Sunday, September 07, 2008

Binder Twining in Fabulous Style

The Binder Twine Festival is this fun little fall fair that takes place in the village of Kleinburg every year. For the past few months I've been working at trying to get some element of involvement for our library, and it finally came about that we would have a booth in the children's area, and we would do some storytelling. I decided we'd do it in period appropriate costume, as costume plays a big part in the Binder Twine Festival. So, in mid-August, I started in on making us some costumes!

Luckily Fabricland was having their big August clearance sale, and I was able to pick up some coordinating fabric ends in a nice cotton material for only $3/metre. Big savings! The patterns were also on sale, so I was able to pick up a fairly simple costume pattern for about $5. Apparently August is the time to start in on your Halloween costumes!

As my apartment is so small and crowded, and has so little in the way of large, flat, unoccupied spaces, I took the project to the cottage! Ordinarily I have to spread fabric out on my bed, and that's hardly ideal. At the cottage, I commandeered the large table we use for everything from eating to game playing. There's something fairly delicious about working on a project in a space with wall sized windows on three sides, and a view of the lake to the front. Yum!

It was quite the machine I got set up. I was making three costumes, so I decided to do them simultaneously. All the dresses at once. All the aprons at once. All the bonnets at once (never quite got to those, and I have the hair part sunburn as punishment). My lovely family deserves thanks for allowing me to commandeer the space for the entirety of the weekend. I did clean my stuff off for meals, but solitaire games needed to find new homes.

I took my own sewing machine, iron, and etc., with me. We were giggling a little bit to see my hot pink water spray bottle and plastic pink notions bag together with the period water pitcher we now use as a vase, and the pattern that fit so much better with the water pitcher. So of course it had to be documented.

I love sewing and creating costumes like this. I used to make a lot of the costumes for theatre productions I was involved with during high school. So doing this was a little like going back to an old friend. It was a lot of fun.

Well. Yesterday was the big day. I woke up at 6:00 a.m. to the sound of a torrential downpour. Things did not look good. By the time I left the house, just after 7:00, it had slowed to a drizzle. Stll bleak. Things did not look promising.

Here we are carting our display materials from the library to our spot on a very squeaky bookcart, completely covered with garbage bags to keep our supplies dry. We still look like we're having fun, right?

Luckily the rain stopped by the time we were setting up, and we were able to put out all our paper-based supplies without any tragic repurcussions.

Here are the girls posing just after we set up our stuff.

The day turned out pretty well. It cleared up, and even got sunny, without getting too too hot. We were next to the performance area, so we chatted with the juggler/unicyclist, and got to watch his show twice. We were also convenient for our own storytimes. Sadly the portapotties were also right there, so things didn't smell super, but it did mean that we got to talk to people on their way to and from the toilets.

Anyway, I enjoyed the day. It was exhausting. I fell asleep just after 9:00 p.m. and slept for a good eleven hours. It was a lot of fun though! Here we are posing in our fabulous fashions, with the animal puppets we were using to lure small children into our booth!


ru said...

clearly jl has a career ahead as a back-to-the-lander or a historical re-creationist. or perhaps an amish.

MadJenny said...

She does look pretty happy about the whole experience, doesn't she.

Deranged Squirrel said...

I was also exhausted last night. I slept for pretty much 12 hours straight and I still feel tired. But it was a good day!

Canadian Economist said...

Looked like you had so much fun! Did you use the puppets to tell stories and were there older teens or parents that got sucked in?

MadJenny said...

Well, we mostly use the puppets for songs and rhymes. But sometimes for stories. The dog I'm holding in the picture looks just like the dog in Bark George which is a picture book we read yesterday. So the puppet helps with that one.
The parents of the kids are definitely involved. Some tweens sat down during one of my storytimes, but they didn't stay long when they realized I was telling The Gingerbread Man. We did chat with some teens in our little booth area though. My parents came to the festival. So they were adults without "children" who were watching my storytime.

faerie-writer said...

You guys look great!!! You did a terrific job on the costumes! It's making me want to sew now. I have a Renaissance costume pattern on my desk that's tempting me. ;)