But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility... Eph. 2:13-14

Tuesday, June 26

The Great Costume Adventure!

May 17th

Well, this is incredibly random, and may end up being a little embarrassing, but I'm posting it here anyway!
A friend of mine wants to do a photo shoot of people dressed up from every decade between early the 1900's and 1980. My "decade" is 1900-1910, specifically 1904 and the St. Louis World's Fair. I have a LOT of costumes, but strangely enough, I don't have one from the early 1900's. After doing some research, I can see why. There were some UG-LY styles back then! But it wasn't all bad, and it's definitely a fun era to try to recreate!

So here I am, with about a month to assemble a costume, my passion for doing costumes well, and a tight budget. This one seems like it's going to be quite the adventure, so I've decided to journal it here. Hopefully it works out, so that this won't be a journal of how I failed miserably at making a costume!

To view the majority of my research, check out my Pinboard.

I picked up my first items today at the free store:

An 80's prom dress
and a pair of boots!

Obviously I have a long way to go. The boots shouldn't be too hard to modify, but the dress is going to be tricky.

I am so thankful I found it, though! The lacy top is perfect, and the sleeves only need a little bit of adjusting.

The flower, however, must go!

Until the next post!


May 28th

I haven't accomplished much yet. So far I've made some embarrassingly ugly drawings of ideas, and taken off the flower; which I'm saving just in case I want it for the hat.

After putting more thought into modifying the boots I posted about last time, I was feeling very uneasy about how they were going to turn out. I can probably make them look okay, but the fact that they're a little too big for me was discouraging. In a time where pretty little feet were praised, big boots would not look right. But what could I do but work with what I had?

This past weekend I went thrifting, hoping to find more materials to work with. I found two lace curtains to supply my great need for lace. Everything nice seems to have been dripping with lace in 1904, and I need all I can get!

And then, I found the perfect boots!

Are they not absolutely perfect? And they fit just right! I probably drove my friend batty talking about how thankful I was to find them. Now I can dedicate more time to the dress itself.

So, armed with yards of lace and a pinboard of ideas, I think I'm ready to begin work on the dress! It's just a little terrifying. But if all else fails I have a backup plan: I'll just wear the long skirt and blouse of a working class woman.

After these finding these boots, however, I'm feeling very encouraged!

Cost so far: $7

June 12th

It's taken me a dreadfully long time to do absolutely nothing, but at long last I'm beginning to get somewhere!

Believe it or not, this will be a hat!
With some help from my mother, I managed to get the sleeves of the dress to a proper level of poofiness. I also took off the sheer outer skirt and replaced it with a lovely lace curtain. At the moment it's not very photogenic, but once I add the waistband I'll share a photo with ye. :)

It looks much more purple in real life.

Tonight was the night of the hat! It's a very important part of the costume, and hopefully the most difficult part to make look right. Using an old, child-sized straw hat, a J.C.Penny gift box, scrap fabric from a bridesmaid dress I made a few years ago, lots of hot glue, and some trimmings, I managed to scrape together something that I think will do.

Special thanks to my lovely model, the Piggy Bank!

Just so long as no close up pictures are taken of it, I think it will be fine. It'd be better, but I didn't have as much scrap fabric as I thought. Neither did I have the time nor patience to make the fabric lie flat, so when you're holding it in your hands it looks pretty dreadful! Still, I think it's acceptable.

Left to do:
The collar
A parasol???

Cost so far: $7

June 13th

After putting on the dress yesterday, I realised how very important corsets are to the 1900's look. Whilst bemoaning my discovery to my mother, she told me that she had a pattern to make them! They're not quite period, but they're certainly better than none at all, and I set to work at once... well, almost at once.

I'm too tired to stitch any more tonight, so I'm going to bed and will (Deo volente) finish first thing tomorrow morning. It's been lovely getting to repurpose some more. So far this corset is made of an old pair of jeans, the lining of an old coat, scrap fabric from my grandma's christmas present, and boning from a bridesmaid dress that was turned into an Arwen costume for me many years ago. Fun, fun, fun!

When it's finished, I'll post pictures. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to come very close to completing this adventure! It's been lovely, but that deadline just keeps getting closer!

June 18th (only 5 days before the photoshoot!)

Well, my plan to finish everything on the 14th didn't quite go as planned. My boss asked me to come in and work, which was fantastic, but meant that I accomplished next-to-nothing this weekend!

with waistband & lace
However, as of today that has changed! I think the dress itself is finished!

Is it perfect? Of course not. But I put it on and was startled by how nice it looked! That sounds vain, but I was getting worried.

At long last I posted the promised picture of the waistband and curtain overskirt (or whatever you would call that)!

The train is conveniently long and nicely patterned!

But what I find much more exciting is the collar! It leaves a little to be desired, but when I put it on it actually turned this 80's prom dress into something from 1904! 

I know I keep talking about how surprised I am, but it's the truth! I was really beginning to think that the only wearable thing that would come out of this adventure would be the corset and boots. Praise God, He somehow made my fingers do work I didn't think was possible!

So now I have the hat, the boots, and the dress! In just a few minutes I'll be running to the store to get eyelets, and once they're in I'll have a corset. 

All that remains is a parasol, and I have something I'm going to try to work with for that. My goal is to finish everything today, so be looking for an update later!

Can't you just hear the choir of angels singing?
It may be after 11:30, but here's the promised update! Unless I decide to go crazy and add something at the last minute, the costume is complete, and I've come to the end of my adventure. Can you believe it?!

As you can see, the motley corset is finished! It's actually far more comfortable than I expected. Not so much that I'd want to wear one every day, but the photoshoot shouldn't be too uncomfortable.

Hopefully the next post will be after Saturday, and will feature a picture taken by a much better photographer than the one who's been harassing you with these photos! ;)

Final Cost: $13
Soli Deo Gloria!
Sarah Weber

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