As soon as I saw Ciel's ballgown in Kuroshitsuji I knew I had to make it. I started making this gown rather spontaneously one day after work back in July 2009, hoping to have it finished for FanExpo 2009. Due to unforseen circumstances that didn't happen. Then there was going to be a Halloween ball in October, and I was going to have the gown finished for that event. It was cancelled a few weeks before and very disheartened I took a four month hiatus from working on it. Finally in March, I started working on it again, this time for Anime North 2010, and it will be finished. It will.
ETA: It's done! (May 18, 2010)
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Underskirt: A few years ago I made a very... um... voluminous underskirt for a Victorian costume. Of course, it wasnít quite right for Ciel. The underskirt for this costume has many layers of ruffles, which really requires a gored skirt, rather than a pleated/gathered skirt, which is what I'd made. So, I decided to recycle my old skirt. I ripped open the waist band and cut up my skirt into gores, removed the old elastic waistband and added a fitted waistband with hook and bar closures. The bottom ruffle is ten meters long, and second layer is around seven-eight meters long. The upper ruffles are a lot more densely gathered than the lower ruffles (about four meters gathered into one), and do not extend entirely around the underskirt. These werenít intentional plans, it just sort of happened that way.
Overdress: With this cosplay I was really seesawing between whether or not to try to make the cosplay as designed or attempt to make a historically accurate version of the gown. Ultimately, I decided to just try to make the cosplay as close to the original design as possible Ė itís what I fell in love with after all. While the dress is one piece, there is an inner interfacing layer in a bodice shape. It is based on a pattern from ďPeriod Costume for Stage & Screen : Patterns for Women's Dress, 1800-1909Ē by Jean Hunnisett. It is boned with steel bones with twill tape boning channels; I did this so that I would not need to wear a corset.
The dress is made of a matte bridal satin in a colour that can really only be described as Pink! (i.e. pink: capital P, exclamation point at the end), and lined with light pink broadcloth. The dress pattern was more or less drafted by me. The bodice section follows the same general lines as the aforementioned bodice pattern, but with obvious additions, etc. Going to be honest, I actually made this dress twice. The first time just wasnít working out well from the beginning (it was incompatible with my hoop) and so rather than waste time trying to fix it, I decided to scrap it and start over. Second time was a massive improvement.
The pink ruffle is around five-six meters long and six inches wide. It has two layers of darkish pink ribbon (it was very difficult to find a colour I thought would work) and pre-made scalloped edged, embroidered trim. The white ruffle around the collar is four inches wide and made of a white silk taffeta. The edges are finished with a machine-embroidered vine and leaf design, which I added for fun and a little personalization. I then box pleated the fabric to make the ruffle and sewed down the black ribbon by machine. The finished ruffle was then sewn on to the overdress by hand.
The black ribbon detailing was a little tricky; I had a few issues with placing it evenly at first. Due to all the metal boning throughout the bodice, I wanted to use a curved needle to sew down ribbon. Unfortunately, even though I bought a curved needle specifically for this job, the thing was so blunt it wouldnít puncture butter! So I ended up sewing all the ribbon on with a regular sewing needle, which made the task far more difficult and time consuming than it really needed to be. The back was particularly tricky to work out because of all the crisscrossing lines.
Bows: The black and white striped fabric for the front bow was once a shirt that I picked up from Value Village. The back bow is the same matte satin as the overdress. I made them using my own bow tutorial, which can be found on deviantart, heh.
Wig: The wig I ordered off of Ebay from cosplaywig. Itís a short black wig with two long clip-on ponytails. I didnít really have to do too much work, just a little bit of trimming on the short black wig. There are a lot of different opinions on what is the actual colour of Cielís hair. I considered getting something dark-grey, but in the end went with black for practical reasons. That is, itís a very reusable style in black, not so much in grey.
Hat: Around Halloween I picked up a cheapy top hat from Value Village. It was too tall, so I cut off a couple of inches and replaced the top with thick, black craft foam. My first attempt at covering the hat was a bit of a disaster, and almost ruined my hat base to the point where I had to recover the whole thing with felt. In the end the fabric was attached half by spray glue and half by sewing. I used black double fold bias binding for the edging around the brim, which I was able to sew on with my machine despite the odds (for those keeping track thatís seven layers), but it was a struggle.
The hoop and gloves I already owned.
I also made a pair of bloomers and a matching parasol.
Most Elegant Novice, Anime North 2010