V222: "Miss Nevada" 1890s Vaudeville Secret Gala Costume

Aug 9, 2012 11 comments
I'm terrible at keeping secrets, but managed to not make a peep about my "super-secret Costume College Gala costume" for the greater part of a year.

All the Northern Nevada ladies who attended Costume College this year decided to wear blue and silver, the colors of our flag, to represent our fine state.  If I'm honest, I don't really care for modern Nevada blue, but luckily there were other versions of the Nevada flag that were more appealing to me, like this one:

The Nevada flag of 1905
Back when I started on this costume, I was looking at a great many Victorian and Edwardian vaudeville and burlesque costumes (Pinterest board here).  I was inspired by this image:

The Devil's Auction, 1894
...but now I'm glad I didn't make a giant papier mache horse head, lol.  Instead, I pulled out an excellent overbust corset pattern Chrissy, of The Laced Angel, sent me, and set to work making it up in blue velvet.

The corset is really stiff.  I fused the velvet with canvas, and boned it with spiral steels (which are amazing!).  Originally I thought of making a body-suit, one-piece, corset+knickers-all-together, but then I realize...how does one go about one's business when they're strapped into something all-in-one like that?

Instead I went with a short skirt very similar to the one in this image:

and somewhat like this too:

Daisy Belmont, 1890s
Acres of silver trim, appliqued stars, tassels, and upholstery fringe had to be sewn on by hand, with thimbles and pliers galore, but the whole costume came together just in time to pack it into the trunk and leave for Costume College.
The Northern Nevada ladies.  I like how the blues were many different hues, but the whole group looked cohesive.
I'm really happy with how it turned out.  The credit goes to Chrissy for making a corset pattern that one can dance the Charleston in!

...and now to start plotting and planning for next year's Gala costume, mwahahaha!


  1. This is so completely awesome, and you looked SO authentic!! Straight out of an old postcard. Absolute LOVE!

  2. Love, love, love this outfit! All of your effort was so worth it.

  3. I'm still amazed that you can Charleston in it! I might have to make a short skirt to go with my red corset and try out some crazy dance moves...

    You're also making me want to do a vaudeville/burlesque costume now. We could get a whole group of lovely ladies all dolled up and fabulous looking. Stop adding ideas to my head! Poor Curtis will never get his new waistcoat if I keep getting distracted by shiny new projects.

    1. Do it! I was thinking of wearing this to Gaskells in October - do you think they'd let me in? My secret pass-the-door plan was to make one of those cool, short, gored skirts with all the petticoat under it, in lots of the images on the Pinterest board, and then, like, whip it off once inside...

    2. It would totally pass for the October dance, no problems. But now I wanna see you make the gored skirt, then whip it off mid dance!


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