Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Steampunk Wedding Dress - Undergarments

I first planned on making everything but the blouse (I had already spotted one I liked and blouses are a bore to make), but as I found the perfect corset in the same store as the blouse (and I knew I might risk getting pressed for time), I bought that as well, allowing me to spend my time on making the undergarments and the skirt.

The silhouette I wanted to go for was inspired by the late 1870’s and early 1880’s, meaning a less generous bustle, leaning a little towards the natural form style. But I would still need a bustle, so I made a so-called “Lobster Tail Bustle”. Again, the amazing American Duchess provided excellent guidance with her tutorial (which you can find here), even though I deviated a little from it, it was very helpful!

Here's the result:

To go over the bustle, I made a petticoat and attached a “bum bustle” to it on the inside for some extra bustle padding.

This is the "bum bustle" after I'd attached two out of four rows of frills:

Here's the petticoat before the bottom frills were attached:

 And here's the several meters of frills pinned to the bottom of the petticoat:

Monday, 18 August 2014

Steampunk Wedding Dress!

In July last year, my love popped the question, and in October this year we’re tying the knot, which means wedding dress! I’ve never been the type of person who’s had her wedding all planned out for years (I’ve actually not given it much thought at all), but I’ve always known that if I ever did get married, the dress would be anything but white. I considered going all black, or perhaps blood red, but as we decided on a steampunk theme for the wedding and set the date for the 31st of October, Halloween, I knew it would have to be autumn colours. In the end, I went for green and brown.

With a steampunk theme, the style was an easy choice: Victorian Steampunk Extravaganza!

My research became an indulgence in Victorian fashion and more modern Steampunk variations on the style. Some pictures and dresses were more inspiring than others though, amongst them were the Green Acres dress by the marvelous American Duchess, who's also provided me with a lot of invaluable research material and tutorials (seriously, this woman is fantastic)!

Another was this Afternoon dress by House of Worth, ca 1875 Paris:

And this 1875-77 one from the Met Museum:

This dinner dress, 1877-83, sold by Lord & Taylor:

And numerous dresses from the late 19th century issues of Haarper's Bazar. In the end I finally made my own design with the elements that I liked, but I won't show it to you yet! ;)

Friday, 15 August 2014

Fire Elsa - Final result!

Desucon was an absolute hoot and on Sunday I debuted my "Fire Elsa"! It was a lot of fun, perhaps in particular because there were so many other Elsas there but I was the only one who had done a fire version. Here are some of the photos from the con:
Photo by Nils Katla
Photo by Branna Laurelin
Edit by me
Photo by Branna Laurelin
Edit by me
Photo by me

I participated in the cosplay competition, but I had no ambitions of winning. I had already seen some of the other participants and followed the progress photos on Instagram and such on a few of them, and they were truly epic! But the finalists were given the chance to do a performance, and I really wanted to sing, so I applied anyway. 

Come Sunday, however, my voice was utterly broken after two con days, and when I was told I was amongst the finalists, I got incredibly nervous, as I didn't know whether I would actually be able to sing at all, plus the fact that there were probably around two thousand people in the room, and I've never performed in front of such a big crowd! In the end, I got up on stage and did my best, which, in my critically inclined mind, wasn't very impressive for the first third of the song, but the crowd was very forgiving and incredibly supportive, and it calmed my nerves down and gave me enough confidence to plough through, in spite of my uncooperative larynx! 

A friend of mine was kind enough to record it all and share it, so if you want to see my performance, here you go:

As expected, I didn't win the competition (a friend of mine who'd been working on her Elsa cosplay since January (and i bloody showed!) won, and it was really well deserved), but I won an Honourable Mention for my performance, and to be honest, that's more than enough for me! ^_^

Monday, 11 August 2014

Elsa update: Skirt, glitter and shoes!

Even though I already had a skirt that might work, I ended up making a new skirt instead of using the one I already had. Mostly because I didn't particularly feel like cutting the old on up for the front split, but also because I kind of wanted a lighter more yellow colour. I lined it using the leftovers I still had of the old fabric, though, and with the split (which conveniently has "waves" created by the seam), it gives a delightful "fiery" look! Unfortunately, I don't have any good pictures of the skirt, but here are some of the other extras: 

I ended up decorating the train with some extra glitter in red and gold!
I also found a pair of pumps that just screamed Fire Elsa!
  Facing the eternal problem of certain cosplays; "how do I carry all my stuff?" I solved it by making a cute, little bag from the left over materials. This was a life saver, and I like it so much I might actually use it for other occasions as well!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Borre Viking Market

In Norway, summer is the big season for medieval and viking markets and festivals, one of them being Borre Viking Market, and obviously, that means having attire that fits the period.

Some markets or festivals are stricter than others if you chose to be a participant and part of the camps inside the actual market (as guest you can get away with pretty much anything, but expect some looks of resentment if you show up in your best neon spandex suit), and as I plan on being able to participate as part of a camp during at least one market next year, I'm slowly building the skills and knowledge to make myself an historical wardrobe pre-dating the 18th century. 

My first venture into Viking clothing is the signature «apron dress». This is a dress with straps, usually made out of wool and worn over a shift (usually made out of linen). Last year, I bought two meters of gorgeous rusty red wool, for this specific purpose. However, being me, I didn’t really get started on it before, well, pretty much the night before the market, so I cheated a little and used the machine for the long seams on either side and in the back. But everything else was sewn by hand! 

Unfortunately, I only had synthetic thread, so I chose one in a colour very close to the rusty red so that it would not be a chronological eye-sore. Last year I acquired a set of turtle brooches to attach the straps with, and I also made the decorative pearl and bone string that hangs between them. I used my medieval inspired green linen dress as a shift underneath it. For the occasion I also dug out my old bronze Snorre necklace that was given to me in my early teens, which is based on historical finds, the “Mjølnir” pendant I bought at Tønsberg Medieval Festival last year and some bronze bling from various festivals for my fingers and ears. So here's the outfit I wore for this year's Borre Viking Market (and, yes, the belts are very historically inaccurate, but as a guest and not a participant, I didn't really care that much; I'll go for complete accuracy when I'm a participant):

Whilst at the market, I didn't really take that many pictures, but I managed to get this of one of the ships harbored at the pier:

Here's the loot I got from the market! A really cute, green ceramic mug, rusty red linen thread, a little bundle of natural coloured linen thread, beeswax and a gorgeous woven trim:

After the market, I used my newly acquired linen thread to re-sew all the visible seams, getting rid of that awful synthetic thread. I also added the lovely woven trim I got to the bottom of the apron dress: