The Art of Darkness

This Year’s Costumes

November 20th, 2018 by Cobwebs

Duo 1I’m a little late with the annual costume recap this time; my apologies to everyone who awaits the yearly post with great anticipation. (That’s all of you, right?)

This year Shadowboy and his friend jumped on the Steampunk bandwagon, which was fine with me…until I got to the welted pockets. I’ve been inching toward the line between “costume” and “bespoke tailoring” for a while now, and this time I vaulted clean over it.

The only parts of Shadowboy’s costume currently made by me were the vest and coat; since this is an ensemble he intends to use beyond just a single Halloween I plan to eventually make a shirt and trousers that are slightly more period-appropriate, but I didn’t have time before the big day.* The coat was Simplicity 2581 and the vest was Simplicity 2895. They had six welted pockets between them, and I don’t think that in this space I have ever adequately expressed the white-hot hatred I have for welted pockets but believe me, it is a lot. (This was compounded by the directions for 2895 being so inaccurate as to be nonsensical, so beware if you use that pattern.)

Since he does intend to wear the costume a lot I was also willing to splurge a little on accessories: A bow tie with neat little metallic points, the gear that shows up in all steampunk costumes as though required by federal law in the form of an earring, a spiffy top hat, and goggles. Those were joined by a cane, boots, and gauntlets we already had.

His friend’s costume consisted of jodhpurs from Butterick B6433 (not too complicated except for the nine bazillion buttons festooning the legs); a somewhat-modified Butterick 4049 (I did mostly View A, but instead of criss-cross lace on the front panel I used an elaborate pintuck fabric that unfortunately does not show up well in photos; I also added lace to the collar); and the half corset from Simplicity 1558, the other costume piece that made me consider giving up sewing to pursue a more stress-free hobby like naked lion taming. One of the suggested fabrics for the corset is “synthetic leather,” which is what I used, but apparently the subtext is, “synthetic leather that is as thin as muslin” because there is no way some of the directions work any other way. In particular, the shoulder straps and front tabs are all supposed to made of two pieces, sewn with right sides together and then turned. Um, no. I just turned under the raw edges of a single piece and edge-stitched them. (My doughty sewing machine didn’t really appreciate my foray into synthetic leather either.) The directions also call for “buckles” of a particular size without noting that the straps specifically require center bar rather than heel bar buckles. Fortunately I was able to find what I needed online from Buckle Guy.

Her accessories were mainly procured by her aunt so I can’t provide sources on those, but I did supply the fingerless gloves.

For all my whining, I was quite pleased with the final results. The costumes looked good and the photo shoot turned out really well: The kids look like a gentleman crime-fighter and his trusty pint-sized sidekick. (Shadowboy and his friend are only six months apart in age, and every year their size discrepancy gets more and more hilarious.)

The photos:

Boy 1
Boy 2

Girl 1

Duo 1
Duo 2

*I sewed the final buttons on his coat five minutes before the party he was supposed to wear it to started. These outfits damn near broke me.

Posted in Whatever | 4 Comments »

4 Responses

  1. Kate Says:

    These look AWESOME. Well done!

  2. Mim Says:

    Oh, that height difference! They look adorable together. I’d thought perhaps you weren’t doing costumes this year, so I am really pleased to see you’re still at it.

  3. Jennifer Says:

    Well done ! Really well done !
    I am a professional seamstress and despite having made them over and over, I still hate doing welt pockets. There ARE ways of making it easier for yourself but when it gets down to the itty gritty, you still have “cut to, but not through the last stitch” and mess around with the little triangular bits ^^
    Anyway, your costumes look great !

  4. Pixel Pixie Says:

    You’ve set the bar for the future rather high.

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