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, July 24, 2016

Wonder Woman/60s Mod Mashup

Its Comic Con time again!   Being broke as usual, I decided to take elements from my Victorian Wonder Woman costume from two years ago see it here and do a new mash up, because.... its all about those boots!

I used a simple pattern that I could color block,  and had very few pieces,  a princess seam style that zips up the back.  I am glad I hoard fabric left overs because I had just enough blue with white star scraps to eek out front and back panels for this dress.  I bought 2 yards of red cotton for the sides. I modified the sleeves a bit. I bought special gold piping to go between the red and starred fabric.

I figured I could whip this out in a night or two after work, easy peasy.  Yeah, right.   Moral of this story is, don't start sewing at 8:00 p.m. after a full day at work.  The first night I cut out the starred front panel and two star back panels.   Then I put the zipper in the back pieces. The second night, I cut out the red side front and side back panels, and sewed it all together.  Well look at that!  All it needs is a hem and sleeves.  Took a picture on my dress form.

It didn't look right.  What was wrong?  Near bedtime, it hit me.  I forgot to put the gold piping down the front and back seams!   ARRGH   (the yellow is not part of the dress, that was on the dress form). Photo of boo boo dress.

Instead of Wonder Woman's usual golden rope lasso, I purchased a gold chain belt with tassels from Ebay that looked a bit more 60s mod than rope. I found an official Wonder Woman iron on patch and added that to the front. 

I added some groovy hoops with stars earrings, a scarf instead of a tiara with my wig, my gold bracelets, red fishnet stockings and that was about it!  Easy costume!

A couple of photos on my way to Comic Con.  Below left, my friend Ruth C. a fellow WW.  Below right, my boyfriend Superman. Below centered is my dear friend Joanne W.


They had the original 1970s Wonder Woman outfit worn by Lynda  Carter in the TV show!  I was sad to see how faded it had become.  It was still really awesome to view it in person.

 At the end of the day I ditched the boots and switched to blue sneakers.   My friend Jim bought me a Starbuck's coffee, and I found the perfect Starship Captain's chair to relax in for a minute.
$4.00  red fabric
$6.00  patch
$3.00  earrings
$15.00 belt
$5.50 gold piping

$33.50 Total      Accessories are always more expensive than the fabric and trim!  Again, glad I hoard my leftovers!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Happy July!

I'm the newest member of the Victorian Roses Ladies Riding Society, and we ride in a lot of parades.  I am mainly a carriage rider, but I'm learning to ride a horse now.  This holiday week, I was fortunate to be in my very first parade on horseback.  Our group has discussed wearing patriotic costumes during these summer rides, and some members are beginning to make them.  Of course, this was a great opportunity for me to finally make one.

One of our co-presidents, Dyan, has a beautiful outfit.   I first saw her wear this in the Coronado Fourth of July parade last year, before I even thought of joining the Roses.  I saw her a few weeks later at Costume College, when she wore it again. It was at Costume College where we discussed my interest in joining the Roses, and a year later, here I am!  A photo of Dyan in her lovely costume. She and a few other members ride side saddle, something I admire in experienced riders.  I will be lucky if I stay on the horse at all!

I chose the following patterns for my outfit.

 Skirt - Truly Victorian Grand Parlor Skirt, perfect for spreading out over a horse's rear if I am lucky enough to ride.  If I am in a carriage, I can wear my bustle petticoat.

Jacket - Truly Victorian tail bodice.  Although a different era than the skirt, it should look nice spread out on a horse.

 The Hat.

I LOVE this hat. My dear friend April has made several hats for me, including my all time favorite Regency patriotic hat.  For this Victorian hat, she used the Lynn McMasters riding hat pattern. She was kind and gave me starred ribbon to use on the hat.  I just added some roses to it.  

 I used a red and white stripe for the skirt, and added a ruffle with flag trim around the top.
 The jacket fabric is navy blue with tiny stars.   Here is a photo where I'm fitting it to my dress form.   I still need to iron the back pleats in place.  I added trim to the cuffs, and am experimenting with a lacy jabot.  I lined the lower part of the jacket with the same fabric so when the tails fly, its the same front and back. Since the fabric is a nice sturdy cotton in two full layers, the back was heavy. I added a waist tape, which attaches inside the back and sides of the bodice, and ties in the front.  This prevents the heavy tail from dragging the bodice backwards, and keeps the front of the bodice in place.

I also covered a parasol to match. I don't have a pattern to cover parasols, but this is what I did: I traced a section on paper, then cut six sections out with a small seam allowance. I had to piece a few sections because I was literally down to scraps of fabric.  Next, I sewed them into  a circle shape, with the center open.  I draped the piece over the parasol, centering the seams on the parasol spines and over the existing nylon cover.  I pinned the edges to the nylon cover, and stretched each section up to the top, and pinned.  Once the stripes were pinned on, I was actually able to get the edges under my sewing machine foot.  The bottom is now secure, and the top opening still pinned.  In the photo below, I am still pulling some of the sections tighter and repining at the top opening.  Next I hot glued patriotic ribbon around the topside edge, and hot glued ball fringe around the underside of the edge.

Once I got all my sections pulled up tight to the top, I hand stitched them.  I also put a few stitches along the spines to help hold things in place.  I added some ribbon and roses to the top and done!

Parade day came.  I got up on my sweet "adopted" horse Storm, and spread the skirt out.  Oh no!  It was not round enough  in front to cover all the saddle and down to my feet in the stirrups.  It spread nicely on the back though.   It worked out by me tucking the front edge under my knees but it was tight.  Next time I make a horse skirt, I will use Truly Victorian Ripple Skirt, which some of the ladies use.  My mistake was thinking all the length needed to be in the back, but you really do need fullness in front.  

I made the roses and ribbons hair clips for Storm's mane.  She looked so pretty!