Posts Tagged ‘it’s my special day!’


If you don’t mind spoilers, scroll down to the last photo to see why this dress needed a good, strong German name.

It’s time for another Pirate Faire post. This one is from 2008. One of the plotlines of the show is that a mad female pirate has decided she will marry Captain Hook (Charles Vane). She wanders around in a wedding dress, hoping the marriage will actually take place. Obviously, we would need an appropriately classy dress for her to wear.

The rehearsal time and the costuming budget for this production did not allow for an accurate reproduction of an authentic Colonial wedding dress.  So we decided we would try to find a used dress, and make some modifications to make it fit the character.

After some fruitless searching online I decided to take a field trip out to The Garment District.  This tends to be a popular place to find Halloween costume supplies, and is usually more or less cleaned out by October 31st. Luckily, it was summer, so they were just in the process of building up stock for the Halloween rush. I managed to find a hideously 80s-tastic dress in more or less the correct size for $20, and then spent $5 more on some lace curtains that looked either beige, or dirty, depending on the lighting.

The plan was to attach the curtains to the dress in various unattractive ways, to make it look, if possible, a little less modern.

Here it is with the initial layer of lace. I would end up putting a second layer over the bodice to cover up how sparkly and sequined it is.

Step 1














The next step was to add another panel of lace to cover the train.

The train














The scalloped edge of the curtains over the hem of the skirt… because “too much” in this case isn’t quite enough…















Now for the really fun part – making a variety of intentionally uneven and badly done tucks, gathers and bustles in the lace overlay.


From bad...

... to worse!



























Later we would end up adding those terrible little pink ribbon roses to the gathers. And pink ribbons tied into bows on the front of the bodice. And it was laced in the back with a wide pink ribbon. Oh, and there was also an attempt at a butt bow. Who doesn’t love a good butt bow on a dress?

The original dress was sleeveless, but since even the most rabid Colonial lady wouldn’t consider going out in public with her arms entirely bare, we would need to add sleeves of some kind. The ugly lacy curtains came to the rescue once more! Yes, there was enough left over after covering the entire dress to make some sleeves.

To give the outfit a comically exaggerated Colonial silhouette we added not one, but two sets of panniers under the dress. This made walking through a crowd (and doorways) extra special fun.

Ok, time for some action shots of the finished product. Please note that the actress is also wearing a big gold bow on her head. The costuming department feels that this element really brings the whole outfit together.

Check out that train!

Not sure what's going on with the shovel, but those are great sleeves!

Valtroud, the finished product.


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