“The Borgias” – part two

There’s nothing like a deadline to create serious inspiration!  The problem I have a lot of the time with motivation is that I’m super-motivated for the first day, or two, or three when I start a project… and if I don’t finish the entire thing within that time, I completely lose it.  However, I do love to work against a deadline.  Maybe that’s why this costume came together so nicely for me!

So, at last post, my Borgias inspired gown (which I’ve taken to calling the “cotton candy” dress, because the color scheme is so garish XD) was in need of sleeves.  They were a pretty easy build.  I drafted a sleeve pattern for a full-length sleeve, which I made up of my own design because I didn’t find any pictures of any sleeves that I particularly liked, and would have enough fabric for.  I had a scant half yard of the blue taffeta for both sleeves.  Yikes!  They are kind of inspired by the sleeves on the dark burgundy velvet dress that Danielle wears at the end of Ever after (did I mention it’s my favorite?), the ones with the gold-thread quilting.  Plus, it is November in Wisconsin, so I figured that quilted sleeves might give the costume some extra warmth where it would surely be needed.


the sleeve I drafted.  I played around with the shape a bit until I got what I wanted, which was a straight sleeve that would tie to the arm hole of the gown, with a very pointed part at the shoulder.


quilting!  yeeergh!  I admire people who quilt, because I do not have the patience for it.  Just doing these two sleeves was enough for me.  I didn’t use a grid or any kind of marks for my design, I just eyeballed it, so it came out not exactly perfect.  But I think it lends a handmade feel to it.  I didn’t want it to be too perfect.



The finished sleeves, inside and out.  I slashed the elbows because i liked the look of it, and bound all the edges with the scraps of the blue taffeta that were left (and believe me, I was down to bits and pieces by the end.)  The “peekaboo” fabric is some white crepe-y jersey stuff that I found in a box in my closet.  It’s kind of scratchy and definitely not period accurate, but it had the right look of what I wanted.  Rather than making full sleeves, I just tacked some pieces on to the holes, in true theater fashion.  For one, I didn’t have much of the fabric, but also the sleeves were kind of a tight fit to begin with and I didn’t think a whole bulky sleeve would fit well in there.


This was the inside of the bodice when all was said and done.  I used another panel of the crepe jersey, with a faux-lacing of silver cord on the front of the bodice.  However, I don’t have a picture of that.  The whole thing doesn’t look too pretty from the inside, but hey, I was short on time.

All that was left was to sew some eyelets up the back, and hem the darn thing, all of which I did this morning when I got home from work at 5 a.m.  (Last-minute sewing is the only type of sewing!)  Then, when I got up this afternoon, I managed to whip together a kind of short cape to wear with the gown, because it was, indeed, quite cold outside today.  I’ll have some pictures of me wearing the whole ensemble in the next post.

Since it’s November (novel month!) I’ll be taking a break from sewing.  But I’d like to revisit this costume again when I have some spare time.  For one, I’d like to sturdy up all those tacked-on pieces, or maybe change the design of how I did it.  Also, the front of the bodice of the gown is dismally unadorned.  I did have some pink and silver trim, and some pearls I intended to slap on there if I had the time, but I ran out.  There are also some small fitting issues that would require a more thorough deconstruction (the bodice back, for instance, could be shortened an inch or two, and the straps were a bit too big.)  So I’ll put this costume on the shelf for some more work later on down the line.


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