Costume Gallery


The Gala Series

For my role as a vampire of the Toreador clan, I needed to have a nice outfit for the gatherings in Elysium. One outfit will not be enough, and more Gala outfits will be coming up, but this was a nice start.

The Opera Skirt, as we so disdainfully called it, is a 7/8 circle skirt with zipper in the back. The corset is a 'corset'pattern of Burda, lengthened in the waist by a mere 5 centimeters. I added some extra boning channels and used spiral steel boning instead of rigilene to provide me with some measure of support. For a woman with big breasts (anything above C cup will become troublesome without proper support) this corset is certainly not good for the corset-function. It is too narrow on the hips, and creates an open space beneath the breasts, allowing them to slip downwards with longer wear. This is just a forecast, since I've only worn it long enough for the photoshoot. All in all, the corset is simply not comfortable for longer wear, and since the thing closes up precisely in the back, can not be pulled tighter for a narrow fit or extra boostage. This would have been a very bad idea to start with, because the corset simply doesn't have the fit for a corset function, as mentioned earlier. When pulled tighter than worn normally, I think this could cause bruised ribs and serious midriff damage when worn incorrectly. Corsets should be comfortable, supporting where needed, and are above all, designed not to fracture ribs or midriff. Especially for 21st century wear.

The bolero jacket was also made according to a Burda pattern. The sleeves are barely wide enough on the biceps and I doubt I can move my arms over my head, but as this was a bridal pattern the idea of the thing was just to sit tight and be pretty, which works really well for a Toreador Vampire anyway. Construction was a bit awkward, since the nice collar is based on a 'contiuous rolled collar' and the collar bits are attached to the front, and meet mid-back. Construction of how to get the collar attached to the back was well explained in the instructions, though it missed a step on the facing.
I stiffened the lapels with fusible interfacing that fuse on both sides, also called "vliesofix" here. This made them, I believe, too rigid, though the lightness of the fabric can have something to do with this. I had to sew the lapels to the princess darts to keep them in place.
The whole outfit stretches my waist out from where the bolero ends to where my hips begin, and I do believe it's made me look quite slim, which is amazing since I'm a big-boned woman of 190cm tall.

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Nov 2005; © Jane Starz.