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Tag Archives: Halloween

Victorian/Edwardian Pumpkin Witch Costume

For Halloween I made myself a Victorian/Edwardian-inspired mashup witch costume. I got large amounts of sari fabrics rather cheaply from a local person after they were used as party decorations, and even after distributing most of it to friends I still had a lot left over, and decided they were perfect for a bright Halloween witch. Since this was a costume I didn’t worry about combining details from various decades.BZWR0824

The skirt is a basic pleated two-panel skirt with seams on the sides. One seam has a pocket and the other has an invisible zipper. Since the sari is thin and I had so much of it I flat-lined it with more of the same.IMG_3705

The blouse and vest patterns are both from Black Snail Patterns on Etsy. They are the 1890s Late Victorian Day Blouse/Bodice and 1890s Edwardian Ladies’ Vest. Because this was meant to be a Halloween costume I took a “theatrical” approach to the construction and skipped a lot of the detailed and historically accurate instructions in the patterns such as creating facings, boning, etc. so I cannot comment on those. As usual, I did find the pattern pieces to be well-drafted and needed very little adjustment.  My biggest cheat is I sewed the sleeves from the blouse pattern directly to the vest to make one garment. This saved me a lot of time, and also made the costume less warm with less layers!XWJE4219

Instead of making lots of buttonholes for my small gold buttons I did hidden hooks and bars down the front of the bodice and the buttons are decorative. WRIE9403

The belt is made from a scrap of the green sari fabric, paired with a vintage belt buckle. The buckle is actually plastic painted gold but looks pretty good from a distance!IMG_3471

The green pleated grosgrain trim was purchased pre-made from Amazon (affiliate link) and comes in other colors. I used the olive color this time but you may recognize that I used a baby blue version for my pink striped bustle dress!IMG_3526

The hat was made using my own pattern for a Professor McGonagall-inspired deerstalker witch hat, and you can find the instructions on a previous post.OOMF7987

I’m afraid I didn’t do a great job tracking the yardage since I had basically unlimited fabric, but I would estimate that I used 3 orange saris (since everything was 2 layers) and one green one. The saris I got were used and pre-cut and were 3-5 meters each. Thus, my rough estimates for project costs are as follows:

  • 4 saris: ~$20 (yeah I got a great deal!)
  • 25 yard roll of pleated grosgrain trim: $9.50 from Amazon, and I have a lot left. (The trim usually runs about $40 a roll but I’ve bought other colors through random price drops).
  • Gold buttons: free from a friend
  • Vintage buckle: ~$10? (I don’t remember).
  • Thread, hooks and eyes, collar interfacing, lining: ~$5 (stash and scraps from other projects)
  • Bodice pattern: $8.60
  • Vest pattern: $7.37
  • Printing costs: $5.56 plus shipping (I had my A0 patterns printed by PDFplotting.com and the shipping was bundled with other things)

Total: ~$45 for materials and ~$25 for patterns I will reuse

Some final thoughts:

This project was all polyester. The fabric was pretty enough it didn’t “matter” if it was silk and I hope this a reminder that costumes don’t need to be expensive.

Did you notice that I pleated the front of the skirt differently than I did the back? I didn’t until I put the waistband and zipper on, and I didn’t care to redo it! Here’s a reminder that maybe “mistakes” aren’t really that big of a deal and probably most people won’t notice. 

I did some cheats to simplify construction.  What works for you is what works for you, whether it is historically accurate, historically appropriate, historically adequate, or historically adjacent!

Thank you for reading!IMG_3821

My necklace is antique glass and brass from the 1930s and my shoes are from American Duchess.IMG_3526

Circulatory System Dress (aka the Heart, Blood, and Lungs Gown) at the Vampire Ball

Last night I attended the annual PEERS Vampire Ball wearing my circulatory system dress, complete with heart and lungs!

IMG_6037 IMG_6043I did not have time to make a new dress from scratch, so I modified a purchased dress.

I found this really neat gown that was covered in red embroidery that reminded me of blood vessels. (I think it might have intended to evoke sea coral). I thought “Hey, it would be creepy and cool to add organs to it!”

IMG_5999IMG_6005I have a friend with an embroidery machine (who has an Etsy shop), so I sent her the specs and I asked her to make me some heart and lungs in the size and color I wanted.

I cut them out of the fabric base, fray-checked the edges, and sewed them to my dress. The dress was a hit at the Vampire Ball. Lots of people told me the heart was grotesquely cool, and when I turned around they were charmed by the lungs as well. Sometimes I backed up against a friend and said “I’m breathing on you!” because I’m that kind of weirdo.

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There were lots of amazing costumes at the event. I didn’t take as many pictures as I would have liked, but they are on my Flickr account.

I originally planned to make a brain fascinator, but decided it might take the dress over the line of “elegant and creepy” into “just plain weird.” In the end I bought a red fascinator from Amazon (affiliate link: Red feather flower fascinator)

Jareth the Goblin King and Toby Labyrinth Costumes

If you are a child of the 80s I’m sure you loved the Labyrinth movie and have been secretly wanting an excuse to wear a David Bowie wig. Well, when you are a parent you have the perfect opportunity to dress up in a Jareth the Goblin King costume, and have your baby “dance magic dance.” This is what happened today:

DSCN1355I think my son looks a little worried that I might be the real Goblin King.

Jareth has a pretty snazzy bedazzled blue coat he wears during the ballroom scene, but I didn’t have the time to make it (this year).

BallroomHowever, I thought, “Hey I have gray leggings! And black leather gloves! And countless frilly shirts!”

david-bowie-labyrinthThe best part about this costume is that it can be put together by something I call “closet diving,” except for the hair, which is a newly purchased “blonde rocker” wig from Amazon. (My son’s red and white striped romper is also from Amazon). The boots are Tavistocks from American Duchess. The blouse is vintage Gunne Sax.  The vest is a cheapy Chinese corset with straps and a high back (links below).

Overall, I think the combination of lacy shirt, corset and heeled boots makes for a more femme Goblin King, but I don’t think Bowie would mind some genderbending. =)

You remind me of the Babe. What Babe? The Babe with the power.

IMG_2861I found this cool photo of me by Gaskell Ball. There are no special effects; I’m just standing in front of a purple light and the wig glowed!
10846332_974401772587205_4503172583431805018_nUpdate 9/28/15:

Wow, it’s been nearly a year already, and people are still finding this post! I realized I didn’t link to the items I purchased so to make it easier for anyone who stumbles on to my blog, here are items I purchased on Amazon (affiliate links below) [links updated again on 11/5/18]:

This is the blonde “rocker” wig. I used it right out of the bag; it didn’t need styling: Long Rocker Wig – Mixed Blonde

I bought the red/white version of the Leveret velour striped romper which is sold out now but there’s a similar red/white set made by the same company as “Christmas PJs.“)

This is the corset-vest I used, but it runs small, so buy up 2 sizes: QinYing Women Black Classic Patterns Underbust Corset Top L The corset vest seems to be sold out as of 11/5/18 so here’s one exactly like it: Charmian Women’s Spiral Steel Brocade Waist Cincher

I bought my original leggings at a local store but bought these when I reword the costume in 2018: Satina High Waisted Leggings in Gray

My black leather gloves came from Ross but black leather gloves are easy to find on Amazon:
Women’s genuine leather gloves     Black faux leather gloves

My boots are the gorgeous Victorian button boots called Tavistocks by American Duchess: Tavistock Victorian Button Boots

And finally, a crystal contact juggling ball! Clear Acrylic Contact Juggling Ball

Here’s a photo taken of me at a Halloween ball by Christopher Mobley. Happy Halloween!

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