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Festival Outfit

Rowany Festival is Coming: are you prepared?

Planning your Outfits by Duena Acacia de Navarre

This is part two of hints of how to survive festival. As mentioned in the last column your garb is going to take the most time of all your preparation and most seasoned festival nuts are already starting to work on their festival garb. This is one thing that you definitely can't leave to the last moment otherwise you will have trouble finding the fabric you need and will have no help in making it up as everyone will be too busy with their own festival panic.

The first step is to make up the dreaded but essential lists (wish I could take credit for following but it is Nesta's wonderful list which I have happily purloined off her as she is more organised than me ☺).

Step 1

List what garb you have ready to wear, and are prepared to take camping. (If you are not prepared to drag it through the dust, dirt and occasional mud, then don't list it).

Step 2

List the days that you will be at festival, and will be expected to wear garb. Under each day write what you are going to wear (doesn't matter if you have not made it yet just write it all down). For example:

  • Friday: Blue underdress and brown overdress
  • Saturday: White underdress and purple viking overdress
  • Sunday: Red underdress and black/blue viking overdress
  • Monday: Red Overdress with white chemise and blue petticoat

It can be very helpful to break this list down further and write what you want to wear during the day and night. Remember the temperature drops over 10C after sunset and will be close to or below 0C by midnight.

Step 3

List out all the cold weather and sun protection gear that you want to take down – gloves, cloak, hat, beanie, scarfs, headwear, hood (cold is lost through the neck, chest and head so make sure you have something to cover up with). Remember the best way to survive the cold is layer, layer, layer. My niece (the frog) was very warm in subzero temps last year, to survive she wore (at the same time) ugg boots, track pants, 12c Chemise, wool viking overdress, wool 12c overdress, cloak, hood, gloves and fur muff – it worked and she was warm as toast rather than an icicle.

Don't forget also to think of what you will throw on quickly if you have to make a 4am trip to the privy or other emergency – cloaks or coats rock for this.

Step 4

It time to make the "I want to bring" list, all the extra things that make you look more authentic/pretty. These are all the things that you want to bring down with you, pouch, wax tablet, belts, period shoes, stockings, hose, etc.

Step 5

Examine these lists, cross off everything you already have (see step 1) and you will be left with everything you need to make. Put a tick besides everything you have started or have bought fabric for.

Step 6

Go back over this list with your highlighter, what is essential? Especially what will leave you miserable/cold/uncomfortable/sunburnt if you don't have it? Your highlighted list is your priority to make, and you would be wise to have this finished before the end of February so you can focus on other "I want" things. Again it is best to finish the ones you have already started or have the material for first and then start on the rest of the list.

Step 7

(and you thought you were finished…almost) lastly look at your essential list, can you do this yourself? Do you need help/advice/handholding to make it? If you have answered yes to any of these you might want to come to A&S on a Monday night or any of the sewing sessions that will be going on around the Barony. There are plenty of people willing to help you, but the longer you leave it the less time they will have to help you. Even put something on the St Floz list for example "help needed for festival, can't sew but willing to learn / barter / trade for garb."

If you are in real hardship in putting garb together then let someone know. There is a limited amount of loaner garb available and others who are not going to festival may be able to lend you something to fill in the gaps.

See you at festival