Genesis of a Pern costume....

I knew my mother-in-law was an adept seamstress, but I never would even have thought of asking her to make me an outfit if she hadn't sent me this photo of her and her husband in Halloween costumes she had made.   Jeannette said it took 3 hours to make Bruces outfit and 3 weeks to make hers...guess we women like more complicated clothing, huh?  :)

I was still a bit nervous about bluntly asking for a Pern outfit, after hearing how much work it was to make her dress.  But I lucked out:  she and Bruce came to visit us soon after DragonCon, and I was showing her my pictures of the event--which of course included many people in costume--and she offered to make me one before I actually asked!

First thing we did was go looking for a pattern.  Of the ones we saw I liked B the best.  A seemed a bit too ostentatious for Sariel, who was still a journeywoman at the time.  While I knew Sariel would likely become a Master before the next DragonCon, A still seemed too formal, something for a Lady Holder or a Weyrwoman perhaps, but much too formal for Sariel.

B on the other hand had a lot of promise, though if done as indicated would definitely be too informal for a master.  First change would be the apron, which had to go!   Next I picked out fabrics that were much richer than those in the photo.And finally I thought that a bit of gold trim, like was found on the Lady Holder dress would be a nice touch.

We purchased (what we hoped was) the right amount of fabric and trim, and Jeannette went back home to North Dakota to stitch away.  I knew the project would take quite a while and wouldn't be a top priority for her.  My only hope was that it would be done by next summer's DragonCon.

Much to my surprise Jeannette finished it in time to wrap up and send as a Christmas present!  After opening it I tried on the hat right away--and of course my husband thought that deserved a photo...

Sometime later that day I put the whole outfit on and made my brother-in-law Allen play photographer (as my husband was taking a nap).  We took quite a number of photos with my digital camera, and then downloaded them to the computer for a looksee.  We decided that it would look better without my glasses (which were reflecting badly and aren't very Pernese anyhow) and I also hadn't thought to take off my wristwatch (another Pernese anachronism).

We took another set of photos, and then I played with my favorite one a bit (to take out the lightswitch and the lid of the garbage can...) and that's what I've posted on my Pern website.  That picture doesn't really show the dress in full, though, so I'll include a few more shots below.