Civil War Costume part 1

Hi! I'm back! My latest project( among many) is a Civil War dress. I have been fascinated with that time period and other historical time periods since I was young. When I was little, my Mom made my sister and I simple pioneer dresses. Mine was a blue calico and I also was given some Justin brand lace up roper boots to go with it. I thought I was so cool wearing the outfit out back in our acre of woods, playing make believe in my little playhouse. My neighbor often came down to play dressed as a cowboy. I played the damsel in distress a lot. Haha. Sad was the day when I outgrew it. Now that I am older and have skills in sewing, I thought is was about time to make a historical outfit. I bought the quilt inspired fabric from a civil war fabric line while I was on vacation. The costume is still a work in progress, but I was so excited I had to show it to you. Because I didn't have the pattern with me when I got the fabric cut ( silly me ) I was short a 1 1/2 yards. The pattern shows having a large skirt as was the style back in the day, but by not having enough fabric to make the same size as in the pattern, I was able to give a slightly modern twist to an old pattern. In the pictures above I don't have the petticoat/hoop skirt underneath the skirt so it is not poofy yet. There is even a bustle to wear underneath on top of the petticoat. Fun! One of the things I changed about the pattern is making the armhole bigger. Because I have broad shoulders it was too tight around my armpits, I cut away about 1 inch all the way around and having the 5/8 seam allowance, it feels a lot better and I have more movement. When I finish the costume I hope to have a photo shoot around some old buildings and proudly show off my hard work.


The Emerald Jewel

The spring ballet season has started and so has the costuming for our ballet companies production Aladdin. Its so exciting making things from old dresses, brocade fabrics, and treasures unearthed from estate sales or thrift stores. The first costume I made was an example of reusing an old dress and giving it new life. This costume is the Emerald jewel. She one of the many jewels that appear in the cave of riches that Aladdin is locked into, towards the beginning of the story. When I think of an emerald, especially in this setting, I think of flashy, sultry and rich colors. When I spotted this dress on the rack of kindly donated dresses for costume purposes, I knew that it would be a great base to start with. I converted the top part of the dress into a bra top. Seeing that the olive green was a bit dull, I sewed on sequins, bugle beads, and jewels to give it more depth and intrest. The tassles were salvaged from an old curtain. By adding beads and glitter glue, I was able to create a more luxurious look.  The dancer that was going to be wearing this costume is tall, and the straps that came with the dress looked flimsy with her long body. By adding chiffon sleeve/straps, it balanced out the top and added the much needed emerald green color.

 The other half of the dress was used for the skirt. I added 2 emerald colored chiffon skirts and attached them to the dress with a trim covered waisted band. I also added the same beads used on the top to the beading on the skirt. For extra shimmer, I sewed on sequins and beads to the edges of the skirts to give the appearance of being dipped.
The headpiece was my own design using a necklace found while thrifting. I used tecniques that I learned at a headpiece class taught by in North Carolina. Their facebook page is inspiring, just search

Up next is the Diamond jewel. I will post when it is finished.


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