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.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

1883 Riding Outfit

Every year, I produce a period fashion show for Gaslight Gathering Steampunk and Victoriana Convention.  This year's fashion show theme was Women of Sports and Leisure.  The models ranged from Regency and Victorian archery to Edwardian Croquet and everything in between.  We had a mother-daughter team in beautiful 1870s polonaises, an Edwardian dog-walker with real (service) dog to walk, a fencing team and a model with period underpinnings!  We had photography, painting, fishing, reading, piano playing, singing, sewing, ice skating, swimming, tea, badminton, golf, dancing, an Edwardian naturalist, and me...horseback riding. 
I had been wanting to make the Truly Victorian 1883 Riding Habit Bodice and Skirt for quite some time.

 In the rush of recruiting models, preparing a slide show and other things, I cut myself short on time for my own outfit.   I had the patterns and fabric for my riding outfit for months, but always said to myself, "I have plenty of time".  Well, with two and a half weeks before the show, I had nothing. 

My dear friend Val stepped in and rescued me.  I cut out the jacket and gave her the pieces, and she made 95% of it for me!  I managed to sew in the sleeves, sew on buttons, make the skirt and jabot, and decorate the hat (again, Val to the rescue for the hat and veiling, found at JoAnn Fabric.)  I decided I wanted it buttoned down the middle rather than double breasted.

Here are some shots of me being nervous backstage before the show. 
 Here is a photo of Val and me.  She is wearing her Victorian Photographer ensemble.
After the show was over, I took some photos in Jerry's photo booth. 


Photo by Debbie Boyd
The show was a success, thanks to all the wonderful models.

The breakdown on this outfit is:

Jabot - stash lace
Brown twill - the last $$ on my gift certificate at JoAnns.

$8 - 3 yards of brown lining
$5 - bit of velvet for collar
$5 - buttons
$3 - veiling

TOTAL  $21

Plus, a riding crop for $4 :)


  1. You forgot to mention you did the Gangnum Style horsey riding. :D
    You put the entire outfit together very nicely!

  2. Thanks for reminding me.....not! Yes, I did the horsey dance a little bit :) Couldn't have done it without you.