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, May 1, 2017

Little Red Riding Dress

The Victorian Roses Ladies Riding Society have several events coming up this summer.  My goal is to make several cotton bustle gown pieces for the warmer months, with fabrics that I can mix and match.  As a Victorian Rose, we wear colors that are the color of roses!  Red, pink, white, peach, yellow, purple, etc.  I started with this red and white outfit.  We use the Truly Victorian pattern "Ripple Skirt" as its very full and fits over a horse's rear and covers your legs at the same time. The first time I made a skirt for horseback riding, I used a different pattern which ended up not being full enough, and I didn't find out until I got on the horse for a parade and it was too late!  Lesson learned. This is my red horse skirt (without underpinnings), which I can also use as a walking skirt for events.  Very simple, with pleats around the bottom, topped by red-flecked, white rose trim.  I can use this skirt as a base for other bodices and overskirts.

I found this cute 100% cotton floral print that I really love. It was actually free, as I had a Joann Fabric gift card from Christmas.  The pattern for the over skirt is Truly Victorian Summer Overskirt.  This took 5 yards of fabric.  It took me a few tries to get the folds correct on the sides, and sewn to the inside tapes.  I chose this pattern because of the split front - seems practical if you are astride a horse.  To finish it off, I added ball trim around the edges. It was the most expensive portion of the outfit but again, I had a gift card from Beverly Fabric, so no cost to me.  My family knows what to give me for gifts   😀

I used the TV Day Bodice pattern, as I like the square neck and peplum on the back. I changed it up and added a red faux vest down the front.   I made the sleeves 3/4 length and basted them in until fitting time.  I had some red ball trim left, so sewed it on the bottom of the peplum.  On the rest of the bodice, I used a raised red ribbon trim on top of white lace, around the neckline and down the front faux vest pieces, and around the cuffs.  I used round pearl buttons down the front.

Below is a picture on my mannequin.  I can't button the bodice (manny's chest is too big), so it looks a bit funny in front.

On Saturday, April 29th, we appeared in the Del Mar National Horse Show, and performed during intermission.  LaDonne, "Grandma Rose" and I "Shenandoah Rose" rode in the cart for the performance.

Below left, Dyan, "Margarita Rose" in her patriotic outfit.  She rode her horse Cefiro in the opening 
 ceremonies carrying the American flag!

Above Right and left, this is Hulk, a sweet paint who pulls the cart I ride in.  LaDonne drives him wonderfully!

Here is Karen "Misty Rose" in a gorgeous gig, driving her horse Scout.
The next day, I attended the Lakeside Rodeo in the same dress.  Its pretty dusty now, and needs a good cleaning.  Here I am with Theresa "Harmony Rose".

Cost breakdown:
Floral fabric  -  Free with gift card
Red fabric - Approximately $15
buttons - $6
Trims - Free with gift card except for white rose trim around the top
of the pleats - $7.50

TOTAL   Just under $30


  1. I didn't notice the little red pom poms earlier. Nice touch!

  2. Cindy, I love your dress for the Ladies Rose Society. Very pretty! I found your blog a short while ago and am envious of your knack of making something beautiful for next to nothing. So creative!