View Full Version : I want to make a gypsy outfit for a renne faire... help!

09-21-2003, 10:15 PM
Greetings all,

I need your help. You see, I want to make a gypsy(sp?) costume for myself for a renne faire but I have no idea where to find patterns for such clothes. I checked the patterns at JoAnnns and found nothing.

I do have a peasent shirt and matching pants I bought at my local big and tall shop but would like to try to make my own.

I'm still really new when it comes to techniques for sewing so a simple beginner's pattern would be nice.

I wear a XXXL Big shirt and XXXL-XXXXL pants.

Thanks a lot.

Have a good day and good health follow you and your loved ones.


09-22-2003, 04:23 PM
I found a pattern that would work and I have some cloth for the vest and I'll start it this week.

Does anyone know where to find Men's Gypsy-style boots in a size 10 1/2?

I'm thinking of just buying black knee-high boots.


09-22-2003, 05:40 PM
Eh... there really is no such thing as an absolute gypsy style. The trademark of gypsy clothing is the fact that gypsies tend to mix and match XD Most gypsy attire tends to have a Southern or Eastern flavor to it, whether it's in the material of a sash or a few bracelets on the ankles.

Maybe this link can help ^ ^ Gypsy Costuming (http://westwood.fortunecity.com/armani/208/costume.html)

09-23-2003, 01:07 AM
Definitely! Lots of Colors are good too, and lots and lots of sashes!

As for the boots, look for cavalier boots on Ebay. They usually go for about a $100.

I happen to play as a gyspy at all the faires I work at, so I'd be glad to help if I can!

09-23-2003, 04:58 PM
I have the vest mostly done. I'm going to put a copper/gold trim on it and put a few bobbles and such and than it will be done.

I'll take pics of me in it after work with me wearing my peasent shirt and matching pants.

I'm going to make a shirt for this and pants. I'm not sure what colors yet though.

Whwn I saw this cloth for the vest I thought it would be perfect for a gypsy costume but now that it's mnade it's almost to nice for a gypsy costume I think.

I'll need opinions on it later when I upload the pics.

I made it in about 2 hours from cutting to done.


09-23-2003, 10:05 PM
BayushiKachiko: As for the boots, look for cavalier boots on Ebay. They usually go for about a $100.

A pair of incredibly handsome cavalier boots I wanted went for $250 T__T! I noticed that some people auctioning cavalier boots on eBay don't call them cavalier boots in the item title. Searching for "renaissance boots" turns up twice as many results XD!

09-23-2003, 10:26 PM
Really? The ones I've seen average about a hundred.

Sorry for the false info!

09-23-2003, 10:50 PM
I just uploaded the pics of the vest. What can I do to make it more Gypsy-like?

The red is actually a deep burgandy and the gold fabric has a leafy-type pattern that didn't show in the photos.

The vest actually had two shades of green as well.

Total time: 92 min (or there abouts)
Total cost: $12.73

I was going to take the pics with my peasent garb but sadly I can't find my top.


Opinions are more than welcome.


09-24-2003, 10:07 PM
BayushiKachiko: Sorry for the false info!

Oh no no, it's not false info, I was just mentioning the $250 thing for shock value @D@; I see most thigh/knee high cavalier style boots average about $50 to $100 depending on length and the durability of the leather.

Hmm.. that vest on its own looks gypsyesque enough if you ask me. Adding tassles and things to it would make it appear more feminine and I'm assuming you are going for the look of a gypsy man ^ ^; Wear a raggedy sash around your waist and add some jewelry around your neck and wrists. You can wear the vest with or without a shirt. I think maybe you can also add some brighter colors to the vest with the trim you suggested.

09-24-2003, 11:07 PM
I agree! Bright colors are the gypsies best friends, LoL.

Another good piece would be a sash around your head too, and that you could decorate as well. But jewelry is a key feature. Think dangly. ^_^

09-24-2003, 11:29 PM
I am thinking of a deep green (like a forest green - green brings out the red in my hair as well) for the shirt but I'm not sure of the pants. I'm torn between a light blue (a bit darker than sky blue)and a deep brown for the pants.

Probibly a gold sash that goes around my waist and down just past my knees.

What do you think?

What kink of necklaces are appropriete? I'm going to get a nice wide silver colored braclet maybe two.

I hearded that gypsies favor silver over gold... is that true?


09-24-2003, 11:36 PM
I've never heard that before, and I have a trace of Romany blood, LoL.

It doesn't really matter what you choose, since gypsies are so known for their eclectic styles. A great place to look for jewelry (that you can take apart) are thrift and consignment stores. As far as stereotypes go, aparently gypsies also love things that jingle--I know I do--I have scarves that have little bells on them and wear belled anklets and stuff, but that's off topic. Wear and use what you like. =)

As for the pants, I would go for dark brown just because dirt won't show up as easily as it would on light blue. I know when I come home from a faire, I'm covered in dirt and have no idea how I got that way.

