The theme for the Costume College afternoon tea this year is “The Haunted Mansion,” and I wanted something appropriately spooky to wear– but it couldn’t be too involved, since I already had tons of other work to do on my other costumes. After some brainstorming I decided to make a Victorian-ish black outfit with skeleton accents– in this case, a skeleton cameo brooch and a skeleton bodysuit worn under a sheer blouse, so the bones would (subtly) show through.
The brooch, blouse, and bodysuit were easily obtained, but I knew I needed a long, black skirt to complete the look. I considered finding a sheer black skirt to complete the “ghost” concept, but ultimately discarded that idea in favor of something more versatile– a black moiré skirt that I could re-use for other Victorian/early Edwardian ensembles.
I already had the perfect pattern in my stash– Truly Victorian 297, an 1898 flared skirt. I’d used it once before to make a tweed skirt for a steampunk outfit, so knew it was easy to put together.
I bought 6 yards of black moiré and ended up having more like 7 due to cutting issues on their part. All the better– the skirt pattern itself is (according to the directions) “wasteful” of fabric, so I was happy to have extra fabric to make a bodice out of someday. I actually had tons left over due to the 54″ width of my fabric– enough to make a ballgown bodice, a day bodice, and probably a cape. I’ll get to those someday…
Anyway, the skirt went together really easily– like most skirts it’s mostly straight seams, and while I had to be really careful with the hem because the pattern is for a 40″ finished front length and I need more like 41″, the narrower hem actually worked out since I didn’t flatline the skirt (the fabric was plenty stiff as it was), and it’s easier to stitch an invisible-ish narrow hem than it is to stitch a wider one.
Overall the outfit has a really nice silhouette, and I’m hoping the skeleton touches come through!
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