1880s Ball Gown

Do you make a dress so you get to go to a ball, or do you go to a ball so you get to make a dress? For me, it’s definately the latter. I decided to go to the ball at the Steampunk Convention in Gävle 2014 beacuse I had wanted to make an 1880s-style ball gown for ages. I drafted the pattern myself, using parts from the pattern for my corset for the bodice pieces. It has drapery around the hips and bustline and is decorated with tiny little roses made from the same fabric (silke taffeta). Although it looks a bit ridiculous, I love the bustle era fashion. It’s like an extreme version of my own figure. Under the dress, I’m wearing a shift, corset, pantalettes, my black ATS-skirt and a folded lace petticoat for bustle. Does my ass look big in this?

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Clara Oswin Oswald Governess

image4My favourite companion, one of my favourite historical fashion eras and a challenging costume! Of course I had to cosplay Clara Oswin Oswald as a governess in the Dr Who episode The Snowmen! I first made it for a New Years party with the theme ”Hats” because she wears a hat in one short scene of the episode… Obscure references ftw! Then I fixed it up a bit for the Steampunk Convention in Gävle, Sweden 2014. The collar and fastening needed redoing, that was one of the most difficult things I have ever made. I cheated a bit and used a zipper in the front and just used the buttons as decoration. But I recieved a lot of compliments during the convention, and at least one person recognised the cosplay!

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Maybe this cosplay isn’t exactly Steampunk but more Victorian. But the timeframe fits, and Dr Who definitely has steampunk elements! Come on, a machine that’s alive and travelling through space and time with a suspiciously british alien!

At first, I made the dress using my regular measurements, but since I had the idea to make a corset to wear under it, my waist measurement became slightly smaller and I had to redo it. For reference pictures, I used a Pinterest board. The pattern is a copy of an authentic 1887 dress from the book Patterns of Fashion 1 by Janet Arnold, but I drew the collar myself. I bought the hat and covered it with velour fabric and attached the bow and feathers. The blue fabric was a remnant of a wool fabric intended for suits, and the shop hade just enough of it left. The collar is made with sturdy cotton for firmness and microsatin for shine. The skirt is my ATS Bellydance skirt. I didn’t have time to make a proper bustle, so I just folded a lace petticoat a few times and tied it to my waist.