Saturday, November 2, 2013

HSF Challenge #22: Masquerade

Oh, was this my kind of challenge.

From our challenger: Create something inspired by historical fancy dress and masquerade that takes you out of reality, in to another world (purely historical, fantasy, steampunk etc are all allowed).

I decided to finally get around to finishing that Queen of Hearts costume that I've been working on in fits and starts since last winter.  Some of the undergarments were completed back as part of challenges 3 and 4, but I got distracted by other projects for Costume Con and it was set aside.  I wanted to go with a classic interpretation of the character and, to me, that means the old school Disney version:

The decision to use the silhouette from the 1860s was largely based on the skirt.  I had just made up the Walking Cage Crinoline from Truly Victorian and I used that as my starting point.  The whole costume ended up as a mashup of patterns from the 1850s-1870s. 

Hmm... Victorian Harley Quinn?

I really wanted to hit the little details that make this costume come alive, so having the heart bloomers and a lace hemmed petticoat was important to me. 

I couldn't find a heart printed fabric that would work, so I ended up using a stencil and fabric acrylics to make my own.  The bloomers were made out of a layer of painted kona cotton over a layer of white rayon (gotta keep it opaque if I'm going to be flashing people my drawers) and were made using Simplicity 9769 The Fashion Historian - Drawers.


The petticoat was made of white kona cotton using the Free Hoop Petticoat Diagram from Truly Victorian.  The same heart eyelet lace that I used on the bloomers runs the hem of the petticoat.

The underskirt, made from Truly Victorian's 1869 Grand Parlor Skirt and modified to have a hem parallel to the floor.  The front panel actually wasn't as hard to make up as I thought it'd be.   I traced the center front pattern piece onto brown paper, then drew in the pieces, cut them out and traced those onto new paper, adding in a seam allowance to the center front and diagonal lines between color blocks.  I did end up adjusting the way the front panel fits into the waist band as the intended darts kinda made the top bit a bit wonky.  But what couldn't be tweaked was easily hidden by the overskirt.


I have been itching to try my hand at cartridge pleating ever since I learned what it was.  This was one of those cases where, once you knew what it was, you'd see it EVERYWHERE!  The velvet of the overskirt was pleated onto a piece of 2" wide petersham ribbon I found in the upholstery section.  Sturdy stuff without, adding a lot of bulk.

The bodice was a Frankensteining of two Truly Victorian patterns: 1872 Vest Basque and 1875 Ball Gown Basque.  I wanted to pair the neckline from the ballgown with the sleeves from the vested bodice.  About the only thing that these patterns had in common was the basque back, and that was the first thing I drafted out of them.  Just to give you an idea of what a horrible idea this was, take a look at my first mock up:

Urgh.  I don't know if there was a better way to have gone about this, but I really wanted to avoid having to buy additional patterns if at all possible.  Luckily, much was fixed by extending the bodice up higher on my shoulder.  The sleeve fit better when the armhole was enlarged and the gathering to fit was much smoother when done in the velvet.

The crowns were made of craft foam wrapped around a round cardboard base, then covered with layers of gold acrylic paint.  Small ribbon loops were glued to the inside of the base and the crowns were worn on headbands to keep the tiny crowns in place.  The scepters are just dowel rods hot glued into a hollow paper heart found at the local craft store, then painted with shimmery acrylic paints.

In summary, just the facts, as best as I can recall them:

The Challenge: #22 Masquerade
Year: 1850-70s
How historically accurate is it?  Not terribly.  May 25%
Hours to complete: I could not even begin to imagine.  Certainly 60+.
First worn: to our Halloween party
Total Cost:  Over $300, at the very least.

Fabric/Pattern/Notions split up by component.
Bodice: Black and red silk/rayon velvet, cotton canvas interlining, black polyester lining for the sleeves.  TV 405 1872 Vest Basque and TV 416 1865 Ball Gown Basque.  Hook-and-eye tape (best invention ever), cotton eyelet lace collar, black taffeta piping (over cotton cord) and spiral steel boning encased in commercial bias tape.
Underskirt: Black and gold crepe back polyester satin.  TV 202 1869 Grand Parlor Skirt.  Black shoestring for the drawstring closure.
Overskirt: Black and red silk/rayon velvet.  No pattern, as it was just draped on the dress form.  White faux fur trim, petersham ribbon waistband, and hook closure.
Bloomers: White kona cotton painted with acrylic hearts  and white rayon.  Simplicity 9769 Drawers.  Heart eyelet lace and cotton twill tape ties.
Petticoat: White kona cotton.  Truly Victorian free hoop petticoat pattern. Heart eyelet lace.

And to make this into a proper couples' costume:

My Honey, as the King of Hearts

So very dapper.

Proof that his costume really is pink.  Sorry Honey!
 The King's robes were made of synthetic pink velour made up in a modified version of Butterick 3648: Dickens Victorian Christmas Robe, trimmed with the faux fur and close with safety pins (because I ran out of time to get proper hook-and-eye closures put in.  The collar is just a layer of  heavy interfacing sandwiched between two layers of cotton and trimmed with white cotton piping.  I claim no responsibility for that monstrosity of facial hair.

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