I keep having to talk myself off the ledge when it comes to what I’m going to wear to Dickens this year. It seems like every morning I wake up with some Great New Idea about making a partially new costume in One Week!
What was that saying? Right, as-if, and monkeys might fly out of my butt.
See, nothing Victorian fits. Again. My weight fluctuates like crazy, and Victorian costumes are so precisely fitted that they aren’t forgiving of size changes. The one thing that does fit pretty well is also a bitch to wear — the Peacock Gown, it’s fantastic, and I did wear it to Dickens last year, and I paid by having to pick sawdust out of the dust ruffle and train for months afterwards. That gown is just so heavy to wear that it takes a lot of energy out of me. And I’m going to Dickens two days in a row, so I *can’t* do that.
My wedding gown fits again, which is slightly disturbing as we made that when I was at my highest weight ever (and I’m currently 20lbs less than that). The dress is lovely, I’d need to fix the train so it bustles up (again), and it’s totally not the right period for Dickens. That doesn’t bother me a ton — the Peacock Gown is 1870s, but my wedding gown is an 1880s/1890s pastiche.
I could cobble together a steampunk oufit with the Miss Steampunk bustle. The overskirt is actually a bit small on me right now, but safety pins would be appropriate there. Still, the idea I had for a jacket and bodice are using modern gothy items, so it’s just a hack. Fun, but zero accuracy and kinda silly. Great for a con, but not the best I could do for Dickens.
Inspired by Sarah, I keep thinking about some kind of day bodice for my Eugenie skirt. The skirt was the only part I reallyreally liked about that outfit, so why not reuse it? I keep imagining all kinds of little jackets, purple velvet, black velvet, something nifty to coordinate. I have absolutely none of the silk from the gown left, used every scrap, so the top couldn’t be super-matchy.
My top contender for Crazy Idea has been using this pile of purple crushed velvet left from a dozen years ago when I did more goth sewing for m’self. Not at all period, but the color goes beautifully with the Eugenie skirt. I have a few Truly Victorian patterns sitting around, none are 1850s but they’re close enough for govt. work, as they say.
I also have some black faille and a tiny bit of black velvet. That’d look smart. Also got a bunch of black trimmings on sale and some buttons at Jo-Anns today.
Then I thought, hey what about my actual “Dickens outfit”? The velvet skirt is too tight, but I have a newer and more comfortable burgundy dupioni skirt. The tapestry jacket is only tight at the bottom button — I could replace that button loop with a slightly longer one and if I can’t find close-to-matching ribbon, then I could stick a big bow over it (because I know I have tons more wide wired burgundy satin ribbon).
Those modifications are much more doable in the time frame I have. Versus a whole fussy little jacket? Yeah.
And then a little later…
Tonight, I started a zouave jacket(ish) from the black faille (interlined with twill). Then I’ll make a Swiss waist out of the black velvet. And it all can be worn with the bell-sleeved white blouse from my Dickens outfit.
Hopefully I’ll have time to trim up the jacket so it doesn’t look lame. Gonna put buckram in the waist so it can be all pointy and diamond-shaped. No idea what’ll go on my head since my one bonnet is trimmed in burgundy.