V222: “Miss Nevada” 1890s Vaudeville Secret Gala Costume

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!


Leave a Reply

Discover more from American Duchess Blog

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading