Sunday, May 26, 2013

A pierrot for Harlequina

This post i s way overdue, the masquerade where I first wore this outfit was early this spring but my life has been kind of hectic so costume blogging ended up last in my priorities.

I have always liked comedia dell arte and harlequin in particular so I really enjoyed making this costume.
The costume consists of five pieces, a velvet mask, a neck ruff, a velvet jacket with gold lace, a gold silk waist coat and a petticoat. I also made matching shoes and a ridicule.

The mask is made of papier mache, moulded over a plaster copy of my face, water proofed with flax seed oil and then covered with velvet on the outside and linen on the inside. I really like the shape of it, it almost stayed on with out strings! And the high forehead kind of give it quite a spooky appearance.

The ruff is made of a very wide,white ribbon with gold edges. I box pleated it and then folded it in the middle lengthwise and attached ribbon ties.

The waist coat is made of gold silk dupion and I created the lattice pattern with carefully sewn on velvet ribbon. I'm really proud of it because it opens and closes in the front with hooks and eyes and I managed to match my harlequin checks so well so the opening is invisible if you see it from the front!
I interlined the front with a thick linen canvas and the back is the same black velvet that I used in the jacket. For lining I used a black silk matka remnant I had in the stash. When I have time I want to go back and re fit this garment because I'm not 100% happy with the back.

The main inspiration for this ensemble is this striped so called zone front jacket from KCI (image found on pin interest) and the victory outfit from the Duchess movie (original image from The costumers guide to movie costumes):

I draped the pattern for the jacket using the victory jacket and the KCI jacket as main reference. I chose to make my sleeves without pleats and I also made my back with a little different seams but the overall shape is very similar. The peplum was the hardest, I swear, I lost count on how many different shapes I tried. Then I stumbled over Bauhausfrau's struggle with the victory jacket and she had kindly enough shared her pattern for the peplum. Even with that I help I stood in my sewing studio scratching my head and stared at the cut out and sewn together half moons of fabric that just lay there in a puckering mess and wonder how the f**** it was supposed to work. Then when I lifted the test peplum up from the cutting table and sewing magic occurred, all the pleats fell in to place and I had an eureka moment!

For some reason all the pleats ended up lying in the same direction in this image, but they usually lies flat :P
From there it was more or less smooth sailing with the jacket, and I'm very pleased with it, although the combination of cotton velvet and cheap linen lining has stretched so I need to go back and alter the fit in the back a bit. But I love the overall shape, the gold lace that my sister kindly bought for me and I feel very pretty wearing this pierrot.

The petticoat I'm wearing is completely hand sewn and made from a lovely super sheer striped cotton voile from Hand hemming that bottom ruffle and sewing it on was not fun but it really was worth it in the end!

And finally here is a picture of the front of my shoes:

These were a pair of boring old ladies shoes, but the leather was good and the heel sturdy so I bought them for 20 SEK ($3), attacked them with gold paint and remnants of the gold dupion and got myself some fab harlequin shoes :D

Since the masquerade I have worn this outfit without the mask and ruff and it works nicely this way too, although warm summer weather and black velvet is not the best combination. (The super fabulous hat I borrowed from Elisa over at isiswardrobe and she also did my hair and took the pictures):

Here I'm doing the last stitches on my Galerie de modes inspired polonaise that I wore in the evening on this event.More info on that project will follow in another blog post.
I really like this angle because it show of the silhouette nicely, although the wind has caught the peplum.

1 comment:

  1. Nice to hear more about the construction process!