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Cosplayer Spookloops > Costume of Lydia Carlton (Earl and Fairy)

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Earl and Fairy
Lydia Carlton
Year Completed:
Construction Difficulty:
1st Place Journeyman - Animazement 2012
Costume worn at:
Animazement 2012
MegaCon 2013
Metrocon 2012
Permanent Link:
About this Costume
Construction Details:
As much as I like the story of The Earl and The Fairy, it bothers me a bit that it's supposed to be of a Victorian setting, but seems to be a mish-mash of Edwardian, Victorian, and improv. The dress I liked has exactly one reference (one of the covers) and isn't really fleshed out - it's a generic suggestion of a dress - so I decided to run with it in a more historically accurate direction.

The chemise, bloomers, slip/bustle, and demi-petti coat are all made from light and breezy muslin, while the dress itself is made from fine suiting. Since I wasn't following the reference exactly, I wanted to at least tie back to elements from the story. The first story of the manga has a lot to do with the ocean, so I wanted to keep the dress its original green, but more of a sea-foam green rather than the bright green from the cover. The bodice is lined with cotton and interlined with denim. Steel boning was used in the bustle, while plastic bones were used in the bodice since the bodice fits over a well-boned corset. The corset is a bought one, but will be replaced in the future - boning the bodice and bustle gave me enough confidence to give making a corset a shot sometime in the future.

All seams, including those on the ruffles, are flat-felled. I did not use a serger since there weren't sergers during that time period, but all seams are finished and clean. If I couldn't flat-fell the seam (such as under the arms), it was tidied up with a facing. All ruffles were hemmed and hand-gathered. The slip features pleating underneath the ruffles rather than gathers so that it'd lie smoothly. The chemise features sleeve and side gusseting as well as supplemental facings on the inner seams. There's a couple of pockets in some of the seams since I really, really, really hate having to hold things.

All lace was crocheted by me using size 10 cotton thread and a 1.65mm steel hook. The waist and sleeve trim is adapted from a book of edging patterns I have, but the front dickie is improvised. I'm not very happy with it and will try again if I have time/decide to revisit. Since Lydia is a changeling, has such a strong Fairy connection, and likes flower gardens, I wanted the lace motifs to be organic, so there's various flower motifs: daisies, violets, and dandelions.

All of the garments made here are a mix of Truly Victorian patterns, a Vogue pattern, and improvisation. There was a lot involved with this dress, but none of the individual steps seemed particularly hard/fiddly.

The underlayers were made over a month or two in Fall 2011. The outer dress and lace were made over a period of 2 weeks... the same 2 weeks that I was moving. I really don't know how I pulled that off. I got everything done except the sleeve trim and making my back ruffles removable via buttons prior to its debut at Animazement.
Personal Thoughts:
I really enjoyed making this dress - tailoring! pinstripes! ruffles! layers! crochet! huzzah.
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