This costume was created for a gypsy character in NEROŽ Avendale, so my goal was to use lots of different colors and types of fabric. The costume was actually built over a number of years, first with the bodice, then with the skirt, finally with the cloak. That's a nice thing about a gypsy costume, you can add to it over time because it doesn't have to match perfectly.
I sewed the bodice in alternating panels of sky blue silk and a textured multicolor iridescent synthetic, lined with heavy weight black denim. The sewn in 'lacing' on the back is a green grosgrain ribbon. The blouse and head sash are purchased. The belt, necklace, and earrings are all gifts. The rightmost pictures are of custom made armor, which I've added to this page because the armor smith used this same bodice pattern as a template and I wanted to show an alternate use of this pattern (go here for a picture of armor I've made).
Deviations from the pattern: The pattern is made to simulate lacing up the back, but I sewed in ribbon in the back instead. Originally I used a separating zipper per the pattern instructions, but not only did that look less than renaissance, I often caught the blouse fabric or my own flesh in the teeth. So I replaced the zipper with embroidery floss covered grommets instead, as shown on another costuming page. The pattern calls for piping along the neckline and armholes, I chose to whip stitch the edges instead.
Notes on the fabric: The alternating panels of fabric were more out of necessity than creativity - I purchased the iridescent fabric from a remnant table and didn't have enough to make an entire bodice from it. So consider using this tactic should you find a great fabric for a bodice but not have the entire yardage needed. The denim lining is used to help stiffen the bodice so that one doesn't have to wear a corset underneath.
Notes on the pattern: This bodice pattern suffers from one major flaw: the underarms are cut way too high, requiring alteration to lower them by about 2 inches. This isn't just a symptom of fitting, the armor smith who uses this pattern also commented on the need to lower the underarms for all her customers.
I sewed the cloak in a purple ruche polyester (same fabric as here, just a different color), lined with purple wool jersey (or all purple wool jersey at the collar). The trim is a black velvet with bone whip stitch piping along the edges and a black velvet flat trim along the collar base. The clasp is pewter, purchased online.
Deviations from the pattern: The pattern does not call for piping, but I wanted it. ☺
I sewed the skirt in alternating panels of turquoise and navy blue panné velvet. The blouse and head sashes are purchased. The belt, necklace, and earrings are all gifts. The rightmost picture is the original skirt I made for this costume (no pattern) but I decided it was not gypsy enough, so no longer wear it as part of this costume.
Lessons learned: I would lengthen the skirt by a few inches next time around.