Reading smalltown mom’s blog has put me in a nautical mood, so…
The most powerful pirates wore whatever they pleased, and that was as much of a sign of their power as the fancy ships or fantastic treasures that they posessed. Among the cabal of the fifty or so most elite of the lords of the sea, it was understood that there was no need for artifice or the peacock-like preening of the lesser pirates; when you were that good at what you did, any excess started to look tacky. Captain Christopher Blood, feared master of the legendary Dreadfall, often wore a simple shirt and trousers and went barefoot, making him look for all the world like a new recruit, while Lady Bethany Star was fond of simple shifts without the slightest bit of embellishment. (Since she loved snow white linen and her clothes were so routinely bloodstained, it was actually more efficient to buy a year’s worth of shifts at once than to add the job of washing them properly to her favorite attendant’s duties.)
It was really only those still trying to make names for themselves who fussed over their buttonholes and silks, donning ropes of trade beads and piling feathers onto their tricorn hats until they looked like they might very well fly off themselves. The poorest of recruits with any ambition at all would soon have at least a snazzy handkerchief to show off, even if the rest of his clothes were castoffs older than he was. Extravagant flamboyancy was the look everyone aimed for, but make the mistake of snickering at a young pirate dandy with his waistcoat so adorned with lace it looked like a skirt and you’d be lucky to get away with interesting designs carved down your back and a majority of your fingers.
My pirate girl, Elaine Morgain, is well on her way up. No ship of her own yet, and not as much jewelry as she would like, but she’s got plans. In the meantime, she’s her current captain’s right hand and the second-best shot among the crew, she’s faced down some tricky situations (the most notable of which was surviving being marooned for a month, then having a delicious revenge a full year later) and she’s gained a reputation in certain circles for charisma, ruthlessness and the devil’s own luck. Not bad, she thinks, for someone who started pirate life with a dress barely patched together and a couple of throwing knives. (And yes, throwing knives have a place on a pirate ship. You have to be extra skilled to use them right, though.)
To cut out the left sleeve, cut around the lace, then put the hand over the skirt; to cut out the hat, cut on the white lines. (It may need to be cut past where I have the lines, though. Call it a guideline.)
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