August 22, 2014

CoCo Follow Up

This was my first time attending Costume College, and I was super busy having way too much fun to take photos!  Too bad, because holy shit did people ROCK their amazing outfits all weekend long! 

Here's a mish-mash of the few in-progress photos I did manage. I spend an awful lot of time in the lead up making guy clothes, something I'm not super familiar with.  Things turned out all right though, because Curtis didn't end up attending CoCo naked :P 

First up, the first Men's corset I've ever made!   There was a bit more of a learning curve here than I expected, but all in all it turned out well, and I know more for the next one.  I used a super heavy busk, only to find that it ended up sticking out from his chest weirdly.  I had to bend it into the correct shape, which is something you sometimes see on period corsets.  It worked so well I think I'll be doing this with my own corsets from now on!

Bent to fit.  Totally using this on all my own corsets now.

Being a good sport after several fittings.

Of course I had to make him a banyan for the Sunday Breakfast.  This damn thing gave me fits.  First I couldn't get the shoulders right, then the collar misbehaved, and the silk would shred if you looked at it wrong.  We won't even talk about how many times I redid those sleeves.  Bonus points if you kindly ignore the giant fish dart I had to put in under each arm as a desperate last measure.

Totally worth it though, because it looked beautiful and he stole all the attention wherever he wore it. 

Also worth it because he loved being dressed up so much that he's already further ahead planning next years costumes than I am!  What's more, he's planning on sewing his own stuff, which lets me off the hook.  Let's cheer him on, shall we?

I'm missing photos of Curtis and I during the Gala, but let's just say that his outfit earned him a new nickname of Sexy Pants ;)

With all the making of man clothes, I didn't have time to make a lot for myself.  The corded stays went on the back burner, because there was no way they'd be done in time.  For Friday's Ice Cream Social I paired a teal silk taffeta corset that I'd finished a few months before with a gorgeous sari encrusted with metal embroidery.  Now that I've finally gotten to wear the sari as is a few times, it's time to cut it up and turn it into a gown, but what era?

I did rush to make my green 1830s Gala dress in time, and just barely squeaked it over the (mostly) finished line, though I had to skip the late night parties on Friday to finish cartridge pleating the skirt on!  It's based off of this bodice, though it's missing a lot of detail that I'll be adding in later.

Psst... I did this by machine.  I know, right?

Binding around all those points was a bitch and a half, but I pulled it off! 

The underpleating at the top of the bodice work out exactly as planned.  I cut strips of golden silk organza on the bias, folded them in half and tacked them to the bodice layer by layer.

I had the bodice fitting well enough at home, but once there it seemed to suddenly decide it wanted to fit oddly, with weird wrinkles popping up everywhere.  I'm seriously considering redoing the entire front of the green part, but on the bias this time.  Only problem is, that would mean having to rebind ALL THOSE POINTS.  *whimpers*

Pinned on in the hotel room, waiting to be basted it.
The sleeves also gave me fits, and ended up being more like giant floppy wings rather than the stand out origami pleated wonders I was going for, but now I'm armed with more info for the next round of redrafting this style.

 My hair turned out smashing, though I ran out of time to put all the extra bits and bobs in.  I did put a bird on it though!  (In the back where you can't see, whoops)  I also needed to put the loops a little further to the front on my head, since despite the fact that they were firmly anchored, their positioning made it look like they were sliding off the back. 

I'll be making some thread wrapped buttons and fancy cord to add to this gown, just like the original.  I also want to cut the skirt into large points to echo the bodice, but that needs to wait until I get more of the organza to cover the space that would be left bare at the base of the skirt.  In the meantime, I've been a bit busy...

Almost 3 weeks after CoCo I've finally dug my sewing room out and made it back into a usable workspace!  I've got at least a dozen half done projects laying about that need finishing, so stay tuned!


  1. Fabulousness, so much of it!!

  2. He looks smashing! I feel you on the part were the top fits worse when you actually wear it than during fitting, this happens to me all the time...

  3. You both looked fabulous. I LOVED your hair!!

    1. I think the hair ended up being my favorite part!

  4. We need to get a group of guys in period garb together and have them lip-sync to "I'm too sexy for my shirt."

  5. So much awesome! More men need to get in the spirit. The pleating and points on your bodice are fabulous.


    1. Oh he loves dressing up, but it's harder to get him interested in the sewing aspect. Thankfully, compliments make him want to sew ;)


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