I am by no means stickler for historical accuracy, but having seen one too many badly elasticized chemise’s in my day I decided to try to make this costume with absolutely no elastic. Silly, I know. I just kept getting horrible flashes of Party City style costumes with their cheap flimsy materials **shudders**. I didn’t want my friends costume to look like that. So I got to work…
I started with the corset. Now, I had never made a corset before. I’d made the renaissance style bodices that were the beginnings of corsets, but never an actual body altering garment. Instead of being intelligent and using a pattern for my first time, I decided to grab the bull by the horns and make a self drafted corset… with only measurements… and no fittings because it was going to be a surprise. Sometimes my brilliance astonishes even me.
In retrospect the drafting of the corset really wasn’t all that bad. It wasn’t the body altering wonder that I hoped it would be, but it was fairly respectable. Plus, by drafting the pattern myself, I was able to leave enough room for the best part. Pockets!
My friend is obsessed with pockets. While they weren’t terribly practical, I can tell you that they did make her giddy with glee. I think she kept chap stick and cash in them.
Next I moved onto the skirts. There wasn't anything particularly earth shattering about the skirts. I broke out a pattern, (M4090), I’d used before and made a couple of tweaks to it; like adding a few grommet lace ups along the sides.
As for the shirt, I can’t for the life of me remember what pattern I used. I know that there was one, it was just a simple wrap shirt, but I can’t find it anywhere. Alas.
Any who, I added some bias binding to the sleeves to make a drawstring casing. Simple yet effective.
Next came the jacket, which I’ll state up front, I’m still not happy with. I hadn't started this early enough and ran up too close to her birthday so I didn't have time to search out a better fabric. It’s nice, and it worked. It’s just a bit too heavy for my liking. It’ll definitely keep her warm in the fall though. I was aiming for a tighter fit so I used (V1266) in a few sizes down from her measurements without the sleeves.
Finally it was time for the crowning glory. The article of clothing that pulls the entire ensemble together…
Okay so I cheated a bit here on my no elastic rule. I made drawstring cases for the leg ties, but went ahead and added elastic to the waistband since her waist is so much smaller than her hips. I thought no one would ever see it, so it’d be okay. I was wrong! These turned out to be my friends favorite part of the entire outfit, so they got flashed around quite a bit
I technically used pattern (M6236), but with as much as I altered the simple pattern to fit my friends waist and hips I basically just drafted my own.
So I’d finally finished my first costume for someone else, I’d managed to keep it a secret for an entire month, and surprise her on her birthday weekend. She was thrilled and ran around showing the bloomers to anyone and everyone who would pay attention. And we even went to the KC Ren Fest that weekend so she got to wear her costume right away.
Shirt - Unknown
Corset - Self Drafted
Skirts - (M4090)
Jacket - (V1266)
Bloomers - (M6236)
- Don't self draft your first corset. Use a pattern to see how they are supposed to work/fit first. Oh and always put boning down the center panel of a corset if you don't use a busk.... that's very important.