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!

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.