Happy Halloween from the Pumpkin Queen!

The Facts Fabric: Black cotton, black/orange polka dot cotton, orange/black polka dot cotton, orange/black harlequin cotton, black/orange striped cotton, I yard petticoat netting…all from stash!
Pattern: Self drafted skirts and corset, Style 2727 for blouse (except sleeves!)
Notions: 2 hooks-n-eyes, 24 black grommets, 22 bones, interfacing and SPOOLS of thread all from stash; 40+ yards of rick-rack
Year: Inspired by designs from La Moda Elegante 1870-1892
Time to complete: About 26 hours
First worn: October 2012
Wear again? Yes, October 31st!!

Total Cost: ~$21.00

The sketch to the right was something I drew one evening commute about 3 years ago. I had found the fabrics at Joann and bought them with nothing specific in mind so this quick sketch was my “specific”. And everything sat, in boxes, for almost three years. When I saw “Halloween” in the challenge list I figured this was a “now or never” kind of thing. So it’s “now” : )

I suppose if I were REALLY organized I *could* have started this a week or two or three ago…but I didn’t. I started last Sunday when I got home from a three year olds’ birthday party. I figured if I worked for 4 hours a night I’d be fine. It was close, there was sweat and more than a couple “What am I DOING?” moments. But I’m nothing if not tenacious and here we are.

The bustle periods are some of my favorite and one year for Christmas my dad gave me all four “La Moda Elegante” books. The one I found my inspiration in is called “Los Disfraces” which translates to ‘wear fancy dress’ or ‘to disguise oneself’. It is full of illustrations of what people wore to Costume Balls in the late 1800′s, or at least ideas of what people wore. This is what my Steampunk character, Miss Harriet M. Cochin, might wear to a Halloween Ball : )

It makes me feel a little sassy : )

There are MANY pieces that make up this outfit! You start with tights, add the shirt and then pull on the petticoat and bustle. I made my petticoat from an old bridal petticoat that I cut the top off of, making it knee length and then added a waistband. I kept the front of the petticoat flat and put the gathers around back, adding an extra ruffle of netting in back to keep the shape pronounced. The bustle is the pillow style only because I already had one. I forgot entirely to take pictures of the undergarments so if there is any interest I can do it on my blog (let me know!). Over that goes the underskirt, the one with all the ruffles, and the back over piece. The front “apron” is next and finally the waist cincher. Phew! Tired yet? Oh, and before you get the waist cincher on don’t forget your shoes….

The right side of the overskirt, or apron, drapes to show the lining. The left side is folded back. I’m a little sad that you can’t see the draping of the front very well but trust me when I say it’s there and quite pretty. The trim on the ruffles is actually bias cut striped fabric edged with orange rick-rack. Apparently the Western challenge switched something on in my brain thinks rick-rack is pretty cool.

You can see more of the back here. Again, that back piece is draped and pouffed and quite lovely.

I nicknamed the dress “The Pumpkin Queen” because of the sleeves. I did a version of “pumpkin pants” for the sleeves. They make me smile : ) Here is the full on Pumpkin Queen shot :

Amazingly, I didn’t get to put rick-rack everywhere I wanted to! I bought everything I could find this last week but still need a few more yards to go around the edge of the front apron. I’d really like to put the orange rick rack on the black and where it folds over showing the orange lining put black there.

My daughter found the most amazing mask in the donation pile at the last swap:

It’s rather *large* and not very wearable but it is SO COOL! How can you not have fun with stars and moons dangling from spider legs? We were having fun with the photos this afternoon….

The boots are from the eighties! Remember when Madonna burst onto the scene? We were all out looking for lace shirts and gloves, funky jackets and ankle boots. I saved mine : ) I used the paint left over from my Golden Gate bridge hat to paint these. My sister lent me an amazing orange stone ring that was PERFECT. Do you see it? No. I dropped it, thank goodness in the car, but we didn’t find it until we were done. My other favorite accessory – the hat! (Yes, I made it.)

The front…

and the back!

It really did take many, many hours to put this whole thing together. I was planning on wearing it to our Halloween party at work since the department goes all out and efforts at costuming are greatly appreciated. However, as I finish typing this post, our San Francisco Giants win the World Series!! And get this…the parade and general party San Francisco puts on is going to be on HALLOWEEN!!! The fact that the Giants colors are orange and black isn’t lost on me but it means that other than a skeleton crew, most of the 14,000 people on our campus will be downtown whoopping and hollering. BART will be a mess, the highways and bridges will be packed and while it will be very, very festive the Pumpkin Queen will be staying home : (

My kitties like to help. Stuart thought he was “helping” when I was trying to get all those ruffles cut out…

The “cat factor” always adds an hour or so onto my construction time but how can you argue with that face?

Happy Halloween everyone !!!!

(Can you believe we only have eight challenges left??)

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