musings, mutterings, and creative muddle. . .

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Upcycling a Vision to a Fancy Costume

It all started with an idea. . . Less than vague, abstract,  and definitely not concrete.   I would describe Halloween 2013's first glimmering of a costume as more of a vibe or a concept; a blurry illusion of hmmmmmm. . . .

Being a traditionalist, as well as a habitualistic, I stuck with my typical black. . . But this year, I added some red and stepped it up a notch from just wearing cat ears or a Mardi Gras mask.


My vision included lots of upcycling, destashing, and outright creative maneuvering of:



One black velvet mid-calf length dress from the 1980's found on Ebay:


A red/black shimmery acetate full-length skirt I purchased from J.C. Penney's at least 12 years ago and stashed. The tag was still on it - a $40 skirt purchased for $5. The biggest laugh was seeing it's size - a 10 and then measuring the waist - 29". I don't think so! The ripping and cutting started before I even thought to snap a pic (sorry about that):


And the perfect 1950's black straw hat located on Etsy:



There are more parts, pieces, adornments, and treasures. . . but they'll fill in as we go along:-)

The first step was the full destruction of the skirt. The removal of the waistband went so well, that I decided I might just change out the button, shorten it a bit and use it as a choker necklace.


As I wanted the skirt to be just a bit longer than the dress, I cut a strip off the top of the skirt and stitched it to be used as a ribbon on my hat.


The skirt was then given a simple elastic waistband. It ended up being a little bulkier than I wanted around the waist, but I was unwilling to cut down any of the fabric because I really liked the fullness of the skirt under the dress. So I will just deal with 'lumps' potentially showing through the clingy fabric of the dress. Any suggestions are welcome. I thought maybe a control top from some pantyhose might help - you know, cut the legs and all off and just use the 'support' part over the elastic area. . . but, then again - what if it rolls and makes things worse? Moving on for now -


As things were starting to take shape, I decided I wanted a slit up the side of the dress. . a very looong slit to really show off the underskirt.  I did some careful seam ripping, pinning


and stitching (thanks Stacy for your 'reconstruction' suggestions!!) 

Yup. . . 30" may (tee-hee) be high enough - thank goodness for that underskirt!! Things were starting to become more of a clear vision in my head - and off to my 'goodie stash' to see what I could find. . . Some *awesome* pieces of old costume jewelry - a button, a shoe clip, and an odd earring for starters



That button on the bottom left and a tiny ribbon-bow (I took off the funky looking flower that had been attached to it) were the perfect complement to the top of the side-slit on my dress.




Sweet!!!!! Now. . . what else? What about making a little purse out of this cotton bag I found while digging around for shiny objects?


A bit of a feather boa, a little of the old skirt waistband and that odd earring oughtta do it, don't you think? A nice little cross-body bag that's just the right size for my phone, ID, money, keys, and lipstick:-)


But what about that hat, you ask? I can't just wear it plain. . . right? Look what happens when that upcycled ribbon from the skirt is attached. Then a floral black on black velvet burn out scarf from my closet, and a length of leftover black velvet ribbon join in. . . Another old piece of costume jewelry (so glad I looked in *that* box or I might have missed it!) and some awesome feathers (just like the ones on the bird at the beginning of this blog) A-MA-ZING!!!!


The ribbons and scarf fall a full 28"!


Add the rhinestone shoe clip to the V on the neck of the dress


It fits in nicely with the red choker necklace and my long 'bits & pieces' necklace - pretty cool!!!  And makes the V look deeper and sexier than it's actually extremely modest depth. (The lace you see at the top of the neck is part of the mannequin I have in the ksyardbird Studio - not part of my Halloween outfit). So now. . . want to see it all put together?


That little lump of fabric on the left shoulder are the 1940's net and lace fingerless gloves I found on Etsy.


Here you go - can kind of see the back and the front of everything put together. . . 




What about shoes?  Being a bit of a shoe-junkie, I actually have my choice of some little black shoe-boots with tiny leather straps and buckles, OR the perfectly matching red/black patent leather flats. . . 


They look so dirty and dusty in this picture and I have no idea why. . . I polished them for their big debut - I have a real 'thing' against dirty shoes. So, trust me. They're clean, polished, and shiny :-) That's just kinda weird. . . And that spot you see on the dress? I really dunno. . . a visiting ghost wanting to be part of the photo-shoot, perhaps? There's no spot on my dress!! So odd. . . Anyway....



Which shoes would you choose to wear? Comment with your pick below. Oh, I plan on wearing black floral lace tights. Unless my black fishnet ones arrive in the mail tomorrow. So.Much.Fun!!


Last, but certainly not least, being the Blinger Creator that I am, I had to create some special jewelry for such a special outfit. I settled on a couple of wire-wrapped vintage button rings and a pair of earrings to finish it all off.


So what precisely am I dressing up as? I have no idea. Call me Victorian, call me a witch, call me a vampiress - call me whatever you like. I like LOVE it!!!

Have a Dressed-Up kind of day -
and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Robin Z

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