The Costume

Captain Cavedweller and I went to Reno to attend the RT Booklovers Convention a few weeks ago.

One of the events I participated in as a host required we all wear costumes. We could pick the era as long as it was something historical.

Since I recently released Quinn, I thought it would be fun to wear a costume from the Edwardian era.

Rather than do the smart thing and order a costume, I decided to make my own.

Z RT costume

Here is the pile of stuff I used. Although I didn’t have a pattern for any of it, I wanted to make a blouse (shirtwaist if you want the period appropriate term) with an organza overdress. I spent three days working on the costume, right before we had to leave so there wasn’t much leeway for error.

The blouse came together quickly and without much trouble.

IMG_0245

I used a pink cotton tank top for the foundation of the shirt.

IMG_0246

Then I added lace and trim and sleeves.

The overdress was a disaster! (And that’s putting it mildly!) If I’d had a pattern, it probably would have gone much better. But I didn’t. I think I ripped it out at least half a dozen times before I admitted defeat and went to Plan B (which was order two maxi skirts and a long cardigan from Amazon).

I took a lace skirt I already had an ripped it apart. I sewed the front of it to the front of one of the maxi skirts then used the back of it to make a casing for a belt I already had.

The second maxi skirt went over the first since it had a high-low hem with a deep ruffle (perfect for the era).

Then I spent hours hand-stitching an applique on the cardigan to give it a  more vintage feel.

Last, but certainly not least, I decorated the hat. The base for the hat was a wide-brimmed beach hat I ordered online. It came rolled into a little tube.

After flattening the brim with books, I then steamed it and gave it about six coats of heavy-duty starch to make it stiff.

feather 1

The ostrich plumes I ordered for the hat were supposed to be navy. What arrived was this color. Not quite blue, not quite gray, not quite attractive at all.

So I got a navy dye kit and dunked the feathers in dye for almost three hours to get a rich, dark navy blue.

IMG_0244

When I pulled them out of the dye, they looked like this – sad and pathetic. I crossed my fingers as they dried, they’d fluff up – and they did!

costume 4.jpg

As you can see, the navy feathers really made the hat!

And that little rose and gold brooch I’m wearing I’ve had since I was in college.

 

Costume 1

I even found some pink gloves to match. For shoes, I had on a pair of  navy lace-up oxford heels that look very vintage.

costume framed

Captain  Cavedweller even got in on the fun. I tried to get him to wear a string-tie to finish off the outfit, but he wasn’t having any part of it. That’s okay, though. I thought he looked quite handsome in his brocade vest and long jacket. I can’t tell you how many people came up and asked if he was a “real” cowboy.

In spite of my costume challenges, it turned out to be a fun evening with a lot of great people!

Garters and Golddust 2

Here is a photo with the “hosts” of the event!

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest
Share on email
Share by Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *