Last weekend my husband and I went to a medieval midsummer’s fair at a winery that is a castle. Medieval attire was “recommended” which meant we were definitely wearing costumes because I love medieval stuff and especially medieval costumes and I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to wear medieval costumes at a CASTLE.
I, of course, had a medieval costume (see above). I have to admit: I did not make it. My mom bought it for me at a renaissance faire when I was in high school. I loved it. I still love it. It makes me feel beautiful whenever I wear it. And yes, I can still fully lace up the corset. Win! 😀
Anyhow, my husband did not have a costume. Well, that would not do. I wasn’t going to be in costume and have him not in costume, especially after he actually agreed to wear a costume. So on the Thursday before, I ran to JoAnn’s and I picked up fabric and a pattern. I had planned out several other patterns, but unfortunately, JoAnn’s only had McCall’s on sale and I have issues paying more than $1.99 for any of the big 3 patterns (because why pay more if you know they’re going to go on sale in a week or two). Anyhow, none of the McCall’s costume patterns were very good. I needed something authentic but simple. Guess I was gonna have to wing it.
I ended up going with McCall’s 5992 which is actually a pattern for pajamas. I picked it because the top and pants were pretty simple and I was pretty sure I could make it work. Also fortunate was that I was taking a serger class this week. As a result, I was feeling pretty confident on my serger which ended making the costume look significantly more professional and more comfortable and allowed me to make pants in about an hour. More on that latter.
I made the XL but probably should have made the L. I don’t have a lot of in-progress photos because I was kinda in a rush to make this thing. But I cut it out as planned. Unfortunately, the pattern calls for 60” fabric (because it’s intended to be made with fleece) and the stuff I wanted was kona solids. I bought 3 instead of 2 yards.
It wasn’t enough. 😛
So I had to piece together the bottom half to make it long enough (you can see the seam above). Fortunately, the belt that he wore fell at about where the seam was so it wasn’t that noticeable.
I stitched all the seams with tan thread that I had picked up and then serged them with white. I also serged the edges of the neck facing so they would lay flat and be clean.
I made a facing from the front and back patterns, just cutting out the area around the neck, making the front facing extra long so I could do a V cut. Then, rather than stitching on neck binding, I just sewed the facing to the neckline. When I got to the center front, I sewed in a deep V. Trimmed the seam allowances. Flipped it inside out and there you go.
I added grommets using on of these tools and laced it with some leather lace I had picked up at JoAnn’s.
Finally I trimmed the sleeves and bottom with some pretty trim that coordinated with my costume. I did this by folding the edges up to the outside and then laying the trim over it so the edge of the trim lined up with the fold. This did double duty of finishing the edge and sealing off the raw edge. On the bottom of the shirt, I cheated a little. I didn’t flip the edge up up because I had made the selvedge the bottom edge of the shirt so I just lined it up with that. No folding needed.
The leftover trim I tied around his waist as a belt. Voila!
The neck opening was a little big for him (it is a pajama pattern after all) so we found him a reasonable white shirt to wear underneath as you can see in the top photo. I’ll make him a better shirt to go under it eventually.
After I finished the top, hubby was happy with it, but didn’t have any pants that looked good. We tried jeans, cargo, but they were way too modern. I said I would figure something out.
So the next day before we left for the trip, I ran home and made him some pants in an hour. Yes, it took me just under an hour from cutting the fabric to finishing the hem. The only thing I didn’t get to finish was the elastic which I threaded through in the car.
I had bought the fabric the day before expecting to have time to make it on Thursday but obviously I didn’t. I cut out the large since the XL had been big on him. This ended up fitting pretty well. I wanted to add pockets, but I opted for speed rather than convenience. Besides, I would give him a little pouch.
The pants were pretty straight forward. I serged all the seams — fast and clean — and plus I had all these cool new tricks from serger class for how to nicely finish off edges.
But basically: stitch the inside seams. Stitch the crotch seam. Stitch the outside seams. Serge the leg openings. Serge the waist top. Press the waist down. Press the leg hems up. Stitch hems and waist with a conventional machine leaving an opening for elastic. Ta da!
Since I had neglected to put in pockets into the pants, we needed something to carry phone and wallet in (because my costume certainly did not have any where to put anything — someday I’ll make an overskirt that has pockets). We had a long drive, so I hand sewed (SO AUTHENTIC) a pouch that could be slipped on the belt. Pretty simple, but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. It really does look reasonably period (if you ignore the elastic and plastic button) and worked great.
So that was how I modified a men’s pajama pattern into a men’s medieval pattern in only 4 hours (not counting the purse).