Monday, March 3, 2014

Wayward Victorian Carnival Costume

CARNIVAL is here! It's a big thing in Malta. Really big. The capital city is flooded with huge parade floats, street stalls and people in costume for 4 days. I went yesterday with some friends. The day before, I realised I didn't have a costume (though actually if I'd thought about it I could have worn the Amanda Young costume. Stupid stupid :( ), so I decided to put one together.

I love Emilie Autumn's style, and so I decided to put together a wayward Victorian inspired costume, partly inspired by this costume that Emilie Autumn wears:

I made a corset, though honestly this is more like a mockup than the real deal. This was made in a hurry for today, so I only spent around 12 hours working on it. This is not my best work. 

The corset is quite wrinkly. That’s because I used interfacing on the white material to stop it stretching, but the material is trying to peel away from the interfacing under stress. 
The plastic boning is also not working. This is a fashion corset and not meant for tight lacing, which is why I used plastic. I’ve had good results before, using plastic ties (you find them around furniture boxes or six packs of water). The kind I used this time is just too flimsy. It buckles under stress, which is another reason why the corset looks so rumpled.

I also had problems sewing the boning channels. I am terrible at sewing the channels neatly: they always seem to get wrinkled or misaligned, or they’re too narrow. The bias tape is also wonky, though it doesn’t show too much.

Since I used only materials that I already had at hand, I don’t feel too badly about this corset being unsuccessful. This is something I would definitely like to try remaking, ideally using more durable materials such as coutil or cotton twill. It’s difficult to buy metal corset bones in Malta, so thick cable ties will have to suffice. It might also be worth adding a waist tape and busk closure. 
 The rest of the costume is just clothes I already had, such as the jacket from Late but Lucky, a steampunk style skirt, lace gloves, a feather fascinator, boots, thigh highs and a random flower hair clip.