When I first started this blog, I was an unemployed costumer attempting to create period gowns and costumes with very limited means. Although now employed, I still try to be as thrifty as possible. I am still "The Broke Costumer"!

In addition to posts about the outfits I make on a budget, this blog includes short research articles on fashion, history, accessories, styles, or whatever interests me at the moment.

I hope you enjoy my journey into the land of inexpensive costuming and short articles.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tea with Marie!

On Saturday night, I attended Myth Masque, a wonderful new masquerade ball in Los Angeles held at Vibiana, one of the most gorgeous venues I have ever been to!  It is a former 19th century cathedral with  beautiful marble altar area and niches, garden with fountains, etc.  I have always wanted a big, pink Marie Antoinette type fantasy gown, and this was the perfect occasion.  Over a year ago I purchased a pink Marie mask and planned my dress around it.  I had the idea to incorporate real tea cups and tea pot into my outfit.  I needed panniers with a firm surface in order to place them on my hips.  I used.... laundry baskets!  I cut off the sides of two baskets, and made cardboard inserts(cut up fabric bolts) inside to rest my hips on. I then strapped them to a belt with webbing.  I then added tulle around the edges to soften it under the skirt.

Next, I bought a china tea pot, a china cup and saucer and a creamer at the swap meet.  A friend of mine has a lapidary shop and he drilled holes in the bottom of the china.  I bought a pale pink rose embossed polyester for the majority of the dress as it was only $1.50 a yard!  for the underskirt/petticoat I splurged and bought 1 1/2 yards of ribbon roses fabric in hot pink which I used for the front panel. I used the pale pink for the sides and back of the petticoat. 

The pattern I used was Simplicity 3637.  The pattern calls for 20 yards, but I did not use that much.  I only bought 14 yards, and it was enough because I didn't make the poofy trim and didn't use it for the front panel or the bodice front.   For the bodice front I got 1/2 yard of teacup fabric.

Once I had the petticoat and overdress done, I called my friend Joanne to come over and help me with the hemming.  But first, we had to figure out the china pieces placement.  Once we figured out where on the "panniers" to put them, we marked on the layers of over/under skirts where to drill the holes into the baskets.

Getting dressed was.......interesting.  I first put on a very full crinoline, as I did not want the skirt to collapse in under the baskets.  Then I strapped on the baskets, followed by the petticoat and the over dress.  I had marked where the holes were in the sides of the dress so I placed a long bolt through the china, through the layers and into the hole of the basket.  In order to secure them, my boyfriend Jerry had to get under the baskets and screw a nut onto the bolt from underneath!  LOLOL.  

Here are some pics.  I hope you like them.

This is my friend Rebecca.  She was gorgeous!  My friend Cat came with me as Madame Pompadour and was beautiful!  See her photo below.  Jerry and my daughter Amy and another friend April came as well.  See us together below too!   The last picture is of opera singer Prince Poppycock, from America's Got Talent!  He was one of the entertainers at the ball.


$21  14 yards pink @ $1.50 yard                   
$18  1 1/2 yards hot pink @ $12 yard          
$3    1/2 yard tea cup fabric @ $6 yard           
$5    China teapot, cup, saucer, creamer          
$6    lace napkins 2 @ $3                                 
$3    hooks 12                                                  
$2    hardware                                                 
$6    laundry baskets 2 @ $3                             
$6    4 yards tulle @ $1.50                                
ribbons, belt, webbing in stash
                                                   Total     $70