Ciel gown – finished product

I found my camera (hiding in a bag of sewing junk – what a surprise) so I actually have some good photos of a project for once!  at least, as good as they get considering I’ve got no talent for photography.  If I take a picture without getting my thumb in front of the lens that’s pretty good for me!

anyhow, here it is – the Ciel “roses” ball gown for Anime Central 2014!


(it sits crooked on my dress form, I don’t know why.  I fussed with every layer for a half hour and couldn’t get it to lay right.  perhaps because it fits my body, which is not a dress form, perfectly?)

there are several layers to this costume.


first is the under petticoat and my “bustle” – a bum pad that I found in a box, I can’t for the life of me remember what costume I wore it with before!  the petticoat is my Jasmine petticoat from way back when.  I recall saying at the time that I might wear this over a bustle someday… I probably wasn’t imagining something like this costume, though!

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the underskirt.  I draped the pattern for this on my dress form; it’s pretty simple, two panels and two gores, with a small train.  the back is just pleated where the bustle sits.  the pleats on this sucker drove me nuts, and I ran out of fabric and luckily was able to get a little more in the same color.


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the top skirt, also draped on top of the other two skirts to ensure that the shape and the gathers were just right.  it was a fussy process, and I’m less pleased with the end result than I’d like, but I think I did as much as I could with my choice of fabric.  I wanted two layers of pleats on this skirt, too, but I simply didn’t have enough fabric.  I put a giant bow and some frills on the back just because.  this is supposed to be a big, frilly, girly dress.  nothing says girly like an ass bow with roses, right?

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the whole ensemble.  it is a little crooked, but not so much on me as it is in these pictures.  the back does lace shut.


I made the little choker/neck frill thing from scraps of my ivory fabric.  then I went digging through my bags and bags of ribbon stash, only to find that I don’t have a single thin pink ribbon.  I did, however, have this frilly pink piece of trim, so I went with it.

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and last but not least, the hat.  I covered a straw hat from Michael’s with the pink fabric.  by this point, I was nearly out of the ivory – down to scraps and worrying about how I was going to finish my pleats – but luckily, I had some really lovely silk in a nearly identical color, so the hat is lined with that and the bow is from silk.  I feel like the cotton would have looked a little cheap; the silk brings a nice fancy touch to the hat.  the roses under the brim only go round the front of the hat, and I stuck some in the back just for fun.  I still have some roses left over from that bouquet I butchered; I may do a little more trimming before I call this project complete.


whew!  now that this beast is past me, I’ve got another costume to get cracking on right away – my sister’s!  I worked on it a little already, but I’ll save it as a surprise, and cover it in another post once I’ve made some real progress.


hedgehog wig and a dreamy creamy hat

I’ve been working on a lot of things recently.  My schedule at work changed, which leaves me with actually a lot more time for costuming.

in the past four weeks or so, I’ve whipped up an entirely new set of mid-18th century underthings (shift, strapless stays, two petticoats, and pockets,) a lovely velvet and fur pelisse for these beautiful Wisconsin winters (uck,) a big ol’ hedgehog wig, and a pretty little straw hat.  Unfortunately, the only things I have pictures of today are the latter two.


The wig was a super-cheap buy on Ebay, which I had to fiddle with quite a lot to make it look right.  It was supposed to be long and curly; when I got it out of the package, it was mostly straight, with some curl at the ends.  So I had to curl it, which took most of the time I spent on it.  It still needs some work, I think; it’s not quite as fluffy out the sides as I’d like.  The color is pretty close to my own, but it’s a little more red than my hair – you can’t tell in the picture, but in real life, I think it will need a little powdering to look just right.


I know it’s the middle of winter, but I wanted to make a summery type hat.  the hat is an ultra-cheap straw beach hat from Party City, and this was mostly an experiment to see if I could make it into something presentable, and I’m pleased with the end result.  I didn’t spend much effort on this; I just threw together some stuff from my ribbon stash to see what I could come up with.

I’d have some proper pictures of all of the items mentioned above, but my camera’s on the fritz at the moment.  I’m planning to do a proper photoshoot with all my winter items, maybe when the temperature outside gets back into positive degrees.

what’s on the table right now: a fur muff to match my pelisse, some 18th century style shoes (maybe with fur – why not have a whole matching set?) and a pierrot jacket which I’ve been working on the pattern on and off for some months now.  I’m really feeling motivated lately, so it’s possible I might actually finish all these things for once!