And with your hair color (it looks like you're dark haired) gold and shade sof red and deep blue or green would work really well for sashes and other ornaments. ^_^

If the Faire you plan on attending allows weapons, such details like a boot knife and a dagger at the hip really help to capture the gypsy look as well.

09-25-2003, 12:04 AM
Here is a head shot of me... I'm a rare natural red head:

Not sure if I'll make the shirt out of blue or green but I love emerald green so I might use that

Would it be in character to wear a pair of deep blue cloth "forarm gaurds" from the wrist to the elbow?

I think I'll go for a deep dark brown for the pants

Thanks for the info on the bells.

Is there a site with the list of Faires and dates somewhere for California?

BayushiKachiko - do you have a full body pic of your gypsy costume?


09-25-2003, 01:10 AM
What Anya said! BTW--very cool info about the Romani's! ^_^

Unfortunately, I don't have one scanned at the moment. I have one somewhere I could scan, but it was taken from a distance because I was performing, so it's a little hard to see. But I'll scan it if I can.

You might just want to try a broad search for Ren Faires in your area. Also, if you have a deep interest in medieval/ren reenactment (the ultimate form of cosplay, heheh) check out the Society for Creative Anachronisms, or SCA, at www.sca.org.

You'll be located either in the West Kingdom or the Kingdom of Caid, and through there you can go about locating a local group. =)

09-25-2003, 01:11 AM
And with your red hair, you might want to consider making a Viking costume too sometime, LoL. Or maybe Scotch or Irish garb.

09-25-2003, 02:28 AM
I've been wondering what the URL for the SCA site is... thanks a million!

I'd love to do a Viking and midieval Irish costume... I just can't find any patterns. If you have a source please let me know.

Thanks a lot for the help.


09-25-2003, 04:24 AM
BayushiKachiko: I'm covered in dirt and have no idea how I got that way.

It's the dust that gets kicked up from everyone walking around so much. I know when I go in sandals my feet come out.... horridly dirty x_x;;

I think the emerald green shirt, brown pants, and blue forearm guards is a good color combination. It's a bit earthy in tone but that will help the gold in your costume to stand out brighter ^ ^ Forearm guards are fine as long as they don't look expensive. If possible try to make your guards appear as if they've been used in some scuffles XD I second Anya's suggestion, make your outfit appear broken in.

The Renaissance Pleasure Faires are listed on www.renfair.com The NorCal RenFaire is going on right now actually. The last weekend is on Oct. 19, the location is like an hour south of San Francisco. The SoCal RenFaire at Glenhelen park is always going on around Memorial Day weekend. I go to the SoCal one regularly ^ ^

The Costumer's Manifesto (http://www.costumes.org/history/100pages/costhistpage.htm) is a great site for resources. You can find Scottish, Irish, and Norse references there.

I want to see BayushiKachiko's gypsy picture too XD!

09-25-2003, 11:48 AM
Yep! As far as references go for Viking styled costuming, the SCA would be the place I would start. Viking garb is also kind of mish-mash, like the gypsy, so it's almost "anything goes" if you stick to plain earth colors and furs. I would only suggest a viking costume though during cooler months, because those fur (faux or not) can get quite warm, not to mention the other clothing you'd have to be wearing. Important pieces for the viking costume are of course the helm and weapons, since those are most recognizable by the mass public--but always double check a faires rules before bringing blades. ^_^

For Medieval costumes in general, I'd like to say don't fret too much about how it looks and if it's completely in period unless you're either a hard-core SCAdian or are simply trying to impress said SCAdians. The general public won't know (or even care) if your color scheme,accessories,etc. is totally appropriate for your period costume, so it is okay to cut a few corners here and there--saves lots of time (and money), believe you me. =)

09-25-2003, 02:12 PM
BayushiKachiko: The general public won't know (or even care) if your color scheme,accessories,etc. is totally appropriate for your period costume

You got that right XD When I went to a fair in a Turkish underbust vest, no one asked me why I was wearing a bra with it, whew ^ ^;;

If you want to do a viking costume, I would suggest you use faux fur because it's easier to care for. Unless you want to take the time to do it, maintaining exceptional real fur pieces can be a hassle.

On weaponry, this is something I learned: Do NOT buy a carbon steel sword unless you're absolutely sure you're going to take care of it properly. It pains me to see people who buy live blade rapiers for props not used in actual combat and let rust spots develop x_x

09-25-2003, 02:31 PM
I'm not the type to want to impress the SCA people... but I'm a stickler for detail so I want to be as accurate as possable while being on a budget.

As to the fur, I'd be buying faux fur because I don't want to support the killing of animals.

