I normally don't go all out (at all!) for Halloween, but my best friend informed me that this was the year to go as the Romanovs. He's been working on his costume for years; I had about a month. But since this felt like quite an honor, I really had to turn it out. And, if I do say so myself, we looked awesome. LOTS of people took our picture when we went out and about.
I'm only entering MY costume; his is also awesome, but he did it all himself.
(Edited to add: here's a full-length picture of my costume! The train is up on my arm; I sewed a loop in it for mobility.)
And here's who we were going for (Nicholas II and Alexandra were the last Russian Tsars, overthrown in the Russian Revolution in 1917):
The dress was a little tricky to figure out; official Russian court dress was, apparently, very specific. Tight slightly off-the-shoulder bodice, an overskirt open to reveal an underskirt, and those curious split sleeves. There's also the jeweled crown called a kokoshnik, in that Russian halo shape--and married ladies have a veil attached to the back of the crown.
I started with these raw materials: A cheapo Goodwill wedding dress I had used as purchased, for a costume a few years ago:
... A pile of bling (from H&M, thrift stores, and craft stores), and a pile of other wedding dresses (used-by-the-pound store):
After hacking apart all those wedding dresses, I saved the bodice from the original dress, made an overskirt out of the skirt of one of the dresses, and made an underskirt from scratch. Here's the dress sans sleeves:
The sleeves were hard to get my brain around -- unTIL I found a tutorial for something unlikely: a dress from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies! The *top* of the sleeves, and the split, was just perfect; they only somehow needed to be way longer and pointed at the bottom. Lots of self-drafted pattern trials later, I came up with my final product:
I also made the the (important) jewelry myself, of which I was very proud: I cannibalized a homemade choker to make another pearl choker, and I frankensteined a bunch of necklaces and pendants together to make that Blingtastic necklace:
The first "Halloween" (ie, Saturday), I was crownless ... BUT the next morning I found the one thing I needed, that I didn't even know existed -- Flat Aluminum Floral Wire! Who knew?!? And it was just the thing to build a crown with. Genius!!! Thank you, Cliff's Variety! You truly DO have everything I need.
I made a form out of cardboard, and then built the crown around it, using that awesome flat wire. The pearls on top, I made out of pearl fimo, built around head-pins; I also used glass pearl beads, faceted gold glass beads, some gold glass seed beads, a thrift store rhinestone necklace basically un-changed, and lots of thin beading wire. The veil was a piece of the tulle overskirt of the *original* wedding dress (which handily had beaded lace motifs on it) -- I just cut it off and clipped it to my hair.
Pearls in progress: Aliens? No, going into the oven.
Crown in progress:
On Ma Haid:
Ready for my Xtreme Closeup:
Thanks, everyone! ;o)