This page contains guides written by players that may be of interest in making costume pieces. It is a very early page intended to supplement the Varushka look and feel page, and may have been superceded. Official costume advice is found on the Costume page.


Varushkans' grim outlook on life is contrasted by their clothes, which are beautiful, bright and warm. Perhaps as a remedy to the cold and dark of their lands, they take great pride in intricately embroidered shirts, richly coloured trousers and warm fur trim on coats and hats. Varushka is primarily influenced by Rus and Slavic costume and players can draw heavily from these sources for their costumes. The traditional Slavic white shirt or dress with red embroidery at the hem is a favourite for Varushkans, and the Rus trousers, hats and wrap over coats provide inspiration for the rest of the nation.

10 Quick Tips

  • There's no need to spend £££'s on expensive fabrics - in Varushka it's all about the trim. Market stalls are great for bias tape, and embroidered ribbon in various widths.
  • Fur can be ethical - whether you choose vintage real fur (ask in charity shops they often keep it in the back room); look for a sale after a licensed cull of animals or seek out good quality fake furs from fabric stores Fabrics Online
  • Fake fur sold as 'fun fur' has a tendency to matt and go manky really quickly (and the designs are often a bit garish) so is probably best avoided
  • Silks and velvets may be worn by the rich - but it'll often be as the trim with the work-wearing fabrics of linen, wool, leather, cotton still being used for the main garment - so only small amounts are needed.
  • If you don't fancy embroidering from scratch and want more than just a border, some re-enactment stores have the Rus or Slavic style embroidered shifts and blouses for sale, and they also pop up in unusual places like Christmas Markets.
  • Similarities between Varushkan and Wintermark costume (wrapped trousers, tunics, lots of fur) shows the shared heritage between the cultures - to err towards Varushka and away from Wintermark ensure trousers are baggy from waist to knee; use fur as trim in bands and hems rather than loose pieces, and opt for open fronted tunics cut on a diagonal layered over a white base layer, rather than standard pulled over the head shapes.
  • To stay warm go for multiple layers - it really does work.
  • Shawls are great as traditional family pieces and can often be found in charity shops or jumble sales
  • Wigs are a great time saver for Wise Ones - all sorts of talismans and pieces can be braided in and the whole thing removed to sleep in comfort. Ebay, charity shops and even Claire's Accessories are a great source for the bits and pieces you might need
  • To avoid confusing a Wise One with a Kallavesi, steer clear of feathers or animal headdresses, and avoid looking like a Navarr by not using warpaint.

Making Guide with Examples

There are lots of choices for making a base layer. Whether it is a smock, blouse, dress or simple t-tunic it'll usually be white:

For trousers its simply a case of taking any baggy trousers pattern and then strapping below the knee.

Hats have a wealth of possibilities:


Costume for Varushkan children follows the traditional styles and emphasis on bright colours. For toddlers and babies, traditional smocks, or simple t-tunics and drawstring trousers are simple and easy to pull-on garments, that can be made in linen or cotton for easy washing! These types of clothes also have plenty of flexibility in terms of size, meaning you'll get more than one year's use out of them. Traditional children's smocked dresses are easy to find in white and often have red or blue embroidery. These are an excellent simple costumes for babies and small children in Varushka.

When making costumes for smaller children, remember to avoid anything tight around the neck - strings, cloaks, hats on cords etc and in addition, all tabards should secure under the arms. Make sleeves and armholes wider than needed; they're the bits that get tight as they grow. Neck holes also need to be bigger than for adults or should fasten at the back.


See where some of the ideas came from:


Bright vibrant colours predominate, especially brilliant red, yellow and blue and are worn with white, black and grey.

Varushka colours.png


Further Reading

Core Brief

Additional Information