Scarlet Pimpernel/Highwayman Cloak

Sir Percy-
The Scarlet Pimpernel
Ever since I first read the book, I have loved the Scarlet Pimpernel. And when I finally saw the 1980's movie (the one with Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymore and Ian Mckellan) I wanted to make a stylized version of the outfit he wears through much of the movie - fitted breeches, flounce shirt, cravat, striped waistcoat and a large billowy cloak.

So, over the past few years, I've been slowly acquiring all the things I'd need to make the outfit when I see them cheaply: the gold plated lion's head buttons (12 for $6 from a yarn shop closing sale), raw black silk for breeches (free as the fabric has a small glue stain in one corner), and striped gold satin for the waistcoat ($1 for an odd shaped 2 yard piece from an upholstery store).

But the cloak always gave me some trouble, just with the sheer volume of fabric needed (more than 8 yards when made to hit the floor at my height and make it extra billowy). I ended up being given about 10 yards of black cotton/wool blend (most likely a type of linsey-woolsey, but of unknown origin) for helping clean up an SCA lady's house.
Simplicity 5794

So, I used one of my favourite patterns, Simplicity 5794 (View A), which I have used to make 2 wool cloak commissions previously and always ends up nice. I left the body unlined (as both sides of the fabric look the same) and lined the hood in remnants of black satin. I finished all the inside seams with a zig-zag stitch on my machine and all the outside edges and hems were sewn with a rolled hem foot which ended up giving it a lettuce edge look which I really like and made the cloak drape beautifully.

The fabric itself was easy to sew but left a mess. It shed and I had to clean my Bernina after every hour or so because it would leave behind such a mess of lint. However, the fabric made the cloak super warm! I wore it to the MD Renaissance Faire in October and I was nice and toasty the entire time.

Here are some picture of the cloak in action!
Back view. Picture taken before Halloween while
wearing a bustle dress in high winds and rain!
Side view at the Maryland
Renaissance Festival

One Hour Slops Mini-tutorial

Recently, I found myself invited to a local SCA event and I needed a pair of pants to go with my blue doublet (as my trunkhose and hose needed some repairs and I needed pants by the next day).

So I needed a pair that I could make in one night, from material I had in my stash and in a relatively period style to go with my simple doublet. So I decided on slops (also called Venetians, and are a type of loose breeches that fall just below the knee) to go with the middle class look.
Simplicity 3677
I had a bit more than a yard of black lynsey-woolsey fabric (technically it was cotton and wool, but woven the same way) from making my highwayman's cloak and Simplicity pattern 3677 for the lady pirate breeches (Pants style  H). I just added 10-15 inches in the middle of the leg pattern piece (the pattern is made with only has one pattern piece per leg) then gathered the lower leg into a fitted cuff and turned over the top into a casing where I ran a super long shoe lace through to tie it.
Waghenaer's Mariner's Mirror, 1586.
 Engraved frontispiece by Theodor de Bry.

The end result was a very comfortable pair of loose breeches that only took an hour to make which looked pretty good tucked into my knee high leather pirate boots (and looked like the slops in the engraving to the right).

After that the event was over when I finally had some spare time, I took off the waistband and added 6 darts around the waist to fit it closer to my hips. I placed the darts with one over each hip then two on the front and back (a third of the way in from my hip on each side). Each dart was only about 2 inches deep and 3-4 inches long, still giving them the full leg look.

So there you go, an easy way to make pants in a hurry before an SCA event!