I'm going to the Labyrinth of Jareth masquerade ball in LA in July and need a fabulous costume. I considered using the steampunk costume,
but I'm afraid it will be too warm for a July evening. I've lost my mind and decided to make something new. I want
something froofy and girly, and decided on "Party Valkyrie" (ridiculous, I know) when I saw this painting. I'm half-Swedish. It feels appropriate.
Painting by Howard David Johnson It took way too long to find the original. This painting is plastered all over the internet.
I've decided to go with Vogue pattern V1227. Although it's not something I'd usually wear, I think it has pretty good lines for what I have in mind. Pro-tip: buy the pattern during a Jo-Ann (or your favorite equivalent) pattern sale. It was on sale for $4, down from $30! Crazy! Here's the Vogue pattern with some ideas I scribbled on top:
I'll be adding a short cape as well. Perhaps with some Swedish crowns to hold it on?
I'm using brown and tan micro-suede for the dress, and silky, brown cotton for the lining. The micro-suede looks a little leathery, but isn't nearly as expensive as real leather and much more comfortable to wear than vinyl. Here's the stuff!
Suede, cotton, interfacing, boning, thread, hooks and eyes, strap sliders and an invisible zipper
The pattern itself feels pretty simple after that jacket I made that one time. Unfortunately, I hit a bit of a snag with the corset. It's super-duper revealing. I'm not going to prove it to you because it's not something I'd want to leave the house in, let alone post on the internet, but it just doesn't fit right. My cuts are good and my seams are sound. It's not until I looked back at the pattern picture that I realized it's a rather low cut dress. It doesn't seem to be a user error.
Cutting out pattern pieces and sewing the underskirt
I don't know a thing about modifying patterns, but I'm not one to shy away from things I don't know how to do. I grabbed a pen, newsprint and my trusty measuring tape and sketched up some pieces to make my dress a little more family-friendly. The goal is "Party Valkyrie," not "Slutty Viking." It might work. It might not. I'm not sure yet.
Kinda sorta maybe
After stabbing myself with pins while trying to get the right fit with my new pattern pieces, I opted to make a duct tape dress form. I looked up a tutorial and enlisted the help of my lovely fiance, Nils. When I say "I made a dress form" I really mean "Nils made a dress form." He's very patient. Various tutorials recommend wearing a shirt to stick the tape to, which is later cut through, but I skipped the shirt all together and rolled myself up in plastic wrap to get a close fit. It was awfully hot and uncomfortable, but it worked pretty well. Here's the form before newspaper and polyfill stuffing.
I haven't finished stuffing the dress form, so I can't comment on its stability or longevity, but I can say that the cost (two rolls of duct tape) and fit (it's like hugging myself!) are hard to beat. We used two layers of duct tape, which I hope will hold up over time. I'll update this post if it starts to fall apart any time soon.
Once I finish the dress it'll be time to make a cape, a helmet and some Wonderflex armor. More to come now that I have a body-double to help me out!