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.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Meet Anastasia Tremaine

Most every costumer I know was eagerly waiting for the premiere of the new Disney Cinderella movie.  The San Diego Costume Guild was no exception.   We planned on attending opening weekend.   At least I had a few months to work out a costume!    In the beginning, there were only a handful of photos on line of a few of the costumes.  I ruled out Cinderella right away.   I do not need a blue ballgown to hang in the closet, possibly never to be worn again.  The only other photo I had seen was the movie poster of Lady Tremaine and her two daughters.

Right away, I fell in love the the 1950's vibe of the costuming.   I knew a few people were going to try for the stepmother look, so I decided to recreate one of the stepsisters.   I am a sucker for pink, so Anastasia it is!  As you can see by the above photo, you cannot tell how long the skirt is.  I would worry about that later.  I started looking in local fabric stores and on line for flowered pink fabric that was similar.  I found nothing even close in the stores, so started googling "pink flowered fabric".  Still nothing!  I found an article on line about Sandy Powell's costuming for the movie, and it mentioned the fabric was hand painted.....no wonder I had problems! 
 Upon closer inspection of Anastasia's bodice, it shows us that the dress is a sheer over a solid pink.  I wasn't worried about recreating this look, and opted for a solid print. Looking closely at the flowers I realized they were hibiscus-like. I googled "pink fabric with hibiscus". I was directed to an etsy shop that sold Hawaiian fabrics. I found one I thought would work. I ordered 4 yards.   For the crocheted collar, I found a nearly identical one on Etsy.    Yellow buttons-easy.  The sleeves had little lace and black trim.  Belt looks like a ribbon. Buckle - I used the one from my 1830s dress and bought black velvet ribbon for the belt and sleeve trim.
For the dress, I used two different patterns.   I used Retro Butterick B5920, but for the bodice I used a regular button down shirtwaist dress pattern.  Very easy! For the length, I found a photo on line of a museum costume display that showed the dress to be about ankle length. The concept art shows her wearing what looks like Victorian ankle boots, which I already have.  For the hat, I had the perfect one April had made me for last Costume College - but it was black.   I did not want to ruin her beautiful hat, so I basically made a round pink pillowcase for the black hat.  It was open around the inner brim so I can easily remove it.  I cut out some of the flowers from fabric scraps and glued them inside the brim.  I had never seen the back of the original hat, so all I did was add a ruched black ribbon around the brim to match the belt.  Imagine my surprise when I saw the movie, and she had a black ribbon around the brim!   Now for the hair   I ordered the cutest side curls made by Tracy Gomez at the Historical Hairdresser.   They were perfect!  Thank you Tracy!     Here are a few photos from our Afternoon at the Movies.

Taken by Debbie Boyd


Breakdown:  Unfortunately this was not cheap. I had a small bonus from work that helped out a lot.
Flowered fabric 4 yards plus shipping $46
pink fabric hat 1/2 yard  $1.75
collar plus shipping   $7.25
velvet ribbon 1 yard for belt  $4.75
sleeve trim $3.00
buttons $3.50
Hair (good investment!)


  1. I really think you put a lot more thought into your dress than many did, although there were some very nice ones being worn too. I can see you getting more use out of it than a blue ballgown too. ;)

  2. This is awesome! I love that hand painted fabric though, but i must have taken hours!

  3. What a cute dress!

  4. You are adorable! Wonderful job on Anastasia's dress!!!

  5. Thank you ladies! I had so much fun making this one :)

  6. Your look was "spot on" (no pun intended) and looked wonderful on you!