Duchess of Thistledown


Last Updated: 08-28-2011

Hoo Boy, where to start?

This was never one of those planned pieces. In fact, the original plan was to make another tudor dress of similar fashion to the one we made for my friends for Hallowe'en past. I had the pattern, but I hadn't found the time to make it yet.

Fastforward, the next Hallowe'en and the fabricland lineup to cash out the fabric I needed for my Volcano outfit. Mom and I were flipping through the McCalls Pattern book and M6093 leapt out of the pages. Wait? It has its own bustle AND train? Screw Tudor, let's Victorian. Lavishly and Inaccurately Splendid Victorian.

So. Construction. The green fabric is drapery fabric in a lovely leaf green and the brown is a silk nanios. Trim, a green, brown and gold braided wonder was found at Sussman's on Queen St. West. There's a crinoline underneath for shape, just from ebay.

Construction wise, was pretty much as the pattern said, bar some stitches here and there. The largest modfication was the bustle and train combination. Originally the train is supposed to be attached to the dress and not the bustle, which after following the directions to a t....was awful. So, I ripped out all the snaps I had just installed and attached them to the bustle instead....after modifying the train to fit the differently sized bustle. Then, I tried draping the bustle folds as directed....which looked even worse than the train-skirt fiasco. This was the icing of the cosplay cake, causing me to freak out, on the Sunday before Animenorth 2011.

Basically, right on time.

Anyway, so I then retacked it my own way, snapped the whole mess together and it turns out that it looked a hell of a lot better than the original design. Kind of like a mermaid's tail. Turns out experimenting isn't a bad thing. In additon to this, I added two pairs of hooks and eyes, which allows the bustle/train to transform. I can wear it down, clipped up in a full butt bustle, or wear it high on my shoulder like an elaborate collar.

My bag was easy to make. Two circles of fabric, interfacing, cording and trim, and you've got a drawstring bag. Simple, Matching, Functional.

My necklace, another originalashley creation was designed by the two of us, made of four earrings, one vintage brooch, wire, chain and crystals. It's a heavy little thing, but elaborate enough to show up in an already loud outfit.

My hat was commisioned through Mad Hattery on Etsy, and worked perfectly to finish the look off.

The Result? Why, I felt like a pretty little lady! Sort of. I rather lack the modesty and gracefulness for that but I did feel pretty good in this getup. Not overly uncomfortable, once I learned how to manuver in crowds; the bustle transformer being the saving grace for that.

I wouldn't have been able to make this costume without help thought! Thanks goes to Olga and my Auntie Marilyn, who help me right from the beginning from cutting to bodice construction. My parents for once again enduring yet another costume, my mom specifically for the hemming ordeal. To Ash, for another awesome jewelery creation and to her and Christine for the hair and makeup on the actual day of wear.
You are all the best!

UPDATE: Post FanExpo 2011

So after fixing a few things that got damaged at Animenorth (a few popped stitches), I decided that if I was going to compete with it, I need to fix up some seams. I invested in a double needle, (I had NO idea our machine could even use something like that) and fired a tight row of stitches down the skirt hems, trimmed and basically made them unable to fray beyond a certain point. Not the most elegent solution, but I didn't have enough room for proper french seams. Raw but now they were fixed.

And? ASdasdhjaksjhdkajhsdkja.
Let's just say I was overwhelmed with the results of the masquerade.


Best Historical Journeyman (Presentation)- FanExpo 2011 Best Original Design Journeyman (Workmanship) - Fan Expo 2011

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Character Duchess of Thistledown
Costume Views 498
Favorites 1
Comments 6
Upload Date 07-02-2011
Debuted Animenorth 2011

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