I think, as with most things, when you stop doing something, the longer you wait to start again, the harder it becomes, until it doesn't even seem important anymore. So it is with this blog, and the last post I made back in August. I haven't been that busy, but it seemed such an effort to post and with Facebook, I'm able to share pictures with family which is often my most motivating factor in posting here.
But I do miss it, so here is my attempt to once again keep up with the blog.
Back in January we went to Ohayocon again, this was our second year. I wanted to make a costume, but it needed to be something that wouldn't embarrass my daughters or myself. Even though the convention is anime-based, a lot of people wear all sorts of cosplays from books, movies and games. I decided to be a character from The Night Circus, a reveur--followers of the circus who dress in black, gray or white with a touch of red.
I used the 1873 polonaise from Truly Victorian for the jacket. I made it from cotton sateen I ordered online from http://www.joann.com//. I was pretty nervous cutting out the pattern, it was my first time making something from a pattern other than McCall's or Simplicity. The pattern uses a great system where you measure yourself and then use different sized pieces based on that measurement, rather than using all the pieces in the same size, the way I'm used to doing. It took a few tries to get the fit right, and since I needed to wear a corset with the jacket, it was kind of a pain to lace it up every time I did a fitting. Since my corset is steel boned, I just used plastic boning in the jacket--I wasn't sure I needed the boning at all, but I had joined the Facebook group Costume Pattern Reviews and they were so helpful, pointing out that the boning was help the jacket lay smooth and flat.
Detail on the sleeve. I changed the sleeves so they wouldn't flare, since I knew that would get in my way and drive me crazy. The ruffle is costume taffeta from Joann Fabrics, I cut it into strips, folded it in half lengthwise and pressed it, then gathered it. It took forever. The trims are from Sew Biz Fabrics and cost about half of what I would have paid at Joanns.
The peplum in the back.
The buttons up the front. I got these off of Ebay, they are vintage glass buttons from Czechoslovakia. And my hand-sewn buttonholes look rather sloppy in close-up.
Looking rather stern and a bit Mary Poppins-ish. The crocheted gloves are from Ebay. The scarf I knitted myself, and I'm not really happy with it, I wonder if a kerchief type would have looked better. And the hat is totally wrong for the time period of the polonaise, but it looked great and since I was a book character I figured I didn't need to be completely historically correct.
Detail of the bustle. I used this great trick from The Broke Costumer to bustle the back.
No one actually recognized my character, but I did get a lot of compliments on the gown, so that's okay. Now I need to figure out some other places to wear it, after all that work!