This is a photo diary of my costuming "travels"; where I've learned and struggled to make historical costumes for myself. They're not always pretty, but always fun. most of the time. And I want to share with others what I learn along the way. **You can find me on Facebook, or have my posts delivered to your email by signing up at the lower part of the right column.**

About Me

My photo
HI, my name is Val. I'm a member of Costumer's Guild West in Los Angeles, member & Past President of the San Diego Costume Guild, member of Orange County Costume Guild, a representative of the San Diego History Center, & an honorary member of SITU (Someplace in Time, Unlimited) in Seattle. This year I am the Dean of Costume College 2018. I make my own historical costumes but don't sell any unless I get tired of one.The eras I've made so far are 1770 up to 1918. My favorite is the 1880s bustle.


Friday, November 5, 2010

The wearing of my Carmelite nun costume

Last weekend was the debut of my nun costume at the Felicita Park Renaissance Fair in Escondido, CA.
***EDITED TO ADD: I was reminded that I didn't include my inspiration photo of this costume. On a website about the Carmelite nuns was a photo of an older outfit that I liked the color on and wouldn't be the usual black and white that we're used to seeing. It also seemed to me to fit into a Renaissance time period with its earthy colors.
I still had to make a wimple to wear under the cap and veil but that didn't come with the pattern so I had to make one up myself. Since the only part that's visible is around my face and under my chin, I didn't need to do anything elaborate. I used a large rectangle of white cotton fabric, folded about 1 inch along one edge that goes under my chin, attached some white grosgrain ties at each end and tied that on top of my head. I pulled it tight enough to fit snuggly under my chin. Then I put on the cap, which the veil is attached to on the top, and used bobbie pins to attach the wimple to the cap by my temples. The bottom was tucked inside my robe. It worked really well but has a tendency to loosen up after time and gets a little baggy under my chin. But overall, it looks good.
When I arrived at the Faire, a couple attendants who were parking us asked was I wearing a costume, or was I really a nun? I pointed out that nuns don't wear makeup or lipstick. Later a lady working in a booth told me she was an ex-nun. I asked her how I did, and she said "spot on". So I guess I did a good job on it.
I had a friend of mine take some photos of me in our encampment where our guild displays costumes we've made to the public. Even though this was taken on Halloween Eve, the skeletons are our year-round models for our Guild's costumes.


  1. 1974 My friend and I went to the Renaissance Faire in N. California dressed as nuns. I can't tell you how many people asked if we were real nuns. She wore a white habit, and I wore black. We had a blast.

  2. Real carmelite nuns:

    1. Thank you for that photo. I found an old photo of a Carmelite nun dressed like mine is and I wanted more color so went for an older style to fit into the time period I wore it too.


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