  5. Gotta love a quick project. I bet it took longer to put this post together than it did to make the hat! Great outfit.

  6. Beautiful! And that outfit - stunning. Absolutely gorgeous.

  7. Oh, my, you look fantastic! I love the corset, and you've made me want to make one for myself! :D


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