This summer I’m going into my third season in the cast of the New York Renaissance Faire. I portray Frances Brooke, Baroness Cobham, Lady of the Bedchamber and Mistress of the Robes to Queen Elizabeth 1. I was going to write this post about my own costume, but that might take some more planning and compiling. Instead, this post is about another faire-related project that I love very much and am extremely proud of.
Queen Elizabeth 1’s actual birthday is September 7. Last year, September 7 fell on a Faire day, so we made a big deal out of the Queen’s birthday, which included an elaborate ceremony where the courtiers presented the queen with gifts. We know from extant New Year’s gift rolls that Lady Cobham always gave the Queen clothes, so I decided to make a pair of sleeves for the Queen’s birthday. Luckily, my director wanted new sleeves for the Queen anyway, so I didn’t have to supply any of the materials! Which was a good thing, because I ended up bejeweling the crap out of them. My director had a general design in mind for them, and gave me fabrics that coordinated with the Queen’s gown, and then gave me free reign to decorate them as I like. I’ve never decorated anything to the extent that these sleeves were decorated, and I did a lot of the work by hand. I originally didn’t love how they looked with the rest of the gown but they grew on me and now I LOVE THEM. So enjoy!