I decided to make up a dress for which the pattern and fabric had been sitting in my stash since at least 2002. I ended up referring to the dress as my faux-gfd (gfd = gothic fitted dress). Faux, because if I was going to try and really make one today, there is no way this fabric is what I'd choose, and because I really couldn't be bothered putting the effort into the details to get it more accurate than it needed to be for larping. Dagger assures me I could get away with it for SCA (it's not as purple in real life as it looks in photos!), but I'm not 100% convinced.
Anyway, the fabric was bought, along with the old Simplicity 8725 pattern (now out of print), way back when, with an imagined pre-raph version of a medieval gown floating about my head - I've always found the pre-raph version of what medieval looked like very appealing. However, with no particular deadline or destination, the fabric was doomed to lurk in my stash, untouched. I also have a ton of the same fabric in blue, which was intended for the sideless surcoat on the same pattern. Goodness only knows what the fibre content is on this stuff!
When I decided to play in the Camelot larp as Morgan, I first thought I'd make up a cotton velveteen sideless surcoat to go with it. Then, after a few weeks, I remembered the game was going to be outdoors in Summer, and I would BAKE ALIVE with that extra layer. Except, of course, on the day it was raining, windy, and generally miserable. I ended up wearing the robe I made for the Harry Potter larp years ago over it for warmth (Morgan le Fay was, of course, in Slytherin XD).
I used the Simplicity pattern, but I made some changes to it, of course. I adjusted the neckline and shoulders, since my mockup just kept falling off, even without the weight of the enormous skirt. I lengthened the torso, and tweaked the sleeves a little. The biggest change was to the skirt, though. The original pattern has all the fullness of the skirt shoved into two bizarre half circles tacked on at the sides. This has the added bonus of causing some of the weirdest seams I've ever seen in a commercial pattern. I've drawn it for you to illustrate. Simply mad!
Obviously, that couldn't stay like that. I added a front seam all the way up, and replaced the weirdness with four semi-circle gores set in the front, back, and side seams. The skirt ended up being freaking ENORMOUS. It took forever to hem! The tops of the gores aren't all as tidy as I'd like, but it's ok, since they're also quite precisely covered by where you want a belt to sit. It's almost like they were designed that way! ^__~
On the bright side, I think the bound edge on the neck came out beautifully. I used metal eyelets for the lacing, which is fine, but very much a larp-quality finish. That said, I quite liked the way my pretty ribbon lacing looked when the dress was on.
I made a veil out of a very light silk I dyed black, using the advice given here, and got to be smug when mine was the only veil staying firmly in place all day. My last-minute circlet was a bit of left over plastic boning sewn in a ring and then covered (in the car no less!) with a scrap of left over satin bias binding. It actually worked really well, for all that it was really budget!
On the whole, I'm going to call this one a success. I just can't figure out at all if I want to use the matching blue fabric for it's original purpose as a sideless surcoat or not... I guess I'll make up my mind when I have another larp to wear it to?