I uploaded a new pic of my wearing the vest with my cream colors peasent clothes I got at my bi and tall shop. My mom took the pic as I blinks but you get the general idea of what it looks like on me.

As for boots... are cavileer boots the pirate boots?

That are pretty much all I see on ebay under both search headings as well as "SCA boots"


09-25-2003, 03:30 PM
Those boots shoulkd work for you, Joe. =)

I got my costume boots at K-Mart--I was really lucky and found a pair of relatively non-descript mid calf black leather boots--and all for about 20$. Woohoo!

Another place to look for boots, although they are usually more mocasin style boots made of soft leather or suede are Western stores. I'm not sure if there are many in Cali, but I know there's a ton in Florida, so that'd be another place to look. Those boots usually run between 50-75$, from what I've seen.

Faux fur would not only be easier to care for, but WAY cheaper. And not to sound like an ass, but if you don't support the killing of animals for fun (which I don't) I would also hope you'd take into consideration leather products too.

But really, if you want to stick to details and accuracy, check in with the SCA. Most of those people are very knowledgable and are wonderful resources.

And STAY AWAY FROM PAKISTANI STEEL! I give that warning to everyone, LoL. If you need a cheap show piece, it's fine. But never pay more than 50$ for a weapon that's make of Pakistani or Taiwanese steel--it's total crap. You have to keep it greased up better than a body builder to keep it from rusting.

09-25-2003, 04:12 PM
would mocasin-style boots be appropreiate for Gypsies? I can't ever recall a pic or a show with Gypsies wearing such boots.

If I recall most leather comes from cows, donkeys and goats. Cow loather I'm okay with because they are not totally wasted like minks or other animals killed for fur when the rest of them are thrown out.

Goat skin jackets are great for motorcycleists because they hold up much better than cow hide.

I've heard of donky hide being used but never seen it.

I could very well be wrong and ifso, I'd like to be corrected so I know better.

*gets back on topic*

What do you think of the pic I uploaded?


09-25-2003, 04:39 PM
You're correct on the leather issue, and while I'm heavily against most fur trading, I feel like I should point out that most of these animals are farmed (not that that makes it any more okay) and that the rest of the bodies can't really be used for much else. ::Shrug:: Again, OT.

Moc. boots wouldn't be appropriate for gypsy styed garb, but are great for generic medieval garb, as they're fairly inexpensive, cover the whole foot, and are quite comfortable.

The costume looks good so far. I think the finishing touches of the sashes will really bring it together nicely.

09-25-2003, 05:28 PM

That's actually my peasent garb I got at my big and tall.

For the Gypsy garb I'm going to make:

1. A forest green shirt with a center slit and a single button closure at the neck.

2. Deep dark brown lose pants

3. Gold sash the goes wide around the waist and hangs tied and loosely goes down to my knees.

4. Royal blue lace up cloth wrist gaurds (not sure which colors will be the cording that will lavce it up)

5. I wants to make a long bandanna-type thing for around the top of my head but I want it to be long enough to fall fown a side of my shoulder. (not sure what color)

6. Boots

7. a gold or silver color wide cuff bracelet and and I have no idea what kind of necklaces to use.

What do you think?

This might cost about $300.00- 400.00 total... but I'm aiming for under $250.00.


09-25-2003, 07:52 PM
Well, it sounds like the most expensive item will indeed be the boots.

1,2, and 3 sound good. I would maybe add fringe to the end of the sash, but you may think that will look too effeminent.

Just a natural tan or brown color cording will most likely be easiest to get, and will look fine with the dark blue.

The head wrap is essentially the same as the sash you'd use for the waist. It should be wide enough though, to be pulled across and cover your head when you have it tied--it can be as long as you want.

A single necklace with a large amulet or a large natural stone would probably be best for your particular costume. I would probably go with gold--I personally think it would just show up better with your color scheme, but you could really go with either.

09-26-2003, 02:40 PM
BayushiKachiko: And STAY AWAY FROM PAKISTANI STEEL! I give that warning to everyone, LoL. If you need a cheap show piece, it's fine.

LOL most "third world" carbon steel is recycled from truck springs @D@ It's durable if you get it from the right maker but it's such a difficult and expensive process x_x; Stainless steel is good for cheap non-functional show pieces and they don't require any care whatsoever.

For the sash, instead of fringe maybe you can tear it up slightly and fray the edges to give it a used "adventurous" type look. Just be careful on how you shred parts ^ ^;;

I second the recommendation for gold as it will stand out more than silver. Get cheap gold though unless you want to flaunt your character as a "well-to-do" gypsy XD

On boots, I wouldn't go with the moccasins for a gypsy costume unless you plan to wear your pant legs over them. The style isn't very "gypsyesque" however if you're going to hide the lace up sides with your pant legs then you can buy moccasins as they will be inexpensive and usable in other costumes. Cavalier boots are just as versatile though, only much more expensive ^ ^;