The Purple Files:  Discworld Costumes.
Recreations by K. Carlisle, also known as La Signora Onorata Katerina da Brescia

New costumes were required for Nullus Anxietus III, a Discworld convention. I was lucky to win dinner with Sir Terry Pratchet during the convention. (squeeee)...
Dave decided he wanted a Reacher Gilt costume (Going POstal), I wanted a Susan Sto Lat (Hogfather) and a Klax girl from  Going Postal, as I could use my new brown corset .

I had a new brown silk waspie corset,that I could use this for a Klax girl.
Things I already had:
  •  red linen (skirt), 
  • white drill (most of petticoat), 
  • short sleeve smock (from 18th C outfit).
  • fezz
Things I had to buy:
  • aqua/blue material for sash and bow
  • boots (opshop) paint red
  • white poplin for frill for petticoat
  • dancers tights, flesh coloured.
I made the petticoat similar to that of my 1780's outfit; it is made of two rectangles, with splits at the side. The ties tie the back and front on separately. The frill was made to kick the skirt out I used a strip 2x the hem circumference. This makes the petticoat adjustable for when I lose more weight.

I decided to make the skirt longer, to hide my knees.

The skirt was made flared, about 3/4 circle in front and back sections. I left it to hang for the hem to drop. The hem was eventually sewn just above the petticoat hem, so it just peaks out.  I used a button for the skirt closure. The Discworld costumes are Victorianesque, so I can get away with some modernity but wanted to keep to more traditional closures. As a bonus, I can also use the petticoat and skirt for a Steampunk idea I am gelling in my head.
I have never made a Victorian skirt drapery before, so I winged it. Below, left, is the original bow at the back. I bought some material and cut it into rectangles.  One was folded over and pinched in the centre, handsewn to form a bow. The other was halved pinched in the centre and sewn to the bottom for the ends of the bow. A smaller retangle was wrapped around the centre and handsewn in place.  Teh main section was a longer rectangle to fit over the hips and pleated at each end to a section about 7cm in width to try to create folds across the front. I enclosed the ends with rectangles to neaten. All handsewn. The excess will be tucked under the bottom of the corset. I used buttons at the back to make the drapery really easy to put on and remove. One day I will find out if this is anywhere near accurate (me thinks not).
Right is the petticoat, over the existing smock. The drapery is buttoned over the skirt. This will then have my new waspie corset. Later, when I have more time, I will most likely make a new brown striped corset to cover the bust but time is short and I was working with what I already had.

I started by removing trim from a cheapo red fezz but found that they had used black marker under it and the glue had to be gouged off. So Dave bought another undecorated cheapo fezz . However, it was not as tall as the other one. But it will ahve to do.

Boots were an opshop find, by a friend, which we sprayed with shoe colour. A baton was made of dowling.

Final Outfit: at Nullus Anxietus III, Sydney 2011.

Florence Files

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(c). K.Carlisle, 2008.