Usually I make a big deal for Halloween. The house gets decked in its bi-yearly theme (witches) for one night. All the monsters come out, revolting amounts of candy are handed over and much coffee is consumed by dedicated parents. This year, however, the Rogues were sewing and doing a final fitting until 4pm. Here’s what we made.

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A Victorian costume, complete with corset, walking skirt, apron over-skirt and tailcoat jacket. The majority of the costume is a heathered gray cotton of mid-weight with trim in blue poly satin and some matching blue braid.

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The tailcoat is based on a tailcoat vest I made for a previous Halloween costume, which was based on a simple princess seamed vest pattern. The overskirt is a 1871 pattern from Truly Victorian, which we changed to be reversible (gray on the other side), the skirt is based on an 1895 skirt and includes period accurate pockets! They hang inside from one central point and are accessed by a slit in their center.

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The piece you aren’t seeing is the under bust corset, which can be found here.

I’m pretty happy with the way the tails hang gracefully. The decision not to line them was a good one. I think they would have looked to heavy. The front of the coat will hang better without the overskirt beneath it.

The other part I’m particularly pleased with is the trim on the sleeve cuffs and apron hem. It’s the same gray as the general ensemble, pleated. I was initially going to put a strip of blue fabric over the seam of the cuffs, but happily found that nice blue trim.
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This was a fast project and there were lesions learned about fitting, allowances that must be made for corsetry (we almost always steampunk and wear out unmentionables on the outside), equipment limitations, the squirelieness of satin, and timing.
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In the future we would like to make some small adjustments to the apron to make it truly reversible, add some blue braid trim to it’s ruffle and probably make an alteration to the skirt.

And that’s not all. We also did some tailoring to the lady’s husband’s Victorian ensemble; adding pockets to his vest, hidden pockets to his tailcoat and Henning the pants. I’m sure they were quite a pair.

Next year there will be better planning and timing so people can have their costumes and I can have my usual Halloween fun. (Not that we didn’t have fun, it was just compressed.)

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