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.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Dark Marie

Myth Masque time again!  This year, I went in the opposite direction than last year’s pink Tea with Marie gown.  I decided to go as a more gothic Marie.   I had seen the prettiest silver and black poly brocade fabric at Joann’s and thought it would make the perfect gothic dress.  Since this is a fantasy costume, shiny is perfect!

The fabric was $10 a yard and I needed around 12 yards.   $120 = NOT affordable.   I waited for a sale.  Finally, I hit a 40% off sale - and had a coupon for an additional 15% off!  This made it $4.50 a yard, For a total of $54.  I had a $25 gift certificate, so I ended up paying $29.

I again used the Simplicity pattern. This time, instead of closing it down the middle, I made the front of the bodice one piece, and hooked it on the side under the trim. 

I love the a la francaise back. I like the way it bellows out behind you. I had fun pleating it and seeing it take shape on my dress form dummy, named Half-Maude.  She was originally just Maude, but one day I put an extra heavy costume on her, and the legs collapsed.  She now sits on a bar stool.

The sleeves were fun to do.  I used three layers: the brocade for the outer layer, black and silver lace for the center layer and sheer black dotted swiss for the inner layer.  Around the sleeve is a black velvet strip on top of silver lace.  I sewed skull beads around the velvet strip and glued on little diamond bling.

I went to the National City swap meet where they have a fantastic booth full of trim.  I bought pre-pleated, black grosgrain ribbon for $1 a yard.   I also bought 1/8th inch wide silver ribbon and sewed it down the middle of the pleated ribbon. I bought silver gimp trim.  I sewed a lazy S shape down both sides of the front of the over skirt, and sewed the silver gimp at the front edges of the over skirt.  I got six silver roses which I pinned on between the S shapes.

I also bought two big ribbon bows with giant “diamonds” on them for the front of the bodice.

The underskirt was made from black satin, which was a gift. The wig was from Amazon, a steal at $12. Its a vampire wig with pointed bangs which I clipped up underneath the cap.

My headpiece was fun!  It was a headband with black and silver roses, feathers, a tiny pirate hat and a silver skull attached.  It was made by my friend, Seven Deadly Sins, Inc.  I had in my possession from a previous costume a pirate hat with a ship attached.  It fit Mr. Skull perfectly!  So I added that.  

The mask was also from a previous costume, and I used silver eyeshadow on my eyes as well as my lips!  Black and white feather fan I have had for several years. 

Dress Cost Breakdown:

$29     Fabric
$10     10 yards pleated black ribbon $1/yd
$2.50  10 yards thin silver ribbon  25cents/yd
$4        8 yards silver gimp  50cents/yd
$7.50   6 silver roses  $1.25 yd
$5        15 skull beads
$3        2 bows with large "diamonds"
sleeve layers and bodice lining - stash scraps


Here are some photos of the final product.


Photo by Kelly Varner.  With Joanne W.
Photo by Kelly Varner.
Photo by Debbie Boyd


  1. This is absolutely gorgeous Cindy! Gives me hope that one day I will be able to make a decent attempt. I want you to know that your unpretentious approach goes along way toward making other people comfortable and able to enjoy costuming.

  2. Thank you Darlene! This is actually a very easy pattern. Have made it twice now. Now I have to figure out something for next year, can't make a third one, lol!

  3. FANTASTIC! I am suitably jealous. You make some indescribably delicious dresses in which you are STUNNING! Thanks for the wonderful blog! $61 INDEED,

  4. Thanks Frenchy! I got real lucky with the fabric sale :)

  5. Love all the details you put into this; so much going on. Perfect for this time period. Wonder what's next?

  6. Oh Cindy!! What an inspiration this dress is!! How fun!! And you look fabulous in it!! Yeah!

  7. Thanks Val and Gina. I now have mind block for my next one, lol!