Friday, September 23, 2016

10 Days Before the Ball -- a Hurried Costume Diary

I've been pretty busy these past months with a few archery tournaments, conventions, and our anniversary. In the middle of September, I was asked to potentially help out at a special event -- a Moulin Rouge ball hosted by our local costumer's guild. My part is relatively small, but we still get to go. However, considering my schedule, I hadn't had the time or energy to really think about going to the ball. I did consider costumes on my off hours.

Much like Cinderella, I didn't quite have a new dress to go to this ball, EXCEPT, unlike Cinderella, I don't have a fairy godmother, but I CAN sew. Unfortunately, it's almost a week before the Ball and I don't have is a lot of time, what with work, archery/fencing practice, and the last regional archery tournament of the outdoor season.

OY! What's a busy girl to do? Look to see what costumes can be re-used! So, on Wednesday evening (exactly 10 days before the Ball), I started looking to see what I could use.

After work & practice, I dug through my costume closet and I found my old Can-can outfit that I made about 16 years ago (back in 2000), complete with underthings, petticoat, and skirt, but I could not find the matching bodice!!



As mentioned, this outfit is about 16 years old. The skirt needs to be altered slightly, as I'm definitely not same size as my younger self, but the petticoat & chemise do fit -- go figure. I can work with these things and make a few minor modifications. All I would need to do is:
  • Alter the skirt with either smaller seam allowances or add additional gores.
  • Re-do the waist band
However, there's still the issue of the missing bodice. After much digging through my various pattern bins, I found my corset pattern, and after a lot more digging, I also found the original pattern for the costume.

Luckily, I still had the original mock-ups for my corset, which still fit (with minor seam alterations) as well as the matching paper patterns, but I didn't have the modified patterns for the bodice. I would have to start from scratch if I made the bodice.


I'm used to corsets, so I decided to make the corset. I quickly cut out pieces with the alterations, and opted to start making the mockups the next day.


As long as I didn't make anything too fancy, I could pull it off. I've got less than two weeks before the Ball. I got this....