It is that time of the year again: The annual Australian Costumers’ Ball. The nineteenth to be exact. It is the time when I get to plan and make a new costume. I have been a bit slack this year. In my heyday, I was making almost nineteen costumes a year (for myself and family members). I have been writing my butt off over the past twelve months. The Ball gives me an excuse to create something new.
Up until two months ago, I was not sure what I would wear. But I did need a new corset to wear to Supanova in November. One costume has been on my wishlist for a long time – combining steampunk and Doctor Who. Bonus!
What I already had:
- Green wig and lipstick (as worn with my previous Victoria and Otto costume, in 2013.
- Skirt: white petticoat from previous steampunk outfits (first made for my Discworld Clacks girl costume)
- corset material: I actually bought the material two years ago when I first decided to make this costume.
- Accessories: pocket watch, goggles – all from previous costumes.
What I had to make/procure:
- Otto: Meet my op-shop version Otto, complete with my 11th Doctor bowtie.
Parasol: I had a white parasol which I intended to paint with silk paint. I could not find the colour locally so ordered paint via ebay. Unfortunately this was lost in the post and I am currently waiting for its replacement. Sadly, the parasol will not make it to the Ball but I am hoping it will make Supanova.
- Shoes: You can’t see Victoria’s shoes in this artwork; I made an artistic decision based on the 10th Doctor. Plan B: make spats to wear over my (10th Doctor) red Chuck Taylor Allstar Converse shoes. Plan A: This was my preference as I still had a short story to finish this month – buy a high lace up version. Again the post was almost my downfall. This week I have been checking the postal tracking daily. They arrived on Friday at 2.08pm. Eighteen hours before they were due to be worn! Now that was a close call.
- Arm accessories: This costume has an interesting combination. Left arm: A gathered detached upper sleeve, or possibly half a bolero? I decided to go with the detached upper sleeve. Right: a fingerless glove. I took measurements and constructed a pattern on the fly. These took an afternoon to run up. I used the blue with white pinstripes I used to make my aviator corset. I finished it with a bow (not visible on the original artwork but Victoria would appreciate the extra bling.)
and finally the Corset:
I just had to make another corset (as you do). I needed to redraft another pattern (extending higher to allow the corset to worn without a chemise) The Australian Costumers’ Guild corset workshop had perfect timing this year. Thanks to Lynne for her help. (Though I lost some weight since the workshop; the fit was not as tight as I would have preferred.) That will need fixing before its next outing.
Picture Corset Costume Diary:
1. It took hours to match up the four Union Jack printed panels to achieve this look. I had to wrangle two things: a. the stripes of the Union Jack are not mirrored. b. two of the panels had been flipped. Argh!
2. Organising the metal spiral boning lengths.
3/4: Making the boning lengths.
5. Adding the front busk and 6. The eyelets.
Putting it all together on the night: