22 June 2007 @ 12:12 am
I found the corset pattern on La Couteriere Parisienne. It's right here, near the bottom. Hopefully this will become the base of my Hallowe'en costume -- the McGonagall that was. Apparently fashion lags behind by umptity years in the wizarding world of my mind.

I drew up the pattern exactly to scale on brown paper grocery bags. Confession: The first piece I drew out I used inches instead of centimeters, because I am a fool. I looked at it with my head cocked to one side and thought, "This is going to hang past my knees. Corsets aren't supposed to do that." Then I remembered that the metic system was big in Europe. The second attempt was much better.

Drafting the pieces was really easy. It only took me a couple hours, and that was only because my cat was interested in what I was doing and I kept misplacing my measuring tape.

Here the pattern pieces are, all cut out )

To check and see if I was going to have to make any major changes to the pieces, I laid my 1860s corset out next to the pieces.

Grandma Corset meet your grandbaby )

The 1860s corset is really a little bit too big -- I can almost lace it shut. I would have used it for this project, but it gives me a big bulge at the hips because there aren't any hip gussets. I think this one should fit just fine.

One criticism of the 1900s corset: I don't understand why the bust gusset is in two parts like that. It doesn't really provide an extra shaping that a single gusset wouldn't provide. Nobody has breasts shaped like that.

At this point, I have the half of the mock-up sewn up, and when I wrapped it around my body, it hit where it should. The the directions that accompany the pattern tell you to make a single-layer corset, but I don't like sewing all that bias tape down. So I'm going to make up one layer of lining fabric (firm cotton sheeting) and one of fashion fabric (dark blue satin), and stitch the boning channels in black thread, to coordinate with the dark blue/black vintage ribbon I'm going to run through some lace at the top. I knit the lace a long time ago to edge some pantalettes, but I never made the pantalettes.
Current Music: Oh Me, Oh My -- Imogen Heap
25 May 2007 @ 09:30 pm
I should not be planning future costumes when I have so many left to build this summer. But I have this idea in my head of what I want to be for Hallowe'en this year, and it's been kicking around for a while, so I might as well get it written out.

The Idea
I want to be Minerva McGonagall, but not Minerva McGonagall as she appears in the books and movies. No, I want to be a younger, softer McGonagall. (The younger and softer part is unavoidable, as I am about fifty years younger than she is and have a figure more suited for Poppy Pomfrey or Madame Sprout.) McGonagall in her twenties, before she was made bitter and tired by the battle against evil. Back when you could call her Minnie and still get away with it. A McGonagall like this, but young. I would like to bring out the tabby cat in her, I think.

Yes, you guys, I want to make certain my status as the biggest dork in my group of friends is assured for all eternity. This is fan fiction as costuming.

The Dress -- Version 1
What I'm envisioning is a late 1890s dress, like the one Jen Thompson made inspired by Moulin Rouge. (I have been absolutely in love with that dress since the moment I saw it. Jen looks so lovely and luscious and curvy in it, too.) It will likely be a hodge-podge of that turn-of-the-century style and fantasy/medieval elements.

The Dress -- Version 2

The other idea I have kicking around for this is to make a corselet skirt and wear it with a blouse. Very businessy. Sort of like the look on the left here, but a little bit more buttoned-up. Maybe with a tie. This would both work better with my fabric yardage, I think, and be the perfect opportunity to bring in some plaid. And what is a McGonagall without plaid? An Englishman, that's what.

For accessories, I will undoubtedly need a witch's hat and a robe. Perhaps I will decorate the hat freely with Scottish thistles. The robe must be black and have lots of swish.

The Fabric
I have some rather atrocious apple green acetate taffeta that I bought at Wal-Mart years ago for $1/yard that's pretty much perfect for this. I have about five yards total, I think, but most of it is has been half-conjured into an Italian Ren gown. One of the skirt panels is knife-pleated already, but that will be easy enough to remedy.