Happy holidays, crafters!
Before we headed off for our little festive break, I thought I’d share with you an amazing project we got a peek at way back in October, for our Halloween costume contest. Back then we got a peek at this photo below, and you really can’t see that without needing to know more about that dress.
And that headpiece.
And well, everything really.
The lovely Liddy all the way from Holland is nice enough to join us today to talk in depth and share more amazing photos on what has to be our most embroidered costume to date, this incredible Steampunk Marie Antoinette creation…
This is an incredible costume! Talk to us a bit about what started it. Was it for an event in particular?
Yes, it is a costume I made for a festival in Holland called Castlefest. I’d been wanting to create a steampunk end-of-the-world Marie Antoinette style gown ever since I saw a couture creation in this apocalyptic style, and this was a perfect occassion for it.
What made you choose steampunk? Had you always been into the style?
Not necessarily, I’m into a lot of styles and steampunk is one of many that appeals to me. Especially because of the unlimited possibilities and alterations of existing patterns! I’ve made other steampunk gowns in Victorian style as well. Last year I went to a Danish 1700s weekend, and all the fun of creating a costume for it is why I chose the Rococo era.
How did you go about choosing designs? How many are on there?
*Phew!*I’ll have to count them.
Wait a minute…………….at least some 30 patterns!
The heart on the corset is one design that I’ve enlarged to the utmost corners of my largest hoop, I really wanted it to stand out. It’s then embellished with keys, gears and aluminium coil springs.
Then I did the choker, which i’ve also enlarged, and the gloves. To give the gloves an extra point, I reduced a tiara pattern (loved the shape of it) to have a nice pointed cuff. They are also embellished with keys, chains and gears.
For the headdress, one large tiara pattern. Then the skirts…each pannier section is embroidered with the key border, of which two fill a pannier. Then on each section I embroidered different patterns, like the birdcage, the Marie wig, gears, the Cthulhu, etc. These were embellished as well with gears.
The bronze overskirt is embroiderd with the raven border pattern, using a glow-in-the-dark thread. They don’t really show as well in the pictures but it was a huge project to embroider all these borders. For the corners I used the corner pattern.
For the spats I upsized the patterns quite considerably and in the heart I put an extra clock (embroidering two designs over each other), then they were made in the cameo shape. There is a matching jacket with another Cthulhu embroidery, but I’ve no pictures of it yet.
Choosing the designs was not difficult, since there are so many in this nice steamy theme!
How long did the embroidery take?
Well, only all summer 😉
No, I think about one and a half months to two months (sometimes up to 11 hours a day).
How long did the whole thing take you to make? Was the costume designed by you, or was it based on a pattern?
The actual making of the garment went rather quick compared to all the hours of embroidering. After embroidering it took another two to three weeks to complete the patterns. The patterns used are the Mantua Maker’s hooped petticoats pattern for the hooped panier and for the corset I used the Butterick stays pattern. The black underskirt, silk overskirts and spats were handdrawn, cut on my dummy and improved along the sewing process. Though the spats didn’t fit as accurately as I wanted them, I’ll have to rework them a bit.
Did you run into any problems along the way? Any tips for people trying something like this?
Just this: Start in time to avoid last minute stress. Had quite a hassel with the spats! And, very important, keep the cat away from all the moving parts 🙂 it’s just too tempting.
Talk a little more about that fabulous headdress…
This headdress is inspired by the Kraken creature from the Pirates of the caribbean. It is made up of an embroidered tiara, which I’ve underwired for extra strength.
The octopus is tearing the galleon down to the dark depths of the ocean with its tentacles. He is made up of Fimo clay in coppertones and dusted off with silver and bronze powder to let him gleam.
He was made in one evening when I had an inspired friend over who encouraged me to make the creature that was popping up in my mind. The galleon is from a miniature store. The cyberlox are purchased by the yard in colours matching the costume and cut to the desired length. My cat loved these coily things!
How did people react to the costume and the embroidery?
Awesome! They were impressed by the amount of embroidery and all the details.
What’s your favorite part about this costume?
I think the Kraken creature….because he turned out just as he envisioned himself in my mind.
What’s your next project going to be?
That’s just finished, it’s a blood red Elizabethan court gown with standing collar….
The other new project will be a living Isis statue.
Such a gorgeous creation, I am totally blown away!
You guys keep pushing the limits of your creative creations, and boy do you love your steampunk. We’ll have to make sure we keep our designs up to the same caliber of projects they’re helping to create.
Thanks again for sharing with us Liddy. I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ll see of your beautiful embroidered creations here on StitchPunk.