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02 February 2013 @ 09:41 pm
Costuming  
Just when I'm working on channelling my creative energy into finishing UFOs and WIPs (unfinished objects and works in progress, for non-quilters), a new idea strikes to distract me. A birthday invitation from a friend, who wants as many guests as possible to come in movie costumes, got me thinking about the costumes I already have and whether one would be appropriate.

I decided last summer that my Pink Wizard phase is over, so as fun as those two costumes were, I'm leaving them behind me for now. I wore the Ioreth dress and apron often enough, and I don't feel svelte enough for the red Elven gown. That leaves my dove blue linen Hobbit dress. That's quite appropriate at this time because of the Hobbit movie. However, I've had it for several years and would like to re-dress it for a new look.

Nuranar was the person who introduced me to steam punk, and since I regularly read Jen Yates' (of Cake Wrecks) Epbot blog, with lots of steam punk costumes and decorations, I've wanted to try the look. But Hobbits and steam punk?! There's no common ground, is there? My brain started working on the concept, and I soon came up with an area in which Hobbits would have lots of gadgets - for cooking! Within a day, I had lots of fun ideas, many of which involve stuff I already have on hand.

The dress is two-pieced, with a separate skirt and corsage of the same fabric. That makes it easier to fit than a one-pieced dress. The blouse is yellow, the cotton apron cheerfully striped in yellow and blues. There's blue braid trim on the bodice. I will replace the blouse with a more severely tailored white one, with long sleeves and a high neck ruffle that give it a Victorian look. I have black laced, high-heeled ankle boots that look appropriate - maybe I can attach a "foot wig" or some fuzzy spats for a "Hobbit feet" effect.

Finding the right fabric for a new apron will be the most important task - I'm thinking of a black/blue/white striped silk, but who knows if a manufacturer thought of the same thing?! I may add a long black skirt under the blue linen one, and hike up at least one of them at the sides. I do have enough of the linen left over to add a bustle at the back of the bodice, which would add Victorian flair to the Hobbit corsage.

So far, so good. This doesn't involve a whole lot of work nor much by way of cost - I have a piece of black velvet trim that I can use to cover the blue braid, and I'll replace the blue lacing cords with black. That will leave the original costume intact should I decide to go back to that look. The best part comes now - accessorizing!! I get to do all the fun stuff without the bother of sewing and fitting the dress itself!

There will be a tool belt, definitely. It will hold cooking utensils and gadgets: an old-fashioned egg beater (the first thing that occurred to me - what a fun real use of gears!), metal measuring spoons, a whisk, a cake decorating gadget that looks a lot like the ray guns I've seen (well, it will when I'm done with it!), a sieve, bottle opener, and whatever else occurs to me. Then there will be an ammo belt that holds wine/champagne bottle corks instead of bullets. If I can get some copper pots and pans without paying a fortune for them, I may construct a back pack to hold and display them. I will also be looking for a hourglass egg timer, and I already have a couple of old-fashioned keys to hang on my belt.

The one thing still missing for a total look is something for my head. I thought of a cook's hat, but that seems too modern and not quite right in its proportions for the costume. I'm thinking of a white mobcap, perhaps decorated with some metallic fabric roses (in gold and silver and bronze) and a black feather or two. That seems both Hobbity and Victorian. My hair is curly enough and not too long, so it will look like it came directly from a Shire hairdresser.

There will be copper wire to add effect to some of the gadgets, though I won't try to paint the stainless stuff. Metal is metal, and I think that will look good as is. But any plastic parts are fair game for copperizing.

So what do you think? Any additional ideas or criticisms of those I've listed? There will be photos, yes, as I get things made...
 
 
Current Mood: geeky
 
 
 
Ross: manhole2012crazyscot on February 3rd, 2013 12:42 am (UTC)
Something not entirely unlike a cook's hat, but in a non-white fabric to accent the rest of the costume (my hindbrain says camouflage or some suitably noisy pattern, but I'm not sure that fits either), and perhaps a different style/pattern?
Alice: jacketmemoryleaveme on February 3rd, 2013 05:01 am (UTC)
Interesting idea! Goggles are a common component in steampunk, and any hobbit cook would be happy to have a handy gadget to keep second breakfast out of their eyes.

Saruman might be the best LotR character fit for steampunk, with his mind of metal and wheels.