Beginning costumers: Take heart!
Everyone has to start somewhere, and you can see where I started, all those years ago.
But, as you can see, if you just keep working, and reading, and listening, you can and will improve.
If you have any doubts about this, just look at the pictures below!
It's just a shame that there were more bad clothes that never were photographed.
Anyone out there who has any other pictures of my early garb: I'd love to have them!

Well, we all have to start somewhere!
This is my first court garb.
Sometime around 1982??? There are so many things wrong here I wouldn't know where to begin.

Of course, the only costume books I owned were Kohler and Braun and Schneider.....
Where would we have been without Dover Books?

And, of course, you need something to wear at Rennfest.
Tolkein would be proud.

What do you mean, pink isn't period? But I found these great pink sheets, and this great printed trim...
At least the Italian is looking a little better...
My good friend Sue came to visit and tried on my garb. She is much smaller than I am. I'm not sure what year this was taken, but I know I wore this to Calontir's First Crown Tournament and Coronation.

This is such a handy outfit to wear when you're entertaining people at the local college's Christmas Madrigal Dinner.
Holbein (right) was the inspiration..

Don't you just love it when young guys need clothes? The things they will let you do them.
(Sorry, Otto, but you did look good.)

I think I'm starting to get the hang of this Italian business.
This should be in the mid-'80's...

It seemed like nobody in Calontir was making German.
That's like waving a red flag in front of a bull where I'm concerned.
Here's the inspiration for Karen's dress."Lady With a Veil"
by Raphael, in the Pitti (Florence).
I found this pink curtain (sized for a patio door) at the JCPenny outlet store. My honeybun hat has an unusual construction because my hair was very short. Many thanks to the model.
The inspiration. A drawing of a Swiss woman by Holbein,
and how the dress was altered now that I'm just a little fatter...
No, it isn't a proposal, just German Renn.
(We miss you, David. You were taken too soon.)
The inspiration: A woodcut by Jost Amman.
One day, I saw this painting from Spain.
The rest is history.
This painting started it all. "Banquet of Herod"
Retable of Saint John the Baptist,

Pedro Garciá de Benebarre (Barcelona) 1470-1480
February 1989. I look serious because they're giving me a Laurel-go figure.
On the left--Italian. On the right--change the sleeves and the headwear, and it's Spanish.
I love the construction of this Spanish gown. It's an a-line dress with a belt to form the bodice.
Cool and comfortable for summer.
From Birth of St. John, Prado (Madrid) c.1500
Yeah, I know the laurel wreath doesn't work, but they made me wear it because it was really new.
Did you know that you can put bottles of mead down in these sleeves? Just love those Russians.

It's amazing what one will do to avoid working on a dissertation! c.1990 or 1991
Lizzie called this the S.S.Jessamyn.

This whole outfit began when I found the lace mismarked and bought 12 yards. Then I had to make a ruff, and then the dress...
I found these drapes at a thrift store. After we dyed them, we hung them over the swing set to dry. They COVERED the entire swing set. WARNING: It takes a lot of material to make one of these dresses...actually, the sleeves!
Paolo Cavazzola Portrait of a Lady,
Dell'accademia Carrara, Bergamo

Twelfth Night 2004
Myself and my apprentice Louise de la Mare

c.1995..In 1992 I moved to Ansteorra, and it's really warm there most of the year. I made this out of sheets...
and I was still hot.
From Funeral Procession of Phelipe el Hermoso.
(Écaussines, Chateau de la Follie) 1506
I got a little irritated because people were doing Mongolian with Tibetan coats...there goes that red flag again! For the hair, I used 2 really cheap wigs, and I used polyurethane instead of glue to stiffen them. (No horses lost their hooves in the making of this outfit.) Since there was no way I would EVER have enough silver to do a Khalkan woman justice, I used popsicle sticks, dimensional paint, silver spray paint and antiquing. You have to get pretty close to figure it out.
I think I like Russia. Cool and comfortable.

Couching over the printed upholstery fabric gave me something to do while I was gossiping at events.


I've sworn off corsets. Mid-16th century Portugese.
Geee....I forgot my medallion....12th Night 2005
So......beginners....there is hope.
Just keep on working, and reading, and experimenting.
It does pay off in the end.