Run Down of Neo-Victorian Outfit

March 16, 2011

I did indeed manage to get my Neo-Victorian outfit finished (or mostly, anyway) in time for the picnic.  Then, about a week later, I ran off to Europe for 6 months so I never really got around to writing about what I did.  So here’s the summary, finally.

Tweed Skirt

I made the skirt from a beautiful Italian wool, in a black and white herringbone sort of pattern.  I adapted a pattern from a basic 6-gore pattern that I have.  Basically, it turned out beautifully.  The only downside is that I wish the fabric had a bit of stretch in it, which would make it more comfortable to wear.

Underbust Corset

Having used Laughing Moon’s Silverado corset pattern before, I basically just did a toile of that and then traced a line I liked and cut it off there.  I decided to make it come to a point in the front because I think it looks nicer, and less like it’s just been cut off.  Playing with my previous corset, I worked out that I would be able to do it up inside out, and thus make it double sided (which was exciting, it meant I basically got 2 corsets in one).  So on one side I used black satin and on the other I used red satin – one was silk satin and one felt like silk satin even though it wasn’t. I can’t remember which was which.  I lined the satin layers to make them more substantial and stop the fabric from fraying everywhere, and I put a later of cotton canvas in the middle. I used spiral steel boning again.  I bound it with black satin bias binding, so the black side looks totally black and the red side has black edging.  I used a metal busk in the front and metal eyelets in the back.  I’m really happy with it, I think it fits well and looks good with lots of things.  Plus, it can double for pirate outfits! My only complaint is that I didn’t get the boning channels as neat as I would have liked because I was in a hurry.

Completing the Outfit

I wore skirt and corset with a blouse I’d bought (white with black details, ruffles, bow at the neck and so on), a green corduroy blazer, blue curly scarf, grey stocking and black shoes.  I found a straw boater in the cupboard, which my mother kindly put a new black ribbon on for me.  It wasn’t as cool as the top hat I planned, but I still rather liked it, and it was a lot quicker to put together.

Future Developments

I still plan to make a mini top hat, one day… I did manage to pick up a small one, which I’d like to do up.  I just need to work out if it’s the right shape.  And I’m sure I’ll think of other accessories I’d like to do. I must get my hands on a parasol.


Neo-Victorian Picnic

June 23, 2010

I’ve organised a Neo-Victorian/Steampunk picnic, coming up in a couple of weeks.  It seemed to me that even though we’ve just had a steampunk-themed ball, it’s hard to go all out with hats and accessories and stuff when you have to make sure you can still dance, so I felt a day event was in order.  Being me, of course, costume-making has been left to the last minute, although I have it all planned out in my head!

I’m going for a more Neo-Victorian look rather than steampunk, myself.  I haven’t found that much strictly steampunk stuff for women that I like, mainly because I don’t really like wearing brown, which there seems to be a lot of.  Basically I prefer a more elegant look rather than a utilitarian one – style over substance, hurrah! No one ever accused me of being practical.

Anyway this is the plan:

  • a ruffly shirt (I have a black one and a white one with black trimmings, I’m not sure which I’ll use yet),
  • a black underbust corset (have to make that… yeah that’s really practical and achievable),
  • a black and white tweed skirt (I have the fabric, which is BEAUTIFUL.  I was thinking of using a pattern I have that would make it kind of bell-shaped but I think I’ll adjust another one so that it’s tight to the knees with lots of flare)
  • a top hat (not tiny, but not full-size, I’ll have to make it myself)
  • plus some other stuff – I already have shoes and some jackets I can choose from.  I’ll have to look around to see what else I have by way of accessories and warm things.

This is a picture I love that is vaguely close to what I’m doing.  Too lazy to do my own sketch, sadly.

It’s by Vecona, obviously.  Isn’t it gorgeous?


Jane Austen Festival Australia 2010

April 19, 2010

Last weekend was the 2010 Jane Austen Festival of Australia, organised by the amazing Aylwen Gardiner-Garden.  As a member of the Earthly Delights dance group, I was somewhat involved in the organisation and I also did a couple of the talks.  I was part of the talk on ‘Jane Austen in the 21st Century’ about spin-off fiction with four other lovely ladies, and I also did a talk on ‘Creating your own Regency Look’.  My talk went fairly well, I think, but it was really aimed at people starting out on costuming but, being on Sunday, most of the people were already experienced and talented costumers… Oh well, everyone seemed to have fun, and it led me to meet some great people.

Anyway, it was a great weekend, full of lovely people and lovely costumes.  I really enjoyed having a few different costumes so I could change according to the occasion.  I fixed my ball gown up so it fits better now and finished off Jonathan’s jacket (he looked so fantastic!).  Hopefully I’ll be keeping up with the people I met and looking forward to next year!