The Fezziwig Costume Workshop
Hints, Help and Resources to Create Your Dickens Faire Costume
November 2001
GBACG members Danine Cozzens, Jana Keeler and Sally Norton met with volunteers planning to participate at Fezzigwigs at Dickens Faire this year. It was an informal gathering where we could answer questions, display costumes, offer practical hints, and share resources.

Danine Cozzens shows how a pretty ribbon and charming smile turns a plain straw bonnet in a perfect accessory.

Jana Keeler made this pretty day dress from a vintage Simplicity pattern. She brought it to the workshop for display and ended up selling to this young lady who was in need of a dress and short on sewing time (a situation familiar to all of us). Look for the dress swirling on the dance floor at Fezziwigs.

Read Jana's review of this pattern in The Great Pattern Review. Jana found this pattern on eBay priced at under $5. 


We had the gentlemen very much in mind when we put the materials for this workshop together. We encouraged the fellas to bring in costume pieces they planned to use, fabrics, photos, ideas and questions. They brought all of the above and more. 

Here we discuss the merits of a thrift shop find.


One of the display costumes used to illustrate fabric, pattern, fit, closure, types of trim and placement of trim.

We had examples of easy-to-sew costumes pieces suitable for a beginner as well as intermediate and advanced projects.

Among the ideas we proposed: make a simple gathered skirt and bolero jacket decorated with an inexpensive (and historically accurate) loop braid. Buy a mid 19th century white cotton blouse from one of the costume dealers selling online. This way you spend money on the one part of the costume requiring higher sewing skills and you make the easy pieces. 

We had bags of fabrics to look over and discuss. Since all the Fezziwig volunteers take on the role of a specific character from Charles Dickens' works, we added one more consideration into the mix. We talked about fiber content, weave, color and prints; then we moved on to character. We asked questions: Who is your character? What is his/her income and social strata?
Books! Anyone have too many books? Nah. Dumb question. We looked at books, made lists, suggested favorites and shared titles.

We prepared a handout for all the Fezziwig participants. It included book titles, pattern recommendations, sources for fabrics, feathers, trims, socks, suspenders, hats, hankies and more.

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