Monday, October 15, 2012


This week's post is my costume from two years ago: Edgar Allan Poe.  I know, I am a cliche.  It is difficult to find modern female sewing patterns that emulate the look of late-Georgian and early-Victorian men's clothing.  I had considered buying men's patterns and adapting them to fit me, but that seemed like too much work.  Another option was sewing men's patterns and padding or binding my curves which applicable.  In the end, I decided that it would be better to use women's patterns: if any of the pieces turned out well, I could use them in my daily wardrobe, I could see the idiots I worked with at the time making inappropriate comments about my body if I disguised my figure, and I had never tried to turn a male pattern into a female (and it was not the time to experiment).

While I was searching for patterns that would work for this costume, I happened across Butterick 4815, a double-breasted vest.  I sewed this in a beautiful brocade of black, gold, green, purple, and magenta.  The pattern featured birds of paradise and other Asian-inspired designs.  I wish I had bought more of this brocade because it is utterly stunning.  The vest itself isn't too different from any other vest pattern.  The changes I made to this pattern were raising the front a little so there was an extra row of buttons (their vests came up higher back in those days) and put actual welt pockets in (which meant I could wear my pocket watch).

While questing for patterns, I hit dead end after dead end with the big four.  This caused me to resort to more obscure pattern companies for the rest of my costume.  Most of these actual ended up being reproductions of authentic late-Georgian or early-Victorian era patterns.

The next item I made was the coat.  I wasn't too pleased with this.  I think it makes me look bulky.  Some of that was probably the fabric selection (taffeta), and some of it was probably that I was wearing it over a vest and blouse.  The pattern here is Buckaroo Bobbins Outing Jacket.  But the pattern has such potential that I think I would like to try this again as a non-costume garment in a different fabric.  The sewing of this one was a little tough because some of the lines were mismarked.  Additionally, because there are so many variations on this pattern in one envelope, it made following the directions a bit tricky.  IIRC, the only change I made here was to lessen the poofiness of the sleeves.  I would recommend this for an intermediate, and I bet it would be a great addition to a steampunk costume.

May I also state that I spent hours sewing on this gold trim by hand.

The blouse is Laughing Moon 103, view A.  This is meant to be worn with a corset; given that I was cross-dressing, I did not wear one.  The fit was still pretty good, even without the corset, but it was a little tight around the neck. I expected it to come down further than it did (it ended at the waist), so it was fortunate that the vest covered this up.  I won't be wearing this blouse again for that reason.  This is another pattern i would recommend for an intermediate.  It does have boning (which I omitted because I don't need the support), so bear that it mind if you want to sew this.

The pattern I bought for the pants, and fully intended to use, was Laughing Moon 106.  I ran out of time and never got to the pants.  What I am wearing is my tuxedo pants from Burda 7986.  (I will post pictures of the tuxedo at some point in the future.)

The reason I ran out of time to make the pants is because I was busy making myself the hat band (not featured) and tie at the last minute.  I had commissioned someone to make those for me, as well as gloves, on Etsy, and they flaked.  This led me to staying up until midnight the night before, and getting up at 4 AM the day of, to finish these last minute items.

The raven is from Etsy, and so are the tie pin and earrings.  The boots are Vegetarian Leather combat boots.  This bottle of absinthe I gave to my husband as a birthday present.  It should surprise no one that I already owned the Poe tome and the top hat.

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