Thursday, March 9, 2017

My 1890s Victorian circus girl costume

I am happy and thrilled to announce that this outfit won 1st place in the Shear Madness quarterly challenge Big Top #13! I had so much fun making this and am certainly happy it won. :-)

Shear Madness Big Top Challenge #13

It was I made this outfit for Costume College 2016. They had a circus themed Friday Night Social. I spent some time looking at vintage photos of circus performers. It was a really fun project! I knew I wanted to stick with the 1890s. As luck would have it I found 3 yards of brightly colored harlequin style fabric at the thrift store. Score!!! 3.99! I had some black cotton sateen in my stash, so a costume was born.

I used Truly Victorian walking skirt TV291 and Truly Victorian Ripple bodice TV496. I have reviewed both patterns in the past so I am just going to cover what I changed.

The skirt was simple. I just shortened it to knee length. I used the bright fabric on the front panel only. I also sewed little moon and stars sequins randomly on the skirt. The bright orange scalloped trim was an antique shop find. A whole gallon ziplock bag stuffed with organdy picot edge scallop trim. The trim was strung together. I dyed it orange and gave it a nice press. On top of the orange trim I used black string fringe and black sequins.

The bodice had a few changes. I used the TV490 ballgown sleeves. they are pretty dang cute! I was running out of black cotton sateen and harlequin fabric so I used some black clip dot lawn instead. I left off the collar since I knew I was going to use my orange trim anyways. I kind of wanted a ruff look around my neck. The front is closed with 3 sets of blue ribbon ties. The bodice is trimmed with red chenille ball and black sequined trim.

That hat! It is from a 1940s clown suit pattern. I had a great time making it!

Accessories:
One purchased red crinoline, black tank top, white tights and my American Duchess Tango boots.

This is just an example of how creative you can be with existing patterns.