costume, sewing


So, I kinda love Halloween.  I love having an excuse to make something totally out there that I could never wear in real life.  I am also a fairly geeky/nerdy person who tends to get a bit obsessed with her favorite characters.  Here a few costumes I have done in recent years: Buffy (the Vampire Slayer, obviously!), Phedre (from the Kushiel’s Dart series), and Daenerys (from Game of Thrones).  This year I went in a bit of a different direction.

My costume this year was actually inspired by the clothes.  More specifically, I bought a corset kit and made a green corset.  I wanted to be able to actually wear my corset in public, so I came up with a costume that would incorporate it.  So, this year I was La Fee Verte (the green fairy), who is the personification of absinthe.

The corset is the only complicated part of this costume.  The underskirt is the skirt of the bias cut Ruby slip.  To finish the top, I just cut a piece of elastic to the size I wanted and stitched it down.  I didn’t even bother hemming as it did not seem inclined to unravel.  The overskirt is even simpler.  I wrapped the whole piece of fabric around my waist and cut it to the right length.  I then tore that piece in half to make a front and a back.  I sewed up about six inches at the sides and made a casing for the elastic.  The bottom edges are finished with a rolled hem on my serger.  Couldn’t be simpler.

Despite the simplicity, I actually had trouble getting myself to finish the skirts.  I think it was because of the fabric.  I am an unabashed fiber snob.  I love wool and cotton and linen.  Ever since I started working with silk last year, I haven’t looked back.  (Although I will still use a rayon here and there– I’m not made of money!)  Last year my costume dress was even made out of silk dupioni, which I felt was justified since I planned to wear the dress as a normal dress.  This time, however, I knew that this was a one time use outfit.  So my object was to get the fabric as cheap as possible, which meant polyester.  I got both from for about $10 (and free shipping).  I definitely wasn’t expecting much, but really can’t recommend the poly “china silk” from them, which is what I used for the underskirt.  It really feels like plastic.  Yuck!  Not all polyesters are the same; some are actually pretty nice, but this is not one of them.  I think that’s why I didn’t like working on this project; I just didn’t like the fabrics.  Or maybe that’s my excuse for maintaining my fabric snobbery.

Anyway, horrible polyester aside, this costume fit my vision nicely!  I picked up the wings from a local costume shop to complete the fairy look.  As a final touch, I printed out an Absinthe label and stuck it on a wine bottle for a prop.  Yay for making your own costume!

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