1886 fancy dress "champagne", 19th century, balls, Bella Donna, events, projects

Fix This Costume! Meh Edition

So last year, I made a Victorian fancy dress costume — specifically, a c. 1886 “champagne” costume.  You can read more about it here, if you’ve totally forgotten about it by now.

Last time we talked, I made some undies.  Well, I also made a dress.  I was really sick the week before wearing it, but pushed myself through finishing by telling myself, “It doesn’t have to be god’s gift to costuming.”  Well, that prophecy came true, as it wasn’t!  Didn’t help that I was still woozy and fever-y and sick on the night I wore it, but I had to go as my singing group (Bella Donna) was performing at the Vampire Ball.

So yeah.  I never found the right trim for it, even after looking at gazillions of beaded trims and christmas ornaments, so maybe it’s the lack of trim that made me feel so meh about it that I never finished blogging?  I don’t know!  I also think maybe the sleeves (which were supposed to be more interesting, but lack of time made for a crappy pattern, so I had to ditch the original plan and go simple) should be A) more interesting and B) in the gold fabric?  Or maybe a sheer, shiny gold tulle, and then echo that in a center front opening showing a faux underlayer in shiny gold tulle, as in the inspirational fashion plate?  And the skirt hem could be shorter?  Help me figure out why this costume is so unexciting, and maybe I can wrestle it into shape?  Or at least do better the next time I attempt fancy dress!  And for trim, go for shiny gold balls, or clear glass balls?  Had a long debate with my husband about that one — I was picturing shiny gold balls, but he kept pointing out that champagne was clear…

A note on the photos — I had to photoshop the base skirt on photos #2 and 3, as the settings on Trystan’s camera were off and it turned my green skirt purple.  So the color/shine is most accurate in picture #1.

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  • Reply Libby Gohn August 13, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    To me, the meh-est part of this dress is the charcoal velvet of the sleeves and peplum. I would add some gold tulle, beading, or lace. You could even just get rid of the sleeves. Also, silly hats – all costumes are improved by a silly hat – maybe a cork or some champagne froth.

  • Reply Trystan August 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Needs some froth — froofy sleeves, maybe a gathered gold tulle layer? And then echo that with something frou-frou at the edge of the green overskirt? And buttloads of bubbly trim — gold AND clear baubbles! And as noted above, a perky hat! More more more!

  • Reply Zora August 13, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    None of it quite works together, IMHO. The green-yellow skirt doesn’t work with the orange-yellow bodice and the bits of dark green seem utter disconnected from everything else. I’d take it apart and make one dress using the green-yellow skirt, one dress using the bodice, and save the green velvet scraps for accessories.

    OR, you could redo the whole dress in the green velvet (that green is lovely on you) and have a gold stomacher and insert in the skirt. You’d be all in green save for one lengthening, slimming slash of gold down the middle front. Now that would be fun to trim!

  • Reply Jaquelinne August 15, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I agree with Trystan. Also add champagne colored accessories – jewellery, trim, etc. Maybe put something flute-shaped into a hat or other accessory

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