Friday, March 7, 2014

Grace O'Malley costume

A couple of years ago, Miss E dressed up as a pirate princess.  This last year, Miss M chose a pirate queen.  Grace O'Malley was an Irish queen way back when (during the 1500's) who was resisting the English advances on her land.  She claimed she was a queen levying a tax on ships in her waters.  The English viewed her as a pirate.  At one point she visited Queen Elizabeth to plead for the lives of her sons and her brother, captives of the English.

This was a fun costume to research and make.  (You can see our inspiration here.)  The Irish of the time wore shirts with big, baggy sleeves the English hated.  And the wealthy wore it dyed with saffron.  We just used yellow.  I used elastic around the neck and sleeves to scrunch it together.  This shirt is supposed to be baggy, which makes fitting it nice and easy.

Next we made a bodice that laced together down the front.  I used a shirt of Miss M's to guess at the size and the pattern.  We laced it up with a brown ribbon.

For the skirt, we used either a brown, tiered skirt we already had or a basic, full green skirt I made.  Miss M wore two or three skirts underneath as petticoats.

We finished with some belts, a sword (foil covered stick), and a cloak.  The cloak was either a piece of fabric, or a warm blanket (for the cold night), held together at the neck with a safety pin.  We added a nice rose pin to pretend to be the clasp.

I present our pirate queen, Miss M.

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