All Hallows' Day is a holiday, and in Finland it's always celebrated on a Saturday. I happened to have a free day on the Sunday too, so I dediced to have a party on the Saturday night. And, as it was All Hallows', I could of course have a Halloween party, which naturally means getting to play dress up!
I've already had a which costume and even given away the
hat, I had to dress up as something else. I'm not overly
fond of the more horror-inspired and gory Halloween cliches,
with the exception of vampires - they are intriguing and
sexy, not to mention rich ground for delicious styling.
Though the opportunity was tempting, I was not willing to put overly much effort and money to my outfit. Once again my new red silk stays came in handy, though for a while I considered something Victorian for change.
And what to wear with the stays then? Something sexy underwear-esque or a ball gown? Although I do have a closet full of black clothes I still managed to persuade myself that I absolutely needed a black dress, even though I would only wear it this once.
strong argument for the new dress was that I had some really
thin black satin I had gotten from some sale practically for
free. So, it would cost nect to nothing. It was a shame,
though, to cover most of the stays with a dress, but then
again having something over them might be nice if someone
would happen to splash their drink on me.
So, my idea for the outfit was to make a decent looking 18th century inspired dress as easy and fast as possible. The pattern was a mix of my 18th century patterns. As I wanted to make it with no extra trouble I skipped the decorative back seams I had originally planned - with the thin material the seams would turn up less than smooth anyway. At first I had planned to make the bodice of the satin with no lining, but as I had a bit of black calico too I made a lining after all.
The making of this dress was so relaxing and so much fun that I even temporarily found myself questioning my usual pedantic working routine in historical stuff - after all, it might be nice to bang out a new fabulous dress for every event in a few days and not be so particular about construction methods and hand finishing, and strive for ultra-neatness which is not even necessary required to be period.
anyway, I finished the dress quite fast. At first I was
doubtful that my bumroll would make it too big, but then
again the puffy look with the lifted hem is very pretty, and
gives a more late 18th century look instead of the classic
black and red gothy gown.
I decorated the dress with the classic self fabric ruchings. As the material cost next to nothing they were both pretty and a very economical trimming option. The pattern for the elbow ruffle comes from my Pet en l'air, of course. As this dress wasn't made for frequent use I didn't have to worry about fraying and so finished the ruffle edges with pinking shears. As the material was very eager to fray, however, I used a modern method of melting the edges a bit with a flame. The ruffles were then gathered and stitched on, with machine of course. Gathering long pieces is at best annoying, but in such a thin and slippery material it wasn't too painful.
this point the outfit was in danger of ending up too much a
basic 18th century thing, albeit badly made, so I decided to
add a scandalous spin to it by leaving the petticoat off -
another reason was, of course, the lack of fabric for a
mathing petticoat. My good old white ruffle skirt added a
bit of fluffiness over my chemise hem. Sadly I didn't find
opaque red stockings, but just red pantyhose which would do.
By the way, they were the most expensive part of the costume
not counting the stays. I also bought a couple of red
feathers for my hair. The shoes are old ones, this time
decorated with black bows of the dress fabric.
At first I had wanted to be a vampire, but then I thought Jarno could rather be the vampire and I the poor vampire bride who had fallen under his dark spell. Jarno dressed up in his 18th century suit, although when we left for the nighclub he changed into his normal black clothes, but leaving the wig and the necktie. Sadly his vampire fangs just would not stay on, but we put fake blood on his lips, necktie and my neck.
The old truth is that you never get good pictures on a party - you just have to arrange extra time for photography. I managed to get som pictures of the outfit, however, though not very good ones.
the party, it was in candlelight, and the menu included
among other things black pasta dyed with sepia, and black
bisquits with blue cheese. The cranberry punch was rather
predictably meant to imitate blood. The tablecloth is a
combination of a Christmas tablecloth and a piece of black
La Soirée petit Vampire was such fun that perhaps it will happen again some other year!
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