There's a cluster of us that are doing a twist on the Absinthe fairy, picking a new booze and a fairy style of our own choosing. I decided to go with Chambord, mostly because I liked the sound of the flavor and was digging on the burgundy and gold color scheme.
Then plotting led to ruffles and ruffles led me to a tutorial from Tea in a Teacup about making a steampunk skirt and a cohesive theme was born: late Victorian Steampunk Chambord Fairy. Since the skirt was the driving force behind the costume, I started with that first. I used the suggested cutting diagram as more of a guideline. I originally thought to use a crisp silk like tafetta, but finding the right color at a reasonable price just wasn't working out for me. So I ended up getting the hot pink shantung pictured above for something like $11/yd and I tried my hand at dyeing it. The fabric took up the burgundy dye beautifully, but the texture was forever changed by the super hot dye bath. What was once shiny and crisp had been turned into something dense and of an interesting texture...
AND I LOVED IT! I started playing with scraps and totally fell for the petal-soft fabric with the tiny cross-hatch appearance. I was getting a Moulin Rouge can-can dancer type feeling going on, and the ruffles just made it happen. The skirt has a raised front panel that shows off some leg, and a faux-bustled back with two extra layers of ruffles. Rather than a boring old zip or button closure, I embraced the hardware-heavy steampunk style and put in some gold grommets for lacing.
The bulk of the skirt is flat-lined with brown cotton bed sheet. I ended up cutting the narrow side panels away a bit, to give the skirt a bit more of a swept-back look. But this mean that a bit of the brown could be seen by someone sitting. I'm going to add some twill tape ties to the seam between side and back panels, using these to bustle the skirt a bit. This should help that side panel to curl inwards a bit and hide the lining. It'll also pull the back hem up just enough to keep it from trailing on the floor. I also took a lesson from my Avengers dress on built-in petticoats and used extra sheeting to make a small built-in bustle for added umph.
Next up, I need a bodice.