Monday, May 27, 2013

Steampunk Alice in Wonderland

This was the first time I really put together a costume as a recognizable character. A friend of mine wanted to do Steampunk Ariel as an excuse to make a swimming costume, so I said I'd play along.

I made the Laughing Moon drawers in white. I closed them at the crotch, as they would be visible in the costume. The drawers were pretty straight forward. It was my first time doing tucks, and I didn't do a great job, but they were wearable. I also made them a size too small (on purpose), but if I made them again, I would increase the size. As a wearing note, drawers are usually underneath the corset (as they needed to be for this costume). They are also usually covered by a chemise and several layers of skirts. If I make another pair of drawers to be worn as true underclothes, I will definitely make open drawers. It makes getting to the restroom and then getting back together again much easier.

I used the Simplicity Chemise pattern #9769, but I cut if off at hip length. I made the chemise in blue and I didn't want it to extend out from the corset in a visible way. This was straightforward enough. Somehow, the Simplicity pattern diagrams sometimes more confusion than they solve, but I got it done. Before I cut the neck line, I measured my shoulders about where I expected the chemise to fall. I know that I have narrow shoulders, but I cut the neck line about 3" shorter than my size otherwise called for. This is an important fitting step if you don't want the chemise falling down all the time.

I used the corset I made from the Laughing Moon Silverado pattern. I used the same blue fabric that I used on the chemise to help create the line of Alice's dress.

I also modified this 1950's style apron from Simplicity so that it only had one skirt layer. I liked it because I was round enough to get over the hoop skirt and had a big bow in the back for modesty.

The big effort for this costume was making a blue hoop skirt. I used Truly Victorian 142 (the Walking Cage Crinoline). This project was more time consuming that it would be for most people because I needed it to be in a periwinkle blue. That meant that I couldn't use standard, pre-made hoop casing. Instead I used grosgrain ribbon wrapped on both side with strips of my fabric. This providing a casing for the hoops and a study surface to attach the vertical strips to. Additionally, I just used a regular waist band instead of the boned, laced belt. I used a strip of Velcro to hold it on, but I found that in a crowded hallway, it was better to supplement it with a safety pin.

The hoop skirt was tedious and I spent a lot of time fine tuning the balance of the hoops. I think if this had been intended strictly for undergarment use, things would have gone a lot faster and I could have fussed less.

Here's photos of the hoop skirt & apron:



And here are some of me in the full outfit:



These are totally awesome Tavistock boots from American Duchess

This cracks me up! That's my husband is his totally rad Vader Lord of the Pith costume. We make a cute couple. 

1 comment:

Marian the Librarian said...

Oh goodness! Now I remember you! This costume I saw and adored!