Saturday, October 27, 2012

By the seaside, By the beautiful sea! (Only without the Sea)

So... Here's the reason why I haven't been posting lately. Firstly, I've been ridiculously exhausted. And the first thing to go is blogging (both reading and writing). Secondly, any free time I've had for the past month has gone into this project, my Halloween costume! It was totally worth it, though. Yesterday (Yes, I know it was only the 26th of October, but the 31st is a Wednesday this year!) was my Halloween party. Games of croquet, pumpkin bowling, sangria, cookies and candy, lots of fun with friends, and...  
Mrs. Lovett's Red Stripe 'By The Sea' Dress!
(Only without the 'seaside' part, since I don't live by the sea...)
Fabric I got through Spoonflower; designed myself, since upon analysis of the reference photos,  I determined three distinct stripe patterns were used, and being crazy, I couldn't settle on using just one type of stripe for the entire piece. It's the silk-cotton blend that they offer (which I thought most resembled the fabric used in the original... which was possibly a silk organza?). The ruffled organza trim, I made by running strips of red organza through the serger set to a picot edging with white thread, and then ruffling the strips. This trims the upper part of the ruffles, the sleeve cuff, and along the bodice center front-neckline. The cuffs have hand-pleated organza trim.
The parasol began as a plain white umbrella. The 'polka dots' upon study are in fact circles with a little extra partial ring that makes them look sort of like holes. I painted mine on by hand with an acrylic painters pen. The trim is hand-pleated organza.
I almost went with only one petticoat, which was from the Laughing Moon #102 pattern. However, this is an under the bustle petticoat, and I feared would not give the proper volume to the skirt (Also being that I used a plain muslin). Thus, I made a second petticoat that was just the skirt pattern (drafted from an original Victorian skirt pattern in Authentic Victorian Fashion Patterns) done in muslin.
The bodice was drafted using these helpful reference photos as a guide. The center-front is interfaced muslin with strips of organza pleated directly to the pieces. The lace trim is attached to the center front with hand-embroidery chain stitch in red thread.

Center Front Piece With Pleated Organza
Cutting Ruffles On The Bias/45 Degree Diagonal
Math: designing fabric, calculating yardages
Weeping Angel, TARDIS, Mrs. Lovett, Elizabeth Bennet (Vanquisher of the Sorry Stricken)


  1. You amaze me. This is beautiful and you did an amazing job.

  2. I am in complete awe right now! Excuse me while I try to form some coherent thoughts as to how effing amazing this dress is!!! Beautiful, beautiful job!

  3. Wow great costume! Love that you designed your own fabric for this, it's so much fun to geek out and make something exactly right.