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.




Monday, August 26, 2013

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

Marcus Aurelius said "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery".  I greatly admire the beautiful creations of Arlene T.  I know her now, but back when I found this inspiration photo while surfing the net, I didn't know who made the original.  I just fell in love with it and saved it in the computer.  Look at this lovely day dress: 

I had it in my computer for over a year waiting for an event that required an Edwardian day dress.  In  April 2011 for our costume guild, I organized a Titanic Boarding Luncheon.  I posted the list of actual passengers for the members to choose from and made everyone badges of their passenger with their personal information on them.  After lunch everyone stood and introduced themselves and explained why they were on board, what class they were, and whether or not they survived.  This was my way of honoring the memory of those lost that dreadful night.

Anyway, I thought this was the perfect time to use my inspiration photo.  Being unemployed at that time, I had a very small budget.  on a road trip to Los Angeles fabric district, I found a cream cotton blend fabric with black and light tan thin stripes - for 99 cents a yard!!  I bought 5 yards, as I had not picked the pattern yet and didn't know how much yardage I needed, and at that price I was happy to have left overs.  I then had fun picking the trim.   I found a beautiful black floral lace for $1 a yard, a thinner black lace and some white lace, for 50 cents a yard.   So all total, I think I paid about $15-18 for this dress!  Its been a few years, which is why I am not breaking this one down.  But for under $20 I made a great dress.

I had the Edwardian Laughing Moon pattern from a previous dress, and thought I could change it up to look similar to the inspiration photo. Here is the pattern.   I made the blue dress without the over skirt, and added the  shoulder details from the the red, gold and white gown.  I used cream buttons up the back.    I didn't want to copy Arlene's dress exactly, so I did not add the lace under blouse or the trim covered belt.  Also, I made my skirt more column shaped rather than fuller like the original.

I wore the dress again a year later for the Titanic Exhibition at the Natural History Museum in April 2012, 100 years after the sinking.   Here are a few photos from that event.
 





















I wore it again yesterday for our lovely afternoon at the Marston House.  We had a wonderful tour of the gardens given by our guild member Amy H. who docents there.  After the garden tour, we had a relaxing picnic on the lawn.  Afterwards, several of us continued on and took a tour of the  house itself, a beautiful craftsman style marvel, built in 1904.

Here I am again, although wrinkly from sitting on the lawn for a picnic.

Aren't my friends gorgeous? Once again, thank you to my Muse, Arlene, for this simple but elegant day dress.  I like it better than my fancier ones.



9 comments:

  1. That was one of my favorites too. And it's funny how another dress of Arlene's has inspired both of us to try one also.
    Val

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    1. She is a wonderful inspiration for us all.

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  2. WOW, the dress looks adorable!! And hooray for affordable and cute fabrics!

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    1. Thanks Gabriela! You can't beat 99 cents a yard.

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  3. Cindy, I remember seeing this on Arlene's site and fell in love with it! You have done a fabulous job on your own!! It looks so incredibly awesome!!! Yeah!!!!

    Gina

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    1. Thanks Gina! It was fun to make with those rows of trim. I think that is what hooked me.

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  4. The dress looks lovely. Its nice to find someone else who costumes on a budget.

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  5. Thank you Lady D. It seems that trim is more expensive than the fabric I find. That is where I tend to splurge.

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    1. I have a habit of 'collecting' trim every time I go to the fabric shop to browse. lol! Or I canibalise stuff from other projects or old items of clothing.

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