Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My Alter Ego Finally Gets Her Own Costume

For Halloween this year I will be participating in a really cool event put on by the Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild. Called Spirits and Shadows. In their own words, "Join the mad scientists, Victorians, Steampunk time travelers, grave diggers, ghosts, ghouls, and vampires as we wander through the park where the veil between this life and the next is stretched thin for an adult only evening of dance and fun at History Park at Kelly Park in San Jose" Check out the website for details.

I'm going to be working the event, and I've decided to do an Edwardian fancy dress version of a Gypsy. Specifically this costume is usually representing Esmeralda, the Gypsy girl from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Decidedly NOT the Disney version. Esmeralda just happens to be the nickname of of my alter ego, but it'll take more than a few drinks to get those stories out of me.

Here's the Inspiration. All photos from The Metropolitan Museum Online. This costume is actually circa 1880, but since it's a Fancy dress costume I don't really need to stick to any one time period. Essentially people would be pulling old clothes from their grandparents attics and redoing them, so I can play a little fast and loose (speaking of  Esmeralda) with this.
I'm not sure I'll use the black lace. I'll have to see how much time I have.

I LOVE this bolero. I'm not entirely sure what is happening with the bodice. It's shown as open on the mannequin. I like the way it looks, so I'll have to figure out what to wear underneath

I can probably use the same pattern I used for the bodice of my plaid gown. Truly Victorian 416, The Ballgown Basque
I got some great scores on Silk on Ebay. I'm using dupioni because it is cheaper, and also because it's a Gyspy costume, so the slubbiness of silk will add to that exotic flavor.

For the Bolero, I'm using Truly Victorian Pattern 444 Spanish Jackets.
I'll be using the one in the foreground
And the fabric I bought from Ebay is this red dupioni.
For the skirt, I'm using Truly Victorian 280 Can-Can Skirt.
The ruffles will make it's own petticoat and I can use it in the future for a Can-Can skirt
I scored 8 yards of this mustard yellow dupioni for about $40 on eBay. The skirt takes seven!
I have my work cut out for me and about three weeks to do it in, so I'm going to bite the bullet and use my sewing machine. In fact I better order a ruffle foot for that can-can skirt. Let's try new things on a deadline! Yay! What else is new.


  1. I think the bodice is meant to close, it just doesn't fit the mannequin. I would definitely close it in the front. So pretty, I love fancy dress!

    1. It's not styled very well on the mannequin at all.That skirt is just hanging there. It's got to be puffy. Mine will be puffy. My bodice will definitely close (okay, hopefully) Fancy dress is the best. It's historical with a little leeway. Perfect.

  2. Oh my.. this is just perfect. Wild hair is a must.. one that looks as if it was set perfectly, severely even and then was danced into a perfect mess.
    P.S. I know this alter ego she speaks of personaly

    1. Well, it may start out a perfect mess, but I like your idea.

  3. You can wrap a lace around the opposing buttons on bodice, I did that for my dirndl instead of doing button holes to lace ur' up. I used a twisted black silk strip of fabric. I DO like the open look quite a bit better than lacing tho.